Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Sunday that there are “no restrictions” on the freedom of expression in Egypt, adding that the standards Western countries promote concerning freedom of expression do not match Egypt's current situation.
In an interview with Sky News Arabia the president also said that there are no political detainees in Egypt, and the situation of those arrested is currently being revised.
Hundreds of Islamists and non-Islamists have been jailed in the past year, many for protesting without a permit in violation of a controversial law introduced in 2013.
El-Sisi also commented on Egypt's war against terrorism in the restive Sinai Peninsula, saying that the country is in a "critical" stage in its fight.
"Extremism has spread in Sinai due to years of negligence," he said.
"The security solution is not the only solution to fight terrorism. There has to be an intellectual approach in parallel."
Militants based in North Sinai increased their activities dramatically after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, and subsequent jihadist violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of police and military personnel.
In response, Egypt's army has launched a military offensive in the peninsula, reportedly killing dozens of militants.
During the interview El-Sisi also denied any Egyptian military involvement in Libya, saying that Egypt protects its borders and national security only.
El-Sisi is currently on a visit to the UAE, a key backer of his presidency.