Egypt MPs call for anti-riot law

Ahram Online , Sunday 27 Jan 2013

Shura Council MPs call for new anti-riot law and for soldiers to have power of arrest in Suez and Port Said after recent violence kills at least 40

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A general view of the Shura Council during its meeting in Cairo on December 26, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Shura Council MPs have called for a new anti-riot law and for soldiers to be granted the power of arrest in Port Said and Suez.

Violent protests in the two canal cities have left at least 40 dead since Friday.

Suez MP Tharwat Abdullah said the proposals were necessary to restore security.

Port Said MP Hussein Zayed said the number of weapons in civilian hands was huge and should be tackled.

Zayed also called on President Mohamed Morsi to declare a curfew in Port Said to halt the violence.

Heated arguments broke out in the Shura Council whilst MPs discussed the recent clashes.

Riots erupted on Saturday in Port Said after 21 of 73 defendants were given the death sentence for killing Ahly supporters in the Port Said Stadium in February 2012.

After the verdict, relatives of the defendants and others attempted to storm the Port Said prison and the resulting clashes left 32 dead, including two policemen, and 300 injured.

On Sunday, thousands of mourners at a mass funeral for Saturday’s victims were hit with tear gas. One hundred and eighty people were  injured and three died, reports say.

In Suez, nine people were killed on Friday during protests on the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution. Protesters stormed the Suez governorate building and four police stations.

The army has been deployed in Suez and Port Said to maintain security and protect vital locations.

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