- Middle East/North Africa
Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square Sunday to protest the acquittals given to nine defendants in the major trial that sent former President Hosni Mubarak to jail for life.
Chanting against the verdict, demonstrators demanded the formation of a civilian presidential council including defeated candidates Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabbahi united under Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy.
They also called for the retrial of all defendants in the case and that the Political Isolation Law be applied to Ahmed Shafiq, who will compete against Morsy in the election runoff on 16 and 17 June.
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Mubarak and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly to life imprisonment for failing to stop the killing of demonstrators during the 25 January uprising. The court acquitted six top security officials in the same case, as well as Mubarak’s sons Gamal and Alaa and fugitive business tycoon Hussein Salem, for corruption charges.
Since the verdict was announced on Saturday, protesters have taken to the streets across the country to protest sentences they believe were either too lenient, too few or both.
In Daqahlia on Sunday, hundreds of revolutionary youths, Brotherhood members and members of the Hazemoun (supporters of disqualified former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail), Mokameleen and April 6 Youth movements blocked the main street in front of the Daqahlia governor’s office. Their protest demands included dismissing the attorney general, applying the Political Isolation Law to Shafiq, retrying Mubarak and his aides using real evidence, and cleansing the judiciary.
The protesters burned pictures of Shafiq and threatened a landlord hanging a picture of him from his house that they would burn the house down.
They also chanted slogans against feloul, or remnants of the former Mubarak regime.
Edited and combined translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm