Declaració del PEN Egipci amb motiu de la revolta pacífica i popular al Caire.

6 February 2011

Egyptian PEN has been closely observing the events following the spontaneous popular uprising which began on Tuesday 25 September 2011 with peaceful marches in Cairo and Alexandria and also in several other provinces. It is appalled by the attack launched by Egyptian security forces on the demonstrators, and the subsequent retreat of the security forces which led to an apparently state-sponsored outbreak of looting and pillaging in all provinces.

After the President of the Republic had announced the legality of the demands of the popular uprising and promised to implement them, we all hoped to close that unfortunate chapter of our history and enjoy the fruits of freedom of expression practiced by the protesters as one of the basic human rights, and which promised a new era of genuine democracy to which we all aspire.

The newly appointed Vice President of the Republic and the new Prime Minister acknowledged the legitimacy of the peaceful uprising and promised to meet all the protesters’ demands, and thousands of the demonstrators prepared to end the Sit-in in Tahrir Square. However, on 2 February 2010 pro-government supporters armed with knives, live bullets and stones launched an unprecedented and brutal attack on the peaceful protesters, which resulted in hundreds of injuries and at least eight deaths.

We members of Egyptian PEN declare our solidarity with the protestors in Liberation Square and we support their right to express their views and to demand political and economic reforms. Furthermore, Egyptian PEN supports the right of all parties to express their opinions and attitudes, on condition that they should not use violence as a means to express their views. We as Egyptian citizens call upon Mr. Shafik and General Mahmoud Wagdy to launch a full and independent investigation into all acts of violence and reports of killings during the protests so that those responsible are made known and brought to justice in accordance with the law.

Eqbal Baraka
Egyptian PEN President