Sunday, January 27, 2013
Egypt Obama's new BFF 'Morsi' declares state of emergency in Suez Canal cities, Port Said funeral attacked, enflaming anger.
Egypt Obama's new BFF 'Morsi' declares state of emergency in Suez Canal cities, Port Said funeral attacked, enflaming anger.(AO).Egypt President Mohamed Morsi has on Sunday declared a 30-day state of emergency in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, the three governorates which have witnessed deadly clashes since the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on 25 Jan.
During a speech broadcast on state television, the under-fire Morsi has also said a curfew will be imposed in the three cities from 9 pm to 6 am during the duration of the emergency state in an attempt to curb increasing violence.
The Islamist president's decisions take effect from Monday.
"I always said I'm against any exceptional measures, but I also said I might resort to such measures if I had to. I may even do more for the sake of Egypt, it's my duty," a glum-looking Morsi added.
Morsi was criticised by his opponents for what they perceived as his poor reaction to nationwide clashes that left dozens dead, including more than 30 in restive city Port Said.
Anger boiled in the coastal city over a court verdict that sentenced 21 football fans to death after they were convicted of killing the supporters of Cairo-based club Ahly in last year's infamous disaster in Port Said.
Clashes are still ongoing in Port Said, with angry protesters and police forces reportedly firing gunshots at each other. Army was deployed in Port Said and Suez, another city which is a scene of constant confrontations, but it has so far failed to contain the growing violence.
"I instructed interior ministry officials to strictly deal with whoever threatens the people, public and private institutions. Everybody should be aware that Egypt's institutions are capable of defending the country against any threats," Morsi added.
Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, also saluted the army and police for "their efforts to protect the country".
"The recent acts have nothing to do with the revolution, they are against the law and incited by counter revolution. The Egyptian people reject such actions, which are condemned by honorable revolutionaries," he said. Morsi has also reiterated calls for national dialogue, which he described as necessary to overcome the ongoing turmoil that has plunged Egypt into deep economic and political crises.
"We have no option but to engage in a dialogue, this is the only way to pass the current phase and achieve stability," he stated.
"I decided to invite the political figures for a national dialogue tomorrow."
The National Salvation front, Egypt's main opposition, listed five demands that included forming a new government and amending the "distorted constitution", which was approved by around 64 per cent of Egyptian voters in a national referendum last month.
Opposition says the new constitution does not fulfill the goals of the revolution because it "disregards" the rights of women and the minorities, including Christians who make up about 10% of Egypt's population.
Morsi supporters believe the new constitution puts Egypt on the right path to democracy.
The funeral at Al Mariam Mosque in Port Said was disrupted on Sunday by heavy tear gas shelling reportedly fired from the direction of the nearby army club.
Ten have been injured by either live ammunition or birdshot, according to General Manager of Port Said Hospitals, Abdel Rahman Farah.
The head of the Health Affairs Emergency Unit, Ra'ed Hussein, says Port Said hospitals have so far received 270 injured, mostly suffering from gas suffocation. Demonstrators express their anger towards the behaviour of Egypt's security forces during the funeral for the dozens killed in clashes with security forces on Saturday.
Demonstrators express their anger towards the behaviour of Egypt's security forces during the funeral for the dozens killed in clashes with security forces on Saturday.
"One man told me Port Said is being subjected to a disproportionate level of brutality from security forces following the controversial ruling," Beach says, in reference to the death sentences issued for local Port Said residents that set their family members off in aggressive protests.
Port Said city fumed with rage after 21 of the 73 defendants in the trial of the killing of Ultras Ahlawy fans in February during a football match in Port Said stadium were given the death penalty.
"The doctors I spoke to at Port Said's general hospital said that of the 30 killed [yesterday] 29 had been shot with live ammunition. Protesters then pointed out that Cairo demonstrators were not killed with live rounds, so why are those from Port Said?" Cairo had seen demonstrations on the anniversary of Egypt's revolution on 25 January - just a day before the Port Said verdict was announced.
Families of defendants attempted to storm the prison, leading to clashes between security forces where thirty-two, including two police officers, were killed.
Beach tells Ahram Online that during the funeral one demonstrator burnt an Egyptian flag, while the crowds around him cheered.
Others joked that after the police's heavy-handed tactics Port Said should secede from Egypt to be "saved from the Egyptian government."
Further violence is expected in the Suez Canal city, Beach confirms.Hmmmm.....I wonder if the US Instructors who came along with the F-16's Obama donated to Morsi will show how to bomb demonstrators?Read The full story here.