A considerable number of Egyptians across several governorates are taking to the streets in celebration of the third anniversary of the 30 June Uprising, according to state-run MENA.
The rallies were met with increased security presence and support from military personnel and police forces, unlike anti-governmental rallies which usually end with violent dispersals.
The government has prepared a set of security measures ahead of the anniversary. In the cities of Suez, Luxor, New Valley, Minya and others, security patrols were spread across the exits and entries of the cities and around the rallies which are located near the governorates’ headquarters.
The celebrations began last night and included parades, art events and folklore performances, as well as citizens roaming the streets with sound amplifiers, according to MENA.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has undertaken unprecedented measures for health emergencies. It announced in an official statement that there are nearly 3,000 ambulances stationed at the locations of rallies in Tahrir square, Itihadiya square, and other locations across various governorates, in addition to two helicopter ambulances and a Nile ambulance.
On the occasion, 87 prisoners were released from prison on Thursday and 57 others were granted conditional release, according to the Ministry of Interior. On the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, the ministry also granted conditional releases for dozens of prisoners. The decision was not solely based on the uprising celebrations but also for National Police Day.
Moreover, F16 helicopters were seen flying near Heliopolis and other places in Cairo and Alexandria in celebration of the uprising.
Following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013, the controversial Protest Law was issued to restrict anti-government protests which emerged among Brotherhood supporters in response to the ouster. However, it was used later to build several cases against a broader segment of dissenting figures in Egypt. On the other hand, rallies supporting the government are welcomed by security personnel.
Despite the fact that the current 2014 Constitution acknowledges the 25 January Revolution which toppled the Mubarak regime as a national uprising, just like the 30 June Uprising, there is a clear difference in the security forces response towards both occasions. On the past anniversary of 25 January Revolution, security forces raided homes of activists and residents living nearby Tahrir square in downtown Cairo. Dozens of people were also reportedly arrested at that time on alleged charges of belonging to the outlawed Brotherhood group.