Port Said MPs oppose Sisi’s outreach to Ultras

Parliament members from Port Said have voiced their objection to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's call for dialogue with the Ultras football fan groups.
Meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail late Wednesday, the MPs asked to convey their opposition to Sisi, pointing out that “a state of tension among the people of Port Said that requires the president to deliver a statement elaborating on his initiative or pay a visit to the province.”
“I delegate 10 of you to brief the (Ultras) on the results (of investigations) … It is no secret, they (the Ultras) have the right to know everything under the presidency’s auspices,” the president said in a phone call on Al-Youm channel late Monday, addressing the Ultras groups.
His call was referring to the investigations into the death of 72 members of Ultras Ahlawy (Ahly Club Ultras) during a match with Port Said’s Al-Masry in February 2012, believed to be Egypt’s worst sports-related catastrophe.

“I was close to the Port Said Ultras massacre issue, and nothing was achieved," continued the president, who was military intelligence chief at the time of the incident. "There was no clear truth that we can assuredly settle on. Somebody is hiding something that we do not know of."

In June 2015, the Port Said Criminal Court sentenced 11 people to death over charges of murdering 72 Al-Ahly Club. It sentenced 41 people to 5-15 years hard labor and acquitted 21 others of all charges.
The president’s call drew mixed reactions from Ultras fans, with the group releasing a statement in response late Tuesday that seemed to show conditional approval.
“For four years, we have been calling for retribution against all of those implicated in the Port Said massacre. If there is a real intention to resolve the case or rerun investigations, priority should be given to interrogating security leadership, the names of whom were mentioned in the prosecution's investigations,” read the statement.
Those convicted in the 2015 ruling already include three police officials. But Ultras Ahlawy had expressed rage agains the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which was running the country at the time of the massacre, calling for its officials to be held accountable.
“There are (state) bodies that are aware of the details of that tragic day, but until now no punishment has been made to those who killed 72 Egyptian youths,” read the statement.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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