First Published: 2009-11-17

 
Egypt urged to act to avoid repeat rockslide disaster
 

Amnesty International: government neglect could cause death of thousands of Egypt’s poor.

 

Middle East Online

'Egypt’s poor are trapped by poverty'

CAIRO - Egypt must take immediate action to ensure there is no repeat of a 2008 rockslide that killed more than 100 residents of a Cairo shantytown, Amnesty International warned in a report on Tuesday.

"Thousands of Egypt’s poor are trapped by poverty and neglect that could ultimately end in their deaths," said Malcolm Smart, the global rights group's Middle East and Africa director.

"The government must urgently address the risks faced by those living in areas designated as ‘unsafe’ and find solutions by consulting with those directly affected."

A cliff face collapsed on dozens of homes in Cairo's Manshiyet Nasser slum on September 6, 2008, killing at least around 100 residents and injuring dozens of others.

At the time, residents blamed the disaster on work that had been going on for several weeks on the Moqattam plateau overlooking the shantytown, and said the authorities had been warned of the dangers of just such a disaster.

In its report, Amnesty called on Egyptian authorities to "alleviate the threats to lives in the 26 'unsafe areas' in Greater Cairo, and to protect the residents’ rights to health and adequate housing."

"Denied an effective voice and largely ignored by those in power, many residents ... continue to live in fear on precarious hillsides or under high voltage power lines because they have nowhere else to go," it said.

Amnesty called on the authorities to properly investigate the incident and ensure such a tragedy is not repeated.

"The government must develop a comprehensive programme of action to address the risks faced by those living in ‘unsafe areas’ and to uphold their rights to life, health and adequate housing," said Smart.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’