Four activists were arrested yesterday during peaceful protests in Egypt against electoral fraud and inflation. The four activists were allegedly kidnapped near the Sayyida Zainab metro-station in Cairo. The arrested activists, Mahmoud Shukri, Magdi Abdel-Rahman, Mohammad Abdullah, and Mohamed Sloan, are to appear in front of prosecutors today at nine in the morning.
The four activists arrested yesterday belong to the April 6 Youth Movement. The Movement had organized a surprise protest in Sayyida Zainab where they distributed flyers educating the public on the importance of boycotting the upcoming elections that provide no guarantees for its integrity. Within one hour of campaigning, protestors were dispersed and chased by security forces.
Upon news of the activists’ arrests, the Movement quickly mobilized in front of the Attorney General’s office and at the police station where the activists are detained, calling for the release of the activists. News broke out at around 01:00 am that the detainees will be transferred for prosecution in the morning. Members from several opposition groups, including April 6 Youth Movement, will be holding protests on location at 9 am for the release of the activists.
These arrests come as part of a wave of crackdowns on opposition parties and activists groups demanding transparent and fair elections under the supervision of local and international monitors. The government has maintained an iron fist when dealing with oppositional voices citing the superfluous emergency law. Activists that have been arrested in previous days have been beaten and tortured. As a result, opposition groups are calling for the urgent release of unlawfully detained peaceful protestors.
The April 6 Youth Movement is amidst a campaign to raise awareness against electoral fraud under the name “The Black Circle”. This protest was to mark the public launching of the campaign in electoral districts most likely to be rigged. The campaign aims to educate the public on the role of parliamentary members, civic participation, election boycotts, peaceful protests, as well as exposing corrupt MPs.