'Security crackdown threatens stability in Egypt,' says Egyptian Social Democratic Party

Ahram Online , Wednesday 30 Dec 2015

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) slammed in a statement Wednesday what it described as a security crackdown against independent cultural venues and activists in Egypt which could threaten stability in Egypt.

The party described the authorities' raids on cultural venues in the past few days as a crackdown on freedom of expression and creativity, as well as an attack on constitutional rights the Egyptian people fought for.

On Monday evening, Egypt's Censorship Authority and the Tax Authority closed the Townhouse Gallery after an inspection team reportedly found administrative irregularities.

On Tuesday, the Censorship Authority raided and searched Merit Publishing House in Downtown Cairo without providing any reason, according to its owner Mohamed Hashem. 

The party also recounted examples of other cultural venues in Egypt that were raided by authorities in the past year. 

"We do not need to remind anyone that closing down independent cultural venues in Egypt does not serve anybody except intellectual and religious radicalism," the ESDP said in its statement. 

The party also criticised what it described as the current security current crackdown on non-Islamist activists ahead of the 25 January Revolution anniversary. 

The ESDP stressed that "no parties or groups have called for protests or any kind of commemoration of the January 2011 uprising," in reference to rumours circulating on social media that some activists were planning for a day of rage on the 5th anniverssary of the revolution.

Earlier this week, four members of the April 6 Youth Movement were arrested and ordedred detained by the prosecution for 15 days pending investigation  for illegal protesting and illegal use of fireworks.

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