Egyptians protest as court frees ex-president Mubarak, drops charges

Posted by News Express | 30 November 2014 | 3,435 times

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Hundreds of people on Saturday gathered near central Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest against a court verdict, dropping charges against ex-president Hosni Mubarak that he incited the killing of protesters in 2011.

Standing trial with Mubarak in the same case were his interior minister and several Interior Ministry officials.

They were all accused of killing hundreds of demonstrators during the 2011 revolution that ended Mubarak’s autocracy of three decades.

The demonstrators who flocked to Tahrir Square chanted slogans critical of the verdict, Mubarak and his government officials.

When they arrived, however, the demonstrators found the square totally shut down by army troops and policemen who placed armored vehicles and barbed wire to prevent them from entering.

Tahrir Square was the iconic center of the revolution against Mubarak. Among the demonstrators on Saturday were youth groups that participated in the uprising against Mubarak in January of 2011.

Eyewitnesses said the policemen besieged the demonstrators before they fired the teargas, forcing them to run away and seek hiding on streets in the vicinity of the square.

The demonstrators converged on the square, the iconic centre of the 2011 revolution against Mubarak, earlier in the day to protest against the court ruling, which dropped charges against Mubarak, his interior minister and several Interior Ministry officials that they killed demonstrators during the January 2011 uprising that ended Mubarak’s autocracy of three decades.

Mubarak, his interior minister and the Interior Ministry officials were sentenced to life in prison [25 years] in 2012 on charges of killing demonstrators during the revolution in 2011.

A retrial was, however, scheduled, but the charges were dropped on Saturday, opening the door for mixed reactions from Egyptians. Mubarak’s backers cheered the ruling.

Protests also erupted in other provinces against the ruling, including in the coastal city of Alexandria and in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia.

The Interior Ministry, meanwhile, said that policemen had to disperse the Tahrir Square protest when members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, joined in.

Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif told the private Sada al-Balad channel that the Muslim Brotherhood members had joined in the protest and then clashed with the “peaceful protesters.”

Morsi was ousted in July of last year by the military, but his supporters have been staging protests against his ouster since then.

•Source: Anadolu Agency. Photo shows Mubarak in court.

Source: News Express

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