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Thousands of Egyptians call for speedy trial of ex-regime officials

07-02-2011 09:08 BJT

CAIRO, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Egyptian protesters flocked to central Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, demanding fair and speedy public trials of former regime officials accountable for the killing of "martyrs" during the 18-day demonstration.

Pro-democracy protestors, along with camping family members of the victims in the anti-regime protests, as well as those injured in the clashes two days ago, rallied in the square to participate in the "Friday of retribution and loyalty to the martyrs of the revolution".

The demonstration was called for by several political groups, mainly the April 6 Youth Movement and the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition, while the Muslim Brotherhood refused to participate.

The youth groups and different political parties joined families of victims, putting forward 26 demands, including a quick, fair and public trial of senior officials and policemen accused of killing protesters.

People chanting "freedom, justice and civilian state" and other slogans marched towards the interior ministry and the parliament building.

"I wonder the real reason behind adjourning trials of corrupt officials," said Karim Mahmoud, a 32-year-old member of the April 6 Movement.

Families of the killed and injured in protests carried photos of the victims, urging tough penalties for those responsible.

Nabilla Ibrahim, a 49-year-old mother of an injured young man in the "camel battle," said "the government declared that those who killed or wounded our sons are thugs and not police officers. Whoever they are, why they have not been arrested and tried till now. My heart is burning for my son who lost his eyes in the unrest."

"More than five months have passed since the former president was toppled and we have always heard the same promises of fair trials, but nothing has happend," she added.

The protestors are particular angry over the slow pace of court trial of former Interior Minister Habib el-Adli, whose court hearing session was adjourned to July 25 on Sunday. Adli was held accountable for ordering the killing of unarmed protesters during the 18-day protests, in which at least 800 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured.

Protestors called for suspending policemen accused of harming the innocent, and requested the Interior Ministry to differentiate between thugs and innocent citizens.

Protestors also seek to end the military trials of civilians and cleanse the police institutions of all corrupt elements. Some also requested the resignation of Interior Minister Mansour Essawi and the open trials of former regime officials in the square, according to state news agency MENA.

"The caretaker government is complaining about the sit-ins and demonstrations as they cripple steps of economic reforms, but how can we achieve any reforms while all the remnants of the former regime are still ruling the country?" said Kamal el-Sayed, a 26- year-old member of the Justice and Democracy coalition.

Twenty well-equipped ambulances were deployed in Tahrir Square and surrounding areas to treat the injured and transfer the seriously injured to hospital if necessary, said Assistant Health Minister for Treatment Affairs Adel Adawi.

Friday's protests came two days after the most violent clashes between Egyptian security forces and civilian protestors in the Tahrir Square since the end of the former regime, which reportedly left around 1,110 injured.



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Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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