Last Update 21:42
Enactment of citizens arrest deals blow to Egyptian tourism
Egypt's prosecutor-general empowers citizens to make arrests, but a tourism coalition warns this will leave tourists vulnerable
Ahram Online, Dalia Farouk, Monday 11 Mar 2013
Share/Bookmark
Views: 3784
Egypt
Empty beach in the Red Sea resort town of El-Gouna (Photo: Aida Mansour)

Egypt's Coalition to Support Tourism (CST) condemns the prosecutor-general's decision to allow citizens' arrests announced on Sunday, arguing it raises many worries among tourists.

Many tourism agents called the head of the CST, Ehab Moussa in alarm. He told Ahram Online that they wanted to confirm the rumour over what they feel is a strange decision.

The "judiciary policing" (the direct translation for the criminal law) will allow any citizen to arrest someone committing a crime.

Moussa claims that tourists would then be mistreated and blackmailed in Egypt.

"If a tourist rebuffed an Egyptian merchant, refusing to buy something, the merchant might accuse the tourist of spying and arrest him," he said.

Several political powers criticised the decision, expecting that it could lead to a civil war in Egypt if citizens are given the right to arrest each other.

Only Islamist political powers, represented by the Freedom and Justice Party and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, welcomed the decision as an attempt to curb the security deterioration in the country.

Egypt has fallen to the lowest rank out of 140 countries in terms of safety and security, just behind Pakistan, Chad and Yemen, in the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s Travel and Tourism (T&T) competitiveness index released last week.



Search Keywords:


Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
9



stuart holliday
21-03-2013 05:40pm
1-
4+
MR.
This ridiculous decision will spell the end of your tourist industry. This is mind boggling stupidity and will lead to civil war. I have a great love for Egypt and have been visiting the country for over 40 years mainly on business. It is therefore very sad to see what destruction has been brought about by the MB government in such a short space of time. People of Egypt - rise up against the ruination of your country.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
8



Roslyn
12-03-2013 01:38am
1-
11+
Exploitation in Egypt
Sorry Hala, if you were unlucky enough to have one bad experience, but I have one almost every day! I simply must reply to your comments on behalf of the tourists and expatriates who visit or reside in Egypt. Hala tourists who come to Egypt have no interest in assaulting their hosts, read the statistics, tourists anywhere in the world rarely, commit crimes as they are on holidays out of their own comfort zones, and they come to see the sites or relax, not to assault their hosts, but many foreigners who I have spoken to sadly, report that they have been ripped off by almost every Egyptian they deal with from the taxi driver to the guy who sells them a 1.50 LE bottle of water for 10 LE. Furthermore, as a resident in Egypt, almost every day I am exploited by someone, so much so , that now my Egyptian husband does the shopping, or I shop in places with fixed, marked prices. After my colleague, alighted from her taxi, she heard footsteps behind her on the stairs, so ran to her door, but b
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
7



tim
11-03-2013 08:59pm
1-
7+
Does Egypt want tourism?
I think that the concerns about citizen arrest in Egypt are valid for Egyptian society as well as for tourism. So now everyone is a policemabn and is qualified to understand the lawa nd implement it? Of course visitors should respect the laws of Egypt but do we really want everyone to be a part time totally unqualified policeman? Why not start with reforming the police training them and paying them and lets have an effective Egyptian police force that both Egyptians and visitors can respect? I hate to think of Egyptians being impowered to arrest anyone given that already a hole mixture of different values exists and little national unity and agreement on existing laws...So now it looks like the great civilisation will be policed by villagers?
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
expat
12-03-2013 08:52pm
6-
6+
nobody seems to understand...
its not about villagers,the force,which rules,combines village believes in khoran plus backwards politics.they see you as an khuffar,good enough to bring money,untill they finish their kaliphat...
6



Hesham
11-03-2013 08:58pm
0-
10+
that is enough,we have to change everything now
Egypt has fallen to the lowest rank out of 140 countries in terms of safety and security, just behind Pakistan, Chad and Yemen, in the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s Travel and Tourism (T&T)
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
5



