Several human rights groups plan to hold a press conference on Qorsaya in Giza in a show of solidarity with the residents of the island.
The conference is set to for Friday at noon and will showcase testimonies of how the residents of the island have for years tried to protect their lands from being taken over by the military. Kazeboon, El-Nadeem Centre and the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights are among the groups that will be participating in the conference.
An island on the Nile, Qorsaya was the scene of violence in November last year when the military opened fire on the island’s residents, killing one of them. They also arrested 26 people, who are now facing military trial. Their verdict is expected on 14 January.
The dispute is over ownership of the island. While the residents received a court order entitling them to the land, Ahmed Aly, a military spokesperson, claimed that the land belonged to the armed forces.
The residents of the island, who have been living there for years, rely on fishing and farming for their livelihoods. According to a joint statement by the groups participating in the conference, there has been a military presence on the island since November and the military is preventing fishermen from using most of the island’s shores.
On Wednesday night No Military Trials for Civilians called on protesters to post messages of support to Qorsaya residents on the Facebook pages of the President Mohamed Morsy, his official spokesperson’s page, the military spokesperson’s page and the prime minister’s page.
A protest for Qorsaya was held on Tuesday outside the Court of Cassation.