Security tightened at Ettehadiya ahead of Morsy’s one-year anniversary

On Monday, the Republican Guard started to increase security measures in the area surrounding the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace, in anticipation of mass protests planned by revolutionary groups who oppose President Mohamed Morsy of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Black Block and Tamarod, or "Rebellion," movements began calling for the demonstrations last week. They said the protests would be ongoing starting last Friday, when demonstrations were held all over the country against the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, until 30 June, at which point they want to hold early presidential elections.

The Tamarod campaign, which was launched this month, is seeking to gather 15 million signatures in support of holding early presidential elections. Media outlets report that the movement has managed to collect over three million signatures.  Meanwhile, Islamist groups are questioning the constitutionality of the campaign.  

Morsy took office on 30 June last year. Observers claim that since the start of his term, freedom of expression and the press have declined and the economy has deteriorated. Furthermore, liberal and secular forces accuse his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, of manipulating the political arena.

Security sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the presidential office has received reports concerning potential clashes on 30 June and the possibility that protesters may storm the presidential palace.

Al-Masry Al-Youm observed the measures being taken at gate 5 of the presidential palace. This included the construction of more crowd control barricades and digging at one of the gates in order to erect a hydraulic barricade.

Sources at the presidential palace told Al-Masry Al-Youm that one construction company was tasked with building two electronic gates in a street leading to the palace.

An official at the construction area, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the president's office contacted a company to erect four gates around the palace. Two of them would be in the street leading to gate 5 of the palace.

The official from the construction company added that electric shock devices would be placed under all the gates. He revealed that the president's office mandated that all construction work be completed before 30 June.

Edited translations from Al-Masry Al-Youm