PM El-Beblawi visits martyrs' memorial in Tahrir

Ahram Online, Monday 18 Nov 2013

Hazem El-Beblawi lays symbolic foundation stone at memorial for slain protesters in Tahrir Square on day before second anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes

Egyptian municipality laborers work on the memorial base on Sunday, 17 November 2013 in Tahrir Square, Cairo. (Photo: AP)

Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi has visited the under-construction martyrs' memorial in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square.

Cairo governor Galal El-Saeed and a number of officials and politicians were present at the ceremony on Monday to lay a symbolic foundation stone for the memorial.

On Tuesday, the square will be the site of protests and commemorations on the second anniversary of the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes, which killed 47 people. 

The memorial, under construction in the square's central roundabout, pays tribute to the martyrs of the uprisings of 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013. 

Local authorities have been preparing the square for the Mohamed Mahmoud anniversary. They have trimmed the greenery of the roundabout, planted flowers, and hung national flags on lampposts. A stage has also been set up to host the official commemoration.

On Sunday, the cabinet recognised as "revolutionary martyrs" those killed in the second Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes with police in 2012, along with journalists who died in action. Their families will be eligible for compensation and benefits.

In December 2011, prime minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, who lead the government under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), added the victims of the first Mohamed Mahmoud clashes of 2011 to the list of January 25 Revolution martyrs.

In November 2011, around 47 protesters were killed in four days of clashes between police and protesters opposed to the SCAF on Mohamed Mahmoud Street near the interior ministry, just off Tahrir Square.

In 2012, marking the first anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street events, deadly clashes between protesters and police resumed, with at least three killed.

Egypt's interior ministry said on Sunday it had taken all necessary measures to secure Tuesday's commemoration. 

Rival groups, pro- and anti-military, are expected to take part in the commemoration at different demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday. 

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