Egyptian police search mobile phones for anti-government content ahead of COP27 – Middle East Monitor

As Egyptian activists call for protests to coincide with the UN climate summit next month, security forces have erected street checkpoints and are checking cellphones for anti- governmental.

Those found with critical positions could be arrested and detained, although email correspondence can only be reviewed with a court order.

Spot checks usually take place before the anniversary of the January 2011 uprising, when Egyptians overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak, and June 30, when the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi.

Security personnel have been deployed in the main squares of the capital to dissuade Egyptians from gathering to demonstrate.

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Many citizens were warned not to return to Tahrir Square, the center of the 2011 protests, or surrounding streets where they anticipated further protests could take place.

Others were transferred to police stations for investigation and questioned as to why they were in the area and whether they planned to take part in any protests.

Roadblocks began to appear more frequently following the September protests that took place in 2019 and 2020 when dozens of protesters took to the streets to demand President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi step down.

Social media users reported that public transport was stopped and passengers were asked to get off so that their identity cards and social media accounts could be checked.

In 2013, the Egyptian government effectively banned protests with a new law that promised heavy fines and prison terms for protesters.

In addition to calls for protests, Egyptian human rights defenders have pressured the government to stop committing violations ahead of COP27.

Cop Civic Space, an Egyptian human rights coalition on COP27, calls on the Egyptian authorities to release thousands of political prisoners.