Middle East

Egypt Brotherhood urges demos, ex-officials' retrial

In this Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 file photo, pro-government demonstrators, some riding camels and horses and armed with sticks, clash with anti-government demonstrators in Tahrir square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

CAIRO: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday called for demonstrations demanding the retrial of those responsible for protester deaths during last year's popular uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

A court on Wednesday acquitted 24 stalwarts of the ousted president who had been accused of incitement to murder over a notorious camel-borne assault on protesters on February 2, 2011, to the disbelief of human rights activists.

"The Brotherhood was shocked, like the Egyptian people, throughout the verdict acquitting the accused of the 'battle of the camel,'" said Mahmud Hussein, general secretary of the Islamist movement, on its website.

"This is why the Muslim Brotherhood has decided... to call on the Egyptian people to express their anger in all the squares of the republic on Thursday... and to respond to popular and national forces' call for a million-man march in Tahrir square on Friday," he added.

The group also demanded that "all those accused of the death of protesters be retried."

Various political parties and groups called for demonstrations on Friday against the country's Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly, to demand that a more representative body be formed and justice be done for protesters killed or tortured last year.

Almost 850 people were killed in the 18 days of popular protest that led to Mubarak's ouster on February 11 last year.

The president of the Brotherhood's political arm the Freedom and Justice Party also called for demonstrations.

"I call on the youth and members of the FJP to take part in today's (Thursday) protests and in the million-strong march on Friday in order to achieve justice for the martyrs," Essam al-Erian wrote on his Twitter account.

Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were both jailed for life for their role in ordering the killings but, to the fury of activists, six top security chiefs who stood trial with them were acquitted.

A number of police accused of the murder of protesters have also been acquitted, raising fears of general impunity for the security forces.





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