Egyptian officials have restricted the sale of yellow vests leading up to the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, anticipating people may don the vests while demonstrating against the military dictatorship. Officials asked store owners to report people who try to buy the clothing.
The vests have been worn by French protesters, as part of the Yellow Vest Movement, originally against the proposed fuel tax hike, as the protests continued they began to reflect the wider discontent about French President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.
Yellow vest demonstrations have already expanded outside of France to Belgium and to the Netherlands. Egypt’s authorities have tried to scare off people who might be inspired by the French protests and their victories. Safety vests can now only be sold to verified companies and only with police approval, retailers have reported.
The uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak began on 25 January 2011. The government fears people will mark the date with demonstrations against the present military dictatorship, as they have in previous years.
Following President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi coming to power in 2014, there has been a horrific crackdown on political dissent. Activists say it is the worst in decades. Thousands of opponents and critics of el-Sisi have been arrested. The president has been accused of trying to crush all political dissent in Egypt.
The sale restrictions will be in force until the end of January.
Photo: “Reflective vests going for $3 at the Padang Outlet!” by Maurina Rara is licensed under CC BY 2.0