Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Beni Suef Inferno Saga...Continues

Egypt's Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni has sacked a senior ministry official in charge of a national network of cultural centers, two weeks after 42 people were killed in a fire in a packed theater in the southern town of Beni Suef.

Egypt's Middle East News Agency said Hosni issued an order relieving Mustafa Alwy from his post and appointing another senior ministry official in his place.
Alwy has been widely criticized by the opposition newspapers accusing him of negligence but resisted the pressure to step down.

Hosni, who has held the culture portfolio since 1987, submitted his resigna-tion to President Hosni Mubarak last week, admitting political responsibility for the fire after several opposition newspapers called for his resignation, but Mubarak turned down his resignation.

On Tuesday night, about 200 artists, novelists and poets - led by renowned Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine - protested outside the Cairo Opera House, where Hosni was inaugurating an experimental theater festival. The group, which held a similar protest last week, is demanding that Hosni and the ministers of health and interior be taken to trial in connection with the fire.
My other blogs on the inferno.


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