In spite of the suffering they face while lacking government services, the security forces in Cairo assaulted Qale’et El-Kabsh residents whose houses were swallowed by a fire. They were assaulted during a rally in front of Cairo Hall building at 12.00 at noon on Sunday, June, 17, 2007, injuring 9 persons who were moved to hospital, while others were kidnapped by the security forces and were taken to the State Security Police premises.
Qale’et El-Kabsh residents staged a rally today in the morning to meet Cairo governor Dr. Abdul Azim Wazir as part of their continuous demands for providing apartments and shelters because they are currently living in the open since a fire devoured their district altogether last March. However, they were stunned by the security forces that attacked them .
Sayed Mohamed Awad, a resident in Qale’et El-Kabsh, said their living conditions are continuously deteriorating despite all their calls for help to many government officials, to quickly solving their problem and providing shelters for them.
"Qale’et El-Kabsh residents received only sweet talk from the officials whose hollow promises had no real effect on the ground" added Sayed, warning that this continuous neglect to their crisis may make some of them become criminals, putting security of the Egyptian society at the stakes .
For his part, Adel Hamed said, a Muslim Brotherhood MP for the constituency of Sayeda Zeinab that includes the region of Qale’et El-Kabsh - :
"The delay in demolishing the current damaged buildings in Qale’et El-Kabsh led to entrance of a big number of people from other neighborhoods and don’t belong to the area and building shanties in order to illegally be given a part of the government apartments which will be distributed among residents of this disaster area. The government has listed, three years ago, the number of the residents of the neighborhood to provide them with apartments for this number. However, what is happening now is actually a violation to all limits, regarding both the previous census and the delay that led to the aggravation of the problem in such a way.
Hamed added in a statement to Ikhwanweb that the number of already registered apartments are 1500 flats. However, many residents still sleep in the open air and in bad weather because of the increasing population on the one hand and the government delay in removing the shanties giving greedy people the opportunity to come to Qale’et El-Kabsh to take apartments. I have already lodged a written question proposing that all shanties should be demolished at the same time to reduce the process of trading apartments which some residents received and want to sell to gain profits, while these apartments should have been given to other people who really need them. This incorrect situation allowed some one to own up to ten flats from those apartments.
Asked about his role in this crisis, Hamed said:" There are many cases of residents complaining that they did not receive any apartment. I am search for their names in the list that the government made years ago. If their names are in the old list, we send them immediately to the district official to be quickly given a flat.
"Most of those demanding apartments in the neighborhood don’t deserve and don’t have the right to demand for them. Unfortunately, the government is dealing with them in a tough way. Every one wants a flat and the police reacts with beating and insulting them. The police even threw tear bombs at the residents who threw them again on the policemen, as a counterviolence", added Hamed.
Regarding future plans for this problem, Hamed said:" After providing all residents with apartments, I will lodge an interrogation in the People’s Assembly to request listing residents in the government’s old list and listing those who have actually received apartments. I will do this to expose the violations that reached a double of the original list. It is either the government committed a mistake or that there are residents who were given apartments although they don’t deserve them. Unfortunately, the government does not think it only uses force and violence against which people react with a counter violence. This problem isn’t restricted to only Qale’et El-Kabsh. It is found in all shanty towns nationwide. We will lodge written questions to the Minister of Local Development to discuss this issue after the end of this crisis.