Morsi Declares State of Emergency
President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in the cities of Port Said, Suez, and Ismailia in an effort to manage the deadly clashes that occurred there over the weekend. The protests began on Friday as demonstrators marked the second anniversary of the beginning of the revolution. Violence intensified on Saturday when 21 soccer fans were issued death sentences in Port Said on charges of killing a rival team’s fans in a riot last year. Forty-nine people were killed in the clashes.
In a televised address, Morsi said, “Those who try to scare citizens, use weapons, block roads, throw rocks at the innocent, those who attempt to jeopardize the safety and security of this nation, we must deal with them with all force and firmness.” He also stated that “Everybody should be aware that Egypt’s institutions are capable of defending the country against any threats.” Morsi claimed the protests have no connection to the revolution. The emergency powers Morsi invoked include curfews and will last for 30 days.
Morsi also reiterated calls for a national dialogue to address the turmoil that has plagued the country in recent months and invited political figures to join the talks.