NASL conference prevention raises controversy
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
By SARA OSAMA SHOUREAP

CAIRO: Controversy arose over the Tuesday raiding of Al-Istiqlal Party’s headquarters to prevent a conference by the pro-Muslim Brotherhood National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy (NASL) from being held.

According to a Monday statement on NASL’s Facebook page, the press conference was being organized to respond to the report on the dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins released by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Monday.

The raid was carried out per an order by the Attorney General, as some members of the NASL are “wanted for belonging to a terrorist organization,” Youm7 reported Tuesday.

Some political parties viewed the raid as legal claiming the conference sought to incite violence; while others sees it as an illegal act.

“It is an illegal act that reflects the weakness of the police state,” Hala Mustafa, the Media advisor of Khaled Ali’s campaign, told The Cairo Post Wednesday.

“The meeting was not even allowed to start. At least they could have waited until the meeting was over to see what was discussed and whether it sought to incite violence or not,” Mustafa continued, adding that the prevention of the conference was reminiscent of the “deposed regime.”

On the other hand, Hossam Moneis, spokesperson of Hamdeen Sabbahi’s presidential campaign, told The Cairo post Wednesday, “Prohibiting the conference, would have been objectionable had the NASL been a political group, expressing its political opinion; but it is not. The NASL clearly incites violence, chaos and calls for the shedding of Egyptian blood. The raid was legal, and if the act is deemed illegal; then it should be legalized.”

“In my opinion, we cannot compare between those who politically oppose the current situation, and call for peaceful protests, and those who kill people in streets,” he said.

Meanwhile, Younis Makhioun, the head of the Nour Party, told The Cairo Post Wednesday that “the party supports peaceful freedom of expression … One of the most important gains of the January 25 Revolution is having a country governed by the rule of law … We are against inciting violence.”

Makhioun said conferences “seeking to incite violence” should be prohibited “according to the law.”

“If they had authorization from the Attorney General, they could prohibit the conference; if they did not, then they don’t have the right to prevent it,” Makhioun added.

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