By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: Port Said parliamentarians said Tuesday that the smear campaign against the people of the province must stop, and urged a fact-finding committee investigating the February ‘massacre’ to conclude its report.
During the morning session of the People’s Assembly, MPs from Port Said demanded that action be taken to stop the ongoing attack on the governorate in the media, especially by sports channels and programs.
Parliament has blamed the police for negligence and even complicity in what became known as the Port Said massacre, when football fans of Port Said’s Al-Masry attacked Ahly fans in a league match on Wednesday Feb. 1, leaving 71 people dead.
“When the Port Said Massacre took place, the people of Port Said condemned what happened and offered their condolences. However, we have been faced with a [defamatory] media campaign [aiming] to create a rift between Egyptians,” said Ali Dorra, one of the six MPs representing Port Said.
“We have repeatedly urged the prime minister to hire a governor but until now, more than 40 days have passed and we don’t have one,” he added.
Alaa El-Din El-Bahaaey noted that a governor must be appointed in Port Said as soon as possible.
Dorra demanded that the media attack on Port Said be stopped and that the fact-finding committee present its final report so that the truth can be revealed.
MP Al-Badry Farghaly suggested that the Ministry of Information intervenes immediately to stop the smear campaign against the people of Port Said and its MPs.
Also on Tuesday, 61 requests were filed to discuss the rising problem of water pollution throughout Egypt and related issues such as sewage and drinking water. MPs spoke of water pollution in their respective constituencies.
“The majority of people in Minya drink out of Al-Ibrahimiya Lake,” said MP Amr Magdy, noting that there are high pollution levels in this lake.
MP Mohamed Talaat said there are places in Minya with no access to water until today.
Meanwhile, MP Mahmoud Helmy’s said his constituency faces the problem of children falling through the manholes, and losing their lives.
In the evening session, Minister of Housing, Fathy El-Baradei, stressed that there is no intention in raising drinking water prices on the consumer.