Bloomberg News

Egyptian Activists Protest Against Emergency Rule, Military

September 30, 2011

(Updates with comment from factory worker in third paragraph.)

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Several thousand Egyptian protesters rallied in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand that the ruling military council end the state of emergency and announce a time frame for handing power to civilians.

The April 6 Youth Movement, one of the groups that led rallies that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February, took part in the so-called The Friday of Reclaiming the Revolution. The Freedom and Justice Party, which is associated with the biggest opposition bloc, the Muslim Brotherhood, didn’t.

“I want the military council to leave power since they’ve done nothing for us,” Nagat Abdel Hamid, 45-year-old factory worker, said in an interview. “I want the state of emergency to be lifted and the revolution to be completed and suceed.”

Mubarak, after a three-decade rule, ceded power to the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces on Feb. 11 after more than two weeks of mass protests in which at least 846 people were killed. The military council declared the state of emergency to restore order after protesters, angered by the killing of Egyptian border guards by Israeli, fire attacked Israel’s embassy in Cairo on Sept. 9.

The North African country’s parliamentary elections will start on Nov. 28 and voting for the upper house will begin on Jan. 29. No date has yet been set for presidential elections.

As the demonstrators gathered, no police forces or army troops were in the area. The military council said on its Facebook page that it was protesters’ responsibility to ensure the rallies were peaceful.

“State of emergency! Void! The military council! Void!” one group chanted, while a banner read, “I came today to complete my revolution because it is not yet complete.”

--Editors: Karl Maier, Caroline Alexander

To contact the reporter on this story: Ola Galal in Cairo at ogalal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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