New anti-Sisi protests break out in Egypt as security forces 'detain hundreds'

New anti-Sisi protests break out in Egypt as security forces 'detain hundreds'
Protests against President Sisi broke out in several suburban and rural areas of Egypt on Monday night, while security forces detained nearly 200 people for participating in previous protests.
3 min read
22 September, 2020
Protests have been taking place in Egypt since Saturday [Twitter]

New protests against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's government broke out in several towns and cities in Egypt on Monday night as security forces detained dozens of people who had taken part in previous demonstrations.

Protests took place in the Cairo suburbs of Maadi, Helwan, and Shubra Al-Kheima, as well as in the towns of Ayyat, Abu al-Numros, Badrashin, and Atfih in Giza province, which lies to the west and south of Cairo.

In Upper Egypt, protests were seen in Dar al-Salam in Fayyum province and the village of Hawarta in Minya province.

Video shared on Twitter by Mohammed Ali showed protesters in Badrashin taking control of a police car

The protesters chanted slogans including "Get out Balaha!" - using a disparaging nickname for Sisi – and "We're not leaving until Sisi leaves!"

Mohamed Ali, an Egyptian businessman-turned-activist, last week called on people to protest on 20 September, the first anniversary of the "Palacegate" protests, which followed his revelations about Sisi's alleged corruption.

Ali last year said that the president had used public funds to build luxurious palaces for himself and his family, while Sisi retorted that they were "for the country".

Read more: Sisi bulldozes homes with renewed disdain for Egypt’s poor

While security forces locked down the streets and squares of Cairo to forestall any potential protest on Sunday, they did not seem as prepared for Monday night's protests in rural and suburban areas.

In Badrashin, protesters managed to seize a police vehicle, while in Hawarta, in Minya province, they overturned another.

Security forces used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrations, while 25 protesters were reportedly arrested in Badrashin.

Meanwhile in the Atfih area of Giza, 170 people were detained by security forces over their participation in previous protests, a legal source told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service.

On Sunday, hundreds of people in the village of Kadiya in the area protested against Sisi and chased police out of the village, overturning their truck.

The legal source said that state prosecutors had levelled charges against the protesters including "membership in a forbidden organisation" and "misusing and spreading rumours on social media".

The Egyptian government has detained tens of thousands of suspected dissidents ever since Sisi, a former general and defence minister, rose to power following a 2013 military coup against Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi.

This has mostly deterred people from participating in anti-government protests.

In addition to corruption, inequality, and authoritarianism, many Egyptians have recently been angered by government plans to demolish thousands of unlicensed buildings across the country, potentially leaving their residents homeless.

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