Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby condemned President Mohamed Morsi’s response to Friday’s clashes in Moqattam, holding him responsible for unrest across the country.
Clashes broke out near the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Moqattam on Friday after protesters met at the headquarters to condemn alleged attacks by Brotherhood members on journalist and political activists the week before.
In a string of personal tweets issued by Morsi on Sunday, the president called for investigations into the clashes. “If investigations show the guilt of some politicians, necessary action against them will take place, whatever their status may be,” he tweeted.
Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah referred a number of political figures, activists and parties to investigation for their alleged connection to clashes.
“We welcome the president’s calls for investigations,” Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby said in a statement released on Sunday. “But such investigations must be held under an independent and legitimate prosecutor general, not one appointed by the ruling authorities.”
The group stated that investigations must be held into all clashes, starting with clashes between Islamists and opposition movements in Tahrir Square in early November, the presidential palace clashes in December, and Friday’s clashes in Moqattam.
“The first person to be referred to investigation should be President Morsi,” the statement read, “as he’s politically responsible for all the violence and bloodshed”.
In a separate statement also released on Sunday, Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby condemned Morsi’s statements regarding the media. “Morsi gave militias outside the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC) the green light to attack, terrorise and surround the media practitioners who work there,” the statement read.
In one of his personal tweets, Morsi stated that: “Some use the media to incite violence and those involved will not go unpunished. Everyone who participated in the incitement is a participant in the crime.”
Shortly afterwards, Islamist protesters gathered outside the EMPC and prevented several media practitioners and television show guests from entering the complex. Minor clashes broke out between protesters and security forces. Several newspapers such as state-owned Al-Ahram reported that their journalists were attacked as they attempted to cover the protest.
Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby announced its full solidarity with the media practitioners surrounded inside the EMPC by “violent, extremist militias”. It added that Morsi is entirely responsible for the “crime of surrounding the EMPC”, saying that the group considers him an accomplice to the crime.
“What’s happening brings shame to the government and the state,” Al-Tayar said in its statement, adding that media freedom is one of the gains of the 25 January revolution and that the Egyptian people would not allow it to be threatened.
Amr Hamzawy, National Salvation Front (NSF) leader, also condemned the attacks on the EMPC. “Amid violence and terrorism, Egypt is sliding down the path of lack of governance and absence of legal sovereignty,” Hamzawy said in a personal tweet on Sunday.
The protests outside the EMPC resumed on Monday amid further reports of attacks on protesters.