March to commemorate 2nd anniversary of ‘cabinet clashes’ Monday

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Dec 2013

Demonstrators to march to the cabinet headquarters Monday, site of the killing of 18 in 2011, marking two years since the clashes

Soldiers arrest a female protester during clashes with military police near Cairo, December 2011 (Photo: AP)

Several political groups called for a march Monday to mark two years since the violent dispersal of an anti-government sit-in outside the Cabinet Office in Downtown Cairo by the military.

The march, dubbed “Against All Those Who Betrayed: Army, Feloul (remnants of the Mubarak regime), Police and the Muslim Brotherhood,” will leave from the Cairo Opera House at 4pm and head to the cabinet headquarters off Qasr El-Aini Street.

Monday’s protest is organised by several groups, including the We Are All Gaber Jika movement, the Way of the Revolution Front, the We're following you with the Report group, the Nation Without Torture group, and the Askar Kazeboon (Military Liars) group.

On 16 December 2011, military forces forcibly dispersed a three-week-long sit-in at the Cabinet Office. At least 18 were killed and hundreds injured.

The sit-in began 25 November 2011 by protesters against military rule and the appointment of Kamal El-Ganzouri — a former premier under autocrat Hosni Mubarak — as interim prime minister.

Military leaders claimed that "soldiers did not open fire on protesters," accusing demonstrators of initiating the violence.

Video footage of the forced dispersal showed army soldiers beating protesters. Among the incidents caught on film was a female activist beaten and dragged in the street by soldiers and stripped of her clothes.

During clashes that erupted after the forcible dispersal, the historic Scientific Institute building on Cairo's Qasr El-Aini Street was set alight with many irreplaceable books and artifacts lost.

Around 269 Egyptian protesters were arrested during the crackdown and faced charges of burning and destroying the Scientific Institute, vandalising the cabinet headquarters and other public buildings around it. They also faced charges of assaulting military and police officials.

“After two years since the cabinet clashes, which saw the killing of 18 peaceful protesters, and until now, none of the culprits were put on trial,” read a statement by the We're following you with Report group.

“And successive regimes, either Morsi’s or the current regime, continue to hide the reports of the fact-finding committee on the killing and injuring of protesters,” the statement added.

The We're following you with Report group aims to pressure state institutions to carry out investigations into crimes committed by the state against citizens.

In July 2012, deposed president Mohamed Morsi ordered the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the killing of unarmed anti-regime protesters from 25 January 2011 until the military’s handover of power in June 2012.

Rights groups accused Morsi of ignoring the committee's recommendations and failing to disclose the results of the report, only sending it to prosecutors for further investigation.

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