Female activists who were arrested while protesting in Cairo’s downtown Tuesday were released several hours after clashes with security forces, only to find themselves in the desert, according to activist Salma Said.
Said, one of the prominent activists who were arrested while protesting against a constitutional article that allows military courts to try civilians, was one of tens who were captured by police forces in front of the Shura Council’s headquarters in downtown Cairo.
“We were thrown in the desert, our friends found us and we are all ok,” she tweeted, adding that their friends came to pick them up.
Police forces dispersed the protest 30 minutes after it commenced, using of water cannons and teargas two days after a new controversial protest law was issued. Videos showed the police physically assaulting protesters.
The interior ministry justified the dispersal, saying the gathering broke a newly enforced protest law as the organisers did not notify authorities of their actions as the new legislation stipulates.
The head of the 50-member committee amending the constitution, Amr Moussa, contacted Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, calling for the release of the detained protesters.
An earlier protest against the new anti-protest law was similarly dispersed on Tuesday. The demonstration was led by the Martyr Gaber Salah Movement, a group named after 16-year old activist Gaber Salah ("Jika"), who was killed in clashes with security forces in November 2012.
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