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Egypt: football fan arrested after flying the Palestinian flag

April 25, 2023 at 12:26 pm

Zamalek fans cheer during Egypt Cup 2022 Final between Al Ahly and Zamalek at Cairo Stadium on July 21, 2022 in Cairo, Egypt [Mohamed Abdel Hamid – Anadolu Agency]

A football fan has been arrested in Egypt after raising the Palestinian flag at a football game on Saturday, reports The New Arab.

The Egyptian Network for Human Rights has said that Egyptian security forces arrested the young man at the match between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and Morocco’s Raja at the Cairo International Stadium.

The human rights group has said they do not know where he is being held or what happened to him.

In 2019 a young man was tackled by plainclothes police officers during a match between an Egyptian and a South African team, also at Cairo International Stadium.

The football fan was flying the Palestinian flag at the same time fans were chanting, “our soul, our blood, we sacrifice for you Palestine.”

News that Ezz Mouni Khader, 19, was taken to Tora Prison sparked widespread anger in the country.

That same year, Egypt along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, had opposed a statement by the Union of Arab Parliaments which urged an end to the process of normalising relations with the occupation state of Israel.

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In May 2021 a young man disappeared in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after he waved the Palestinian flag in support of Palestinians.

At that time Israeli air strikes had killed 192 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 58 children.

Around the same time journalist Nour Al-Huda was arrested also in downtown Cairo whilst she was wearing a Palestinian scarf and carrying a Palestinian flag.

Egypt has continued to partner with Israel to maintain the blockade on Gaza and destroyed the tunnels connecting the Strip with Egypt.

Cairo controls the Rafah border crossing, the only entry and exit to Gaza that is not controlled by Israel, and can and does close it whenever it wants.

This has severely restricted the entry and exit of both people and goods.