CAIRO: Three MPs suggested at the People’s Assembly that police has to stop dealing leniently with protestors calling for democratic reform and an end to the emergency law, proposing instead the use of violence against them.
The April 6 Youth Movement said its members will be demonstrating today (Tuesday) in front of the parliament to protest the MPs’ proposal.
At a joint meeting between the Human Rights and the National Security committees at the PA on Sunday, MP Nasha’at El-Qassas, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), said “If it was in my hands, I would interrogate the Minister of Interior for his kindness when dealing with those outlaws.
He said that Egypt is home to 80 million citizens, “so we are in no need of a group that would bring back the days of the 1977 Bread Riots.
“Shoot them and use the bullets on all the protestors that are breaking the law, El-Qassas said.
He repeated his proposal to the press afterwards.
The committees had convened to discuss the recent protests by democracy advocates and the violent police crackdown on them which was criticized worldwide.
On April 6, police violently broke up a protest organized by the April 6 Youth Movement, with reports of some 70 arrests.
The protest, staged outside parliament’s Upper House (Shoura Council), where some 50-60 protestors, chanting “Freedom were tightly encircled by riot police and plain-clothed policemen.
A few days later, on April 13, a demonstration organized by the opposition Kefaya Movement for Change drew around 200 people and saw brief clashes with the police. The protest also included members of the Karama and Ghad Parties, the April 6 Youth Movement, the National Coalition for Change and Egyptian Women for Change.
They called for constitutional change, an end to the state of emergency and for an end to the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
NDP MP Ahmed Abou Aqrab supported El-Qassas saying, “I urge the Ministry of Interior to stop its kindness and to deal with those protestors harshly..they should be beaten with an iron fist.
Supporting the suggestion of violently handling protests was MP Ragab Helal Hemieda, who belongs to a branch of Al-Ghad Party. On the primetime show “From the Heart of Egypt Sunday night he said that the law permits security forces to use force to break up protests.
The MPs supporting this proposal have agreed that they will file an investigation request and an interrogation of the Minister of Interior at the PA to inquire about the “kind treatment they gave the protestors.
Clashes broke out at the meeting between Aqrab and MP Mohamed El-Beltagy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc, when the former claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood have fabricated reports of violence during the protests for media attention.
This was after Brotherhood MP Hamdy Hassan presented a torn shirt which he said belonged to a student who took part in the protests, as well as stredded banners with statements calling for democratic reform.
“We are deeply sorry and angry at the stance the NDP and the Ministry of Interior are taking. Protesting is a constitutional right and their suggestion to deal violently with the protestors is an infringement on human rights and all the protocols and international agreements Egypt has signed, Hassan told Daily News Egypt.
“There are numerous martyrs of protests, for example, Mohamed El-Saqqa [the Alexandria University student killed three years ago during clashes with security following a public protest against the visit of US Vice President Dick Cheney to Egypt 2003 before the Iraq invasion] and Tarek Ghanem [an MB member who died during an MB protest in Tulkha, Daqahliya governorate in May 2004. Police said he was crushed to death by other protesters but the MB claimed police hit him on the head]. Back then security forces apologized, saying that it was a mistake but now it shows that it was done on purpose, he explained.
Hassan said that what’s worse is that the MPs justified getting rid of one percent of Egyptian citizens if they are troublemakers, according to a statement by Aqrab quoted by Reuters.
“This shows that the ruling party adopts a philosophy of violence, said Hassan.
Representing the Ministry of Interior at the meeting was Assistant Minister of Interior General Hamid Rashid, who said that security forces have the right to shoot protestors if they pose a threat to general security.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information expressed its “deep resentment to what the MPs have suggested in a press statement.
“We do not expect anything different from MPs who forged their way into Parliament. We are quite aware of the degraded rhetoric of those MPs, yet their incitement of the Ministry of Interior to use violence, abuse demonstrators and shoot them are full-fledged crimes for which those MPs should be held accountable, said ANHRI executive director, Gamal Eid.
Mohamed Adel, member of the April 6 Youth Movement, said that “What happened at the PA proves that the regime is afraid of youth movements and … shows that they’ve lost control completely.
“We are currently studying the matter and thinking of filing a lawsuit for inciting to kill us and kill people in the street, he added.