Muslim Brotherhood supporters protested Friday around Cairo, Giza and other governorates, prompting a number of clashes which saw 107 arrests in Cairo and 77 others nationwide.
The protests started after Friday prayers and continued until nightfall, with Cairo’s Qubba Palace seeing heavy clashes between security forces and protesters.
The protests come as part of a series of demonstrations every Friday since the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi and the dispersal of the sit-ins supporting him at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda squares.
In Haram, Giza, protesters set fire to a Talbeya police checkpoint on Othman Moharam Street after security forces withdrew. Protests also occurred in Suez and Alexandria, where tear gas and water cannons were fired to disperse the protests.
The Ministry of Interior said on Friday that Muslim Brotherhood supporters had organised a number of protests in Cairo, Giza and other governorates without requesting permission as per the recently issued Protest Law.
“Despite warning the protesters and alerting them to discontinue these infringements, the [Morsi] supporters continued with the violation,” the ministry said in a statement. “We will respond to these illegal activities with the correct proportionality, strictness and within the boundaries of the law.”
Giza security forces confronted a number of protests, dispersing them with water cannons and tear gas. The Ministry of Interior announced that 106 were arrested in Cairo and 77 in other governorates.
The military closed Tahrir Square, while the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda squares saw a heavy security presence, preventing protestors from reaching them.
The government’s new Protest Law was issued last Sunday by interim President Adly Mansour, banning protests not announced by the organisers three days in advance and giving the Ministry of Interior the power to cancel or postpone a protest even if it is announced.
The law has been widely criticised by domestic and international human rights organisations since it first passed on 10 October. A number of domestic political movements also condemned the draft law.
Human Rights Watch said the draft law gives the police “carte blanche” to ban protests in Egypt.
The Anti Coup Alliance called for week-long protests starting Saturday, labeled “Free women are the soul of the revolution” in support of the 21 female protesters sentenced on Wednesday. The 21 women were arrested in late October for protesting against Morsi’s 3 July military-backed ouster. Fourteen of them received 11 years in prison while seven minors received juvenile detention until reaching the legal age.
The alliance also accused the police of setting fire to the police checkpoint in Haram after “infiltrating” the protests wearing civilian clothing.
The alliance added that the “coup is wasting time”, commending women on “protesting in the masses” and that that the “revolutionary forces of 25 January have corrected their paths and joined the revolution”