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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Egypt: clashes erupted in Cairo and other cities nationwide on the fourth anniversary of January 25 Revolution

Clashes in Cairo (Daily News Egypt)

Situation was really tense in Egypt on the eve and on the day of the fourth anniversary of January 15th Revolution of 2011, with numerous protests and clashes taking place nationwide and additional security measures.

There were no plans for big celebrations of the Revolution's anniversary this year, as the security situation is tense in the country. In addition to that death of Saudi Arabia's king Abdullah and mourning for him announced in all Arabic countries including Egypt made some changes in the anniversary plans. Though several demonstrations have been held in Cairo in several other Egyptian cities as well on 24 and 25 January.

Several dozens demonstrators have marched on Saturday, 24 January, in Cairo downtown to commemorate the victims and the martyrs of the January 25th Revolution, when the rally was dispersed by the police forces. The march was organized by Socialist Popular Alliance Party. It wasn't authorized by the police, as the new protests' law demands, but it was announced in advance, according to the Party's official spokesperson.

Marchers were heading from Talaat Harb to Tahrir Square to bring the flowers for the killed protesters when the demonstrators were attacked by the police forces, who shot the teargas and bird shots in order to disperse the protesters. One woman, Shaimaa El-Sabagh, 33, was shot dead by the police during these clashes. Her death was confirmed by Egypt's Ministry of Health and sparked controversy in Egyptian society and in social networks as well. Representatives of the Party she was a member of claim she was shot dead by the policeman, while the police denies the accusations claiming that the protesters attacked security with the firecrackers.

Shaimaa El-Sabagh killed on 24 January (Pan-African News)
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb declared that an investigation of the incident was open and those responsible for that will face justice.

Hundreds of mourners have gathered on the next day, Sunday 25 January, in the coastal city of Alexandria to commemorate Shaimaa El-Sabagh, as she was from Alexandria. Mourners have carried the posters and banners with Shaimaa's face and chanted against police and security forces brutality and using of excessive force.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Cairo and other Egyptian cities during the marches on Sunday, 25 January, when groups of the protesters clashed with the groups of supporters of Egypt's current President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. There were also reports about some protests of Muslim Brotherhood's and ousted President Mohamed Morsi happening in the city.

 Fierce clashes took place mostly in the morning on Sunday in Cairo's Downtown, close to Tahrir Square, in Giza, Matariya districts, in Nile Delta city of Kafr El-Sheikh, Upper Egypt's Minya, Alexandria and others. The heaviest clashes took place in the district of Matariya in Cairo, facing clashes also between the police and supporters of Muslim Brotherhood.Police has dispersed the protesters shooting teargas and bird-shots.

Clashes in Cairo (El-Arabiya English)
The clashes occured on the next day as well, but were less intense. 23 people were reported to be killed as a result of the Sunday's clashes, among them three policemen. Dozens were reported to be injured including 11 policemen. Nearly 150 people were arrested during the clashes, among them also some supporters of Mohamed Morsi who protested earlier this day.

Most of the people were killed during the clashes in Cairo, while one person was reported to be killed in Alexandria and two other people were killed in Beheira (Nile Delta governorate), as two bombs detonated there. In addition to that there were several reports of the bombs planted in different districts of Cairo on Sunday.

By the evening the clashes subsided and the situation calmed, though the Cairo downtown demonstrations turned violent near the Journalists' Syndicate, as protesters have clashed there with the supporters of Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, and the clashes were dispersed by the police forces.

Thus, the situation in the country was tense during the day of the fourth anniversary of January 25 Revolution, though it calmed by the evening.

2014 anniversary of January 25 revolution though turned violent as well and left more than 60 people dead and dozens pf wounded.