Education International has called for Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to bring an immediate end to the violence being led by his regime against peaceful demonstrators who continue to demand fundamental rights and democratic change.
After a day of clashes between supporters of the President and protesters calling on him to resign immediately, Egyptian state television reports that hundreds of people have been wounded in pitched battles across Cairo.
EI calls for an immediate end to the violent repression of peaceful protesters which has been characterised by beatings, lootings and censorship of television and communications networks. EI also insists that those responsible for the violence be brought to justice.
EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, said: “There are moments when history is written not by the powerful, but by the people. This is one of them. Millions of Egyptians face a fateful choice. Thousands have been jailed, injured or killed in the last few days, but if they press on in peaceful protest, they could end decades of tyranny. Their government must listen and respond to the legitimate demands of Egyptian society, including independent trade unions, teachers and students.”
EI calls on the Egyptian authorities to protect its citizens. EI President, Susan Hopgood, said: “The violent repression of the people’s voice is unjustified and the authorities must ensure a peaceful transition to genuine democracy takes place without delay.”
As the political crisis has grown with protests in the streets the regime of President Mubarak has become ever-more desperate to stop media coverage of the uprising. EI is calling on its affiliates to lobby their government to press the Egyptian regime to protect its citizens and to end its communication blackout which constitutes a serious violation of the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.
EI welcomes the newly established Egyptian Federation for Independent Unions (EFIU) which is comprised of independent trade unions of teachers, health professionals and other workers. In its founding statement, the EFIU calls for Egyptian workers ‘to organise and defend their workplace and all citizens during these critical times and to organise protest actions and strikes to realise the people’s claims’.