Egyptian youth union calls for mass rally against SCAF's turn to emergency laws

Ahram Online, Monday 12 Sep 2011

On the heels of the police's attack on protesters that left 3 dead and 1000 injured, the Revolutionary Youth Union calls for a protest against toughened emergency laws that remind them of the oppressive Mubarak era

Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (Photo:Reuters)

The Revolutionary Youth Union calls for mass protests on 16 September for a “No to Emergency Law” Friday.

Recent amendments to the decades-long enacted emergency laws prompted the revolutionary union to call for Egyptians to demonstrate to show their anger. The group charges that emergency laws have been abused to repress the revolution, intimidate revolutionaries and restrict freedoms.

Furthermore, they demand that the military council, which has been administering the transitional period in Egypt, publicly announce a timetable for transition of power to an elected, civil government.

This will also be a chance, the union says, to criticise the way Egypt’s military council that has been administering the transitional period.

They emphasise the need to repeat the demands of last Friday’s mass “Correct the Path,” demonstrations on 9 September. Thousands came out and protested in Tahrir Square and a large group trailed off to the Israeli embassy. As things got more heated there, the police attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets and the military came and went, leaving the situation as is. In the end, 1,000 were injured and three killed.

In a statement released today the union condemned attempts to use last Friday’s clashes during demonstrations to distort the image of the revolution. In response to the demonstrations, they complain, the military and police used the same tools of repression as the ousted president Mubarak’s regime – the emergency law - to terrorize Egyptians.

A member of the union’s executive office, Hamada El-Kashef, laid the blame for both the attacks on the Israeli embassy and the attacks on the protesters squarely on the military council and the government.

Another member of the union’s executive office, Haytham El-Khateeb, said that the use of anti-revolution tactics by both the council and the government raises suspicions about how serious they are about transferring power to a civil authority, as promised.

El-Khateeb charges that the lack of a strong, official response to the murder of six Egyptian soldiers by Israelis on the border, the backtracking on the decision to recall the Israeli ambassador to Egypt and fortifying the Israel embassy by surrounding it with a concrete wall is what led to the violence of 9 September.

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