The interim government installed by Sissi has hinted that it is considering instituting a ban on the Brotherhood, amid repeated accusations in the media and from government officials that supporters of the Brotherhood are “terrorists” and are responsible for the violence of the past days in which more than 800 people and 70 members of the security forces have been killed.
“We will not be silent in the face of the destruction of the country and the people, of the burning of the homeland and terrorizing innocent people,” Sissi said, adding that Morsi supporters are welcome “to participate in rebuilding of the democratic path and to engage in the political process, according to the map of the future rather than confrontation and destruction of the Egyptian state.”
The interim government also announced that it was banning the formation of Popular Committees, the vigilante groups blamed by the protesters for much of the violence that erupted on Friday. “To enforce the law . . . the Ministry of Interior has decided to prevent the establishment of the People’s Committees which are exploited by others to conduct acts against the law,” said a statement on the ministry’s Facebook page.
Yet even as the authorities seemed to be trying to tamp down the violence, the Anti-Coup Alliance representing Morsi’s supporters said 38 detainees rounded up during the recent demonstrations were killed by police while they were being transferred to prison.
The Ministry of Interior reported that 612 prisoners had attempted to escape, and the Masry el-Youm newspaper quoted police as saying 38 were killed, saying they had been suffocated. The Alliance said they were killed in their vehicle with gunshots and tear gas fired through the windows.
Thousands of Morsi supporters took to the streets again on Sunday to condemn the harsh tactics used by the security forces in their efforts to quell those challenging the army takeover.
The Egyptian military went to extraordinary lengths to protect the site of the main protest called for Sunday — the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo. Security forces ringed it with armored personnel carriers and closed nearby streets with concertina wire and iron barricades. Camouflage-clad soldiers, riot police in black uniforms and body armor, and traffic police milled around the building, weapons at the ready.
About a mile away, a group of about 60 supporters of Morsi said they had had to thread through neighborhoods with closed roads and menacing security forces.