Middle East

Egypt parliament votes to pay uprising victims

A general view of the Egyptian parliament during a working session in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad)

CAIRO: Egypt's new parliament voted on Monday to award cash handouts to people left severely handicapped in clashes with security during last year's uprising against Hosni Mubarak, in its latest move to boost compensation to victims of the violence.

Forces loyal to Mubarak killed around 850 people and injured thousands before he was toppled in a dramatic demonstration of people-power that was a defining moment of the Arab Spring.

Mubarak himself is on trial, accused of ordering the shooting of protesters, corruption and abuse of power.

Parliament voted to amend a draft law to give 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($16,600) to every protester severely handicapped by their injuries. The draft law had originally only promised that level of payment to families of protesters who died.

Egypt's ruling generals, who took over executive power from Mubarak after his fall, would still have to approve the compensation law for it to come into effect.

But the vote was seen as a show of strength by the parliament, which began work in January after the first free elections in six decades.

Parliamentarians resisted a call from Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Saeed, who was present at the session on Monday and asked for the amendment to be delayed, until the number of handicapped victims could be checked.

"I announce the conclusive agreement of the parliament on the proposal of this law," said Speaker Saad al-Katatni during the session.

The Muslim Brotherhood, banned from formal politics during Mubarak's rule, won more than 43 percent of seats.

The army has promised to hand power to an elected civilian president by the end of June.





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