Egypt Watch

Egyptian leftist parties denounce government attempts to remove residential districts in Cairo

Four Egyptian political parties have denounced the potential enforced displacement of residents of District 6 and 7 in Nasr City, East of Cairo, under the pretext that authorities are developing the area.

The four parties, the Popular Socialist Alliance, the Egyptian Socialist Party, the Egyptian Communist Party and the Bread and Freedom Party, asserted in a joint statement that the development project adopted by the government lacks transparency and includes the mass removal of real estate of up to 4,500 residential units that are inhabited by tens of thousands of people.

The statement called for real societal participation in urban policy making, especially when those policies include mass removals that encroach the constitutional protection of private property. The parties expressed full solidarity with the residents who refuse to leave their houses under the authorities’ promises of alternative residencies and financial indemnities, arguing that the raised justifications are flimsy, and the development plans are vague. The parties explained that the decision sets off a financial investment attitude that overlooks the public interest.

The statement pointed out that the development plans are being made in the full absence of societal participation, which is provided by the construction united law, and this absence has provoked the residents to mobilise mass protests as what happened before in Al-Warraq Island and Tersa Street in Giza.

According to the statement, this arbitrary expansion in the so-called development of districts became a real threat against the private property and the right to housing and prioritises investment interest over social considerations as what appeared in the mass removal of the Islamic Cairo Tombs in Cairo’s Al-Mamalik Desert and the sale of the liquidated factory of iron and steel in Helwan as real estate lands rather than industrial land. Earlier, residents of the two districts received warnings from the police station and the National Security Apparatus against talking to the media or publishing anything related on social media threatening the people that they will be indicted with incitement against the state if they protested the decision.