Protesters of Badrashin train crash disaster arrested

Yasmine Wali, Tuesday 15 Jan 2013

Protesters gathering in Alexandria and Cairo demand a halt to nationwide railway activity

Protesters arrested after train crash disaster
Protesters at Cairo station on Tuesday(Photo: Mai Shaheen)

At least five activists have been arrested after demonstrations in the coastal city of Alexandria were forcibly dispersed by security forces, official sources told Ahram Online.

Protesters gathered at Misr train station on Tuesday in response to an overnight train crash in the town of Badrashin that left at least 19 dead and more than 120 injured.

According to a human rights lawyer Ahmed Mamdouh, who was present at the scene and ran away after escaping his arrest, "security forces were beating up the protesters with their hands, hitting them on the face and on their backs."

Sources at the scene told Ahram Online that clashes between security forces and protesters were ongoing.

Mamdouh, who is also a member of Egypt's Revolutionary Socialist movement, explained how stones were being thrown at the protesters while they chanted peaceful slogans demanding that officials be held accountable for the train crash.

"The rest of the activists are now gathering in front of Al Aatareen police station asking for solidarity until their release," Mamdouh said.

Cairo protests

Dozens of activists had also gathered in downtown Cairo's Ramses Railway Station in response to the crash.

Protesters took to the streets calling for the retribution of martyrs who died in the Badrashin crash, chanting "no trains will leave the station."

The protest was organised by the Egyptian Popular Current political movement, who demand a halt to all train activity nationwide until Egypt's decades-old railway infrastructure is upgraded.

The movement called for protests to kick off earlier Tuesday afternoon in Cairo, Alexandria, Sharqiya, Beheira and Ismailia governorates to demand the halt to railway activity.

A number of other Egyptian political groups and movements have endorsed the Popular Current's call to demonstrate.

Monday's overnight crash was the fifth train accident to have taken place over the past six months in Egypt.

In July, at least 44 people were injured in a train crash in Badrashin.

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