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Statement by State Information Service on Rabaa, Nahda sit-ins dispersal
Thursday, 15 August 2013

The State Information Service expresses deep sorrow over the falling of victims during the break of the two sit-ins in Rab'a al-Adawyea and Nahda squares, yet it wants to clear the following:

  • The long period between the commencement of the two sit-ins and their end ( they started late June 2013)
  • Those who were in the two sit-ins caused heavy losses as manifested in blocking the traffic in Cairo's important areas and axes, in addition to playing havoc with inhabitants of Raba'a al-Adawyea  and Nahda .
  • The Egyptian transitional government didn't obstruct meeting of any foreign delegation with those who were in the two sit-ins
  • All ways to peacefully end the two sit-ins were in vain, meanwhile all initiatives floated in this regard were welcomed, but they were all rejected by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • The security agencies were keen to adopt a gradual plan to avoid bloodshed and falling of victims. In this regard, the Ministry of Interior used loudspeakers, appealed to those who were in the two sit-ins to exit, not to use women, elders and children as a human shield, they are allowed to leave and provided with safe exit passages that had been already declared. Moreover, they were promised that they would not be chased, except for those who the prosecution issued warrant of arrests against them

The Ministry of Interior asserted that it had used the tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters. Meanwhile, those who were in the two sit-ins started shooting at the police forces. Figures released by the Ministry of Health showed the death toll has scored 525 and 3717 injured so far. Minister of Interior said the death toll of the policemen reached 43 and 211 injured.

  • The police forces ended the two sit-ins upon an order from the transitional government. No doubt that the decision to end the two sit-ins was not easy, as explained by Prime Minister Dr. Hazem Al-Beblawy in his speech delivered on August 14 in the evening. He highlighted that the government is committed to freedom of expression and respect of the right to the peaceful demonstration, as long as it is in pursuance of the law, meantime, the government is committed to the rule of law. It views that terrifying of citizens, block of roads, acts of thuggery, sabotage, assault on the public and private facilities and incitement to violence don't keep pace with the aspired target, represented in building a democratic state where the law, security and stability prevail in. The Prime Minister added that the transitional government seeks providing a proper atmosphere to set up a civil democratic state which is not a military nor a theological one, and holding a fair election.
  • The government didn't refrain from giving several opportunities to the Muslim Brotherhood to end their sit-ins willingly. It called also on those who were in the two sit-ins to enter into a dialogue, actively participate in the political process and take part in carrying out the roadmap. However, all these efforts rendered a failure. The Prime Minister cleared that it is hard to build the state of law amidst chaos. Consequently, it has become inevitable that the state should act, taking into consideration that all opportunities were provided and they were given enough time to end their sit-ins
  • Meanwhile, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar urged all Egyptians to have self-restrain, behave wisely and respond to the calls of the national reconciliation, yet the Muslim Brotherhood incited their supporters to acts of violence, including attacks on some churches  such as Mar Mina( Agayby) in Minya, Upper Egypt. Moreover, a big quantity of arms, live ammunition and Molotov cocktail bottles were found in the sites of the two sit-ins, in a way that raised questions about the concept of the peaceful protests and sit-ins. The other party used excessive violence, as clearly happened with the officers of the Giza's Kerdasa Police Station, who were not only murdered, but their bodies were mutilated in a way that contradicts with all human and religious values.
  • The Presidency of the Republic issued a decree on August 14 in the evening, to the effect that the state of emergency was declared all over the country for  a month, starting on Wednesday at 4:00PM, due to the sabotage, posing a threat to the security, public order and the citizens. In addition to the attacks on the public and private facilities by elements of the extremist organizations and groups. It issued also a decree to impose curfew in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Beni Suif, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Behira, North Sinai, South Sinai, Suez, Ismailia, Qena, and Fayoum to maintain security.
  •  The State Information Service reiterates that the government is keen to achieve the national reconciliation and go ahead with implementation of the roadmap of the political process without excluding any political power or faction. It calls on all sons of this homeland to unite and effectively participate in building the stable, safe and democratic Egypt; and the policy of “arson”, terror and dissemination of chaos is unacceptable.
  • The State Information Service has the pleasure to highlight importance of professionalism in media coverage. It welcomes inquiries from foreign media and correspondents on telephone numbers : 22610347 - 22605779
Date of publication:Thursday, 15 August 2013