CAIRO: Nine Qalet Al-Kabsh residents, whose homes were demolished by the government last March after a huge fire destroyed the area, went on hunger strike on Sunday.
Other people are willing to go on strike, said Mustafa Mohamed, one of the residents, we have been living with friends and relatives for the last three months, moving from one place to another.
Mohamed added that they have been using a school in the area as their meeting point but were forced to leave after the police beat them on Monday at dawn.
The people of Qalet Al-Kabsh were not given a reason for the fire, we just found everything we owned burnt to the ground and nobody knew why, said Adeila Abdel Hameed. Some say a few children playing caused the fire while others say a container of benzene caught fire because of the heat.
After the authorities demolished the surviving houses, the residents were promised new homes, but till now they have not received anything.
We have filed complaints to the general prosecutor, the ministries and all related authorities but to no avail, said lawyer Mohamed Al-Helw of the Egyptian Center for Human Rights.
The latest action was a protest by the residents on Monday at the Lawyers’ Syndicate, but they were forced to break up by police after the Freedoms Committee at the syndicate promised to help them get their compensation homes within a month.
It s the second time these protestors were thrown out. We tried the Press Syndicate, but their security guards sprayed us with water to get rid of us, explained Mohamed.
The hunger strike is the last resort for them to draw attention to their situation, said Al Helw.
They are building new homes in the area, but not for us. You have to pay for them and we just can t, he added.