Cairo - The rights organization Amnesty International has
criticized the arrest of several football fans in Egypt before
Friday's opening game of the African Cup of Nations.
In recent weeks more than 30 Egyptian fans have been arrested in
connection with terror offences, Amnesty researcher Hussein Baoumi
People are often not charged but it is believed to be a way of
keeping activists off the streets and away from stadiums as Egypt
hosts the continental tournament.
Fans from football's ultra scene were involved during the
demonstrations in the 2010-11 Arab Spring uprisings but after 2012
disturbances, and the deaths of more than 70 in a Port Said stadium,
authorities have cracked down on supporters.
Security measures have been increased while there have been recent
terror attacks in Cairo.
Egypt stepped in to host the Africa Cup after Cameroon was stripped
of the competition for safety and construction reasons. They play
Zimbabwe in Friday's opener in the Cairo International Stadium, which
also hosts the July 19 final.