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Egypt jails 42 protesters whose homes were demolished

July 21, 2020 at 11:29 am

Egyptian security forces. [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Egyptian authorities have imprisoned 42 protesters who were demonstrating against the government’s decision to demolish their homes.

On Friday, as residents of Maawa Al-Sayadeen took to the streets, security forces fired tear gas at them and attacked them with batons, killing a four-day-old girl.

Residents of Maawa Al-Sayadeen were told that they would have to move to Bashair Al-Khair where they cannot afford the rent, despite being told that the government would provide them with apartments with affordable rent.

Authorities have now said that their houses were built illegally on state owned land.

Residents have accused the government of clearing the land to develop it for tourism purposes for the benefit of investors and businessmen.

Across the country houses are being demolished for allegedly being built on state-owned land.

In June 2017 the Egyptian government claimed that 50,000 people on Warraq Island built their houses on public land and demolished 700 buildings as part of their plans to redevelop the island.

READ: No Way to Gaza: A Chronicle of Adventure and Fraud Under the Egyptian Blockade

One person was killed and 19 injured as locals protested against the demolitions.

In 2019 Bedouin in Marsa Matrouh staged a sit-in to protest against authorities’ confiscation of their land across the coast which they believed was being sold to the UAE for development projects.

The Bedouin have lived on the land for centuries but are treated as second class citizens.

Just a few weeks earlier President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced that 47 state-owned islands in the Red Sea were being allocated to the army.

Two years ago, some 4,500 families were displaced from the Maspero district in Cairo and offered very little compensation in order to make way for luxury housing and business developments.