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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Egyptians commemorate the victims of last year’s Maspero clashes

March to commemorate the Maspero victims

Thousands of Egyptians marched today, on 9 October 2012, to the Maspero building to commemorate the victims of last year’s clashes and to mark the first anniversary of thise terrible event.

The demonstrators gathered in Shubra district and marched to the Maspero building, the building of Egyptian state radio and television, where 27 protesters, mostly Copts, were killed last year as a result of the clashes between the peaceful demonstrators and military and security forces.

Last year on 9 October Coptic protesters marched to the building of Maspero protesting against the destruction of the Christian church in Aswan and inaction of the Egyptian authorities. But the peaceful march met the confrontation of the military and security forces with the military personnel running over the protesters with the armored vehicles and firing live bullets on them. The deadly clashes left 27 demonstrators dead and tens of injured.

The actions of Egyptian state TV worsened the situation with providing the false reports covering the events and provoking more violence on the scene. One year after terrible Maspero clashes justice has not been delivered and the investigation didn’t give the results with no persons responsible for this deadly incident facing the trial.

Today’s demonstrations were dedicated to the commemorating the memory of those killed during the Maspero clashes and calling for justice. The protesters were holding the banners and the flags with the pictures of slain protesters and with Mina Daniel, Coptic activist and protester, who was killed during Maspero clashes and became the iconic revolutionary figure in Egypt. The relatives of victims were also presented today.

Among the protesters were also some people holding the banners with the pictures of Mohamed Hussein Tantawy, who was the Head of SCAF and Egypt’s Defense Minister during the Maspero events, and of Sami Anan, Tantawy’s deputy. Protesters were holding their pictures with the lashes around their necks signifying their execution. Mohamed Hussein Tantawy and Sami Anan are no longer the heads of SCAF as they were retired by Mohamed Morsy’s order issued in August 2012.

Symbolic funeral procession during today's demonstration
Protesters have been chanting against SCAF and SCAF leaders and also against Muslim Brotherhood and against their supreme guide Mohamed Badie, as the people accuse Muslim Brotherhood of betraying the revolution.

The building of Maspero is usually guarded by the soldiers and tanks, but there was a minimal military and security presence there during today’s marches.

The symbolic funeral has also proceeded today during the protests. The group of the girls in the pharaonic clothes was holding the enlarged pictures of the killed protesters along with the pharaonic ship with the names of the victims written on its sails. The names of the Maspero victims were pronounced over the loudspeakers, the Coptic hymns were also sang during the demonstration. A video footage of the last year’s protests was also shown today.

Today’s march was like a copy of the last year’s one resembling the same route and it was called to commemorate the memory of the Maspero victims and to demand the justice and those responsible for the deadly clashes to face trials.