Demonstrators Clash with Egyptian Police During Protests Against El-Sisi

Published September 22nd, 2019 - 11:15 GMT

Videos of scores of protesters gathered in cities across Egypt demanding President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's resignation circulate the internet. 

Hundreds of Egyptians poured through the streets of Cairo, chanting slogans including “Leave, Sisi!” and demanding the “fall of the regime.” At least 74 people were arrested after clashes between the crowds and police in the capital. 

The protests came a day after thousands of people took to the streets in several Egyptian cities in a rare show of protest against el-Sisi, who has overseen a broad crackdown on dissent, including the jailing of thousands of dissidents and the effective banning of protests. 

About 200 people headed to the city's central area for a second night in a row, where they were met by security forces and armoured vehicles. Authorities in Egypt clashed with the protesters, firing tear gas and live rounds to disperse the crowds. 

"They (police) fired tear gas, rubber and live bullets and there were injuries," one protester reported to AFP. Another resident said the tear gas was so thick it had reached her apartment block a few kilometers away from the turbulent downtown area. “My nose started burning up. The smell was seeping through the balcony. I also saw some youth run and hide in our street,” the woman said. 

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi. But discontent over rising prices has been swelling in Egypt, where Sisi’s government has imposed strict austerity measures since 2016 as part of a $12-billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund. Nearly one in three Egyptians live below the poverty line on less than $1.40 a day. 

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