Update: April 6 cancels march amid heightened security downtown

Hundreds of April 6 Youth Movement members attended a press conference at the Lawyers Syndicate downtown on Sunday, demanding the release of political prisoners.

A march that was planned to commence around 7 pm was canceled amid a heightened security presence in downtown Cairo.

Security forces closed all entrances and exits around Tahrir Square Sunday afternoon in anticipation of violence surrounding the protests.

Talaat Harb and Mohamed Mahmoud streets, as well as parts of Qasr al-Aini leading to the square, were completely closed to cars and pedestrians. The move followed an announcement from the April 6 Youth Movement, which called on members to protest on the anniversary of its establishment, privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

In a phone interview on privately owned satellite channel Al-Mehwar, media spokesperson for the youth movement, Mohamed Kamal, said that they had informed the National Council for Human Rights and not the Interior Ministry of their plans. Kamal added that the law governing protests states that demonstrators should notify the authorities of their events, but does not specify who exactly they should liaise with.

State-owned Al-Ahram added that armored vehicles and tanks were deployed around the square’s entrances, in addition to a security cordon and barbed wire. Traffic was consequently blocked early Sunday evening on 6 October Bridge, and in Abdel Moneim Riad Square, Galaa and Ramsis Streets.

Two of the movement’s founding members Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel have been in prison since November on charges of violating Egypt’s controversial Protest Law.

Sunday marks the sixth anniversary of the founding of the April 6 Movement, which was established in 2008 in solidarity with a labor strike in the Nile Delta city of Mahalla. 

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