Hala
11-03-2013 08:56pm
45-
3+
Egyptians are victims
As an Egyptian woman who has been physically (not sexually) assaulted by tourists (and I am not alone in being a victim of such foreigners), such a law would have been very useful. That the tour companies are worried about this happening at all shows that they know how much tourist-on-Egyptian crime there is.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Karen Smith
12-03-2013 10:09am
2-
13+
Tourists are victims
And where would you Egyptians be without us tourists bringing in the money!!!! And I too have been assaulted and sexually assaulted by many Egyptians. Why are many Egyptians racist!
ana
12-03-2013 08:56am
1-
13+
lies
an EGYPTIAN assaulted by a foreign tourist? thats a long one.
tim
12-03-2013 12:31am
1-
6+
Response to Hala
It is dreadful to read tgat Hala has been asualted by anyone especially visitors to Egyptand this is diplorable. However a trained effective paid and disciplined police force is the answer and not civilian groups who are not legally trained not skilled at polcing taking matters into their own hands. What Egypt needs urgently is an effective police forxe not mob rule. Hala should be able to resort to a proper police force to protect her and bring any abusers to account.
4



expat
11-03-2013 06:49pm
6-
23+
the way
Its the way to the caliphate, first kick the foreigners out, so no more usual witnesses, after that go against the minoirities, after that the gamaa, the ally of these brothers, might rule the street. What an result of a revolution, but exactly like this expected.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
3



Roslyn
11-03-2013 06:14pm
1-
34+
Rumor or official
Please is this another rumor, or is this official, if it is the latter, the few tourists left will pack their bags! What a ridiculous move putting not just tourists at risk but all Egyptian citizens. This is total madness, as usual being implemented without 'negotiation' or vision for the economy or in fact, the goals of the Jan 25 revolution!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
2



TH
11-03-2013 04:22pm
1-
34+
NONSENSE
Wait a minute ! The only party supporting this joker is the FJP ? Aren't they the ones in power, that control the government and the police ? They are now supporting creating chaos by letting the people self-rule to create law and order! Isn't this the biggest admission of their failure to govern ?
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Foreigner living in Egypt
12-03-2013 01:59pm
0-
3+
FJP is the AGAINST this!
They came out with a statement saying they do NOT support this, nobody except police should act on arresting criminals. Only the Gama Al Islamaya is jumping on it. Also the Military will not allow any of that. Besides, seems to me it's not something official, just something he said. I don't trust Media reports anymore. Lets not jump to conclusions.
1



Kevin
11-03-2013 04:01pm
2-
36+
Stupid Decision...
So if there is a tout hassling me to buy a junk souvenir and he places the item in the hands of one of my kids, he can claim my kids stole the item, then blackmail me with arrest if I don't pay the 500LE price? This is not going to turn out well for tourists. I won't visit Egypt again until this is overturned. Way too many touts out there to arrest you for stupid things so they can steal from you. Egypt is no longer a tourist friendly destination.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Michelle
18-03-2013 08:40pm
0-
1+
Not a new concept
Citizens arrests can happen in the US and we aren't abusing the privilege. And in the souq, there are tourist police all over the place, ready to hassle any who harass tourists (overtly, in any case). Most Egyptians are live and let live and those in the tourist industry, more than any, do not have it in their interest to be arresting their marks-the reality is that the touts will not go near such a seller because it would ruin THEIR business. This is business and I think you all are imagining things in that vein. They know they have enough problems without beheading tourism by such actions.
Michelle
18-03-2013 08:40pm
0-
0+
Not a new concept
Citizens arrests can happen in the US and we aren't abusing the privilege. And in the souq, there are tourist police all over the place, ready to hassle any who harass tourists (overtly, in any case). Most Egyptians are live and let live and those in the tourist industry, more than any, do not have it in their interest to be arresting their marks-the reality is that the touts will not go near such a seller because it would ruin THEIR business. This is business and I think you all are imagining things in that vein. They know they have enough problems without beheading tourism by such actions.
Pokemon
12-03-2013 02:17pm
0-
8+
Touts and cheating = immoral
My thoughts exactly. Once I was being conned like that in Istanbul. It was worse than that. I refused to take the item even to look at it. The person swore that it was a gift and I didn't need to pay anything. After he coerced me into taking the item into my hands, he then demanded a payment. I ended up leaving the item on the ground without paying, subjecting myself to a lot of abuse in Turkish (which I don't understand, but a friend who was with me does). Unfortunately, things like these happen only in the Middle East. As a Muslim, I'm sad to say that, but I haven't seen as high a concentration of immoral people looking out to cheat you, other than in the region. People there have to change. It's not just the governments.

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising