- April 7, 2008
Strike Turns Egypt ’s Main Squares into Military Barracks, Detentions Underway
The Egyptian regime has made preparations, during the past few days, to confront the April, 6th strike called for by political powers to voice their protest at the price hikes. Warnings were issued through state-run media against participating in this strike, followed by the Interior Ministry”s statement in which the minister threatened anay one even thinking of participating in this strike.
The Egyptian regime launched an organized crackdown starting from Sunday dawn in which were arrested the most prominent leaders of the Egyptian political powers which participate in this strike, including Mohamed Al Ashqar and Mohamed Al Sharqawi after searching their homes, and Malek Mostafa, Ahmed Saad Douma, Akram Al-Irani and Hassan Abdullah while they were distributing some statements calling for participating in the strike.
Also, the security forces detained on Sunday morning 8 Kifaya Movement activists while gathering in front of the justice court at Al-Manshiya square: Sayeda Ahmed Fouda, Hassan Al Sayed, Ahmed Al Iraqi, Qotb Hassanein, Ahmed Maged, Mohamed Hassan Al Mansour Randa, Ismail and Al-Sayyed Essam.
In statements to Ikhwanweb, George Ishak, a Kifaya Movement leader, stressed that the number of those rounded up from Kifaya Movement is up to 25, expecting the number to increase today at night. He added that the Egyptian government is violating, with these illegal measures, law and constitution because strikes and demonstrations are a right allowed to all citizens. He also stressed that the movement will never stop and will continue working. Ishaq said that tentatively the strike succeeded in gathering Egyptians on specific demands that all of them seek.
In the Egyptian caital Cairo, security forces detained 14 Kifaya Movement activists downtown, the most prominent of them were Magdi Ahmed Hussein, the Secretary-General of the Labor Party, Dr. Magdi Qorqor, Diaa Al Sawi, the secretary general of the youth committee in the Labour Party, and Mohamed Abul Magd, a journalist at Al Shaab newspaper for their participation in a demonstration in front of Amr Bin Al-Ass”s mosque in Misr Al-Qadima.
Also detained were Shadi Al Adl, Sara Abdul Fattah, Hazem Ahmed, Mohamed Awwad, Sara Fekri and Sara Abdul Razzak at the downtown Tahrir Square after the security forces dispersed a gathering of demonstrators in Sharif street .
Osama Kamal, a leader in Kifaya Movement in Mansoura, was detained in front of the university where he joined a number of demonstrators draped in black.
As for Helwan university, it had the lion”s share in participating in the strike where most students skipped lectures and clashes erupted between police officers and a number of student leaders in the university.
It”s worth mentioning that the security forces managed to block the strike of Al-Mahalla workers. ” For the first time in Al-Mahalla factory history, the security forces are deployed inside the factory where they implemented a plan of preventing workers from gathering and they ended the night shift before its due time to prevent the workers from gathering”, said Karim Al Beheiri, a labor leader in a statement to Ikhwanweb.
The strike leaders were denied access to the company: Karim Al Beheiri, Kamal Al Fayyoumi, Wael Habib, Wael Abu Zeid and Tarek ali. Asked why the called for the strike, Karim said: We as workers call for workers demands to be met. These demands call for a decent living”. Tarek saw as a farce the security forces assaults against workers to prevent them from staging a peaceful strike.