Egypt – 
Article published the Monday 17 January 2011 – Latest update : Monday 17 January 2011

Man sets himself alight outside parliament in Cairo

Fears that protests in Tunisia may spread to neighbouring Egypt

Reuters/Asmaa Waguih


A parliamentary source said the man, identified as restaurant owner Abdo Abdelmoneim, stood in front of the People’s Assembly on Monday, covered himself in fuel and set himself on fire. A policeman standing near the victim was able to extinguish the fire and the man was immediately taken away by ambulance.


In an apparent copycat replay of the self-immolation of a Tunisian graduate, the official MENA agency says Abdelmoneim was protesting because he had not received bread coupons for his restaurant.

Tunisian graduate, Mohammed Bouazizi, eventually died from his injuries sparking a wave of protests in the country that would topple the 23-year-old regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Egyptians have often voiced similar grievances to Tunisians. They complain of economic hardships and the failure by Cairo to lift an emergency law in place for three decades. On Friday, dozens of Egyptians celebrated the ouster of Ben Ali outside the Tunisian embassy in central Cairo.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit has warned the West to stay out of Arab affairs. His comments on Sunday, come a day after US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, urged Arab leaders to work with their peoples to bring reforms.

Speaking from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where Arab foreign ministers are preparing for an economic summit on Wednesday, Abdul Gheit also dismissed the notion that people in the Arab world could be inspired by Tunisia.

“Those who imagine things and seek to escalate the situation will not achieve their goals,” he said.


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