More activists were arrested from their homes ahead of protests planned for Monday 25 April against the transfer of sovereignty of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia.
Seventeen organisations, including NGOs and human rights groups, condemned the sweeping arrests by the Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces against youth activists over the past few days, in a statement Monday.
Plainclothes police officers have been performing bag checks at metro stations and on the streets. Dozens have been arrested from their homes, which many have dubbed the return of the phenomenon of “dawn visitors”.
The organisations’ statement referred to the “abusive” ways in which the state is confronting the protests and stressed that the people have the right to demonstrate in the streets. The statement also called for the release of all those detained in the mass arrests this week.
At dawn on Monday, the chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) Ahmed Abdullah was arrested from his home in the Fifth Settlement.
According to a lawyer at the ECRF, Doaa Mostafa, Abdullah was taken to a police station in the Fifth Settlement, and will be referred to the prosecution. In January, plainclothes police officers allegedly attempted to kidnap Abdullah, according to ECRF.
Two other activists, Mohamed Mamdouh and Ibrahim Tamer, were arrested when police raided their homes at dawn on Sunday. Mohamed Mamdouh hosts a satirical politics show called ‘Meen Dah’ [who is this] on a Facebook page. In recent months, Mamdouh has received several warning messages from police officers over Facebook.
Mamdouh gathers secret information about mainstream politicians and media figures and then publishes it on Facebook. He has refused many offers to broadcast on television because he prefers to work independently to avoid being judged or accused of working for a certain sector, group, or political party.
Ibrahim Tamer, known as ”Bebo”, is a student of mechanical engineering at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and is part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement at AUC.
Security forces arrested Tamer from Cairo International Airport when he was scheduled to travel to Athens. The arrest came after security forces raided his house at dawn on Sunday and found out from his family that he would be at the airport.
He is currently detained in Al-Nozha police station and will be referred to the prosecution on Tuesday for investigations. Bebo was previously arrested during 15 April protests at the Press Syndicate, but was released shortly thereafter.
The arrest was part of a sweep carried out by security forces ahead of Monday’s protest, according to AUC student union statement.
Alleged leaks were circulated on social media platforms in past days, purportedly dating back to 11 April. The purported leaks included documents indicating pre-planned charges that were set to be levelled at activists, according to independent news outlet El-Bedaiah.
The implications made on social media were that the arrests that resulted from the wide security raids were planned ahead, with specific people targeted.
One of the people cited in the alleged leaks was Magdy El-Nakeeb, a leader in the Bread and Freedom Party, who was in fact arrested on Friday morning. His detention was renewed on Sunday for an additional 15 days.
According to human rights groups and NGOs, approximately 90 people have been arrested across eight governorates over the past four days.