Mass Arrests of Protesters are Underway in Egypt
Close to 2000 protesters have already been arrested by Egyptian authorities.
During this week, hundreds of Egyptians have taken to the streets of Suez and Cairo in protest of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's rule. The protests have come after Egyptian businessman Mohamed Ali posted a series of videos online that allegedly showed al-Sisi spending state resources on luxury accommodation. These allegations of corruption come during a time when economic austerity measures such as increased taxes and rising costs in the country have left many suffering. The protests, which are rare under al-Sisi's rule, are expected to continue into the weekend, according to Aljazeera. Thus far, at least 2000 protesters have been arrested by authorities as calls for al-Sisi's resignation continue to intensify.
Among those who have been arrested, is Professor Hassan Nafaa, a political-science academic from the University of Cairo, after he tweeted the following: "I have no doubt that the continuation of Sisi's absolute rule will lead to disaster, and that Egypt's interest requires his departure today before tomorrow, but he will only leave with public pressure from the street. To good hands, and to avoid the scenario of chaos."
After al-Sisi took over from Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, six years ago in a military coup, protests became illegal. The New York Times reports that pro-government media have labelled the protesters as Islamists working with "foreign agitators" wanting to stir up trouble.
In the weeks leading up to the 2011 revolution that saw the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak after a three-decade rule, protests would occur on Fridays. In similar fashion, activists have called for a "million man" march to happen today. Details are still to emerge as to whether the protest will indeed take place.