Egyptian MPs face investigation for attending Iranian opposition conference in Paris without permission

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 1 Jul 2017

Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said on Saturday that five MPs will be referred to investigation after they traveled to France to attend the Annual Gathering of Iranian Resistance Conference without obtaining prior approval.

Parliament's secretary-general Ahmed Saaeddin told reporters that the invitation to attend the conference was extended on a personal level, not an official one.

Saadeddin stressed that "Egypt's parliament does not have official representation in the Iranian Resistance Conference in Paris."

Four of the MPs, who are affiliated with the liberal Free Egyptians Party, belong to the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut, while one represents the New Valley governorate.

The MPs are Gamal Abbas, El-Badri Dief, Numan El-Badari, Mortada El-Arabi, and Dawoud Suleiman.

While in Paris on Friday, El-Arabi said he would resign from parliament in protest of the government's decision on Thursday to raise fuel prices.

In 2016 and 2017, two Egyptian MPs – Tawfik Okasha and Anwar El-Sadat – were stripped of parliamentary membership after travelling abroad and holding meetings with foreign diplomats without getting prior approval from parliament.

Okasha was removed after holding a dinner meeting with Israel's ambassador in Egypt without permission, while Sadat was removed for attending a human rights conference in Switzerland without approval.

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