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Messages for U.S. Citizens

Security Message for U.S. Citizens No 31: Possible Demonstrations Thursday and Friday, Feb 7-8, 2013

February 7, 2013

There is a report circulating in local media of a possible demonstration by Independent Current (IC) parties directed toward the Embassy today February 7.  This anti-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group of liberal parties is expected to demand that the U.S. reject any support of the MB.  Security personnel around the Embassy perimeter have been made aware of this possibility and the Regional Security Office will be monitoring the area for any indications that a gathering may move toward the Embassy perimeter.  Sporadic clashes between police and rock throwing youth in the Simon Square/Corniche/Qasr al-Niel bridge area are likely to continue over the coming days.

On Friday, local media sources are reporting that opposition parties are calling for marches to Tahrir Square and Ittahadiya Palace in Heliopolis in what is being referred to as the “Friday of Dignity.”  Protestors in Tahrir may also look to demonstrate in the area of the Shura Council. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the downtown area (the vicinity of Tahrir Square and the Embassy) and Heliopolis in the area of Ittahadiya Palace.  Information suggests that groups may attempt to impact traffic flow in the downtown area by blocking nearby bridges such as Qasr al-Niel and 6 October.

Liberal parties and movements are also being invited through social media to gather in front of the Alexandria Court Complex in Manshaya today to demand the release of protestors arrested during previous protests at the court complex.  While no reports of demonstrations in Alexandria have surfaced for the weekend, the likelihood of some protests in the downtown area on Friday should be factored into all weekend movements.

As a matter of general practice, U.S. citizens should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  U.S. citizens in Egypt are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly.

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide Caution,  Country Specific Information for Egypt, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, can be found.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App and the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips.  

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy Cairo through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website.  If you enroll we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

For further information, U.S. citizens may call the Embassy’s American Citizens Services Unit at 2797-2301 during business hours, Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Please refer to the American Citizens Services Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/USEmbassyCairo.  For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard at 2797-3300.  The Embassy is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo.