Egypt Arrests Dozens of Activists, Journalists and Lawyers Ahead of Anti-Sissi Protests

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People look on from a bus behind riot police after they closed streets during a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, in this April 15, 2016 photo. (REUTERS)
People look on from a bus behind riot police after they closed streets during a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, in this April 15, 2016 photo. (REUTERS)

Associated Press

CAIRO — Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers ahead of demonstrations called for April 25 against President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s policies, lawyers and witnesses said Friday.

Rights lawyer Ahmed Abdel-Naby said that dozens were arrested in cafes in downtown Cairo and from their homes. Ragia Omran, another rights lawyer, said in a statement that there is an “organized campaign” targeting activists in Cairo and several provinces. The lawyers said the whereabouts of those arrested remained unknown as police deny the arrests.

A youth group called Revolutionary Socialists says a top member, Haitham Muhammadeen, was arrested when security forces raided his home late Thursday.

Mahmoud El-Sakka, a young journalist, wrote on his Facebook page that special forces raided his home and told his family he is a wanted man, threatening more raids unless he turns himself in.

“We are not afraid even if they snatch our souls,” he said.

The Interior Ministry’s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. Rights groups took to the social media to circulate hotlines for legal assistance. Activists posted instructions on deleting social networking accounts from mobile phones to ensure online safety and privacy.

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