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Political forces condemn Tahrir evacuation while victims' families claim excessive force

Relatives of the victims killed in the January 25 Revolution claim they were attacked and insulted by the soldiers who came to clear the square

Sherif Tarek , Tuesday 2 Aug 2011
Mostafa Mohamed Morsi
Mostafa Mohamed Morsi, a man who lost his son during the January 25 Revolution (Photo: Sherif Tarek)
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 As they were experiencing Ramadan for the first time without their beloved relatives, sons and siblings, the families of those who were killed during the January 25 Revolution were violently kicked out of Tahrir Square by a joint attack from the military and the police, leaving some injured and others captured. Inflammatory firsthand accounts were recited the next day and many political forces have condemned the incident.
 
In a press conference held at the Public Alliance Party’s headquarters on Tuesday, 25 parties and movements signed a statement that denounced what they described as “human violation acts” that ended the three weeks old sit-in. The statement reads: “In an extremely brutal interference, forces from the military, police and the central security forces dispersed the Tahrir Square sit-in forcibly.

“Ending the sit-in like that came after a series of acts from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, starting with the defaming of the sit-in and the participating revolutionary forces via the media, issuing a number of communiqués to incite people to attack the protesters and their peaceful marches. Finally the council directly accused many patriotic movements of betrayal and working for foreign intelligence, without submitting a single piece of evidence against them.

“Secret policemen also infiltrated the demonstrators during the sit-into escalate tensions in the square. They also contributed to the arrest of many protesters, which is pretty similar to the same policy that was applied by Mubarak’s regime. This is a clear indication that neither security policies, nor political freedom has changed for real; only superficially.

“The forces that signed this statement are demanding the immediate execution of the following demands by the military council: the immediate release of those who were detained on August 1, the cancellation of the law that penalises sit-ins and strikes, and the end of the repressive methods to preserve security, and the suspension of the officers accused of killing demonstrators during the revolution.”

Over 130 of those who were participating in the Tahrir Square sit-in have been arrested and incarcerated in military facilities.

The Public Alliance Party, the Democratic Front Party, the Democratic Labour Party, the Freedom Egypt Party, the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, the Union of Maspero Youth, the Karama Party, the Campaign for Supporting Mohamed ElBaradei, the April 6 Youth Movement’s democratic front and Hamdeen Sabahi’s campaign were among those who signed the statement.

The statement invited Egyptian people to join a “peaceful vigil” in front of the prosecutor-general's office at 10am on August 8, concurrent with the trial of Mubarak.

Many of the martyrs’ relatives were invited to the press conference and were allowed to speak to the media about the way they were treated. They all stressed that money is not what they are after, but rather retribution against those responsible for the killing of their loved ones.

Mostafa Mohamed Morsi, who lost his son Mohamed – an engineering student – during the 18-day revolt, said: “I was beaten up and hospitalised. A military police officer snatched the photo of my son that was hung from my neck and kept stepping on it when I told him that I am the father of one of the martyrs.

“I got injured in my head and suffered a hairline fracture of my chest after being hit by a metal rod. They stole my mobile phone too, an expensive one,” he added while holding the blood-stained clothes that he was allegedly wearing during the assault.

Ali Hassan, who also lost a son, stated: “They went inside the mosque while wearing their shoes and I felt that Mubarak’s police still exists …Our sons died for the country, so all we are asking for is the sympathy of the people.”

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