Military-led government pushes for new law which would give police power to cancel or postpone protests.
Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi are holding a fresh wave of protests across Egypt, days ahead of his trial, with clashes being reported between his supporters and opponents.
On Friday, security forces fired tear gas to break up protests in Alexandria and arrested at least 60 protesters. Protests also took place in the cities of Cairo and Giza.
Morsi’s supporters have called for daily protests starting on Friday until the ousted president stands trial on Monday, urging crowds to gather outside a police institute near Cairo’s Tora prison, where Morsi is believed to be held.
Egypt’s Interior ministry officials have said that 20,000 policemen will be deployed on Monday to guard the south Cairo academy hosting the trial and to secure Morsi’s transport to a makeshift court room.
He has not been seen since the military ousted him on July 3, and charged him with inciting the murder of protesters outside his palace in December 2012.
He is to be tried along with 14 other defendants.
Female supporters arrested
At least 22 women members of the Muslim Brotherhood were detained on Thursday and charged with using force to disrupt traffic during protests, membership of an outlawed group and distributing illegal leaflets, said Nasser al-Abd, a senior security official in Alexandria.
A lawyer representing the suspects said they were aged between 15 and 25.
“We are living in oppression and darkness. I can’t believe that my daughter did not go home with me and I don’t believe that they made the girls kneel and held up pistols to them,” said Um Yumna, whose 15-year-old daughter was detained.
Abd denied the women had been mistreated. “We are treating them with the utmost respect, like our own children. We let their parents visit them,” he said.
At least 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood members have been killed in clashes since July and at least 2,000 others are under arrest.