By Marwa Al-A’asar
CAIRO: Police forces prevented Sunday dozens of former MPs, activists and opposition leaders from reaching the Tunisian embassy in the central Zamalek neighborhood.
Following a press conference held at Al-Wafd opposition party that announced the formation of a public parliament, dozens of opposition leaders and activists headed to Zamalek in a bid to meet Tunisia’s ambassador and express solidarity with the Tunisian people’s recent uprising.
Police forces surrounded the whole area, preventing citizens from walking in all the streets leading to the embassy. Reporters were denied entry into the cordoned off zone as well.
“About 100 meters from the embassy … near Al-Geziera club, the security forces stopped everybody … they were probably scared of the Tunisia mania,” said Abdel-Halim Qandil, former general coordinator of the Egyptian Kefaya Movement for Change.
“We were keen to express our stance concurrently with the declaration of the alternative, public parliament … but we learned that the ambassador is in Sharm El-Sheikh. What a farce!” Qandil sarcastically told Daily News Egypt.
After arguments and negotiations with senior police officers, six opposition leaders and former MPs were allowed to step inside the embassy about 90 minutes after they arrived in Zamalek.
“The security authorities seem to be afraid of the Egyptians’ response to the Tunisian experience,” said former Muslim Brotherhood MP Mohamed El-Beltagy.
“We met the deputy ambassador and expressed to him our solidarity with the Tunisian people’s revolution,” El-Beltagy told Daily News Egypt.
The six-member delegation called for maintaining the Tunisian people’s democratic demands and economic and political stability as well as guaranteeing free presidential elections in Tunisia.
“We also called on the deputy ambassador to allow a delegation of Egyptian opposition leaders to visit Tunisia,” El-Beltagy concluded.