Egyptian-Americans protest constitutional referendum

Meanwhile, UK based group BE4D called for oerseas Egyptians to boycott the referendum.

Egyptian-Americans protest constitutional referendum

World Bulletin / News Desk

Approximately twenty Egyptian-Americans took to the Egyptian Embassy in Washington on Wednesday to protest Egypt’s proposed constitutional referendum.

"I am here to say we have to not go and vote, because we do not trust these people. Even if we say no for this [referendum], we don’t trust these people. After what I saw and these killings, I don't trust them," said Hala Abdullah, a doctor who said she volunteered in Cairo's Rabaa Square during clashes with Egyptian authorities.

"I saw the massive killing. I saw shots everywhere in the body, in the head, in the chest in everywhere," she said.

Others voiced their discontent over the forthcoming referendum as well.

"This is not a proposed constitution…we call it an illegitimate, illegal piece of paper," said Akram El Zend, co-founder of Egyptian-Americans for Democracy and Human Rights.

Speaking of the violence following the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi, he added, "I would like to see that these people, these thousands of Egyptians that have been killed since the announcement of the military coup…I would like to see those people who are responsible about these killings to be held responsible and to be questioned, and to have a fair and just court and judicial rulings."

Egypt is expected to vote on its new constitution from January 14-15 next week.

Egyptians in UK boycott military constitution

Egyptians living in the United Kingdom (UK) have urged all other Egyptians abroad to take part in boycotting the referendum on the constitution which will be held in the Middle Eastern country from January 8-12.

A UK-based non-partisan and non-political group named British Egyptians for Democracy (BE4D) released a press statement about the constitutional referendum in Egypt, calling all Egyptians abroad to boycott the constitution in a video they filmed.

The statement stressed that BE4D asserts its complete rejection of the constitution, considering it a constitution "written under an oppressive military rule which has thus far claimed thousands of innocent lives, detained innocent civilians and committed the worst human rights violations in the modern history of Egypt."

"The atmosphere of fear and repression that has been established as a result of the military's takeover is in no way conducive of free and fair elections. The fact that several international monitors have refused to monitor the upcoming referendum is a testament to this," BE4D noted.

Furthermore, they add, "BE4D believes that it is not in the interest of the Egyptian people to vote on a constitution that will serve only to entrench the military's interests, take Egypt further away from democracy and promote further division in a country which has already been brought to the brink of destruction as a result of the military's actions."

In addition, some of the participants in the video said, "Whether you vote yes or no in the referendum is irrelevant, participating alone means that you acknowledged the military rule in Egypt," adding "your participation in the referendum only serves to legitimise military rule."

The group also calls Egyptians worldwide to join activities outside Egyptian embassies to condemn the military's human right's violations.

A protest is planned outside the Egyptian embassy in London on Saturday morning.

Expatriate Egyptians on Wednesday began voting on an amended version of Egypt's suspended 2012 constitution amid complaints in certain countries.

According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, 127 embassies and 11 consulates around the world opened their doors to voters on Wednesday morning. Polling will continue for the next five days, from 9am to 9pm according to the local time of where the embassies and consulates are located.

The constitutional referendum is the first step of a transitional roadmap imposed by the military following last July's ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.

Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2014, 10:01
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