Political forces mark Maspero massacre 2nd anniversary

Ahram Online, Tuesday 8 Oct 2013

A press conference on Tuesday and silent protest on Wednesday will revive the memory of the Maspero massacre and pursue justice for the dozens of protesters it left dead

File photo: Egyptian protesters carry flags of a Copt Christian victim, Mina Daneil and posters of former head of the military council Hussein Tantawi (2nd L) and former armed forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan (L) during a march to commemorate the anniversary of the Maspero clashes, in Cairo October 9, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

A number of political forces will hold a press conference on Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of the Maspero massacre that killed at least 25 civilians and demand justice for the slain.

On 9 October 2011, a peaceful march by thousands of Coptic and Muslims protesters headed towards the TV headquarters at Maspero near Tahrir Square to demand equal rights for Egypt’s eight million Coptic Christians turned into deadly clashes with the military police, leaving behind at least 25 protesters dead and 329 injured. Video footage filmed at Maspero shows military forces running over several protesters with armoured vehicles.

"Two years have passed since the massacre with no punishment or any form of justice... No one was punished except poor soldiers who obey orders," read the statement issued by the Socialist Popular Alliance, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the April 6 Democratic Front, and the Youth for Justice and Freedom Movement.

The statement proceeded to demand the trial of the former leaders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces who came in power following the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

In September 2012, three soldiers were convicted of manslaughter for the killing of protesters. The verdict was widely criticised as all investigations were led by the military.

On the first anniversary of the tragic event in 2012, a report was issued by Amnesty International criticising Egyptian authorities for failing "to conduct a full, impartial and independent investigation into the circumstances of the violence and bring those responsible to account."

A silent protest will also take place on Wednesday to mourn the victims.

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