CAIRO: The Sadat metro station will be closed Monday ahead of scheduled protests against the handover of two disputed islands to Saudi Arabia in early April.
The Cairo Metro company announced the closure of the station for “security reasons” Sunday evening. The protests coincide with the 34nd anniversary of “Sinai Liberation” that marks the final withdrawal of the Israeli Defense Forces from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, after 15 years of occupation.
Sadat is one of three transfer stations on the metro line.
The station, beneath iconic Tahrir square, was closed April 15 when a protest staged by thousands of people outside the Journalists’ Syndicate downtown against the handover of the two islands.
The station was also closed for almost two years following the dispersal of the pro-Muslim brotherhood sit-ins in August 2013. It re-opened in June 2015.
In early April, Egypt announced that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi territories; both sides reached an agreement, per which Egypt relinquished control of the islands, located at the entrance of Al-Aqaba Gulf in the Red Sea.
During the past two days, many people were arrested ahead of Monday protests in charges of “attempting to topple the regime.” East Cairo prosecution on Sunday ordered the four-day detention of 11 persons pending investigations over calls to organize “unlicensed” protests on Monday.
Two days ago, the presidency issued a statement slamming private newspaper of al-Shorouk over publishing a story saying that Sisi had met in the past few days with his top security aides, “expressing his anger” at April 15 protests and emphasizing he “would not accept” such protests to occur again.
The Interior Ministry said Thursday it would take legal action against people who participate in the protest.