Activists plan march to Egypt's presidential palace to demand amnesties

Zeinab El Gundy , Sunday 1 Jul 2012

Revolutionary activists to present Egypt's new president with petition demanding immediate release of all military detainees, both civilians and army personnel

protest against military trials
protest against military trials (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

A delegation of revolutionary activists will lead a protest march Sunday afternoon to Cairo's presidential palace, where they plan to present Egypt's newly-inaugurated President Mohamed Morsi with a petition demanding the release of everybody detained and prosecuted by military authorities – including both civilians and military personnel – since last year's Tahrir Square uprising.

Marchers' demands will include the immediate release of the '8 April' army officers (who joined Tahrir Square protesters in the wake of last year's revolution in defiance of orders), all detainees who currently face military tribunals, and Egyptian lawyer Ahmed El-Gizawi, who was detained by Saudi authorities earlier this year.

The delegation will include representatives of several revolutionary movements, including the Front for Peaceful Change, the April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front), the ElBaradei support campaign, the Coalition of Revolutionary Artists, and the Coalition against the Military and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The delegation will include prominent revolutionary activists Ahmed Harara, Laila Marzouk (mother of revolutionary icon Khaled Saeed, who died at the hands of undercover police in 2010) and Nawara Negm, along with members of the El-Gizawi family.

Protesters plan to set out from Roxy Square in Heliopolis to the nearby Al-Orouba Palace at 6pm. They then plan to put on a film presentation detailing recent military transgressions in front of the presidential palace.

In an address delivered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, Morsi promised to meet the families of activists currently in military detention and hear their respective cases, raising hopes of a mass amnesty.

According to human rights groups, over 16,000 Egyptians have faced military prosecution since January 2011. These include the '8 April' officers, 13 of whom were initially sentenced to ten years in prison, but whose sentences were later commuted to three years. The rest, meanwhile, still await trial.

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