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No leniency for anyone who breaks law, says Egypt's interior minister ahead of Monday protests

Protests have been planned for Monday to oppose the government’s decision to hand sovereignty of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Apr 2016
Egyptian Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar
Egyptian Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar speaks during a press conference in Cairo on March 6, 2016 (AFP)
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Egypt's Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar asserted on Sunday that there will be no leniency for anyone who breaks the law as peoples’ safety and the state’s stability take top priority.

"In the light of the law and the constitution, the ministry will stand hard against any maneuvers to destabilise national security and any vital public or police facilities," the minister said in a statement following a meeting with security heads ahead of planned protests on Monday.  

Abdel-Ghaffer noted that he is sure that the people are wise enough not to take part in protests or be attracted to any "calls for chaos or any attempts to fracture the confidence between the people and the state."

Last weekend dozens of activists in Cairo, Alexandria, and other parts of the country were arrested ahead of planned protests on Monday 25 April. Arrests are continuing to date. The protests have been planned to oppose the government’s decision to acknowledge Saudi Arabian sovereignty over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

Two weeks ago protests occurred in Downtown Cairo and other parts of the country following the government’s decision to relinquish the islands to the oil rich kingdom.

On Thursday night police raided several Cairo cafes and arrested dozens of people inside and outside the capital. Others were picked up from homes in the early hours of Friday morning.

Egyptian prosecution ordered on Saturday the detention of activists including leftist lawyer Haitham Mohamedein for 15 days pending investigation on charges of joining an outlawed group.

East Cairo prosecution is currently questioning at least 11 arrested activists while others are expected to appear in Abbasiya court soon.

 

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