Egypt’s ruling military council apologised on Saturday after military police beat protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, but activists called for fresh protests to denounce violence by the authorities.
A security official and witnesses said that shortly after midnight, military police surrounded protesters, beating them with batons and using tasers to disperse the crowd of several hundred that had gathered to push for reforms.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said that “what happened late Friday was the result of unintentional confrontations between the military police and the youth of the revolution.”
It stressed that it “did not and will not issue orders to attack the youth, and all measures will be taken to ensure this will not happen again.”
But activists launched a Facebook call for fresh protests on Saturday to denounce the army’s use of force.
“Peaceful protesters in Tahrir are being chased away by the military police with tasers, sticks and whips. Masked men with machine guns trying to shut down the strike by force. Many beaten, assaulted and arrested,” the statement said.
“We cannot stand for this; we must stand strong against violence towards peaceful protesters.”