Britain and the European Union denounced the violence that followed the Port Said massacre verdict which sentenced 21 people to death on Saturday.
Britain strongly condemned the violence, calling for maximum restraint after at least 30 people were killed in Port Said. British foreign office minister Alistair Burt expressed his concern, saying the violence “cannot help the process of dialogue which we encourage as vital for Egypt today, and we must condemn the violence in the strongest terms.”
He continued by offering condolences to the families of those who have died on behalf of the United Kingdom. “We remain committed as a strong friend of Egypt and the Egyptian people to support the aim of strengthening true democracy,” Burt said.
“The right to peaceful freedom of expression and assembly is an essential part of this, but the violence we have seen [Saturday] can have no place in a truly democratic Egypt.”
The European Union’s high representative Catherine Ashton also condemned Saturday’s violence, saying it was “with great concern” that she had received the news. She urged Egyptian authorities to “restore calm,” and called on all sides to “show restraint in the best interest of the country at this delicate time in its democratic transition.”
The United States has yet to make a statement, however it is expected to be addressed in Monday’s daily press briefing.
In Egypt, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) set up an operation room to monitor the events of Friday’s demonstrations. The operation room was set up to record violations against the rights of peaceful assembly and the freedom of expression and to provide the legal support to victims of such violations.
ANHRI’s research director Tamer Mowafy said their report, to be released on Monday, will focus on the events that took place in Suez, the excessive use of force during protests in Tahrir Square and around the country, as well as the arbitrary detainment of tens of protesters.
“The security forces are filing legal charges against many of these protesters, whose arrests have been mostly arbitrary,” Mowafy said. “Charges are being filed against people with no clear evidence to support it.”
Mowafy also said the report will determine the use of violence and vandalism by civilians against buildings and the police, but concluded saying: “the situation has been created by the authorities.