The death toll in Egypt to date has reached 35 after three days of violence this past weekend against civilian protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo, by the current ruling military regime. Protesters as young as 13 years old have been killed by tear gas asphyxiation, live ammunition, and beatings by Egyptian Army and Central Security Forces (CSF). Reports from the ground indicate that most of the thousands of injuries are from US-exported CR gas, which is classified as a “combat class chemical weapon” and which causes permanent liver and heart damage.
SCAF continues to escalate its brutality against peaceful civilian protesters since Hosni Mubarak resigned from the presidency in February in its attempts to limit their right and freedom of association. The demonstrators since November 19 have been demanding the swift transition to civilian rule and the curbing of SCAF’s attempts to perpetually evade accountability to a civilian government. Just one month before, on October 9th, SCAF violently attacked a peaceful protest in front of the Maspero TV building in Cairo, leaving over 28 dead and over 300 injured through live ammunition and being crushed by Armed Personnel Carriers driving deliberately into crowds. Since February, peaceful Egyptian protesters have been attacked violently, arrested indiscriminately, and tortured. Over 12,000 civilians have been sentenced to military courts, including prominent blogger Alaa Abd el Fattah, independent media has been stifled, and the hated Emergency Laws have been renewed.
In the words of Egyptian actor and activist Khaled Abdallah, the protesters on the streets of Egypt this week “are beautiful. These people out there are people of conscience. They know what future they want to build and they know how to build it instinctively. We need to enter that process and SCAF needs to step aside."
The United States must stand with the Egyptian people in their struggle for a truly free and democratic Egypt by calling upon SCAF to end the violence and withholding its annual $1.3 billion funding of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) until it agrees on a timetable for a swift transition to civilian rule, the release of all political prisoners, and the guarantee of the rights of free association and free expression. The United States must not use taxpayer money to enable the ruling Egyptian military to oppress its own people.
This petition has been endorsed by the following organizations:
Better Life for Egypt (www.betterlifeforegypt.org)
6 of April Movement USA (http://6april.org/english/)
Alliance for a Democratic Egypt (www.allforegypt.org)
Egypt Liberals (www.egyptliberals.org)
Egyptian Association for Change (www.eacusa.org)