After Maspero, political forces issue demands

Sarah Raslan, Thursday 13 Oct 2011

In the wake of the violent Maspero clashes, political forces call on ruling military council to step down, issuing three recommendations for a new transitional council

Maspiro clash
Army soldiers and riot policemen clash with demonstrators during Coptic march in Cairo October 9, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

After discussing Sunday’s deadly clashes in Cairo’s Maspero district, which left at least 25 dead and hundreds injured, post-revolution political forces on Wednesday called on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to relinquish executive power to a civilian authority.

"The SCAF has failed to administer the transitional period and has pushed the situation from bad to worse," political forces stated in a press release. 

The statement, approved and signed by more than 13 major political parties and groups, went on to cite three measures to be adopted by a civilian transitional authority.

1. The prosecution of those responsible for the killing of protestors at Maspero, including Major-General Hamdi Badeen, head of military police; Aswan Governor Moustafa El-Sayad; Minister of Information Osama Haikel; and anyone else involved in harming protestors.

2. The purging of state media outlets of anyone who participated in deceiving the public and hiding the truth about recent events at Maspero; the abolition of the Ministry of Information; and the elimination of restrictive state regulations governing the media. 

3. The resolution of longstanding Coptic grievances by passing legislation that unifies laws governing the construction of houses of worship; stiffening penalties for those found guilty of violating the sanctity of houses of worship; and the prosecution of those found guilty of involvement in past attacks on houses of worship. 

The tripartite statement was signed by the Free Egyptian Movement; the Socialist Popular Alliance Party; the National Front for Justice and Democracy; the Youth for Justice and Freedom Movement; the Revolutionary Socialists; the Democratic Workers Party; the Popular Committees for the Defence of the Revolution; the Lotus Revolution Coalition; the April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front); the Beginning Movement; and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. 

A number of the signatory parties and groups held a press conference on Thursday afternoon at which several eyewitnesses to the Maspero clashes delivered their testimonies of the attack on the Coptic march.

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