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Police Presence in Egypt Mutes Most Protests on 5th Anniversary of Uprising

Declan Walsh | The New York Times   in  ·
January 26, 2016

CAIRO — The few dozen protesters seemed to emerge from nowhere, surging down a narrow street and waving a four-finger salute that identified them as likely supporters of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

“Down with the tyrant!” they chanted against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

After 10 minutes, three bursts of fireworks signaled to the protesters to disperse. “We are being followed,” said one man as he scurried down the street in Cairo’s Shubra al-Kheima neighborhood.

Barely a minute later, young men on motorbikes roared down the street, giving chase. They cornered one protester and started beating him.

That was how some Egyptians marked the fifth anniversary on Monday of the start of the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak: A handful of flash protests, like the one in Shubra al-Kheima, sought to harness the commitment of the embattled opposition; Mr. Sisi’s government and its strong-arm supporters proved they were even more determined.

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