Egyptian authorities have detained 30 people and deployed extra police around the country as part of a security drive to prevent a nationwide strike planned for April 6. "Police have been given orders to arrest anyone taking part in demonstrations and extra security forces will be deployed around sensitive locations in Cairo and around the country," a security official told AFP.
Three students were detained on Sunday in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria for distributing posters calling for a day of action, the official added. These arrests come a day after 25 students were beaten and arrested in the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh, following a sit-in outside the courthouse there to protest the arrest on Thursday of two other students.
On Thursday, police detained female students Omneya Ahmed Taha Ghazi and Sara Mohammed Rizk from Kafr el-Sheikh University for distributing posters calling for people to join the April 6 strike. Monday's strike, dubbed "The Day of Anger in Egypt" has been called for by the "April 6 Movement", a group of young activists formed during 2008 after a similar call for action on the same date in 2008.
The group is calling on people to wear black and is calling for protests including sit-ins at people's places of work or study.
The group has two main demands: to set the national minimum monthly salary at 1200 Egyptian pounds (213 dollars) and to elect a body that would draft a new constitution, the organisers said. The current minimum wage in Egypt is 167 Egyptian pounds (29 dollars).
On Thursday, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called on all to "express their anger and objection to the policies of the regime which has squandered the country's riches, neglected its national security and removed Egypt from its role as leader and pioneer."