Egypt Watch

Egyptian police arrest protesters against displacement of residents in Alexandria neighbourhood

Egyptian security forces arrested dozens of people in Ezbet Nadi El Seid after they dispersed by force angry protests against a government decision to expel them from their homes. Video clips circulating on social media revealed that thousands of Egyptians from Alexandria governorate demonstrated after Friday prayers.

The residents launched the sudden demonstrations to reject a government decision to displace residents of one of the city’s seaside areas. The security forces confronted the demonstrators with tear gas, dispersed the angry residents, and arrested 53 of them. Egyptian authorities have decided to displace about 6,400 families, move them to new areas, and close about 1,000 shops and a small workshop in Ezbet Nadi El Seid area in Muharram Bey.

The Ezbet Nadi El Seid area is located near the vital Nozha Airport in central Alexandria. It is home to about 160,000 people, and the government claims that their displacement comes within the framework of developing slums. The massive demonstrations took place in the Ezbet Nadi El Seid area, where the people raised the slogan “Development, not displacement,” and “peaceful” (protests). However, the security forces met this with tear gas canisters and dispersed the protesters.

The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms confirmed that the Muharram Bey Prosecution decided to imprison dozens of Ezbet Nadi El Seid residents for 15 days, accusing them of gathering, demonstrating, bullying, and sabotaging public facilities. Meanwhile, Haitham Al-Hariri, a former member of the House of Representatives from the Muharram Bey area in Alexandria, explained in a press interview that the people are unwilling to be moved outside an area they have lived in for decades. Al-Hariri stressed that what is being raised about the development and transfer of residents outside the region raises among the residents a state of anger and fears about their livelihoods.

Mamdouh Ismail, a former parliamentarian, said that the demonstration of the residents of Ezbet Nadi El Seid in Alexandria is an expression of the popular anger of people who will be made homeless. He added in press statements that the people who went out in mass demonstrations did not care about the emergency law, being arrested or their detention, despite the frightening security situation in Egypt.