CAIRO: A protest planned to take place in front of the People’s Assembly was banned yesterday by state security bodies.
According to Hesham Fouad, a member of the Freedoms Committee of the Journalists’ Syndicate, the protest was planned by the Committee for the Defense of Prisoners of Conscience, which he described as a popular movement not tied to any organization.
Fouad said that the Committee is headed by Kamal Abu Eida of the Karama political party and Mohamed Abdel Qoddous, a journalist who is also head of the Freedoms Committee of the Journalists’ Syndicate.
The protest was against the new anti-terrorism law which the government is currently in the process of drafting.
It is widely rumored that the law will replace the 27 year-old, continually renewed state of emergency that ends on May 31.
There was a heavy presence of central security troops and plain-clothed policemen in downtown Qasr El-Eini Street, which borders the People’s Assembly, when Daily News Egypt arrived.
Daily News Egypt saw Abdel Qoddous surrounded, and then forcibly removed from his position opposite the gates of the PA by five plain-clothed men.
It was not possible to ascertain where Abdel Qoddous was taken as a plain-clothed man demanded that that Daily News Egypt reporters leave in the opposite direction to that taken by Abdel Qoddous.
The journalist’s mobile phone is currently switched off preventing Daily News Egypt from establishing his whereabouts.