The Egyptian government essentially blames the powerful — yet technically banned — Muslim Brotherhood, for today’s outsize protests and the forceful response..
25 January 2011
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Egyptians have a right to express themselves
• Interior: Committed to protecting demonstrators and the public; calls for respect for the rule of law
Cairo – Groups of protesters organised a number of demonstrations in Egypt today, mainly in the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, El-Beheira, El-Giza, and El-Gharbia, with smaller demonstrations in a number of other regions.
Commenting on today’s events the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Hosam Zaki said that “Egyptians have the right to express themselves”, adding that these events while notable were not new to the country which had witnessed a number of protests since 2004 as part of its open environment of freedom of expression.
Ambassador Zaki added that Egyptian police forces were focused on protecting the demonstrators and the public, in notable contrast to recent situations in the region.
In a statement released this evening, the Ministry of Interior said that its policy was to allow demonstrators to voice their demands and exercise their freedom of expression, and that during the course of today’s events it had, as noted by all observers, exercised maximum restraint and that it had “been committed to securing and not confronting these gatherings”.
The Ministry noted that beginning around 3PM, a number of protesters, particularly a large number of those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Qasr El-Einy Street began to riot, damage public property and throws stones at police forces, leading to the wounding of a number of personnel. The Ministry said that when around 10,000 protesters entered Al-Tahrir square, police forces took necessary measures to maintain order and protect public safety.
The Ministry called on all demonstrators to abide by the law and legitimate means of expression, and to avoid threatening the safety of bystanders, and public and private property.
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