السبت، 8 مايو، 2010

منظمه العفو الدوليه تصدر بيان ضد الاخلاء القصرى بمصر 200عائله ببورسعيد URGENT ACTION 200 FAMILIES AT RISK OF FORCED EVICTION IN EGYPT

URGENT ACTION
200 FAMILIES AT RISK OF FORCED EVICTION IN EGYPT
Two hundred families in Zerzara informal settlement in the city of Port Said, Egypt, are at
risk of forced eviction to make way for a road. On 4 May, 15 families had their homes
demolished and were left homeless.
On 4 May, with no prior notification, Port Said’s local authorities demolished 15 one-storey homes, leaving the families who lived there without alternative housing. There was a heavy police presence during the forced eviction and demolition, and according to the Egyptian Center for Housing Rights, police beat some of those evicted. A security official reportedly offered them compensation of 500 Egyptian Pounds (US$89) on the day they were evicted, and also told them that they could rebuild their homes in another area of the settlement, away from the planned road.
It appears that the eviction orders were issued by the Governor of Port Said under a law which allows him to remove buildings which “infringe” on state-owned land. As the residents of Zerzara were not notified of the eviction orders, they could not appeal against them before a court, in breach of Egyptian law. The Egyptian Center for Housing Rights has filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor to stop further demolitions taking place. However, the authorities have not yet responded, and the demolitions of the homes of those also living in the path of the planned road could happen at any time.
Zerzara informal settlement has been designated as an "unsafe area" in Port Said by the authorities. Most people living in Zerzara were previously evicted from their homes in other areas of Port Said, after they were deemed unsafe. The buildings were in imminent danger of collapsing, just like thousands of deteriorating houses in Egypt. The evictees were not offered alternative housing, and moved to Zerzara, where they built their own homes. They do not have access to clean water and sanitation. The eviction is apparently aimed at improving access to modern housing in the middle of which the Zerzara informal settlement stretches. The housing units belong to Port Said Governorate, and many remain empty but are unaffordable for those living in Zerzara.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Arabic, English or your own language:
n Urging the Governor of Port Said to stop the planned forced eviction of 200 families in Zerzara informal settlement;
n calling on the Governor to hold genuine consultations with the residents of the settlement to identify solutions to address the conditions in which they are living;
n Calling on the authorities to offer immediately the 15 families already forcibly evicted immediate adequate alternative housing and compensation for the loss of their property;
n Calling for, as a matter of priority, a process of effective consultation with residents of all designated “unsafe areas” in Port Said, and the implementation of measures necessary to safeguard residents’ lives and safety, respecting guarantees against forced eviction.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 JUNE 2010 TO:
Governor of Port Said
Major-General Mustafa Abdel Latif
Mohamed Ali street
Port Said, Egypt
Fax: +20663245115
Email: portsaidinfo@gmail.com
Salutation: Dear Governor

Informal Settlement Development Facility Executive Director
Ali El-Faramawy
2 Latin America Street, Garden City
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +20222634000
Salutation: Dear Dr. Ali El-Farawamy
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
URGENT ACTION
200 FAMILIES AT RISK of forced eviction IN EGYPT
Additional Information
The acute shortage of affordable housing in Egypt means that millions of people have to live in informal settlements. According to the Ministry of State for Local Development, in 2007, 12.2 million people lived in 870 informal settlements in Egypt as a whole.
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights defines a forced eviction as “the permanent or temporary removal against their will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection.” International human rights standards requires that evictions may be carried out only as a last resort, once all other feasible alternatives have been explored and only after appropriate procedural and legal safeguards are in place. These include genuine consultation with the affected people, prior adequate and reasonable notice, adequate alternative housing and compensation for all losses, safeguards on how evictions are carried out, and access to legal remedies and procedures, including access to legal aid where necessary. No one should be rendered homeless or vulnerable to other human rights violations as a consequence of an eviction. Egypt is obliged under international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, to refrain from and prevent forced evictions.
In 2000 the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed concerns about forced evictions in Egypt and urged Egypt “to combat the acute housing shortage by adopting a strategy and a plan of action and by building or providing, low-cost rental housing units, especially for the vulnerable and low income groups."
In Port Said, the residents of Zerzara complaint of their poor housing conditions which does not protect them from rain in the winter and extreme heat in the summer. The accumulation of rubbish and sewerage water in Zerzara has reportedly led to the spread of water-borne and respiratory diseases. Residents complain that rats attack their children at night, and that they are also at risk of assault by drug-dealers and thieves.
In March 2009, residents protested in front of Port Said Governorate after rains and sewerage water flooded their homes and others were destroyed by fire as a result of informally connected electricity wires. At the time, officials from the Port Said Governorate said it was in the process of constructing 9,000 flats for Port Said’s informal settlements, 3,000 of which will be allocated to the families living in Zerzara. This was again announced in May 2009 after Dream TV channel broadcasted an episode of ‘One of the People’. The program filmed in Zerzara and showed the residents speaking their conditions of life there, as it has been doing with many other informal settlements in Egypt.
In October 2008, a presidential decree established an Informal Settlements Development Facility (ISDF) to develop plans to deal with informal settlements in Egypt and coordinate governmental efforts in this respect. It is also mandated with identifying informal settlements which are ‘unsafe’. The ISDF reportedly identified Zerzara as an area with unsuitable housing conditions, but the development plans for Zerzara are unknown. The ISDF plans to deal with all ‘unsafe areas’ by 2017.
Amnesty International fears that these plans are being developed without genuine consultations with the residents or communities concerned, which can lead to forced evictions. According to the ISDF, plans for "unsafe areas" are developed only in consultation with the Governorates and its local municipal councils. In March 2010, The ISDF announced that 30 pilot projects would start from April 2010, in 16 northern and southern Governorates in Egypt, including Port Said. However, it is unclear if the evictions of 4 May 2010 are the result of such plans.

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