No ‘Free Hugs’ in Hurghada: police
A tourist poses for a picture with the Sphinx at the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo October 19, 2011. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

CAIRO: Egypt’s Tourism Police warned Monday that any participants in a “Free Hug Day” in Hurgada scheduled March 31 would be arrested, adding this event “contradicts Egyptian law,” Youm7 reported Tourism Police Sector general manager Ahmed Mostafa Shahin.

The sector did not receive any request to stage such event, saying “staging such events will not be accepted,” he noted that organizing that event comes under misdemeanor of a public obscene act. Punishment of this crime is up to one year in jail, per Article 278 of Egypt’s Criminal Code.

Facebook user called Ahmed Sayed has called people to give and accept Free Hugs in new Marina, saying “if you want to hug you can come to the new marina and choose one and hug him…when you find tourist first then ask for free hug or not,” Wherevent reported.

Media outlets reported that the event has been slammed by people, particularly from Hurghada residents, as it contradicts with conservative local culture.

The Egyptian Free Hug Day Facebook page had called to organize a 7-day event for free hugs on Nov. 22 2015 in Cairo, but it was been postponed to December.

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