Egypt police disperse protest against planned Jewish festival in Damanhour

Security services on Thursday dispersed a protest vigil held by members of various political parties and factions against an upcoming annual festival for alleged Jewish saint Abu Hasira.

More than 50 Egyptian activists were arrested for participating in the protest.

Every year, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims visit Abu Hasira's mausoleum in the city of Damanhour in Egypt's Nile Delta to commemorate the alleged saint's death.

The protest vigil, held outside Damanhour's municipal court, was organized by the Nasserist, Ghad and Karama opposition parties, along with pro-democracy movement Kefaya and the National Association for Change reform movement.

Protesters shouted slogans decrying the regime, the alleged electoral fraud that accompanied recent parliamentary elections, and an anticipated presidential bid by Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak.

Police released 49 of the detained activists one hour after their initial arrest.

“Police were violent,” said Kefaya Coordinator Abdel Halim Kandil. “What’s so wrong about objecting to a Jewish festival on Egyptian soil?”

According to local Ghad Party representative Ahmed Milad, three activists injured in the confrontation still remain in police custody.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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