Middle East

Egypt arrests dozens ahead of rally against president

FILE - In this Friday, April 15, 2016 file photo, Egyptians shout slogans against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a protest against the decision to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in front of the Press Syndicate, in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers ahead of demonstrations called for April 25 against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's policies, including the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, lawyers and witnesses said Friday, April 22. 2016. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

FILE - In this Friday, April 15, 2016 file photo, Egyptians shout slogans against Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during a protest against the decision to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia in front of the Press Syndicate, in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers ahead of demonstrations called for April 25 against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's policies, including the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, lawyers and witnesses said Friday, April 22. 2016. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

Rights lawyers say Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of activists, journalists, and lawyers ahead of planned demonstrations against President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's policies, including the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Rights lawyer Ahmed Abdel-Naby said Friday that dozens were arrested in cafes in downtown Cairo and from their homes. Ragia Omran, another rights lawyer, said in a statement that there is an "organized campaign" targeting activists in Cairo and several provinces.

A youth group called Revolutionary Socialists says a top member, Haitham Muhammadeen, was arrested when security forces raided his home late Thursday.

Several political parties and prominent activists have called for mass protests on April 25.

The Interior Ministry's spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.