Entries in Egyptian Protestors (4)


Egypt's Ambassador to the US Defends Ousting of President Morsi

ABC(CAIRO) -- Despite delays to name an interim prime minister and days of violent protests, Egypt's ambassador to the U.S. Mohamed Tawfik defended the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, telling ABC's This Week it wasn't the army who took over but the army acting on behalf of the people.

“Egypt has not undergone a military coup and it is certainly not run by the military,” Tawfik said Sunday. “Today there is an interim president in place.”

Tawfik said that they plan to form a new government that represents the people of Egypt, something he claims Morsi did not do. “President Morsi did not act in the interests of the vast majority of Egyptians, he only looked at his own clique. You can't be a democratically-elected president and act that way,” the ambassador said.

He called upon the Muslim Brotherhood to come back to the negotiating table, acknowledge the mistakes they made and then join in the efforts to create a brighter future for Egypt.

“There is room for everyone in Egypt but there is no room for violence,” Tawfik said. “There is no room for incitement to hatred and incitement to commit acts of violence.”

The Muslim Brotherhood sees the situation quite differently.

“It's military junta,” said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad , who denounced the military's move as a coup against democracy. “Tanks on the streets, troops on protests, military people shooting civilians, I mean it's every ingredient of a full police state. I mean what else are people waiting for?” he told ABC News.

“I lived most of my life under the oppressive state of Mubarak, my father did the same under different regimes, my grandfather did the same, it's been too long and this country has been robbed for its freedoms. I'm not willing to let my son and my daughter inherit this state in that mess.”

El-Haddad said that he, and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, were willing to die for their cause.

“I will stand in front of that tank even if it rolls on our dead bodies,” he said. “There is no plan B. We will stick by our principles. We either return the president back to his rightful place, or they are just going to have to shoot us in the street.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


At Least 30 Killed in Overnight Clashes in Egypt

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Parts of Cairo resembled a war zone as opponents and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi battled it out in the streets Friday night. At least 30 people are dead and more than 1,000 were injured during the conflicts across the country.

Protests supporting Morsi drew tens of thousands of Islamist supporters into the streets after Friday prayers in what the Muslim Brotherhood called a “day of refusal.” They soon clashed with anti-Morsi protesters celebrating the military’s decision to remove him from office.

On the 6th of October Bridge leading to Tahrir Square, protests engaged in almost hand-to-hand conflict. In other areas the army was using birdshot, tear gas and even live fire to try to force the pro-Morsi supporters back, according to reports.

State media is also reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood's deputy leader has been arrested on suspicion of incitement to violence.

Supporters of Morsi have gathered on the east side of the Egyptian capital, where they're planning more protests for Saturday. According to BBC's Lyce Doucet, they’re planning a “symbolic funeral,” where they will carry aloft five coffins representing the five recently buried Muslim Brotherhood supporters who were killed Friday. They plan to march towards the military officers club to express their anger at the military’s action.

Anit-Morsi protesters meanwhile are celebrating. “They're saying it's a second revolution,” said Doucet. “They've welcomed the army action that deposed the elected president Mohammed Morsi. Throughout the day there's been a party atmosphere [in Tahrir Square] and below me I can hear the bands playing nationalistic patriotic Egyptian song, praising the Egyptian army.”

So far, Saturday’s protests have not escalated into the violence seen the previous night, but the intensity of the conflict has many worried about what might happen. Opposition leader Amr Mousa appealed to the west to stay out of the conflict, saying that “whoever is going to impose civil war on the Egyptian people will lose.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Major Political Protests in Egypt on Anniversary of Morsi‚Äôs Election

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- Tens of Thousands of protesters in Egypt are already packed into Tahrir Square, in Cairo, calling for the removal of President Mohamed Morsi from office on the anniversary of his election.

Protesters spent the night in the square, the same place that was the epicenter of the protests that brought down former President Hosni Mubarak. Morsi's opponents say he's failed to tackle the country’s economic and security problems.

According to the BBC’s Ali Maqbool, demonstrators have been preparing for the June 30 anniversary of Morsi’s election for a while. Every major city in Egypt is seeing some form of a protest.

“We are looking to have a better life, more democracy,” said one woman. “We don't want any more of the Muslim Brotherhood. We are not convinced with Mohammed Morsi and we gonna stay on the streets until he leaves.”

The rebellion campaign against the president is talking about 22 million signatures to its petition, though Maqbool notes that that number is thought to be “quite a big exaggeration.”

Supporters of the president are planning their own rallies.

Several people have been killed over the weekend in protests across the country, including one American. Andrew Pochter, a rising junior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. During a news conference Sunday morning in Tel Aviv, Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his condolences to Pochter’s family.

Kerry also said he was “confident about the status” of the U.S. embassy, and their ability to protect U.S. foreign service workers in the country.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


White House Pressures Egyptian Military to Cede Power

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As tens of thousands of Egyptians poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding a more expeditious transition to democracy, the White House joined the fray Friday, ratcheting up pressure on Egypt’s interim military rulers to cede power “as soon as possible.”

“The United States strongly believes that the new Egyptian government must be empowered with real authority immediately,” the Obama administration said in a statement.

“We believe that Egypt’s transition to democracy must continue, with elections proceeding expeditiously, and all necessary measures taken to ensure security and prevent intimidation. Most importantly, we believe that the full transfer of power to a civilian government must take place in a just and inclusive manner that responds to the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people, as soon as possible.”

The Egyptian military council governing the country since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak appointed ex-Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri on Thursday to form a new government after the previous military-appointed civilian cabinet resigned, according to state-run media reports. Officials have promised parliamentary elections will begin across Egypt next week.

But the restless protesters have vowed to continue agitating in the streets and occupying Tahrir Square until a full transfer of authority to civilian power has occurred. They dubbed the Friday protest the “Last Chance Million-Man Protest.”

The White House defended the protests in their statement, condemning any excessive use of force against the Egyptian people.

“We deeply regret the loss of life, and urge the Egyptian authorities to implement an independent investigation into the circumstances of those deaths,” the administration said. “But the situation Egypt faces requires a more fundamental solution, devised by Egyptians, which is consistent with universal principles.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio