AFP and Daily News Egypt – The international community, which has repeatedly expressed concern over the violence since Morsi’s July 3 ouster, warned against further bloodshed after the interim cabinet ordered the police to end Morsi’s supporters’ Cairo sit-ins.
Rights’ groups took issue with the order. Amnesty International condemned it as a “recipe for further bloodshed”.
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International said, “given the Egyptian security forces’ record of policing demonstrations with the routine use of excessive and unwarranted lethal force, this latest announcement gives a seal of approval to further abuse.”
Human Rights Watch’s executive director Kenneth Roth tweeted in response to the justification provided by the interin cabinet saying, “a peaceful protest is NOT a ‘national security threat”.
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts picked up pace, with the EU’s Middle East envoy and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle both arriving in Cairo to urge the rival camps to avoid bloodshed and find common ground.
The US State Department called on the interim authorities to “respect the right of peaceful assemblies.”
“That obviously includes sit-ins,” spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague called for “an urgent end to the current bloodshed” and the release of Morsi, in a phone call to Egypt’s interim vice president Mohamed ElBaradei, Britain’s Foreign Office said.
The German foreign minister, who arrived in Cairo on Wednesday, urged both sides to remain peaceful and seek an inclusive solution.
He was due to be joined by EU envoy Bernardino Leon, who was to follow up on three days of intensive diplomacy by the bloc’s foreign policy chief Catherin Ashton
The order from the government came on Wednesday afternoon, and raised fears of new violence, less than a week after 82 people were killed in clashes at a pro-Morsi rally in Cairo.
“The continuation of the dangerous situation in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares, and consequent terrorism and road blockages, are no longer acceptable given the threat to national security,” the cabinet said in a statement.
“The government has decided to take all necessary measures to confront and end these dangers, and tasks the interior minster to do all that is necessary in this regard, in accordance with the constitution and law.”