CAIRO: Egyptian authorities have detained more than 1,100 people since the weekend, when protests were held in several cities calling on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to quit, human rights monitors said. Defying a ban on protesting without a permit, hundreds took to the streets in Cairo and other cities in response to calls for protests against alleged government corruption. The protests continued in the Red Sea city of Suez on Saturday. Gamal Eid, head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, said his own group and two others – the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms – had jointly documented more than 1,100 arrests. The interior ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hazem Hosny, a former spokesman for the short-lived 2018 presidential campaign of ex-military chief of staff Sami Anan, was detained on Tuesday evening, said Mustapha Kamel Al Sayyid, a fellow professor at Cairo University, citing Hosny’s family. Sayyid also said Hassan Nafaa, a prominent writer who also teaches at Cairo University, has been missing since 1500 GMT on Tuesday, citing Nafaa’s family. Sisi came to power after leading the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, following mass protests against him in 2013.
Protests in Egypt have been rare under Sisi, who has overseen a broad crackdown on dissent that rights activists say is the most severe in the country’s modern history.