Protesters against house demolitions
Egyptian authorities have arrested and forcibly disappeared five residents of a neighbourhood in Giza, Egypt, after they protested against compensation plans for their homes being demolished.
A demonstration had taken place around Tersa Street, in Talbiya, where Egyptian authorities are planning to clear away properties to make way for a bypass to aid constriction work on the metro line.
Five people were arrested during the protest and another arrested the following day. They were taken to Talbiya police station, but police have refused to say where they are now.
The residents took part in the protests because they were first told that their houses would not be demolished, and were later told that they would be – and that they had to sign a notice acknowledging this. However, many residents are refusing to sign the document as it does not guarantee adequate compensation.
The proposed compensation for a four-bed apartment is set at around 200,000 Egyptian pounds, around $12,705, but residents believe they are worth far more, around one million pounds, or $63,525.
House demolitions in Egypt have intensified in recent years, as the regime attempts to cash in on property and attract wealthy investors. Many demolitions have occurred in Marsa Matruh and Maspero, in Cairo.
With the demolitions has come resistance from residents – but many who protest are then targetted by the authorities.
In one example, 42 protesters were arrested last year on Warraq Island, where 700 homes were demolished in 2017.
House demolitions in Egypt are not restricted just to attempts to rebuild the infrastructure or gentrify areas for wealthy residents.
In Sinai, an estimated 12,350 buildings have been demolished since 2013, most of the houses, with the government claiming the destruction was necessary to combat terrorism, however, terrorism presence should not be used as a justification for state violence against civilians.
Since 2016, around 6,000 hectares of farmland in the area have also been destroyed.
Tens of thousands have been evicted in the demolitions – none of whom are thought to have been paid compensation.
Especially targeted have been the towns of Arish and Rafah, close to the borders of Gaza and Israel.