More than 5,000 protesters gathered in downtown Cairo's Talaat Harb Square late on Friday and called on the country’s authorities to release prisoners arrested during last year’s revolution.
“The people's first demand is the release of our brothers from prisons,” chanted the protesters.
The demonstrators also urged President Mohamed Morsi to establish a minimum wage for the country.
Many activists also chanted slogans against Morsi, accusing him of acting too slowly to meet their demands. This was the first such demonstration since Morsi took office in June.
The Egyptian president recently came under fire from leftist groups and young revolutionaries for requesting a loan from the International Monetary Fund of $3.2 billion and later attempting to boost it to $4.8 billion. They say such a loan could make Egyptians poorer.
An interview with Ali al-Ahmed, director of the IGA, to further discuss the issue.
Q: One of the demands of the people of Egypt has been the fate of political prisoners who have been in jail since the revolution started. Many are accusing the Morsi administration of not looking into the matter because of what they say is the same old Mubarak regime except for just having a new face who is Morsi?
Al-Ahmed: Yes I think they have not seen that change that was supposed to come with Mr. Morsi or after the revolution. They still have very much the same security apparatus and the same intelligence apparatus, only very superficial changes have taken place in Egypt in terms of security and military.
So there is a long way to go in terms of revolution.
Q: And another issue which seems to be in limbo is the trial of Mubarak and those who were involved in the killing of people during the revolution. What will be the fate of both Mubarak and his sons and also the money they pocketed?
Al-Ahmed: Well still as I said before the Mubarak regime is still very well in position in Egypt despite the fact that if you have a different president but means still a president that does not have the power, it does not have the capacity to conduct policy. You see, if you look at Egypt’s provinces and all the governors are still the same governors under Mubarak.
So I think Mubarak, his children and those who have murdered protestors are still out there and I do not think they will be persecuted any time soon.
Q: And so finally, very briefly how much change do you see Morsi can bring to his administration in the foreseeable future?
Al-Ahmed: Well I do not see any substantial change any time soon under Morsi, it will take time. He has to bring people on board and he has not done that yet so maybe we give him a few more months and see what will happen.