The Cabinet St.
Egypt has witnessed sorrowful and gruesome events as a result of clashes between the police and the army with the rebels in the Tahrir Square and most of the Egyptian governorates at the end of the ‘Friday of One Demand’ on 18 November 2011. The demand was to hand over power from the Supreme President of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Tantawi, to a civilian president elected by the Egyptian people. The military council had gone too far in following the steps of former President Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown together with his corrupt regime by the 25 January revolution.
The army clashed with the demonstrators, killing them and expelling them from the public squares. It also imprisoned them and suppressed them by attaching false charges to them and prosecuting them to weaken their activism and break the demonstrators’ sit-in by force. The events began at dawn on 16 December 2011, when one of the protesters was kidnapped by the military forces, who were stationed inside the cabinet building to safeguard it, and beaten severely before he was released, an act that seemed to add fuel to the fire, sparking off skirmishes and confrontations between the security forces and protesters.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a statement giving a different explanation of the situation with regard to the beginning of events. It also blamed the protesters for attacking an officer who was performing his usual daily duty in checking on the guards inside and outside the People's Assembly, which galvanized the guards to intervene and stop the clashes. In conclusion, the officer went back to his place at the People’s Assembly. The statement added that there were groups of individuals and demonstrators who gathered throughout the day, attacking vital installations and facilities and throwing stones, shooting cartridges and Molotov cocktails, which resulted in the demolition of one of the walls around the People’s Assembly area in an attempt to break into it, in addition to the destruction of some parts of the Shura Council and the injury of many individuals.
The statement stressed that the guards did not take any action to break the sit-in and that communication was ongoing with some young guards involved in maintaining the security and stability of this area. It also underlined the commitment of the security elements to exercise self-restraint and avoid disturbing the citizens, protesters, or demonstrators, in flat contradiction with the reality where the military council attacked and assaulted demonstrators through kidnapping, dragging, and murdering them. The clashes resulted in the killing of 17 and the injury of 30.