A monthly meeting held on Sunday with Minister of State for Youth Khaled Abdel Aziz saw the marked absence of representatives from the Al-Dostour party as they sent in the names of arrested party members in their stead.
The acting president of Al-Dostour party Tamer Gomaa sent a letter to Abdel Aziz explaining the stance of his party and asserting that arrests over freedom of expression have increased since the party’s youth demographic told the minister last month that their participation will be suspended in protest of arrests by security forces during and prior to the 25 April protests.
“I was hoping you would be the first to defend the right of these young people to express their opinions even if you disagree with them,” Gomaa said.
In a meeting on 27 April that was attended by the minsters of youth and foreign affairs, Gomaa added that members have suspended their participation until those arrested are released. Members of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) also made a similar stance in that meeting.
“In response to your generous invitation to our party, despite suspending participation, I recommend to you six of the young members of our party in order to converse or consult with them,” Gomaa said before listing the names of the six arrested party members since 25 April.
The nationwide protests in objection to the maritime demarcation decision that transfers sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia were met by campaign of random arrests allegedly resulted in the detention of nearly 300 citizens, a majority of the arrested are still detained facing charges of illegal demonstrating.