Britain expresses concern at Egypt deaths
British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed deep concern on Wednesday at the deaths of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square and reports that "dangerous forms of gas" were being used.
Hague said: "I am deeply concerned by the unacceptable violence and loss of life which has taken place around Tahrir Square in Cairo and in other parts of Egypt.
"I am particularly concerned by reports of dangerous forms of gas being used against protesters as well as live ammunition," he added.
Hague said he had taken note of the commitments made on Tuesday by Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, to hold presidential polls by the end of June and that legislative polls would be held next week on schedule.
Britain's top diplomat called on the Egyptian authorities to respect the right of peaceful protest "and immediately to cease the use of violence against protestors, including live fire and the use of gas".
"All those who are responsible for such disproportionate violence against peaceful protesters must be held to account," Hague said.
"I also call for the release of all those detained for peacefully expressing their views and urge the authorities to make good on their promises to end to military trials for civilians."
Hague said Britain had joined other countries in calling for a "clear, rapid timetable for transition to civilian-led democratic rule in Egypt".
"For such a transition to succeed, it is critical that parliamentary elections are transparent, fair and credible, and held in a secure atmosphere which allows Egyptians to express their political will freely," Hague said.
© 2011 AFP