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Egypt: army guarantees 'freedom of expression'

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Egypt: army guarantees 'freedom of expression'


In Cairo the army has said it will not use force against the Egyptian people who are protesting to try to force their president Hosni Mubarak to quit.

It is the first explicit confirmation that troops will not fire on demonstrators who have taken their demands onto the streets since last week.

An army statement said ‘freedom of expression’ was guaranteed to all citizens using peaceful means.

More than a hundred people have died in the unrest so far.

The military statement went on: ‘The armed forces will not resort to the use of force against our great people.’

As the popular opposition moved into a second week tens of thousands turned out in the capital.

‘‘We don’t want anything from Mubarak’s party or the president. We want the end of the regime so the people can choose their future,’‘ one man said

‘‘The entire population is calling for the president to leave. After he has quit it is for the people to choose their leader with free and fair elections. That is how the people feel,’‘ said another man.

‘‘I was scared at first to come out on to the streets, but today I’m here to support the key demand of everyone and to say Mubarak must leave,’‘ one woman said.

Amid the protests, the Egyptian leader sacked his finance and interior ministers and announced a new cabinet.

Washington and London have called for an ‘orderly transition’ to democratic rule.

Our correspondent in the Egyptian capital Mohamed Elhamy said: ‘’‘There is no alternative to the fall of the regime.’ This is how Egyptians have responded to the announcement of the new government which they consider to be the same as the old one.’‘

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