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  • At least eight Egyptian cities reported manifestations on Friday

    At least eight Egyptian cities reported manifestations on Friday | Photo: REUTERS

Published 21 September 2019

Small but rare demonstrations took place across Egypt as President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is accused of corruption and embezzling public funds by activists.

Thousands of protesters took the streets of at least eight cities in Egypt on Friday, marching and chanting against president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over corruption allegations. At least 150 marchers were arrested, according to EFE.

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The largest crowd gathered in Cairo's Tahir Square, the site of rallies that eight years ago brought down Egypt's longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. Police responded Friday by firing tear gas at protesters, but pro-government media claimed all was quiet in the major public plaza.

There was no official comment from Egypt's government regarding the demonstrations that rarely occur in the country following heavy crackdowns on protesters of the Sisi government took place in 2013. Mujtar Munir of the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) told EFE that so far about 150 demonstrators had been arrested and were taken to military camps. 

"There have been random detentions of young people who were in Tahrir Square and surrounding areas," Munir said.

Other massive rallies took place in Alexandria and the port city of Damietta where protesters tore down a large poster of the 64-year old president who is being accused of corruption. Mohamed Ali, an actor turned political activist who lives in Spain who called for the protests after accusing Sisi and the military of political wrongdoing.

Sisi alerady dismissed the claims as "lies and slander".

The once highly popular president has lost major support due to his austerity measures and Egypt's soaring poverty rates.

Ali, who worked over 15 years as a building contractor for the army, posted a series of videos on Facebook accusing el-Sisi of squandering public funds on vanity projects despite rising poverty.

Official statistics released in July show that Egyptian level of poverty has increase to a 33 percent, up from 28 percent in 2015.

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