By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: The April 6 Youth Movement said in a press conference Sunday that the movement, alongside 25 political powers, decided to suspend its sit-in in Tahrir Square until the end of Ramadan.
“We want to facilitate the traffic flow during Ramadan and put into consideration the special circumstances related to this holy month,” Amr Aly, member of the group’s political bureau said.
“We also want to give the new cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf the opportunity to execute our demands according to the timetable they set,” he added.
The movement said that it would continue exerting pressure on the government to execute the rest of their demands including ending the military prosecution of civilians, sacking the Prosecutor General, cleansing the interior ministry and setting a reasonable minimum and maximum wage.
The movement’s spokesman Mohamed Adel said that around 10,000 civilians were detained pending military trials. He added that most of the detainees were framed for possession of weapons and other false accusations.
Aly said that the open sit-in achieved progress including airing the trials of former regime officials on national TV and reshuffling the cabinet although the cabinet still includes prominent figures of the former regime.
“The open sit-in achieved political gains for the Egyptian people not for any specific political power,” Adel said, stressing that the movement had no political aspirations and wasn’t even participating in the next parliamentary elections.
He added that the movement would determine whether to continue the open sit-in after Ramadan, depending on the government’s response to the rest of their demands.
Adel lauded the armed forces and its role in protecting the country, while calling for a constant dialogue with political powers regarding key issues.
On the other hand, hundreds of protesters decided to continue the open sit-in in Tahrir Square until all the demands are met. The movement stressed that those who decided to stay in the square shouldn’t be labeled as “thugs” or traitors.
“These are Egyptians who have every right to express their opinion,” Adel said referring to the protesters continuing the open sit-in.
The group which labels itself The Democratic Front of the April 6 Youth Movement was still on the fence on whether to continue the open sit-in or suspend it.
Mo’men Mohamed, spokesman of the movement’s Democratic Front told Daily News Egypt that they were set to have a meeting later on Sunday to make a final decision.
The movement was split into two groups following the January 25 uprising that toppled the regime on Feb. 11 due to internal differences with the General Coordinator Ahmed Maher.
Continuing the sit-in
Some of the martyrs’ families said they would continue their sit-in until the rights of their children are guaranteed and those responsible for killing them are prosecuted.
“We want to see the officers who killed our children behind bars,” said Mostafa Mohamed, whose 22-year-old son Mohamed was killed.
The protesters said despite the fact that ousted president Hosni Mubarak will be tried on Aug. 3, they didn’t trust the trial proceedings.
They accused the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) of dragging their feet in trying Mubarak and other members of the former regime
“We don’t trust the government to get us our rights back,” he said.
Ahmed El-Ghamrawy, member of the Independent Revolutionary Socialist group said that they will not leave until the families of the martyrs decide to leave.
“We will not leave anyone behind in the square,” he said.
The Free Revolutionaries group called for social justice, integrity, freedom and establishing an interim government comprising protesters from Tahrir Square and guaranteeing the rights of the martyrs’ families.
Hundreds of individuals said they would stay in the square until their economic conditions improve, those responsible for killing the martyrs are prosecuted and social justice is achieved.
“The people are dying every day because they don’t have enough income to survive,” Mohammed Yassin, 46, said.
Zeinab Abdou, 47, said her daughter who is an outstanding high school student couldn’t afford to continue her education.
“I want the country to improve for my children,” she added.
The protesters said that they weren’t afraid of staying in the square after most of the political parties left and the protection and security of the square diminished.
“We have God with us and he will protect us,” said Abdou.
Protesters urged people to head to the entrances and secure the square through microphones as political powers left.
Some of the protesters said they would continue the sit-in while opening the square for traffic at 8 pm.
All the entrances to the square remained closed until press time, except the Talaat Harb entrance which was opened intermittently.