Egyptian violence of ‘deep concern’

As anger spreads throughout Egypt over a military crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Canada is calling for calm while Egyptian Canadians watch in horror from a distance.

OTTAWA — As anger spreads throughout Egypt over a military crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Canada is calling for calm while Egyptian Canadians watch in horror from a distance.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department issued a warning Wednesday against all non-essential travel to Egypt, except for Red Sea coastal resorts.

But even there, the department advised Canadians to be very cautious as violence linked to the crackdown was seen in parts of the country outside Cairo.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also issued a statement, expressing deep concern over the violence and calling on Egypt to implement much-needed changes to ease tensions.

Canada supports “a transparent democratic system that respects the voices of its citizens, and that encourages and respects civil society and all other segments of the population,” the statement said.

Such a system would restore calm and give all Egyptians a stake in the country’s future stability and prosperity, it continues.

“We urge both parties to avoid violence, and engage in a meaningful political dialogue for the good of all Egyptians.”

All day Wednesday, pictures and video images of the violence could be seen on the Facebook site Egyptian Canadians For Democracy. One video posted on the page showed footage of body bags lined up on a sidewalk. Another post read “God have mercy on Egypt.”

Peter Nasr, 34, an Egyptian Canadian and Coptic Christian living in Ottawa, said Wednesday he feels powerless to help family members who are trapped in the troubled country.

“Like everybody else, I’m stuck idly by and watching,” Nasr said. “I’m not sure who could do anything.”

The Egyptian government declared a state of emergency shortly after security forces used bulldozers and armoured vehicles to clear two sit-in camps full of Morsi supporters.

The country’s interim administration, which replaced Morsi after he was ousted on July 3, had been warning for days that the assault was coming. The two makeshift camps had been set up in late June at major intersections on opposite sides of the Egyptian capital.

Protesters — many of them supporters of the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood — have demanded his reinstatement.

The violence has taken a heavy toll. By late Wednesday, Egypt’s health ministry said 235 civilians were killed and more than 2,000 had been injured. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said 43 policemen died in the assault.

Ibrahim said Morsi supporters attacked 21 police stations and seven Coptic Christian churches across the nation, and assaulted the Finance Ministry in Cairo, occupying its ground floor.

Among the casualties was a cameraman who was working for Britain’s Sky News.

“Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of those killed by today’s violence, and we wish those injured a speedy recovery,” Baird said.

“All Egyptians should show restraint and resolve in the coming days.”

Nasr said many Egyptian citizens who have the financial means to leave the country are unable to access their money.

Nasr said his mother, who spends winters in Egypt, still has her life savings in an Egyptian bank. “We’ve been trying to figure out ways to wire it to, like, Saudi Arabia and we’re still looking into it.”

The Harper government and others around the world should insist that Egypt tell its military to cease the crackdown, NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar told a news conference in Ottawa.

“Canada must work with international partners and urge the interim government to direct the army to show restraint and comply with international human rights obligations,” Dewar said.

“We ask all parties to sit down through dialogue, reach a peaceful solution to this crisis that includes a road map to democratic elections.”

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Two people die in Rocky-area collision

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

RDC launches week of activities focusing on student mental health

Learners invited to join the discussion at #MakeSomeTimeRDC

Husky Energy walks away from its hostile takeover bid for MEG Energy

CALGARY — Husky Energy Inc. is walking away from its hostile takeover… Continue reading

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Canada’s Conners on his way to full PGA Tour card with fast start to 2019 season

Corey Conners was working on his putting last Friday when fellow Canadian… Continue reading

Canada’s Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov have advanced to… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

AP Exclusive: A peek at how Disney resort shows are made

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With excitement building over a new “Star… Continue reading

Justin Bieber’s ‘Steps to Stardom’ hometown exhibit makes plans for a book

STRATFORD, Ont. — Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise to pop stardom will be… Continue reading

Most Read