More than 600 people were detained during Friday’s Women’s March in Egypt, police said, in the latest crackdown on dissent amid the country’s deadly unrest.
At least 1,800 people were arrested across Egypt on Friday, with police detaining protesters at several points, said Anwar El-Daljoum, head of Egypt’s Civil Police’s National Operations department.
The country’s largest city, Cairo, was the scene of a violent clash between protesters and police last week, when a policeman was shot and killed by a protester.
The crackdown followed the death of an activist on Friday who was reportedly shot in the head by a security agent, who is also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and another activist was also shot in a shootout with police, according to the state-run MENA news agency.
The police officer who was killed was identified as Mohammed el-Khatib, who was among the demonstrators who blocked the streets of Cairo during the March for Democracy.
The Egyptian authorities have detained more than 50,000 people on suspicion of crimes including “terrorism”, “espionage”, “sedition”, “offences against national security” and “terrorism”.
The Egyptian police chief said on Saturday that he had ordered the suspension of the nationwide march on Friday due to security concerns.
“The march should be suspended and there should be no further gatherings or gatherings,” Mohamed Ibrahim told reporters.