CAIRO: Protests against the appointment of Qena’s new government continued for the third consecutive day on Sunday.
Eyewitnesses said the demonstrations against the appointment of General Emad Shehata Mikhael as governor of the Upper Egypt province were due to his career as a police officer. However, some of Qena’s Christian residents have accused the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Group there of instigating the protests.
Demonstrations started after Friday prayers on April 15 from the Tahrir Mosque in Qena to the governorate building, asking for the Mikhael’s removal and citing his police career. Salafi participants said they were there to protest because Mikhael was a Copt.
Protesters cut the main Cairo-Aswan Road and the road leading to the trains. They’ve held a sit-in on the railroads connecting Upper Egypt since Saturday.
Thousands surrounded the governorate building, while others marched the surrounding streets.
Eyewitnesses told Daily News Egypt that Islamist groups had a strong presence at the demonstrations, but most citizens were objecting to having a former policeman as governor.
Prominent Coptic lawyer Naguib Gobrael told Daily News Egypt, “The Brotherhood and the Salafis are the ones that organized the demonstrations. But they took the simple citizens as cover so it would appear that the citizens are protesting against the governor being a policeman.
“There are police generals who have been appointed governors, so why didn’t they face any objections? The situation in Qena confirms that the Islamic groups in Qena don’t want a Christian governor.”