News / Africa

Protests Erupt in Egypt Over Police Trials

Protesters and military police tussle over trying to overturn a police car after protesters broke the windows in front of the court complex in Suez, Egypt, July 6, 2011
Protesters and military police tussle over trying to overturn a police car after protesters broke the windows in front of the court complex in Suez, Egypt, July 6, 2011

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Hundreds of Egyptians carried out a violent protest Wednesday, after a court upheld a ruling to release at least 10 policemen accused of killing demonstrators during this year's anti-government uprising.

Protesters threw stones at the government security building in the city of Suez and attacked a courthouse. They also damaged police vehicles.

There were no reports of injuries.

The protest is part of growing dissent against Egypt's military rulers.  Some Egyptians say they are frustrated with what they perceive as the rulers' reluctance to prosecute officials from former president Hosni Mubarak's government who are accused of violence against demonstrators.

As tensions rose Wednesday, Egypt's security chief said he will dismiss hundreds of policemen for their role in the deadly crackdown on anti-government protests earlier this year.  Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawi said the move, planned for mid-July, will be the largest police shakeup in Egypt's history.

Egyptian activists are calling for a huge rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to show their discontent with the court decisions that sparked Wednesday's protests.  The Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt's most organized opposition group - has announced plans to attend.

On Monday, hundreds of Egyptians attacked a Cairo courthouse after a judge ordered seven policemen charged with killing 17 anti-government demonstrators to be freed on bail until their September trials.  Three other police officers are being tried in absentia in the case.

Last week, more than 1,000 people were injured in confrontations between police and protesters in Cairo.  Some protesters had been demanding the country's military leadership speed up the prosecutions of officials blamed for the deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Jerome Socolovsky
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