PHOTO: A rally against Egypt’s Sisi regime last week

Scores of journalists and activists were arrested in Egypt on Monday, in the latest crackdown by the Sisi regime.

Troops, armed police, and armored cars were on Cairo’s streets as the detentions were carried out, ahead of a planned demonstration over Egypt’s handover of two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. The security operation blocked off Tahrir Square, the symbolic center of the 2011 uprising against the Mubarak regime.

The security forces reportedly carried out random stops of people in the streets, checking their mobile phone’s online applications to see whether they were participating in protests.

Egypt’s press syndicate said that “some people dressed like central security forces tried to storm the syndicate headquarters” in central. It claimed the assailants “were let through by police even though all roads around the syndicate were locked down in order to prevent protests”.

The “Egypt Not For Sale” campaign moved its protest from Cairo to Giza, 20 km (12 miles) southwest of the capital, with hundreds chanting, “Down With Military Rule”. Security forces soon dispersed the gathering with tear gas.

The military and Interior Ministry said that the security forces deployed to “protect peaceful citizens” who rallied on Monday’s Sinai Liberation Day, marking the Israeli withdrawal from the peninsula in 1982.

Since the military coup of July 2013, led by General and now-President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, more than 1000 people have been killed and an estimated 40,000 detained. Amnesty International declared in January, “Five years since the uprising that ousted [Hosni] Mubarak, Egypt is once more a police state.”