Egyptian Bedouins stage protest to demand release of jailed tribesmen

EL-ARISH, Egypt — Hundreds of Egyptian Bedouins have blocked roads and set car tires on fire, demanding authorities release jailed tribesmen and revoke prison sentences levelled in absentia against some of their kin.

Tuesday’s protest in the Sinai Peninsula forced several tourist busses to stop along two roads leading to Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea and St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai.

Tensions are intensifying between the nomad Bedouins and the Egyptian government, which they accuse of discrimination and of ignoring their plight. There have been several attacks on police stations in the region.

The protesters are also demanding the government provide jobs and a fairer distribution of land.

Bedouins are accused of smuggling people, mostly Africans, into Israel.

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