Rare Egyptian Protests Target Alleged Government Corruption
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere in Egypt late Friday night to protest what they called government corruption under the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Police largely dispersed the demonstrators, who were responding to online calls for protests by an Egyptian businessman living in self-imposed exile in Spain. According to eyewitnesses, there were several arrests. The businessman, Mohamed Ali, says he was a military contractor and saw first-hand what he claimed were public funds being diverted to private projects undertaken by cronies of the Egyptian president. “If Sisi does not announce his resignation by Thursday, then the Egyptian people will come out to the squares on Friday in protest,” Ali said in a video message posted earlier in the week. The Egyptian leader has vigorously denied the claims. Since he took office in the wake of an army coup he led against Mohammad Morsi, the country’s only democratically elected leader, in July 2013, he has limited the number of people who can congregate in the streets so as to stifle public dissent.