Security forces crack down on victims' families at policemen trial

Ahram Online, Tuesday 20 Mar 2012

Sixteen people are arrested and later released after victims' families protest the postponement of Tuesday's court session

The trial of several police officers accused of killing protesters during Egypt's January uprisings was marked by clashes outside the courthouse on Tuesday.

The court session, which is being held in Alexandria, was cancelled after chaos broke out . Military police, who were securing the area outside the courthouse, cracked down on the families of the victims as well as some journalists who were standing in the area, after they started chanting: "Down with Tantawi! Down with the military rule!"

Sixteen people were arrested, but after considerable pressure from activists and human rights' lawyers, the military police agreed to release them.

The court session was called off by the head of the Alexandrian Criminal Court only five minutes after it begun, and postponed until Wednesday. Chaos had broken out in the courtroom when victims' families complained about the number of police officers standing in front of the defendants' cage, concealing them from view.

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