The wife of Egypt’s former President Mohammed Morsi has made her first public appearance since he was ousted last month.
She told thousands of his supporters to remain defiant in the face of the military-backed government’s warnings that security forces will clear the ongoing protests, promising her husband “is coming back, God willing”.
Naglaa Mahmoud made her first appearance since the July 3 military coup, which followed mass rallies demanding her husband’s removal from office. He has been held by military authorities since then.
Showing up on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid el-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, appeared aimed at galvanising support after the group fell from power after just one year of Mr Morsi’s rule.
Wearing a flowing veil that covered most of her body, Ms Mahmoud spoke to the crowds gathered at a sit-in at Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City suburb.
She recited a verse from the Quran before delivering what she described as “good news,” saying Egypt “is Islamic”. She told the crowd “we are victorious” and said the protesters would overcome.
Initially, the Egyptian press suggested that she was held with her husband in undisclosed location along with one of her children.
Demonstrators at Nasr City cheered her arrival. She did not say where she had been.
Mr Morsi is held with his top aides, a number of whom have been transferred over the past days to a prison in southern Cairo.
They face charges including instigating violence in various incidents that led to deadly street clashes over Mr Morsi’s rule.
Mr Morsi’s children have joined the Nasr City protest camp and called for release of their father.
The camp is the site of one of two sit-ins by Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group and its allies.
Protesters demand his reinstatement, restoration of the suspended constitution drafted under Mr Morsi and the return of his Islamist-dominated legislative council which was also disbanded.