Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

21 February 2013

Egypt: Civil Disobedience in Port Said Enters Fifth Day, With Escalations

Civil disobedience in Port Said entered the fifth day on Thursday, with popular movements calling for escalations.

Popular movements called on residents to refrain from paying their electricity, phone, gas and water bills in protest against what they described as the regime's negligence.

On Sunday, hundreds of residents started a civil disobedience, demanding justice and an apology from the president and his administration for what they believe is negligence of their demands.

An Aswat Masriya reporter said that ports remain shut, leading to financial losses that severely affect the already ailing economy of the Middle East's most populous country.

Forty-two people were killed when violence erupted in Port Said at the end of January when relatives of defendants sentenced to death for involvement in football riots that killed over 70 people last February clashed with police.

To calm tensions, Mursi referred a new draft law to the country's legislature to restore the free-zone policy in Port Said on Tuesday. He had also promised to allocate 400 million Egyptian pounds from the Suez Canal revenues to developing the three Canal cities (Port Said, Ismailia and Suez).

In an attempt to contain the violence, the president had declared a state of emergency in the three coastal governorates, including a curfew.

Eighty percent of schools in Port Said have suspended their classes where attendance is at 50 percent while many markets are closed and streets are empty.

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