Police arrested eight men and women Tuesday as they tried to stage a protest against the sexual harassment of women, police and political activists said.
About 50 demonstrators, mostly women assembled in downtown Cairo to protest an alleged assault last month when young hooligans attacked women strolling along a busy shopping street, groping them and tearing their clothes, as police looked on.
The demonstrators wanted to protest outside the Metro Cinema, the site of last month's reported assault. But hundreds of riot police and plainclothes security agents surrounded the protesters and pushed and shoved them into a nearby coffee shop and closed the doors, witnesses told The Associated Press.
The witnesses belonged to the group of demonstrators and spoke on condition of anonymity as they feared harassment by the authorities.
About 90 minutes later, police detained eight of the demonstrators and allowed the remainder to go home, police and the witnesses said.