Egypt warns citizens from participating in foreign polls

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Egyptian government warned citizens on Tuesday against taking part in surveys conducted by foreign media organizations, saying it was a threat to national security.

The interior ministry said on Facebook that it had received complaints indicating that Egyptians had been getting telephone calls from media companies abroad asking their opinions on the country’s political, economic and security situation.

“In this regard, the ministry calls on citizens to be cautious around those twisted methods of gathering information about the situation inside the country that aim to harm Egyptian national security,” the statement read.

The warning comes amid efforts to quell rising dissent against army general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly endorsed a law on non-governmental organizations that human rights groups say effectively bans their work and makes it harder for charities to operate.

The law bans NGOs from conducting fieldwork or polls without permission or “from cooperating in any way with any international body without the necessary approval”. Human rights groups say that includes the United Nations.

Reporting by Amina Ismail; Editing by Robin Pomeroy