Thursday, October 13, 2011
Several Egyptian political forces ask SCAF to step down
Several post-revolution political forces in Egypt called on Wednesday on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to relinquish executive power to a civilian authority, Al-Ahram online reported. The groups issued a statement after a meeting about the Maspero-killings of last Sunday, that left 25 people dead and more than 300 wounded.
"The SCAF has failed to administer the transitional period and has pushed the situation from bad to worse," according to the statement, that 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.
In the statement the groups demanded that:
1. Those responsible for the killing at Maspero will be prosecuted, including Major-General Hamdi Badeen, head of military police; and Minister of Information Osama Haikel, as well as Governor Moustafa El-Sayad of Aswan, (who failed to respond to the events in the village Merinab where part of a church and some houses of christians were burnt down by Muslims).
2. The purging of state media outlets of people who participated in deceiving the public about what happened at Maspero, and the abolition of the Ministry of Information; as well as 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.
Update: Al-Jazeera English has the folliwing report that gives a good impression of how the tension is building up: