CAIRO — Before sunset, Nourhan Hefzy sat on a curb outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in the upscale suburb of Heliopolis. Across the street, a dozen men and women faced rush hour traffic, holding up signs with images of detained activists.
Two security officers gazed idly at them from their chairs behind barbed wire fencing. They had previously asked the activists to leave, saying a sit-in is illegal under Egypt’s protest law. But Hefzy, a petite brunette, replied firmly, “We are here to protest the law.”