News ID: 108828
Publish Date : 11 November 2022 - 22:16

Public Events Curtailed, Shops Ordered to Close in Egypt Amid Calls for Protests

CAIRO (Middle East Eye) – Egyptian police ordered public events and shops across the country to cease activity on Friday amid growing calls on social media urging people to join anti-government protests.
Restrictions have been imposed on sports venues, youth centers, businesses, cafes, a film festival, and tourism offices.
Incidents of police ordering shop owners to remain closed on Friday were reported in several cities. The only exception is the Cop27 summit currently taking place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
Middle East Eye reached out to five youth centers in Cairo, Giza, Luxor, Alexandria, and Asyut and each one of them refused to accept pitch booking requests citing “security reasons”.
According to a source in the youth and sports ministry, all youth centers and sporting activities were cancelled from Thursday night until Saturday noon.
Youth centers, with relatively cheap entry tickets, are popular in working-class districts.
The tight closures come in response to calls on social media for protests against the spiraling cost of living crisis.
Egyptian forces have arrested hundreds of people in recent weeks, some of them detained for sharing posts or media content encouraging the demonstrations.
In Cairo, the downtown area - home to the iconic Tahrir square that witnessed the start of the 2011 revolution - has been transformed into a military zone.
Dozens of riot police trucks loaded with military and police soldiers have been deployed in major squares and near underground metro stations.
In Suez city, which is known for its strong antagonism with the police, the al-Arbaeen Square has also been turned into a fortress of armoured vehicles and riot police.
Egypt has witnessed a brutal crackdown on dissent since general-turned-president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seized power in a military coup in 2013.
Under his administration, the government introduced a protests law that rights groups say effectively criminalizes protests and gives security forces free rein to use excessive force against peaceful demonstrators.