Updated: Egypt riot police attack handful of protesters in Tahrir

Sherif Tarek, Ahmed Feteha, Saturday 19 Nov 2011

Egypt’s Central Security Forces (CSF) forcibly dispersed the few demonstrators who remained at Tahrir Square following yesterday’s Friday of One Demand mass protest

Egyptian riot police beat protesters and dismantled a small tent city set up to commemorate revolutionary martyrs in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday (Photo: AP)

Egypt’s Central Security Forces (CSF) forcibly dispersed the few demonstrators who remained in Tahrir Square following yesterday’s Friday of One Demand mass protest.
Riot police dismantled the few tents left over from yesterday and have reportedly arrested several activists in the process to completely evacuate the square.

Most of the political forces that took part in Friday’s demonstration opted not to stage a sit-in at Tahrir, leaving defenceless a handful of protesters -- who decided otherwise -- against police in the epicentre of the January 25 Revolution.

Al-Masry Al-Youm journalist Abanoub Emad said he was “dragged and beaten before the eyes of a [police] general and brigadier general while [I was] covering the evacuation of Tahrir. They also took from me Al-Masry Al-Youm’s camera.”

In a following tweet he said: “I’m fine but feel tired of the beating.” He later added that he got his camera back only to find all the content on it deleted.

@OmniaKhalil said: “The central security personnel pushed me and beat [the guy] next to me. They also cursed me.”

Associated Press reported that the agency’s cameraman saw police arrest three people who refused to leave Tahrir.

Jonathan Rashad, who describes himself on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, as a revolutionary photographer, said: “Just saw a beaten protester lying on the ground, surrounded by CSF troops.”

Some pictures Rashad posted on Twitter showed that the police have once again surrounded the central island of Tahrir, preventing anyone from getting in it.

An Ahram Online reporter later said the police forces suddenly withdrew from Tahrir as some 200 protesters managed to return to the central island.

Shortly after, six CSF blue vans were stoned as they left the Ministry of Interior’s headquarters and through Tahrir by the angry protesters, who are still adamant to occupy the central island.

It is the second time for Tahrir Square to see a sit-in forcibly dispersed.

The first one was on 1 August when military police attacked and injured a number of the protesters who were camping out in protest in the iconic Tahrir Square.

That sit-in started on 8 July to demand the fulfilment of the unmet demands of the revolution.

People began leaving the square gradually by the end of July, which enabled military police to evacuate the square by the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan. At the time, the incident turned up the heat on the already under fire military council.

For a while afterwards, joint military and police forces were keen to prevent protesters from gathering on the central island in Tahrir Square. Later, however, it hosted other million-man marches.

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