Egypt imposed a big security clampdown in its cities on Friday as mass demonstrations called to protest against austerity measures failed to take place.
Riot police and armored vehicles filled the otherwise empty streets of central Cairo, but most people stayed at home.
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Time For Truth: (Reuters) – Egypt imposes big security clampdown, protests fail to materialize
Several people are feared dead in clashes in north-western Ethiopia between police and anti-government protesters, amid a wave of unrest.
On Saturday police arrested dozens of demonstrators during massive rallies in the capital, Addis Ababa.
The government has been facing protests from the two largest ethnic communities over alleged human rights abuses and other issues.
French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday threatened to ban demonstrations, the day after violent protests in Paris over labour reforms that the government vowed to push through regardless.
“At a time when France is hosting the Euro (football tournament), when it is faced with terrorism, demonstrations can no longer be authorised if property and people and public property cannot be safeguarded,” Hollande’s spokesman Stephane Le Foll told a cabinet meeting.
Egypt put on trial 237 activists arrested for protesting against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, judicial sources said on Saturday, the first court cases after demonstrations this month.
Thousands angered by Sisi’s decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia called on April 15 for his government to fall in the largest demonstration since the former army general took office in 2014. Security forces dispersed a second protest.