World Egypt’s el-Sisi warns of instability after protest calls
Belarus police detain hundreds of women at protest
Riot police on Saturday detained hundreds of women, dragging many into vans, as opposition protesters marched through the Belarusian capital Minsk demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's rule. Police blocked the women and began pulling them into police vans as they stood with linked hands, swiftly detaining hundreds, an AFP journalist saw. Police lifted some women off their feet in order to remove them.Around two thousand women took part in the "Sparkly March", wearing shiny accessories and carrying red-and-white flags of the protest movement.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has warned against attempts to stoke instability in the country following a recent spate of scattered and small-scale anti-government demonstrations.
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The protests come amid mounting anger, particularly in rural and low-income areas, against sweeping government campaigns to stop illegal construction, which have required people to pay fines to legalise home-ownership. During his speech on Sunday, el-Sisi thanked Egyptians for not heeding the calls, saying the government was undertaking the measures as part of reforms.
“Some people have been trying in recent weeks to take advantage of the tough measures we are taking,” el-Sisi said at a ceremony to inaugurate an oil refining complex north of Cairo.
“They choose the hard conditions to harm and cast doubts among Egyptians over what we do.”
Dozens of people took part in rare protests in recent days in several villages in Egypt, according to a video shared widely on social media, especially by sympathisers of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed group.
Anti-gov't protests in Egypt's Giza amid tight security presence
Videos on social media show demonstrators calling on Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi to step aside.Video clips circulating on social media showed the demonstrators holding banners and chanting slogans calling on Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi to step down. Others set a police car on fire while some threw stones at security forces who tried to stop them.
Exiled businessman Mohamed Ali, who has been urging anti-el-Sisi protests since last year, has intensified his calls in recent weeks in online videos, calling on Egyptians to take to the streets against the government.
Protesters killed, arrested
On Saturday, family and medical sources said a man was killed in clashes between protesters and police in a village south of Cairo.
Prominent rights lawyers also reported on Facebook the arrest of more than 150 people in the demonstrations.
On Sunday, Egypt’s public prosecutor said it ordered the release of 68 minors who took part in the demonstrations.
“The minors’ parents committed to maintaining the safety and security of their children, promising that they would ensure the minors do not return to such acts of destruction in the future,” said the prosecutor in a statement circulated on social media.
“Meanwhile, we continue to investigate in the cases of the other detainees,” it added.
Protests have been effectively banned in Egypt since 2013.
A renewable state of emergency has been in place since 2017, a measure that rights groups say has allowed the government to crush dissent.
Egypt's Nasser still a polarising figure, 50 years on .
Fifty years since Gamal Abdel Nasser's death, controversy over the legacy of the charismatic Egyptian president who championed Arab unity lives on in Egypt as deep divisions beset the Middle East. Best known for his colloquial charisma and pan-Arab populism, he enraptured listeners with his radio broadcasts and inspired enormous pride inside the North African country and well beyond its borders. Nasser was feted as a bulwark against Israel, colonialism and poverty during much of his 16 years in power, first as prime minister and then president.