News / Middle East

Suleiman Says Government Will Not Tolerate Prolonged Cairo Protests

Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters are seen next to their tents at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters are seen next to their tents at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Egypt's vice president says the government will not tolerate prolonged anti-government protests in Cairo's main square, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered Tuesday in the latest effort to force the ouster of long-serving President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's state-run MENA news agency quotes Vice President Omar Suleiman as saying that a crisis triggered by 16 days of anti-Mubarak protests in Tahrir Square must end "as soon as possible." Suleiman was speaking late Tuesday to a group of Egyptian newspaper editors.

MENA says Suleiman told the editors that the presence of anti-Mubarak activists and satellite television stations in the square was making Egyptian citizens "hesitant to go to work" and disrupting daily life. He accused the satellite television stations of "insulting" Egypt, without naming them.

But, Suleiman also is quoted as saying the government does not want to deal with Egyptian society using "police tools" and prefers to use dialogue to try to address the protesters' demands.

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in Tahrir Square Tuesday in one of the biggest protests of a two-week-old uprising seeking an immediate end to Mr. Mubarak's nearly 30 years in power. Thousands remained in the square Wednesday, after spending another night in makeshift shelters.

Other activists protested for a second day outside Egypt's parliament, several blocks from the square. Some had slept on the ground overnight, hoping to block access to the building. They demanded the resignation of lawmakers elected late last year in a vote they say was rigged in favor of the ruling party.

Mr. Mubarak has responded to the protests by declaring he will not to run for a sixth term in a September election and offering other political concessions, but the protesters have rejected those pledges as superficial.

Many of those in the square Tuesday joined the protests for the first time. Some said they were inspired by the story of a 30-year old Egyptian executive at Internet giant Google, whom authorities detained in secret for 12 days after he helped to ignite the uprising with a Facebook page.

Wael Ghonim received a thunderous welcome from the crowd as he appeared in the square a day after being released from custody. In a brief address, he said, "We will not abandon our demand - the departure of the regime." MENA says Suleiman rejected that call, insisting there will be "no ending of the regime."

Suleiman also is quoted as warning against plans by some protesters for a campaign of civil disobedience, saying such a development would be "very dangerous" to society.

Thousands of Egyptian university professors and lawyers also made their first appearance at the Cairo protest site Tuesday, while anti-Mubarak activists held substantial protests in other cities such as Alexandria.

Earlier Tuesday, Vice President Suleiman said Mr. Mubarak issued decrees establishing separate committees to draft constitutional reforms and monitor their implementation. The reforms are aimed at relaxing eligibility rules for the presidency and imposing term limits - key demands of Egypt's opposition.

Suleiman said Mr. Mubarak also formed a third committee to investigate deadly fighting last week between his supporters and anti-government activists in Tahrir Square.

The Egyptian vice president held unprecedented talks with several opposition groups on Sunday, but representatives of the Cairo street protesters did not participate.

The United Nations says protest-related violence in Egypt has killed more than 300 people since January 25.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs