April 25 protests: Locations announced despite clampdown and threats
Courtesy: Spokesperson for Armed Forces Facebook page

Protest locations and meeting points were announced on Facebook Sunday evening by the Popular Campaign for the Preservation of the Land, also called Egypt is not for Sale, despite state attempts to discourage the movement.

The Strong Egypt Party, founded by former Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Abouel Fottouh, issued a statement on Sunday announcing its participation in the protests.

Monday’s demonstrations against the transfer of sovereign control of the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir, located at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba, to Saudi Arabia, coincide with the 34th anniversary of Sinai’s liberation.

The agreement between the two nations sparked widespread criticism, which led to large nationwide protests on Friday April 15, the size of which haven’t been witnessed for two and a half years.

Protesters have also said they will use Monday’s protests to call for the release of detainees arrested over the last few days amid police raids and roundups leading to the demonstrations.

The clampdown began Thursday with a series of arrests, followed by a number of official statements warning people against participating in protests.

Although he didn’t address the protests directly, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a speech on Sunday that a lot of effort has been invested in bringing back stability and security, emphasizing that maintaining security and protecting state institutions should be a shared responsibility.

Hours earlier, Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar said the security apparatus would “confront any actions that might disturb the public order.” In a meeting with his deputies Ghaffar added that no one would be permitted to break the law under any circumstances.

As protest organizers announced key locations for Monday’s demonstrations in Dokki, Qasr al-Aini and Downtown, the official Facebook page for the spokesperson of the Armed Forces published directives for the military to deploy in certain areas to celebrate Sinai liberation day with Egyptians and protect state institutions against attempts to harm them.

Mohamed Youssef, the deputy minister of interior, told the Cairo-based website Aswat Masreya that police would also be surveying train and metro travelers on Monday, asking people for identification and questions about any suspicious activity or movements.

The security sweep that began Thursday included the arbitrary rounding up of young people from coffee shops, as well as the targeting of known activists and protest leaders, whose houses were raided and arrest warrants issued in a similar way to the lead up to the January 25 anniversary earlier this year. Socialist and labor activist Haytham Mohamadein was detained for 15 days pending investigations. Arrest warrants were also issued for human rights lawyer Malek Adly and journalists Amro Badr and Mahmoud al-Saqa.

The Freedom for the Brave Facebook page, which documents politically motivated detentions, reported 97 arrests since Thursday. Lawyer Sameh Samir told Mada Masr that detainees have been accused of inciting violence in order to overthrow the government and the constitution, inciting attacks on police stations and calling for the president to let go of his constitutional responsibilities.

Police have also kept 25 people that were arrested during the April 15 protests in custody. They were handed 15 days pending investigations after the prosecutor overturned an order for their release.  

The privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper published news on Thursday that the presidency had ordered a crackdown for April 25 similar to that of the 15, when security forces used teargas to disperse protesters and made a number of arrests. Although the presidency denied this, hours later the raids, arrests and statements began ahead of 25.


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