News / Africa

Braving Scorching Heat, Egyptians Rally to Press for Reforms

Protesters gather in front of a stage in Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011
Protesters gather in front of a stage in Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011

Several thousand people gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for another protest after mid-day prayers Friday, but the numbers were nowhere near the ‘million-man march’ some activists had called for, or the tens of thousands who came out last Friday.

A small group marching around the Tahrir Square chanted, “We are not tired of protesting. Freedom is not free.” And referring to the former regime of ex-President Hosni Mubarak they said, “We have removed the head but the tail remains.”

Al Pessin's Cairo report:

The chants reflect the feelings of the relatively small but dedicated group that continues to come to the square to push for faster reforms, especially open trials for former regime officials and police officers accused of killing demonstrators.
dd

In the center of the square, tents house several hundred people who have been involved in a week-long sit-in. They say they will stay until their demands are met. A few say they have been on a hunger strike for the past week.

One of the hunger strikers argues with a senior opposition politician who has come to try to convince them to end the strike.

Osama al-Ghazali Harb speaks to protesters on Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011
Osama al-Ghazali Harb speaks to protesters on Tahrir Square, July 15, 2011

Ossama al-Ghazali Harb, head of the Democratic Front, tells the man the hunger strikers have captured the attention of the nation and helped rekindle the protests, and he promises to carry their message to the ruling military council.

Later, Harb tells VOA why the protesters returned to this square, and others around the country, five months after they forced the end of the nearly 30-year tenure of Mubarak.

“After five months, nothing happened. This is what is the main cause of this anger and this re-gathering in the square," said Harb. "They want some concrete results of the revolution. All that happened is they got rid of Mubarak, but the regime continues. The people understand what revolution means.  Revolution means radical change in the system. Where is this radical change?”

In a tent not far away, Sherif al-Rouby, a leader of another opposition group, the April 6 Movement, acknowledges that the interim government has done some things to respond to the protesters demands, including firing more than 600 senior police officers and promising a cabinet shakeup by next week.

He said the 25 main opposition groups recognize that the government has made some new promises, but he says they have agreed that the sit-in and the protests will continue until they see action.

He called for an open trial for Mubarak, a ban on military trials for civilians, a timetable for the end of military rule and a decision on minimum and maximum wage limits.

Protesters gathered around as a young boy, sitting on a man’s shoulders, led them in song.

The boy sings, “Tahrir was a square, now it is the address of martyrs. At Tahrir, the nation made a revolution.”

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid