Metro stations were on high alert on Sunday as supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood staged demonstrations in the Cairo metro to protest the legitimacy of the interim government.
Protesters planned to cripple metro traffic by getting a large number of supporters to ride repeatedly from one end of the line to the other during peak hours, 7am to 10am and again after 5pm.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Ahmed Al-Araby said that both pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood supporters were arrested in the Shuhada metro station, near Ramses Square, after clashes erupted.
According to the Ministry of Interior, 20 protesters were arrested in the Shuhada station and in Shubra’s Saint Teresa station for “chanting slogans against the Armed Forces, the police and the state,” attempting to write graffiti on the stations’ walls, and for carrying slingshots and spray paint cans.
As of mid-afternoon on Sunday metro traffic was heavy, but flow had not been disrupted. There was a strong security presence on the platform of the Shubra-Giza line in the Shuhada station.
The protests were an act of civil disobedience by the Anti-Coup Alliance, a coalition in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Morsi, said Alliance spokesman Mahmoud Zaid.
The Alliance specifically demanded that the government stop arbitrarily arresting Muslim Brotherhood members, said Zaid.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have been staging a number of demonstrations across Egypt since the 14 August dispersal of pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya in Nasr City and Al-Nahda Square in Giza. According to the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights the clearing of the sit-ins resulted in the deaths of 1,063 people, including 983 civilians, 52 security personnel along with 28 others whose bodies were found under the stage at Rabaa.