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Independent MP: Preliminary Port Said report fails to assign responsibility

The preliminary report of the parliamentary fact-finding committee on the Port Said clashes that took place earlier this month failed to identify who was responsible for the incident, said an independent MP.

Criticizing the committee’s conclusions, Wahid Abdel Meguid said, “The purpose of the committee is not to document the massacre but to determine who is responsible for the incidents, which is not mentioned in the report.”

Seventy-four people were killed and hundreds injured in Port Said Stadium on 1 February, when fans stormed the pitch after the local team, Masry, defeated Ahly, Egypt’s top club. Another 15 people died in subsequent protests across Egypt triggered by the incident.

Last week, the fact-finding committee’s preliminary report said that police negligence allowed the violence to take place, though it did not directly implicate the police in inciting the clashes. It said that police downplayed the potential for fighting, even as fans sensing impending violence left the stadium.

In a telephone interview on Al-Hayat satellite channel Monday, Abdel Meguid said it would have been better to wait for a final report to announce the findings, particularly since the preliminary report was “frustrating” in its failure to assign blame. The report was issued on Monday of last week.

Ashraf Thabet, the deputy speaker of parliament and head of the fact-finding committee, said the final report will take a long time to produce, but will identify where political responsibility lies for the rioting. He noted that the preliminary report was intended to inform the public of the work the committee has accomplished thus far.

Police investigators will determine when the final report is issued, Thabet said, adding that the public prosecution is about to finish its work on the case.

Source: Egypt Independent

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