Morsi supporters press on with protests
EGYPT, Cairo : An Egyptian man holds a copy of Quran and puts tape on his mouth with Arabic slogan "Military coup" during an open sit in outside Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo on August 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI
Supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi staged a demonstration in front of Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) building, near Cairo's Maadi district, on Thursday night to press on with their demands of Morsi's reinstatement as president.
Morsi was deposed by the military on 3 July following mass protests against him. Head of the HCC Adly Mansour was instated as interim president of a transitional period that would see parliamentary elections and early presidential elections.
Morsi's supporters have staged two sit-ins in protests to what they call a 'bloody military coup'. The Interior Ministry warned protesters at the sit-ins in Greater Cairo's Nasr City and Giza districts on Thursday to vacate the areas.
The Interior Ministery promised protesters a safe exit if they leave the Cairo and Giza sit-ins “quickly.” In a statement, the ministry urged them "to rethink their positions and listen to the country's best interests. They must leave quickly and clear the sit-ins."
The ministry said it was “committed to providing a safe exit and full protection for all who listen to the call and leave the sit-in for the sake of the country's stability."
The country's interim leaders have ordered police to end ongoing protests, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim met with security officials on Thursday to discuss removing the protests.
In a statement sent to Ahram Online by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, the Anti-Coup Pro-democracy Alliance – led by the Brotherhood – responded to the interior ministry's warning.
"All revolutionary groups, including the Alliance ….. announce that they do not recognize the coup government or its decisions or negotiations. They will continue in spite of threats, and will not be made to back down from their right to peaceful protests and sit-ins, regardless of the strength of their opposition," the statement read.
The statement added that "the Alliance affirms that the Egyptian people will remain steadfast in their revolution against the coup, which has brought back the police state in its worst incarnations."
On Saturday, confrontations between Morsi's supporters and the police near their sit-in at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in in Nasr City led to over 80 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Morsi's supporters also faced deadly violence when they protested at the headquarters of Egypt's Republican Guard. Military personnel killed at least 50 after claiming they were attacked by armed protesters.
Millions of Egyptians took to the streets on 26 July after army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi – the leader behind the 3 July military intervention – called for protests against "violence and terrorism".
Morsi's supporters are accused by their opponents of harboring weapons at the sit-ins. Eye-witness accounts have reported the use of live fire against residents near the sit-in at Al-Nahda Square in Giza.
The former president's supporters on the other hand reject their being referred to as "terrorists" and claim their protests are peaceful.
The Alliance also affirms that the real terrorism, causing a threat to national security, is the practices of the coup supporters from mass killings to bloody massacres of peaceful protestors, the Thursday statement asserted.
The Muslim Brotehrhood and its allies announced they would come out in mass protests on Friday.