The National Defence Council met on Saturday, headed by interim President Adly Mansour, to discuss recent developments, after which the presidency released a statement reiterating the state’s commitment to respect freedom of expression, but also to ensure the safety of citizens.
The state is committed to ensuring the right to freedom of belief and peaceful expression, protecting citizens’ safety, and guaranteeing a safe and peaceful framework for development and economic progress, the statement read.
"The state and all its institutions urges citizens to take up their national responsibility to protect state facilities and cooperate with state institutions to move forward in accomplishing social and economic progress… and not to use the right to freedom of expression to disrupt the lives of citizens and threaten society."
The statement stressed the council's commitment to "bringing back order to the Egyptian street," so that the "map for the future" is not disrupted.
The state "will take all necessary measures to end terrorism and confront any attempt to violate the law or disrupt the wheel of production," the statement concluded.
A new protest law issued by interim president Adly Mansour triggered an outcry from many activists and political groups.
Demonstrations were staged in defiance of the law, which mandates prior notification of any demonstration or public meeting. The law allows the Interior Minister or senior police officials to cancel, postpone or change the location of a protest.
Several protests have been violently dispersed by security forces and tens arrested since the issuing of the new law.
University students have also been protesting for several consecutive days against a new law allowing police to enter campuses without the prior authorisation of university administrators or Egypt's prosecution.