CAIRO: No legal action has yet been taken against MP Nashaat El-Qassass who called for shooting protesters about two months ago, Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) director Gamal Eid told Daily News Egypt Monday.
El-Qassass, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), has been enjoying immunity since then, which emphasizes a widespread policy of impunity in Egypt, Eid added.
During a People’s Assembly (PA) session last April, MPs Ragab Hilal Hemeida, El-Qassass and Ahmed Abu Aqrab had fiercely criticized protesters, calling for their punishment.
El-Qassass said that demonstrators should be shot and arrested because they were engaged in illegal protests.
"I don’t know why the Ministry of Interior is so lenient with protesters," El-Qassass said at a meeting of the PA’s National Security and Human Rights Committees.
"Instead of using water hoses to disperse them, the police should open fire at them," he added.
Ironically the meeting was convened to discuss human rights violations committed by police against protesters.
Following this incident, the PA’s Legislative Committee fully condemned El-Qassass after reviewing the transcript of the session.
However, the conviction has only resulted in a verbal reprimand.
The three MPs’ statement caused fury among local and international human rights groups, activists and members of opposition parties. They called for lifting El-Qassass’ parliamentary immunity and prosecuting him.
Opposition and independent media also criticized El-Qassass, while demonstrations erupted in many Egyptian cities in response.
Several activists since then have filed complaints before the Public Prosecutor, urging him to lift the El-Qassass’ immunity and to charge him with inciting murder.
“However, it seems that El-Qassass will not be prosecuted or penalized for his crime. But if he was an opposition or an independent MP, would he still enjoy immunity?” Eid argued.