Egyptians demand 'Sisi get out' in rare anti-government protests

Clay Curtis
September 21, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of tweets called on Friday for the Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, to quit, reported.

In his latest video posted early Friday morning on his growing social media accounts, Ali urged Egyptians to head to the streets after a highly anticipated football match between Cairo powerhouses Al Ahly and Zamalek in the Super Cup.

There were also small protests in other cities including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Hundreds of anti-regime protesters were in and around Tahrir Square in Cairo - a key site of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution - despite efforts to disperse them. Several arrests were also made in the capital, and there were reports of tear gas being used on demonstrators.

Under the rule of general-turned-president Sisi, who led Morsi's ouster, authorities have launched a broad crackdown on dissidents, jailing thousands of Islamists as well as secular activists and popular bloggers.

This is a tense time both for Sisi and the Egyptian people.

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The demonstrations on Friday night were in response to corruption allegations against President Sisi's government, the BBC said.

But Egyptians were spurred to the streets after calls on social media from Mohamed Ali, a former building contractor who worked with the country's military.

Anti-government protests are rare in Egypt since Sisi took power in 2013 and has employed an iron-fisted approach to political dissent.

"This is something that is a legitimate threat to the el-Sisi government - if it wasn't a legitimate threat, then el-Sisi wouldn't have come out and respond directly to Mohamed Ali at last week's youth conference", Elmasry said, adding it was "unprecedented" for el-Sisi "to be put on the defensive like that inside Egypt by an Egyptian". His popularity has been dented by economic austerity measures. "You have a group of young people coming in with a different set of demands and different kind of future possibilities", she said.

Rights group Human Rights Watch criticised the arrests, calling on Egypt to allow peaceful protest.

The Human Rights Watch called on Egypt to release those arrested at the protests and urged the United Nations to pressure Egypt to respect rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

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