EOHR expresses its deep concern regarding the latest incidents at Cairo Metro Stations

May 14th, 2018 by Editor

EOHR expresses its deep concern regarding the latest incidents at Cairo Metro Stations

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its deep concern regarding the latest incidents that unraveled in several of Cairo’s Metro Station.

On May 12th a number of angry citizens in several Metro stations refused to pay the hiked Metro fares and broke through the gates without buying tickets, while others gathered in the station and vocally protested the recent fare hikes and Egypt’s economic conditions. The Police as usual responded in a heavy handed manner, violently dispersing the protesters and arresting 22 people. 12 of the incarcerated were released while 10 others (7 men and 3 women) were referred to the Helwan’s prosecution who in turn ordered that they be held under preventive custody pending investigations. The 10 detainees face several charges of violating the provisions of the 2014 controversial protest law namely holding illegal assemblies and obstructing public services.

This came hours after authorities raised the Metro fares in what seems to be part of the economic reform package dictated by the Egypt’s loan agreement with the IMF which also ordered subsidies slashed and the flotation of the Egyptian pound, all measures that have caused great hardships to Egypt’s poor and middle class citizens.

EOHR implores the Egyptian government to rescind its decision to raise Metro fares due to the great strain it will put on lower income Egyptians. EOHR stresses that over 4 million people use the Cairo Metro due to its affordable fare, raising the ticket prices only serves to exacerbate the already hard living conditions of the majority of Egyptians which comes in violation of article 11 of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 11 says The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.”  The government’s economic policy falls short of the spirit of this article and therefor EOHR believes that the Egyptian authorities should consider their course of action and take the socio-economic conditions of the lower income segments of society into account.

EOHR calls upon the Egyptian authorities to release the detainees and drop the charges against them. EOHR adds that the charges were based on the 2014 protest law which contradicts Egypt’s constitution and international human rights obligations which renders it null and void. EOHR also calls upon Egypt’s parliament to either amend or replace the 2014 protest law in accordance with international human rights law and the Egyptian constitution that safeguard the right to peaceful assembly.

From his side Dr. Hafez Abu Seada president of EOHR said that the government still fails to accommodate the conditions and circumstances of poor and middle class Egyptians in its Economic policies adding that this could prove to be detrimental to Egypt’s stability and security. Abu Seada also called upon the government to release those who were detained in the Metro incidents and to reconsider the Metro fare hikes.  ove to be detrimental to Egypt’s stability and security. Abu Seada also called upon the government to release those who were detained in the Metro incidents and to reconsider the

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