Jun 05 2012
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Egyptians rally to push for ‘revolutionary trials’
Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012
Cairo Thousands of anti-military protesters on Tuesday packed Tahrir Square in Cairo and other big cities, demanding special tribunals to try deposed president Hosni Mubarak and senior policemen suspected of responsibility for hundreds of protester deaths.
Dubbed “Justice”, the rallies were in response to calls made by protest groups and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, to denounce recent verdicts handed down to Mubarak, his interior minister Habib Al Adly and six former police chiefs.
A criminal court on Saturday sentenced Mubarak, 84, and Al Adly to life in prison after finding them guilty of responsibility for the killing of 846 protesters in a popular revolt that eventually removed the former strongman from power. But the same court acquitted Al Adly’s aides for lack of evidence, a ruling that has triggered nationwide anger.
“If the police had not killed the protesters, who had killed them? The killers must have come from Mars,” he added sarcastically.
Sa’ad was one of hundreds of early protesters who flocked on Tuesday to Tahrir, the focal point of the protests that ousted Mubarak. “I may find an excuse for the judge who passed the shocking verdicts in the Mubarak trial because the pro-Mubarak state institutions have swept the incriminating proofs under the rug. So the case looked tattered,” Sa’ad, 37, told Gulf News. “I think the best way is to set up revolutionary courts to swiftly bring Mubarak and the tainted figures of his regime to justice,” he added.
Scores of protesters marched across the iconic square chanting, “By blood of the martyrs, there will be a new revolution”.
The demonstrators also demanded that a ban on senior officials from the Mubarak era, already passed by the Islamist-dominated parliament and endorsed by the military rulers, be implemented to exclude Ahmad Shafiq, a finalist in this month’s presidential run-off vote.
Shafiq, Mubarak’s last premier, is vying with the Muslim Brotherhood’s contender Mohammad Mursi for the top post. Hamdeen Sabahi, a leftist leader who lost in the first round of presidential election, has vowed not to allow the June 16-17 run-offs to take place unless the ban is applied to Shafiq. Sabahi finished third in the first round.
He along with Abdul Moneim Abu Al Fotouh and Khalid Ali, two other unsuccessful presidential hopefuls, were due later in the day to lead mass marches from areas in Cairo to Tahrir. Dozens of protesters have been camping out in the square since the verdicts in the Mubarak trial were delivered.
Similar protests were held in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria, Ismailiya and Sharqia. Opponents to the ruling generals have vowed a series of mass rallies to pile up pressure on them to exclude Shafiq from the presidential race and sack the country’s top prosecutor, whom they see as a Mubarak loyalist.
“Such protests have become a form of electoral campaign in this stage,” said prominent writer Salah Essa. “Once the election is over, some political parties and groups calling for such gatherings will adopt a stance hostile to protests,” he added.
“I think the current demonstrations are aimed at wooing voters in favour of a certain candidate. The rulings issued in the Mubarak case should be respected if we want a law-abiding state to be established in Egypt.”
By Ramadan Al Sherbini Correspondent
© Gulf News 2012. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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