The Minister of Interior, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, held a meeting with ministerial officials on Saturday ahead of calls for protests on Monday 25 April.
The meeting reviewed security preparations for the possibility of legal violations on Monday, according to an official ministry statement on Sunday.
“National security is a red line that cannot be crossed, and no one will be allowed to disturb or violate citizens’ safety,” Abdel Ghaffar said during the meeting.
He said that security forces, in their legal capacity, will combat any acts that could possibly destroy vital facilities or security in general, using all necessary force.
Abdel Ghaffar did not directly refer to the calls for protests during the meeting. However, he did refer to the presence of legal channels, such as the parliament, which monitor the government’s performance. Therefore, the minister deems any other practices or initiatives taken by some citizens unconstitutional.
The calls for protests on 25 April are echoed by earlier rallies against the transfer of sovereignty of the Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia during Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud’s visit to Cairo earlier in April.
Article 73 of the 2014 Constitution grants the right to peaceful protesting. It states that all citizens have the right to assemble, and protest on condition that they do not carry weapons. However, a notification must be sent ahead of the event.
The Protest Law was issued under former interim president Adly Mansour in November 2013, as a deterrent measure to pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations that erupted in the months following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013.
However, human rights defenders have criticised the law as an oppressive tool used to jail activists and political dissidents.