Tens of thousands continue protests against Qena governor

Tens of thousands of people staged a protest after Friday prayers in Qena in front of the governorate headquarters against newly-appointed governor Major Emad Shehata Mikhail.

Nearly 12,000 people prayed in the governorate building's square and many thousands who were praying at the Sa'a, Nasser, Sidi Abdel Rahman and other mosques joined them after the prayers.

Many people from neighboring villages such as Qeft, Qous, Abnoud, Ma'na, Deshna  Karam Imran and Nag Hammadi  flocked to the square to join protesters.

Protesters said they would continue demonstrating until the government replaces Mikhail, a former police general.

They chanted some of the same slogans used during the revolution including, "We will not go, he should go", "Leave" and "The people want the fall of the governor". Children held Egyptian flags and residents raised banners, some of which read "Matta and Hanna reject Michael" to symbolize unity between Muslims and Copts.

For the first time since unrest broke out in Qena, women joined the demonstrations as voices in the square called out, "Give way to your sister, mother and daughter."

One of the women addressed the crowd using a microphone, telling fellow protesters, "Youth of Qena and people of Qena, we are all one and there is no difference between a Muslim and Christian. We all do not want the new governor because our experience with the former governor was unsuccessful".

Army forces deployed around the governorate headquarters while the police presence noticeably dwindled — only five police officers, including an investigating officer, were present.

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