Official: Self-immolating citizen at presidential palace was fired for bribery

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity said that a man who set fire to himself in front of the presidential palace on Saturday was a former employee who had been fired for forgery and bribery.

"He was fired from work two years ago on charges of forging official papers to bring power to buildings that were built in violation of the law in return for bribes," Ministry of Electricity media spokesman  Aktham Aboul Ella said on Saturday.

Ella identified the man as a former employee of Middle Egypt Electricity Distribution Company, Assuit branch.

Al-Watan newspaper reported earlier Saturday that the citizen was Arafa Kamel.

Kamel told Al-Watan that he was fired from his job due to disagreements with head of the company, who fired him and then refused to re-hire him, despite a court ruling that his firing was unfair, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

Kamel set himself ablaze in front of the presidential palace in Heliopolis using a bottle of gasoline, to protest against his dismissal two years ago and the company's refusal to re-hire him.

An ambulance transferred him to a hospital in Mansheyet al-Bakry neighborhood and a medical report said he suffered from serious burns.

Yasser Ali, spokesperson for the president, described the incident as "regrettable."  He said that the incident was linked to Arafa's dismissal, and encouraged all citizens with grievances to first submit them to the president's bureau of appeals.  

Ali said in a press statement on Saturday that the president was following Arafa’s case to check on his health.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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