Egypt secures iconic Tahrir Square ahead of gathering call

August 31, 2018 - 9:42 am

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian anti-riot police and central security forces have been deployed around Cairo's Tahrir Square in apparent anticipation of a possible gathering.

Friday's deployment comes after recently arrested ex-diplomat Masoum Marzouk called for a "public gathering" at the square — epicenter of the country's 2011 uprising — on Aug. 31 if the government rejected his proposal for a referendum on its performance.

No gatherings or traffic disruptions were seen at the square Friday.

Marzouk, a veteran of the 1973 war with Israel, was arrested last week along with other critics and faces charges including belonging to a terrorist group aiming to overthrow the government. He had proposed a roadmap for a political transition.

Egypt has banned unauthorized protests and jailed thousands since 2013 in a massive crackdown on dissent.

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