August 13, 2013
View Photo Gallery — In Egypt, Morsi supporters fortify for battle: Egypt’s Interior Ministry appeared Monday to have put off plans to crack down on protesters camped out in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said they would not end their Cairo sit-ins despite the threat of police action.
Authorities warned the media Sunday that they would soon cordon off the encampments. Rumors swept through the sit-ins that security forces would arrive with the dawn Monday. But authorities have apparently postponed any action.
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told the BBC on Monday that the government has spent three weeks trying to reach an agreement with the protesters but that a court order to oust them is also being sought. “This is a parallel-track process, and ultimately it has to be resolved very soon, either by dialogue or the rule of law,” he said.
“There are conflicting positions inside the government, and even inside the security forces, about the best course of action,” said Karim Medhat Ennarah of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
“These sit-ins are massive, and even if the government decides to go in, with brute force, without respect for human rights, they would face a lot of casualties — on both sides,” Ennarah said.
Yet if some liberal voices, such as ElBaradei, advocate for more dialogue and a go-slow approach against the sit-ins, they are being drowned out by calls for law and order made by other liberals and leftists — many of the same people who decried the heavy-
handedness of Morsi and his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
“This is a violent and armed sit-in, and it is the right of every government to disperse it by law, and the people are saying that if the government does not disperse, we will do it ourselves,” said Karima el-Hifnawy, a leader of the Egyptian Socialist Party.