Solidarity with Besieged Palestinians Is Not a Crime The Egyptian Government Must Stop Deceiving the Media
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced the statements of the Egyptian officials in the media against the activists of the international campaign in solidarity with Gaza; the Freedom March on Gaza. The campaign includes citizens from 43 countries. The Egyptian government offered to allow only one hundred activists from their delegation to cross to Gaza.
However, it falsely stated to the press that it has accepted only 100 activists for the march and rejected the rest who were described as “conspirators on Egypt”. It is a malicious lie and an utter deception about that activists coming from all over the world for a noble cause.
Security forces had stopped a march that was supposed to start on 31/12/2009 from Tahrir Square to Gaza. The marchers were violently attacked and their cameras were seized. This led them to start a protest in Tahrir Square under a tight security cordon during which they were physically assaulted. In addition, many activists were not allowed to leave their hotels this morning.
The organizers of the march to break the international siege on Gaza said that the Egyptian proposal to let a limited number of international activists into Gaza rather than all the marchers, with no justifications, is denying the other activists the right to support the Palestinian people. They stressed that such a proposal is unacceptable and that they will continue their peaceful protest until all participants are allowed into Gaza. Some activists have already entered their fourth day of hunger strike. Ziad Lunet, member of the coordinating committee for the march said “We flatly reject Egypt’s offer of a token gesture. We refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza. Our group will continue working to get all 1362 marchers into Gaza as one step towards the ultimate goal for the complete end of the siege and the liberation of Palestine”
Last week, the international coalition to end the illegal blockade on Gaza, announced the launch of the march (Gaza freedom march).The march was scheduled to enter Gaza on 30/1/2009 and start a peaceful demonstration there on 31/1/2009 to break the illegal siege. At the same time, the campaign declared in a statement that Egyptian security forces detained about 50 American activists who were organizing a protest stand in front of the American embassy in Cairo. The statement said that at least one non-American activist was wounded as security harassed activists and prevented media from coming close.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated that “The repressive practices of the Egyptian security and the lies of the Egyptian government regarding foreign activists, whose ultimate goal is solidarity with besieged Palestinians, are extremely shameful. The Egyptian government has to allow activists to carry out this noble plan and stop the empty rhetoric of protecting national security and the reputation of Egypt. Helping and supporting people under the siege of the criminal Israeli government does not represent a threat of any kind to anyone. ”