UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned on Saturday the violence following protests in Egypt, calling on security forces to respect the right to free speech and assembly and urging protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
"The Secretary-General once again calls on the interim authorities to assume full responsibility for the peaceful management of the demonstrations and ensure the protection of all Egyptians," Ban's press office said in a statement.
Egyptian security forces shot dead dozens of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Saturday, witnesses said, days after the army chief called for a popular mandate to wipe out "violence and terrorism."
"The Secretary-General reiterates that Mr. Mohammed Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood leaders currently in detention should immediately be released or have their cases reviewed in full transparency," Ban's press office said.
Ban appealed "to all the people of Egypt to address their differences through dialogue and again renews his calls to all parties to engage in an inclusive and meaningful reconciliation process."