The "noes" ask the army for room

Below is the English version of a letter circulating, drafted by a coalition of groups advocating a "no" vote in tomorrow's constitutional referendum. Earlier this week the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces threatened that any protests on referendum day would be dealt with under anti-looting legislation, which carries the possibility of the death penalty.
 

To: The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces:

On the occasion of the upcoming referendum on the constitutional amendments scheduled for Saturday March 19, 2011, we would like to address your efforts to push the wheel of democracy forward and your role in protecting Egyptian citizens and safeguarding the freedom of expression in this critical phase of Egyptian history.

We the undersigned do not agree to the proposed constitutional amendments. Based on this position and our keenness that the referendum be conducted democratically in an environment that permits opposing opinions, we shall be working during this period leading up to the day of the referendum, to encourage Egyptian citizens to participate in the referendum. We shall be campaigning and advocating our position, which is the refusal of the constitutional amendments.

In order to guarantee the democratic process and safeguard the freedom of expression and opinion, which are guaranteed by the law, we request that the Supreme Council direct the competent authorities responsible for maintaining safety and security on referendum day not to threaten or attack our representatives and to provide them with appropriate protection. 

We hereby confirm that we shall fully comply with the limitations set out in the law during the campaigning that we shall be conducting 

May God grant us success for the benefit of our country, which is our common concern.

  • Boulaq Youth Coalition
  • Front for Protection of the Revolution's Legitimacy
  • Center for Egyptian Women's Rights
  • Union of Revolution Youth
  • Doctors of Tahrir Field Hospital
  • Socialist Renewal Current
  • National Front for Democracy and Justice
  • Popular Movement for Democracy
  • Egyptian Movement for Transitional Justice
  • Socialist Democratic Party
  • Popular Campaign for Support of El Bardei
  • People's Committees for Protection of the Revolution
  • People's Committee for a New Constitution
  • Executive Council for Defending the Legitimacy of the Revolution
  • The Civil Group for Refusing the Egyptian Parliament
  • The Civil Group for Monitoring the Police
  • Egyptian Foundation for Family Development
  • Eid Wahda (One Hand)
  • Amir Salem
  • Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution
  • Front for Tahrir Revolutionaries
  • Bent El Reif Organization in Qena
  • Gamila Ismail
  • George Ishak
  • January 25th Movement
  • April 6th Movement
  • Revolutionary Enlightenment Movement
  • The Free Egyptian Movement
  • Citizenship for All Movement
  • Renaissance and Change Movement
  • Hemaya Movement
  • Justice and Freedom Movement
  • Popular Alliance Party
  • Youth of the Revolution Party
  • Campaign to support El Baradei and the Demands for Change
  • Kefaya
  • Amr Hamzawy
  • Dostour 2011 Group
  • Working Group for the Lotus Revolution
  • Madarak Center for the Right to Knowledge
  • Masr El Mutanawera
  • New Woman Foundation
  • Dream of Democracy Foundation
  • Wael Nawara, Secretary General, Al Ghad Party
  • Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights
  • Al Shihab Foundation for Sustainable Progress and Development
  • The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists 

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.