Police arrest demonstrators demanding housing

Security services in Cairo arrested 24 demonstrators from an informal settlement in Duwaiqa for storming the Cairo municipality headquarters, closing its gates, taking the officials hostage and assaulting the governor’s car.

Security sources said 70 of the people who have been granted housing units in the Orascom project in 6th of October City have illegally squatted in larger units and gathered in front of the municipality building, demanding the cancellation of the attorney general’s evacuation order and the legalization of their status.

“The governor had promised us the bigger units,” said Um Mohamed, a Duwaiqa resident. “But then we saw central security troops beating us.”

Duwaiqa is a informal area east of Cairo that was classified as unsafe because it lies in the valley of the Moqattam mountain and is vulnerable to rockslides, which happened in September 2008, killing 102 people and wounding 250 others.

Last year, Amnesty International sharply criticized the way the Egyptian authorities handle people living in informal settlements, forcing them to evacuate without taking into account international agreements on human rights.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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