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Security forces will arrest anyone who participates in the 25 January protests planned by Egypt's opposition movements in accordance with instructions given by Interior Minister Habib al-Adli, said Director of Security, Major General Ismail al-Shair, on Monday. The protests will coincide with Police Day.
Al-Shair warned that the Interior Ministry will deal with the protesters in a “firm and decisive” manner.
“Anyone attempting to express his opinion in an illegal or unlawful manner will be arrested,” he said.
He pointed out that political movements planning on joining the Tuesday protests, in what has been dubbed “The Day of Anger,” have been warned that they need to obtain permission from the Ministry before holding any protests.
He went on to say that if they fail to obtain said permission then “these protests and sit-ins will be dealt with in accordance to the law and anyone who commits an illegal or unlawful action will be arrested.”
Over 80,000 Egyptian users of the online networking site Facebook have confirmed they will be attending the nation-wide protests.
The event is associated in the minds of many with the Tunisian revolution that toppled an authoritarian regime.
Protest organizers in Egypt are demanding the dismissal of the Minister of Interior, who is being held responsible for human rights violations, including torture. The conduct of the police has been increasingly questioned since the Alexandria church bombing that claimed the lives of more than 20 people on New Year's Eve.
Egyptian activists have three additional demands: the restoration of a fair minimum wage, the end of the Emergency Law, and the limitation of the presidency to two terms.
Although administrative courts issued two rulings in 2010 in favor of a new minimum wage, judicial authorities have failed to specify what the wage should be.
And although political activism has been increasing in Egypt since 2005, activists and experts say the Tunisian uprising has given Egyptians hope and courage to move from talk to action, which some predict will start on 25 January. Some believe that Tunisia's uprising will change the face of political activism in Egypt.
With the Tunisian revolution in mind, many wonder what will happen on Tuesday and whether the protest will trigger massive change.