Egypt's Brotherhood calls for halt to protests

Ahram Online, Monday 11 Mar 2013

Muslim Brotherhood media spokesperson Ahmed Aref calls on revolution forces to condemn acts of vandalism and temporarily suspend demonstrations

MB Spokesperson
Muslim Brotherhood Media Spokesperson Ahmed Atef (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

The Muslim Brotherhood has urged the revolutionary youth, as well as political and media figures, to condemn what it describes as recent acts of vandalism in Egypt.

"The Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemnds acts of vandalism and thuggery carried out by hired thugs against state and private property," read a statement issued by the Islamist group on Sunday.

The group also censured violence against police officers and abhorred the "looting of Egypt's sporting heritage", in reference to an assault, reportedly by Ultras Ahlawy fans discontent with the court verdict in the Port Said trial, on the Egyptian Football Association headquarters on Saturday.

Saturday's disorder erupted after a Cairo court confirmed death sentences previously handed down to 21 defendants and sentenced more than 20 others to prison terms for their role in killing scores of rival Ahly club fans following an ill-tempered game in Port Said in February 2012.

The die-hard Ahly fans were outraged that some security officials were acquitted.

The trial has triggered weeks of mounting unrest in Egypt, which is already grappling with mass political protests and economic crisis.

Ahmed Aref, a Muslim Brotherhood media spokesperson, called for a halt to protests for the time being so that "patriotic revolutionary youths" can be distinguished from vandals.

"This will allow police to enforce law against rioters rather than harming the revolutionary youth," he said.

"The Muslim Brotherhood acknowledges the capability and efficiency of police to ensure security," added Aref. "The Egyptian people will stand by their side in this honourable mission."

Egypt has been rocked by weeks of sporadic violence amid mounting discontent with the Islamist-led government performance and widespread calls for civil disobedience across the country.

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