Several hundred protesters gathered outside the Supreme Judiciary Courthouse at midnight on Tuesday in solidarity with the under-fire Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
The pro-SCAF demonstrators chanted slogans praising the military rulers and describing demonstrators in Tahrir Square and the surrounding streets as “thugs."
They also deplored “US interference” in Egypt, lashing out at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for condemning military violence and calling on SCAF to step down.
Reportedly, the SCAF cohorts were led by a woman and rallied in response to a Facebook invitation. They said they were not members of any political parties or groups.
SCAF got into hot water after bloody confrontations between protesters and military police broke out on Friday, following a crackdown on a sit-in outside the cabinet office.
A number of human rights violations committed by military personnel against demonstrators have been documented in video footage and photographs, and widely circulated on the Internet, prompting local and international condemnation.
Among these was an assault by three military policemen on a young veiled woman, who was kicked, beaten with batons, and stripped down to her undergarments before being dragged along the street and subjected to further abuse.
What’s more, some of the casualties were killed by live ammunition. SCAF has strenuously denied its forces fired at protesters.
The death toll has risen to 12 over the past days, with hundreds injured.