Egypt Interior Ministry urges end to pro-Mursi protests

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Egypt’s interior ministry on Saturday urged supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi to end their sit-ins, and rejoin the political process.

In a statement aired on state television, the interior ministry’s spokesman Hany Abdel Latif called on Muslim Brotherhood protesters gathering in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya site and Giza’s Nahda Square to return to their homes.

“Your continued sit-ins have no legal or political use. Your peaceful and safe exit will allow for the return of the Brotherhood to a role in the democratic political process,” Abdel Latif said.

He accused leaders of the Brotherhood, from which Mursi hails, of manipulating Islamist protesters by isolating them from contact with the outside world, and providing them with selective information.

“Dear citizens in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda, the ministry urges you to try to find out the views of the political and revolutionary forces, the government, civil society and the international community over the illegal practices taking place in (your) gatherings,” Latif said.

“You are brain-washed, subject to psychological manipulation. You are being used as a political-bargaining chip,” he added, addressing demonstrators.

“If you think you are defending legitimacy, [know that] legitimacy and sovereignty comes from the people,” he added.

Latif said many protesters are willing to leave but faced threats from protest leaders if they do.

This is the second time the Ministry of Interior has urged pro-Mursi protesters to go home.

Supporters of Egypt's first freely elected president took to the streets following his overthrow by a popularly-backed military coup.

The protesters vowed to continue fighting for Mursi's reinstatement.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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