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The New Arab Staff

Egypt set for 'Friday of Rage' after security forces shoot young man dead

Egypt witnessed rare anti-corruption protests last year [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 October, 2020

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The death of Egyptian Owais al-Rawi has drawn comparisons to the killing of George Floyd and sparked calls for protests.
Egyptian activists have announced a "Friday of Rage" after security forces shot a young man dead this week.

The planned protests come a week after Egyptian activists marked the first anniversary of rare demonstrations against authoritarian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Security forces in the southern province of Luxor fired on Owais al-Rawi on Wednesday evening, reportedly as authorities stormed his house in an attempt to arrest his cousin.

Rawi's death has prompted outrage on social media, where one popular hashtag has linked the young man's killing to that of George Floyd, the Black American whose death at the hands of police officers sparked nationwide protests in the United States earlier this year.

Police fired tear gas on angry mourners gathered in the Awamiya district of Luxor on Thursday morning for Rawi's funeral.

Funeral attendees shouted slogans against Sisi, whose government has presided over a harsh crackdown on dissent since the president seized power in a 2013 coup.

Activists have announced a so-called "Friday of Rage" to take place this week in protest against Sisi's government.

Friday's planned demonstration follows a similar "Friday of Rage" last week marking one year since thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in rare protests against Sisi and the military.

Small-scale demonstrations took place last week in rural areas across Egypt. More than 700 people were detained in response to the rare show of dissent, according to prominent rights defender Khaled Ali.

Last year's "Palacegate" protests were sparked by allegations of widespread corruption shared by former regime insider Mohamed Ali.

Ali, who now lives in self-imposed exile in Spain, accused the government and military of using public funds to build lavish palaces and hotels.

The former government contractor has called on demonstrators to gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square this week for a "Friday of Victory", a slogan echoing the celebrations of Egyptian protesters after the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

In response, parties loyal to President Sisi have called on supporters to gather for a counter-protest in the capital on Friday. The event will also mark the anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

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