Anti-coup groups pledge more protests if sit-ins dispersed

Urged human rights organizations to "make their voices heard to prevent a massacre of peaceful protesters," Al-Haddad said, "The peaceful revolutionary movement against the military coup will not be stopped by threats to disperse the protests."

Anti-coup groups pledge more protests if sit-ins dispersed

World Bulletin/News Desk

Pro-democracy activists camped out in two major sites in Cairo and Giza vowed to start new sit-in protests if security forces moved to dismantle the camps by force.

"People make history, not places," Jihad al-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told Anadolu Agency. "The peaceful revolutionary movement against the military coup will not be stopped by threats to disperse the protests."

The pledges came amid increasing reports that authorities intend to begin dispersing two major sit-ins – in Giza's Nahda Square and Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square – where Morsi supporters have been protesting for 41 and 45 days respectively.

The Egyptian government has said that it views the twin sit-ins as a "threat" to Egypt's national security. Last week, it mandated the Interior Ministry – which controls Egypt's sprawling police apparatus – to take "all necessary measures" to disperse the ongoing demonstrations.

Security sources said the dispersion would begin by cordoning off the protest sites to prevent more people from joining the sit-ins for two or three days before moving in with water cannons and teargas to disperse any remaining demonstrators.

Al-Haddad urged human rights organizations to "make their voices heard to prevent a massacre of peaceful protesters."

Meanwhile, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy (NADL), a coalition of mostly Islamist groups led by the Muslim Brotherhood, has called for mass protests nationwide on Monday and Tuesday.

"We urge the Egyptian people to join mass protests against the coup and against Zionism," the NADL declared in a statement, in reference to Morsi's July 3 ouster by the military and an air raid that killed four jihadists in Sinai – which some have alleged was launched by Israel – on Friday.

The alliance said that demonstrations would be organized Monday and Tuesday in provinces nationwide, in addition to a mass protest march from Ramses Square in downtown Cairo to an as-yet-undisclosed location.

The statement reiterated the NADL's position that the reinstatement of Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, should form the basis of any political settlement.

The call came a day after dozens of Morsi supporters protested outside Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim's residence in eastern Cairo's Nasr City. Demonstrators chanted slogans against the police and warned the minister against the forcible dispersal of the ongoing sit-ins.

Also on Sunday, the pro-Morsi alliance asked authorities to allow the ousted president's backers to protest in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square and outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace – the two main sites of smaller anti-Morsi protests.

Mass demonstrations at the two sites eventually led to Morsi's July 3 ouster by the military. The army cited "the will of the people" – illustrated, it said, by the size of the massive anti-Morsi rallies – when it announced the leader's overthrow.

The NADL, for its part, has vowed to bring unprecedented numbers to its planned pro-Mors rallies on Monday and Tuesday.

"We promise them they will see numbers of people they have never seen before," the alliance said in its statement. "Let them show us their willingness to side with the 'public will,' as they have claimed over and over before."

Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2013, 16:28
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