Did the U.S. demand the release of Mubarak? “Islamist protests in Cairo grow, U.S. seeks Mursi release,” by Maggie Fick and Yasmine Saleh for Reuters, July 12:
(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Egyptians packed into squares and marched along streets in Cairo on Friday to protest against the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, and the United States called for the first time for him to be freed.
A large crowd of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters made its way along Ramses Street, close to Tahrir Square, and hundreds were on 6 October Bridge, where some of the worst clashes with anti-Mursi demonstrators took place a week ago.
On Tahrir, thousands more people gathered to attend a celebration of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, organized by groups who had called for Mursi’s resignation.
The proximity of the rival factions, only a few hundred meters (yards) apart, raised concerns about more violence.
In last Friday’s clashes between the toppled leader’s supporters and opponents, 35 people were killed and hundreds wounded across the country.
Three days later, soldiers killed 53 Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the Republican Guard compound where Mursi is being held, in bloodshed that has deeply divided Egyptian society.
Four members of the security forces were also killed in that confrontation, which the military blames on “terrorists”. Mursi’s supporters call it a massacre and say those who died were praying peacefully when troops opened fire.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s key demand is that he be reinstated, but for now, that looks like a lost cause.
Asked whether Washington agreed with the German Foreign Ministry’s call for Mursi to be released, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “We do agree.”
She declined to say if the United States had officially conveyed its wish to Egyptian officials and the military.
At a Cairo mosque where Mursi supporters have held a vigil for more than two weeks, crowds swelled as people were bussed in from the provinces, where the Brotherhood has strongholds.
“We’re here and we’re not leaving,” said Amer Ali, who drove the five-hour journey from the Nile city of Assiut with his wife and two young children to join tens of thousands of protesters.
“We came with our kids to support legitimacy, democracy, and our civilian president, the first freely elected president in the Arab world.”…