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Parliament Speaker El-Katatni holds urgent meeting to discuss Abbasiya clashes

FJP leader and parliament speaker El-Katatni says that those responsible for yesterdays violent clashes in Abbasiya will be held responsible, blaming authorities for failing to protect protesters

Ahram Online, Thursday 3 May 2012
El Katatni
Spokseman of people's assembly Saad El Katatni (Photo: Reuters)
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Saad El-Katatni, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) MP and speaker of the People's Assembly, held an emergency joint meeting with four ‎committees of the assembly (on human rights, youth, health and national ‎security) Thursday to discuss the situation in Egypt after clashes that erupted in Abbasiya ‎Wednesday left at least seven dead, according to the Ministry of Health. Unconfirmed reports coming from field hospitals in the area suggest the number of deaths could be higher.

El-Katatni blamed "the authorities failing to do their job" for the clashes. He added that ‎all responsible authorities that failed to protect protestors would be held ‎accountable. He stated that the People's Assembly will never abandon the right of any Egyptian citizen to protest.‎

El-Katatni suggested releasing a statement ‎condemning attacks on demonstrators and asserting that security forces were negligent, demanding an immediate investigation by the government and the ruling Supreme ‎Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) as they have "full responsibility towards ‎these unfortunate events."‎

El-Katatni warned that Egypt might fall into chaos and that would complicate the process of transfering power to a civil authority after presidential elections scheduled for 23-24 May.

El-Katatni said that the lack of transparency and slow speed of progress in trials following violent events in Port ‎Said, Maspero and Mohammed Mahmoud Street are the reason why such ‎tragedies continue to happen.‎

Unknown assailants attacked protesters in Abbasiya in the early hours of ‎Wednesday with cement-based bombs, stones, Molotov cocktails, birdshot guns and ‎teargas canisters, according to eyewitness reports.

El-Katatni called for a joint meeting Wednesday, shortly after the Abbasiya events.

El-Katatni had announced last week the suspension of all activities in the People's Assembly — the lower house of the Egyptian parliament — until 6 May in protest at the continuance in power of the government of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri against the wishes of the parliamentary majority.

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