Ultras on roving protest across Cairo

Ahram Online, Wednesday 23 Jan 2013

Ultras Ahlawy members temporarily block Cairo metro before protesting outside Mogamma in Tahrir Square and blocking Sixth October Bridge

Ultras Ahlawy
Ultras Ahlawy protest in Sa'ad Zaghloul underground station (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Members of Ultras Ahlawy blocked the Cairo metro on Wednesday afternoon as part of their roving protests to demand a prompt verdict in the Port Said disaster trial.

They had earlier conducted a protest in front of the stock exchange.

A verdict in the trial was due to be delivered on Saturday, but on Tuesday the justice ministry said the verdict may be delayed in order to hear fresh evidence.

Hundreds of ultras marched from the stock exchange to the nearby Saad Zaghloul metro station. They then marched along the track beneath the city streets to Sadat station in Tahrir Square, conducted a protest outside the nearby Mogamma administrative building before moving on to occupy the Sixth October Bridge.

Metro services resumed after a one hour suspension.

A member of the group told Ahram Online that protests would continue at several vital locations around the city.

He wished to remain anonymous because the group is increasingly cautious of talking to the media, especially after a member was arrested on Monday night.

Protesters at the metro stations were hostile towards journalists who tried to interview them.

The Ultra Ahlawy had earlier demonstrated in front of Egypt's stock exchange.

The head of the exchange, Mohamed Omran, told Ahram Online the protest had not interrupted trading.

The stock exchange had adopted procedures to deal with the protest, including operating at other locations, he added.

Omran said he was surprised the Ultras had chosen to protest in front of the stock exchange, which is "vital" to Egypt's economy.

Defendants are on trial for involvement in the killing of 74 people, many of them members of Ultras Ahlawy, at the Port Said Stadium in February 2012.

The Ultras issued a statement late Tuesday saying it would not accept "stalling" the trial verdict and called for a "parallel investigation" into the new evidence.

"We are against injustice and in favour of a fair punishment for everyone involved in the [massacre], but we refuse more delays. If the justice ministry has new evidence, it should present it immediately to the public."

The Ultras have called Wednesday "the first day of anger."

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