Authorities release more Bedouins

Egyptian authorities announced the release of more Bedouins as part of a plan to reduce tensions between Bedouins and security bodies in Sinai.

In statements to the press Tuesday, Governor of North Sinai Mourad Mowafi said that in addition to a new batch of Sinai Bedouins being released, the files of several others are being examined in preparation for their release.

Approximately 20 Bedouins have been released. All detainees who do not represent a threat to public order and security will be released, he added.

Egyptian authorities began releasing Sinai Bedouins following a meeting between the Minister of Interior and tribal chiefs in Sinai in June in the wake of clashes between Bedouins and the police.

Bedouins accuse the police of threatening them with confiscating vehicle licenses and carrying out raids on their homes and properties.

Tensions sharply escalated in North Sinai Governorate during the middle of 2009 after authorities launched an arrest campaign against a significant number of Bedouins accused of engagement in illegal activities.

Clashes ensued and the Bedouins threatened to attack Sinai’s vital resources, including a natural gas pipeline that extends to Jordan and Israel through Sinai.

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