A human rights delegation would visit the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in on Thursday as part of a fact-finding mission conducted in coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood, reported the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.
The delegation includes representatives from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Hesham Mubarak Law Center and the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.
The visit comes after the Ministry of Interior promised a safe exit to protesters sitting in at Rabea al-Adaweya Mosque and Nahda Square if they immediately left the demonstrations in a statement issued earlier on Thursday.
Since then, the Rabea sit-in has been intensifying its security measures throughout the day on Thursday in anticipation of a potential attack. Military helicopters, in the meantime, have been hovering over the demonstration.
The ministry called on protesters to “use logic” and “give priority to the country’s interests” by leaving the sit-ins as soon as possible to ensure safety for all.
The state-run news site Ahram Gate reported on Thursday afternoon that the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy slammed the Ministry of Interior’s request.
Alaa Mostafa, the coalition’s spokesperson, told the Agence-France Presse news agency that the sit-ins and peaceful protests would continue.
The National Salvation Front also responded to the ministry’s statement on Thursday afternoon, saying it respected freedom of expression and the people’s right to protest peacefully, as long as their actions were in accordance with national security, reported the independent newspaper Al-Shorouk.
The NSF called on the government to use all the means at its disposal to combat terrorism, and expressed its full support of any legal means to stop violence and bloodshed.
Shorouk also reported that the Ministry of Interior met with police officials on Thursday morning to discuss the dynamics of dealing with the sit-ins.
During the meeting, Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim claimed that the ministry cares about the wellbeing and the safety of the nation’s citizens, and that any decision taken by the ministry would be based on the stability and the safety of the Egyptian people.
Meanwhile, the website of the Freedom and Justice Party— the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood—claimed that protesters from across the country were flocking to Cairo to take part in a mass demonstration against what they call the military coup.
The FJP news website stated that the organizers of the protests opened several areas for the traffic, including Youssef Abbas Street and the area between Al-Azhar and the War Memorial.
On Wednesday the Cabinet ordered the minister of interior to use whatever means necessary to end the Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins demanding the reinstatement of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, which have been ongoing since the beginning of July.
The Cabinet said the situation at Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda Square was a threat to national security and was no longer permissible.
Thursday`s statement from the Ministry of Interior represents the first step in implementing the Cabinet’s order to disperse the sit-ins. Security officials had said that they would begin by asking protesters to leave peacefully, and would only use force as a last resort.
The Coalition for National Revolutionary Forces proposed an initiative to end the crisis earlier on Thursday, the state-run news site Egynews reported.
The group called on the Muslim Brotherhood to lay down their demands to reinstate Morsi and to turn in those Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have committed crimes, while the rest are guaranteed a safe exit and protection by political forces.
The initiative gave the protesters seventy-two hours to decide whether or not to comply before the authorities would intervene in order to prevent bloodshed. The statement asked the Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda protesters to respect the will of the Egyptian people, as was manifested on 30 June when millions of protesters took to the street to demand Morsi’s resignation.
[This article originally appeared on Mada Masr.]