Today marks the first anniversary of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organisation sit-ins dispersal in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares.
The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) has called on its loyalists to flock to squares on Thursday to commemorate the memorial.
Following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the 30 June popular revolution in 2013, the MB called on its members to stage commemorative protests in Egypt’s major squares, mainly in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares.
The camps that lasted for nearly 44 days were dispersed by security forces on 14 August 2013. Here are some facts to keep in mind, as we remember the lives lost on that day:
1. The sit-ins were armed
The MB sit-ins were not peaceful by any means, as investigations and confessions of some MB members revealed, in addition to dozens of live videos that were taken during the events.
(In this video, members of MB were shown carrying fire arms and targeting police forces while other members were preparing Molotov cocktails)
2. 114 security personnel were killed during and after the dispersal
A recent statement by the Ministry of Interior reported that 114 security personnel, including 30 officers, were killed by Muslim Brotherhood members during and after the dispersal of the armed sit-ins.
Last week, the ministry reported Muslim Brotherhood members committed armed attacks on 180 police departments, 22 churches, 55 courts and governmental buildings following the dispersal.
(This video shows an official funeral for 4 police officers who were killed during the dispersal of the sit-ins on 14 August 2013)
3. The state gave MB 40 days to clear the sit-ins
Rabba Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda square sit-ins were staged shortly after the political powers announced the ouster of Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. The sit-ins were dispersed on the 14 August. Throughout this period, the Egyptian government called on protesters daily to abandon their camps, giving dozens of warnings, the last of which was on the day of the dispersal.
4. The state offered safe exits to peaceful protesters
Security forces offered safe passage to protesters who wanted to clear the camps. Dozens of protesters complied with security warnings, and fled the camps before the dispersal.
(Here, a video clip shows security personnel guarding MB protesters who complied with the dispersal warning and voluntarily left the camps on the day of the dispersal)
5. MB members committed violations during the sit-in period
During the period of their sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares, MB members repeatedly committed violations against residents of those neighbourhoods. Dozens of complaints and law suits were filed by residents demanding the dispersal of the camps.
(The video presents a resident from the area near Rabaa Al-Adaweya discussing the hardships resulting from the situation in the square due to the MB camps. At 0:48, he says residents have submitted 150 complaints to police departments demanding the clearance of the sit-ins)
Seeking truth and justice are priorities of any accountable government, but before judgement is passed, it is important to hear all sides of the story, and to know the facts.