Clashes erupted on Saturday in the Nile Delta after a strike by factory workers was forcibly dispersed by security forces.
One police officer and five soldiers were injured as the police fired tear gas on protestors blocking railroad lines outside Samanoud Felt Fabric Company in the Gharbiya governorate, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman Mohammed Al-Serty.
Six workers were injured, reported independent Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Workers had been sleeping on the tracks that connect Tanta and Mansoura for three weeks in protest of late payment of their salaries. Security forces moved in after negotiations to relocate the sit-in to the factory failed, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
A statement by the Center for Trade Union and Workers’ Services (CTUWS), an NGO defending labour rights, said 28 workers were arrested at the protest. Twenty-five were later released, but Adel Wezza, Saeed Mahdi and Khaled Zaghloul were held for questioning.
“The CTUWS announces solidarity with the legitimate demands of the workers, and demands that those responsible for the brutal assault on the workers be held responsible,” read the NGO’s official statement.
“There is a return to the old ways of clearing sit-ins like they did during the Mubarak era,” said Dalia Moussa, spokeswoman for the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights. “The system is afraid of these protests. They have never stopped; they have no solutions.”
Additional security forces have been deployed along the railroad tracks near the factory to prevent demonstrations from resuming, reported Al-Ahram.