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Gezira Faces Legal Challenge Over Cat Murders

Since shocking pictures of the brutal murder of cats in Gezira Sporting Club resurfaced, activists have become adamant that the staff face legal repercussions and a protest is to be held in front of the club tomorrow. We speak to the organisers.

Animal rights activists are preparing to launch a daring legal challenge against one of Cairo's most exclusive members-clubs. Pictures leaked from Zamalek's upper-class Gezira Club show the mutilated corpses of up to 70 cats, brutally murdered by the club's heartless staff.

The shocking images, showing animals thought to have been beaten to death or poisoned by staff, have sparked outrage across Egyptian society. However, animal rights activists are planning to launch a legal bid against the club thanks to new laws copper-fastened in the constitution.

Activist Dalia Farouk, who leads the 'Stop Gezira Club Massacres' movement, told CairoScene she was left "speechless" when she saw the chilling pics.

"I was first passed the photographs by a prominent club member as he was so appalled at what he had seen," she said. "I was shocked, I was literally rendered speechless."

"I've spoken to a lot of club members and many are ready to leave the Gezira Club if they aren't willing to apologise and promise never to repeat such a hideous action."

Article 45 of the Egyptian constitution guarantees animal rights in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Farouk also claims that animal rights groups contacted the exclusive club - favoured by a number of past and present government officials - offering to remove stray animals from the premises just weeks before the brutal cull. The club declined their offer.

The 'massacre' is the second in the past number of years, where innocent animals have literally been lined up and killed by barbaric staff after wandering onto the club's premises.

Meanwhile, activists are now gearing up to launch a massive protest outside the exclusive club tomorrow evening. Protest organiser Hoda Mahmoud branded the club's actions criminal.

"They killed them with poison, which is forbidden to use, and by using criminals to kill these little creatures, beating them to death," she said. "I'm not a club member but you just need to be a human to take action."

"We hope to achieve the enforcement of the law protecting animal rights in Egypt. We want to see convictions and punishments for the persons responsible."

Speaking about the numbers expected at tomorrow's protest, Mahmoud is optimistic. "I am not counting on anything or anybody except for God and Egypt's animal lovers. I think our faith and love will drive us to succeed in saving more lives and achieving our goal."

Gezira Club were unavailable for comment when contacted by CairoScene earlier today.