Egyptian security forces imposed tight security on Saturday night around the Journalists Syndicate to stop a solidarity conference for imprisoned bloggers and Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh. At least thirteen vehicles belonging to the central security forces, hundreds of police as well as a massive number of plainclothes thugs encircled the building along Abdel Khalek Tharwat Street in downtown Cairo.
Security forces prevented the masses to take part in the conference.
These actions caused traffic disruptions because of the security congestion, roadblocks and a large amount of cement blocks that had been established on the edges of the surrounding streets leading to the Journalists Syndicate. The bystanders were moved away from the area and forced to change their direction. Rapporteur of the Civil Liberties Committee at the syndicate, Mohammed Abdul Quddus, stood alone on the stairs of the syndicate and declared that he condemned the measures taken to prevent the convening of the press conference in solidarity with Dr. Aboul Fotouh and his companions.
An argument ignited between some security officers and the General Coordinator of the Kefaya (Enough) Movement, Abdel Halim Kandil, and a member of the Coordinating Committee of Kefaya, Dr. Karima Al-Hefnawi. Security services banned those who took part in the conference and protest and did not allow Kandil from entering the syndicate.
Meanwhile, journalists were also barred from entering the headquarters of the Syndicate to follow the conference. Security emphasized that the conference had been canceled because of a suspicious phone call - as described by the journalists - between the chairman of the Press Syndicate, Mr. Makram Mohamed Ahmed and the security services.