Tear gas canisters

Members of the SCAF and High Electoral Commission announced at a press conference that parliamentary elections will be held on schedule next week, despite escalating violence. The SCAF offered "regrets and deep apologies" for the deaths of protesters but is continuing to refuse calls for an immediate end to military rule. Meanwhile, fourteen political movements are calling for an escalation of nationwide protests with a “Friday of justice for martyrs” on November 25. 


1) Members of the SCAF and High Electoral Commission announced at a press conference that parliamentary elections will be held on schedule next week. Voting for Egyptian expatriates is already underway. Maj. Generals Mokhtar al-Mula and Mamdouh Shahin insisted that the SCAF is not seeking power and claimed that police officers involved in the clashes are only defending themselves against protesters. [Al-Ahram, English, 11/24/2011]


2) Fourteen youth and revolutionary groups are calling for a “Friday of justice for martyrs” on November 25, with mass marches in Cairo and other cities. The Revolutionary Youth Coalition announced a set of three demands for the planned demonstration: 1) prosecution of officers complicit in violence against protesters; 2) appointment of a national salvation government; and 3) dismantling the Central Security Forces. [Al-Ahram, English, 11/24/2011] [Al-Ahram, English, 11/24/2011]

3) Fifty detained protesters were released on November 24 as part of a truce between security forces and demonstrators brokered in Mohamed Mahmoud Street (the site of some of the most violent clashes in recent days). The released detainees immediately rejoined protesters in Tahrir Square. [Al-Shorouk, Arabic, 11/24/2011]


4) In a statement (Communique No. 85) published to its official Facebook page, the SCAF urged Egyptians to show unity and vigilance to prevent Egypt from falling into chaos and instability. The SCAF also warned of “infiltrators” among the protesters. [Al-Youm al-Saba’a, Arabic, 11/25/2011]

5) The Interior Ministry is refusing to take responsibility for the deaths of protesters. Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy admitted on state television that police had used gas to disperse protesters, but denied that officers shot at protesters with either rubber bullets or live rounds. He blamed reports of rooftop snipers on a third party, claiming that “unknown individuals” had been firing on protesters from the rooftops of surrounding buildings.[Al-Ahram, English, 11/24/2011]

6) The SCAF offered “regrets and deep apologies for the deaths of martyrs from among Egypt’s loyal sons during the recent events in Tahrir Square” in a message posted to the council’s official Facebook page on November 24 and attributed to Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Assar and Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Hijazi. [New York Times, English, 11/24/2011]

7) Maj. General Mamdouh Shahin stated in a news conference on November 24 that election plans would continue on schedule and vowed that those responsible for killing or injuring protesters would be held accountable. He also offered assurances that many detainees would be released as early as November 26. [Al Jazeera, English, 11/24/2011]


8) The Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party are still maintaining their official stance against participation in the ongoing sit-in in Tahrir Square, although a number of Brotherhood youth have joined the demonstration. A leading figure in the FJP, Mohamed El-Beltagi, was ejected from Tahrir Square earlier this week when he went to express support for the protesters, who accused him of exploiting the demonstration to promote his own party and political agenda ahead of parliamentary elections. [Al-Ahram, English, 11/24/2011]

9) A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood’s guidance bureau, Mohamed Ghazlan, warned that the removal of the SCAF from power before elections could lead to chaos, while at the same time holding the military accountable for “every drop of blood spilled.” Ghazlan also accused the military of trying to drag the Brotherhood into the clashes in Tahrir Square. [Al-Masry al-Youm, Arabic, 11/24/2011]

10) Amr Moussa is reportedly among the top candidates being considered by the SCAF to lead the proposed national salvation government. According to an anonymous source close to the discussions, Moussa is demanding “broad powers” as a precondition for accepting the post. [Al-Shorouk, Arabic, 11/24/2011]


11) The Obama administration is sending “private messages” to the SCAF urging the government to allow elections to proceed on schedule, which recognizing that the escalating political crisis could lead to violence at the polls. An anonymous senior administration official told The Washington Post, “Our goal would be for voting to go forward, because a delay would send the wrong message,” said a senior administration official.” [Washington Post, English, 11/24/2011]

12) On November 23, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed support for the concessions offered to protesters by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. “He said a number of things that Egyptians have been wanting to hear and have been needing reassurance on,” she said. [Christian Science Monitor, English, 11/23/2011]

13) Three American students at AUC were arrested in Cairo on November 23 and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at security forces during the protests. Public and state security prosecutors have interviewed the students. State Department Spokesman Victoria Nuland Nuland said that the embassy has been in contact with Egyptian authorities about the three detained students and expected to gain consular access to them on November 23. [Christian Science Monitor, English, 11/23/2011]

Photo Credit: Associated Press