NSF mourns deaths, says 'can't help' but blame the Muslim Brotherhood

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Jul 2013

NSF calls for a private investigation into the Friday, Saturday violence, and to hold accountable all those responsible

Egyptian reform leader Mohammed El Baradei, center, speaks during a press conference following the meeting of the National Salvation Front, as former Egyptian presidential candidate, Hamdeen Sabahi, left, and former Egyptian Foreign Minister and presidential candidate, Amr Moussa, right, listen in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 (Photo: AP)

The National Salvation Front (NSF) expressed Saturday its ‘deepest sorrow’ for the murder of at least 74 Egyptians in clashes Friday night and early Saturday.

The NSF assured in a statement that the top priority for all the country’s institutions and political parties, regardless of their views, should be protecting the lives of Egyptians and respecting basic human rights, especially the right to live.

The group, which was the main Egyptian opposition coalition under Morsi, said that they "can’t help" but blame and condemn the Muslim Brotherhood for the deaths.

According to the NSF, the Brotherhood “has gathered its supporters in Rabaa Al-Adawiya [sit-in in Cairo's Nasr City] for a month now and claims that confronting the armed forces and the police, attacking private and governmental institutions, and endangering the lives of the Egyptian citizens is jihad for God, and they will receive martyrdom if they [die] in these attacks.”

The NSF has also accused the Brotherhood of adopting an “inciting hostility approach” by exaggerating the numbers of deaths and injuries during the clashes. The Brotherhood, as described by the NSF, is seeking to “increase the conflicts, and cause more innocent Egyptian casualties.”

The NSF has urged for the immediate formation of an independent judicial commission to investigate the facts of the attacks, including investigation of the official statement by the Minister of Interior on Saturday along with the statements of the witnesses and injured.

“Based on reports of the committee, all those responsible must be held accountable, including the minister of interior, if it is proven that the security forces were involved in excessive use of force against protesters,” NSF declared.

Ending the statement, the NSF stated that the “leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were not content that millions of Egyptians [on Friday] took to the streets nationwide to confirm their adherence to the roadmap, announced on 3 July,” and thus the Muslim Brotherhood will try to “exploit the current strife to fuel more conflict and refuse national reconciliation.”

The NSF has urged the security forces to be alert to the Brotherhood’s intentions and to ‘exercise the utmost restraint when dealing with protesters.”

Hamdeen Sabbahi, President of the Egyptian Popular Current party and one of three figures chosen by the NSF to initiate dialogue with the interim president and his cabinet to ensure a swift transition, has echoed the same statements via his official Twitter account.

Egypt’s General Prosecutor Hesham Barakat has opened an investigation into the overnight clashes.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said on Saturday that the Muslim Brotherhood is “purposefully causing a crisis”, denying that the police opened fire on pro-Morsi demonstrators. However, eyewitnesses told Ahram Online that the police did in fact open fire on Morsi loyalists.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which deposed President Morsi hails, has claimed that the police used live ammunition in an attempt to disperse the nearly month-long sit-in, which started on 28 June and has become open-ended since Morsi's ouster on 3 July.

The Brotherhood stated that they would continue to protest until Morsi is reinstated despite the rising death toll, refusing to acknowledge the army's roadmap, which was declared after Morsi's overthrow.

The armed forces' roadmap, which defines the ongoing transitional period and ends after the coming presidential elections, saw Morsi ousted and replaced by Head of the High Constitutional Court Adly Mansour

Morsi has been held incommunicado since his overthrow.

Millions took to the streets across Egypt on Friday to respond to Defense Minister’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s calls to mandate the army and police to crackdown on "violence and terrorism." Concurrently, hundreds of thousands of Morsi's supporters also voiced support for Morsi.

Clashes erupted in Alexandria on Friday and in Cairo's Nasr City the early hours of Saturday, leaving scores of deaths, most of whom were supporters of Morsi.

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