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5 Giza residents forcibly disappeared after demonstrating against house demolitions

March 23, 2021 at 10:42 am

The Egyptian army has “vastly expanded” the destruction of homes, commercial buildings and farms since 9 February 2018 [Twitter]

Five residents in a Giza neighbourhood have been forcibly disappeared after demonstrating against the lack of compensation for house demolitions.

The protest was held in Talbiya and centred around a road called Tersa Street, where authorities plan to raze properties.

The residents had been previously told that their houses would not be included in the demolitions, which will widen Tersa Street by five metres so it can be used as a bypass during construction work being carried out on Metro Line 4.

Authorities want them to sign the notice on the basis that compensation will be offered after demolitions are completed. Residents are refusing to sign eviction notices without compensation.

A four-bed apartment will get roughly 200,000 Egyptian pounds ($12,705) in compensation yet locals believe it to be worth one million Egyptian pounds ($63,525).

READ: Egypt army demolished 12,350 buildings in Sinai since 2013

Five residents were arrested at the demonstration, reports Mada Masr, whilst one was arrested at home the following day.

The arrested demonstrators were taken to Talbiya Station but police working there have denied knowing where they are.

For several years the Egyptian government has been demolishing houses all over the country as part of plans to gentrify Egypt and attract wealthy real estate investors including in Marsa Matruh and the Maspero district in Cairo.

In July last year authorities imprisoned 42 protesters on Warraq Island who were demonstrating against the government’s decision to demolish their homes.

In 2017 the government demolished 700 buildings there as part of plans to redevelop the island.

Since 2013 the government has demolished 12,350 buildings in Sinai for “security purposes” which Human Rights Watch has described as likely amounting to war crimes.