Cabinet announces fact-finding committee

Cabinet announces fact-finding committee

Egypt's interim prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi  (AFP File Photo)

Egypt’s interim prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi
(AFP File Photo)

The cabinet released a statement on Monday on behalf of interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, announcing that it had approved the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate violence that took place on 30 June and the ensuing weeks.

The statement reiterated the government’s commitment to the implementation of the roadmap in the provided time until it is completed with presidential elections, working to not exclude any party that agrees to the roadmap and is committed to nonviolence, and against terrorism and incitement.

El-Beblawi added that the state of emergency had been extended for “security reasons” and came as a result of acts of violence and terrorism, citing the assassination attempt in the Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and the killing of 25 conscripts in Sinai, adding that the government was working to restore security and stability to the country before cancelling the state of emergency.

The wave of arrests, according to the cabinet’s statement, were carried out specifically as ordered by the Prosecutor General and those detained had been charged with criminal offences, dismissing claims that arrests had been politically-motivated or arbitrary. The process for trying detainees, said the statement, had been carried out under a civil judiciary.

The trying of civilians in military courts, the cabinet said, was only being used in cases of attacks on the armed forces or military installations.

The cabinet’s statement came a day after the presidency met with a wide range of political forces. Those attending the meeting included Chairman of Al-Nour Party Younes Makhioun, Chairman of the Democratic Front Party Osama Ghazali Harb, Hamdeen Sabahi representing the National Salvation Front, Free Egyptians Party Chairman Ahmed Saeed, along with representatives from Tamarod, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Conference Party, Al-Dostour Party and Al-Wafd Party.

Presidential spokesman, Ihab Badawi, said that the group discussed the roadmap put in place and said there was “full agreement” in the prioritisation in the coming stage, saying the presidency enjoyed “full support” concerning the extension of the state of emergency that was announced last Thursday.

However, the spokesman added that some political leaders had voiced concern over the misuse of the state of emergency, requesting the government see to it that human rights violations not occur under the state of emergency, which has been in place for a little more than one month.

Addressing the absence of Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, from Sunday’s meeting, Badawi said that reconciliation and dialogue was welcome for all those who rejected violence and did not instigate it, adding that any sort of reconciliation would also come with “accountability.”

A one-month state of emergency was first announced on 14 August following the violent dispersals of Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square, where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi had established sit-ins.

The state of emergency was extended an additional two months on Thursday. However, according to July’s constitutional declaration, its renewal past three months would require a public referendum.

A curfew was initially put in place from 7pm to 6am, but the hours have been reduced and currently stand at 11pm to 6am.

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