Cairo, Sept 21 (AFP/APP):Rare small protests were staged overnight in Cairo and other Egyptian cities calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, but authorities quickly dispersed them and arrested dozens, a security source said.
Hundreds of citizens took to the streets late Friday to protest, chanting slogans including “Leave, Sisi!” and holding up placards.
At least 74 were arrested overnight, a security source told AFP, with plain clothed police patrolling sidestreets of downtown Cairo. AbdelFattahalA
The country effectively banned protests under a 2013 law and a state of emergency is still in full effect.
Police fired tear gas and deployed forces in Tahrir Square – the epicentre of the 2011 revolution that unseated long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The protests came on the back of an online call put out by Mohamed Aly, a disgruntled exiled Egyptian businessman, demanding Sisi be toppled.
The construction contractor has been posting videos from Spain that have gone viral since early September, accusing Sisi and the military of rampant corruption.
The president flatly denied the allegations last week at a youth conference and sought to assure Egyptians that he “was honest and faithful” to his people and the military.
In his latest video posted early Friday morning on his growing social media accounts, Aly urged Egyptians to head to the streets after a highly anticipated football match between Cairo powerhouses Al Ahly and Zamalek in the Super Cup.
Thousands shared footage on social media documenting the demonstrations that sprang up in several cities including sizeable crowds blocking traffic in Alexandria, Al-Mahalla, Damietta, Mansoura and Suez.
Many users commented on the curious absence of military personnel and speculated about internal political squabbles between various Egyptian security agencies.