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Monday, March 4, 2013

Protests continue in Egypt’s Port Said

Clashes in Port Said

Thousands of mourners have gathered today in Egypt’s Canal city of Port Said while the protests and violent clashes still continue in the city.

The clashes in Port Said erupted in the night on Sunday, when the protesters have clashed with the Central Security Forces after the CSF reportedly started to fire the rounds of tear gas to disperse the crowds of the protesters gathered in front of the CSF headquarters. The demonstrators have been protesting against the decision to transfer 21 defendants accused of killing the football fans during the terrible stadium disaster happened in Port Said in February 2012.

It’s worth mentioning that the violent clashes with the CSF and the protests sparked in Port Said after the anniversary of January 25 Revolution when the Court issued the verdict for the 21 of the 73 defendants in the Port Said stadium massacre. The people were angered by the death sentences issued by the Court. The clashes left tens of people dead and hundreds injured and also resulted in the massive campaign of civil disobedience which still continues in Port Sais during nearly two weeks.

The demonstrators are protesting against the government’s negligence to the region and chanting against Muslim Brotherhood’s dominating in power. Thousands of those gathered in front of the CSF headquarters are also chanting against the police as the CSF continues to use excessive powers against the demonstrators.

Clashes in Port Said
Sunday’s clashes after the attempts of police to transfer the defendants to another prison located in another governorate left at least 5 people dead among them three civilians, all of them youth, and two young conscripts. All the five deaths have been confirmed by Egypt’s Health Ministry. The new reports emerged on Monday that another man was shot dead during the Monday’s clashes in Port Said.

The situation are expected to remain tense as the second round of the trial in Port Said football massacre is scheduled for 9 March.

According to the Ministry sources over 500 have been injured, among them nearly 300 suffered from the tear gas asphyxiation , 43 from the gunshots (among them 4 policemen) and other types of injuries.

The clashes erupted again on Monday during the mass funeral process while thousands of people have been mourning the deaths and carried the coffins. The people have been chanting against police and also against Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy hails.

Protests in Port Said
There have been also reports that Egypt’s army joined the protesters and clashed with the Central Security Forces as the situation escalated in Port Said with some protesters attempting to set ablaze the police station and throwing the stones and Molotov cocktails. The police fired teargas to disperse the crowd; there have been also the reports about the gunshots some of them have been from some unknown thugs, according to the reports. Army interfered, but the Army spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Ali totally denied those reports in his statement declaring that Egypt’s Armed Forces are called to protect the people and order and the army soldiers deployed in the area didn’t clash with the CSF but tried to stop the clashes between the police and the protesters.

Meanwhile the clashes continue in Egypt’s capital Cairo as the protesters have closed the traffic in Tahrir again. According to the reports police forces have been trying to disperse the sit-in which continues in Tahrir Square since November 2012 after Mohamed Morsy has issued his controversial Constitutional Declaration. Police reported that 69 protesters have been arrested on Monday on different charges, among the thuggery, weapons’ possession, resisting the arrest and illegal assembly. Five of those arrested have been later released on a bail, while all other arrested are being investigated by Egyptian prosecution.