The Secretary-General is following with growing concern the latest developments in the unfolding crisis in Egypt. While some of those arrested have now been released, others are still being detained. There are also worrying reports about failure to apply due process and restrictions on freedom of expression and the press.
Alarmingly, violent clashes between protesters have erupted. There are reports that some have been killed or wounded by security forces. There are horrifying reports of sexual violence. The Secretary-General calls on the Egyptian security forces to protect demonstrators and prevent violent clashes. He also calls on the people of Egypt to exercise their right to demonstrate exclusively by peaceful means.
The Secretary-General believes strongly that this is a critical juncture in which it is imperative for Egyptians to work together to chart a peaceful return to civilian control, constitutional order, and democratic governance. Egypt’s political leaders have a responsibility to signal, by their words and their actions, their commitment to a peaceful and democratic dialogue which includes all of Egypt's constituencies, including women.
The way forward should be determined by the people of Egypt themselves, in a manner that respects the full diversity of Egyptian political views. The Secretary-General notes that, for such a process to succeed, there is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community.
The Secretary-General remains confident that the Egyptian people will be able to successfully address the challenges that Egypt currently faces. He commits to fostering an ongoing strong partnership with Egypt to support a peaceful transition to a representative and democratic governance.