In a BBC interview before his first official visit to Britain on Wednesday, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi batted away questions on human rights concerns and said he wanted to carry out the will of the people. Sisi led the July 2013 military ouster of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Since then, the government has waged a sweeping crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Thousands of political detainees are behind bars, and human rights activists say the measures enshrine a permanent state of emergency in Egypt.
Sisi says that Egypt has “experienced turbulence and revolution. We want some stability. We don’t want to do this by force or suppression”.