At least 30 demonstrators were arrested during the anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes on Wednesday, said a source from the Ministry of Interior.
The number of arrests is on the rise, the source said. The ministry’s press office said that the demonstrators violated the Protest Law and caused traffic. “Security forces dealt with them,” the offical said.
An eyewitness told Daily News Egypt that a protest of approximately 50 to 100 people in Mohamed Mahmoud Street in central Cairo was dispersed by police using tear gas.
Police also arrested demonstrators in the surrounding streets, where several other small protests came together.
In Al-Bustan, near Talaat Harb Square, undercover security forces wearing Guy Fawkes masks infiltrated a protest and suddenly started detaining people, according to the same eyewitness.
Further accounts from witnesses confirmed that police forces were on alert and carried out random arrests throughout downtown Cairo. According to legal activist Nazly Hussein, 56 people are detained at Abdeen police station.
Blogger Ahmed Ibrahim said that 500 armed police forces and four armoured vehicles accompanying the security director of Cairo arrived in Talaat Harb Square. “They proudly showed weapons high in the air. The scene was worse than during the Mubarak era,” Ibrahim said. There were already six or seven police vehicles and one military vehicle present in the square, besides “detectives” in civil clothes
“Thugs known by their name” were present in Tahrir Square, said Ramy Ghanem, another witness.
Police forces and officers with different ranks were also witnessed in the area surrounding the Press Syndicate. Several political parties and movements including Al-Dostour Party, the Revolutionary Socialist and the Misr Al-Qawia Party had scheduled to hold a press conference inside the syndicate, followed by a vigil on the stairs outside the syndicate. Plans were cancelled after the clashes and arrests took place.
The 6 April Youth Movement Democratic Front said Wednesday that it cancelled plans to protest in Mohamed Mahmoud Street.