Beheira youth officials under investigation over state security dispute


Two local youth department officials have been referred to an internal investigation for allegedly ordering youth centers in Beheira Governorate to notify the National Security Agency before holding activities.

On Thursday, individual Facebook activists and the Freedom and Justice Party's official Facebook page circulated a copy of a statement allegedly from the Beheira youth department directing youth centers in the governorate to notify the NSA of their activities prior to carrying them out. The document is dated 19 February.

Khaled Abdel Aziz, the head of the National Council for Youth, said in a statement Thursday that no security agencies have demanded notification from his organization about activities, seminars, names of lecturers or any other planned programs.

Abdel Aziz has ordered an investigation into the Beheira youth department director and deputy director over the incident.

Mostafa Mohamed Osman, the accused deputy director, told Al-Masry Al-Youm Thursday that the order was indeed sent out. However, he said, some have misinterpreted what happened by accusing the NSA, which was named the State Security Investigation Services before the revolution, of employing the same tactics it used under the Mubarak regime.

He said that the statement in question only called on department directors to report their activities, not obtain NSA approval.

Osman also said that the youth department was subject to strong pressure from state security before the revolution, noting that some activities were canceled and people were prevented from lecturing, The recent notification order was simply an attempt to help the NSA improve security at events without canceling them, he assured.

The statement sent to Beheira youth departments was classified under the heading, "Very Important." It read: "Department directors: All gentlemen directors of central departments and sub-departments should report activities (cultural, sports, art, seminars, lectures) to the National Security Agency ahead of time, and should send [their activity plans] to the head of the Beheira National Security Agency, and the date, place, number of participants, and their names, if possible, should be specified."

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