The Revolution Youth Coalition and other political groups are planning a million-man demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square and the provinces Friday (July 8th) to demand punishment for officials involved in killing protestors during the January revolution.
Coalition member Nasser Abdel Hamid told Al-Shorfa the protest was called to express solidarity with the parents of demonstrators who were killed in the revolution and to pressure the government to hold all the officials involved in the killing of more than 800 demonstrators between January 25th and February 11th accountable.
Two months ago, Egyptian Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud pressed charges against former President Hosni Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, and several of their aides for killing demonstrators. Al-Adly's trial was postponed until July 25th. Mubarak will go on trial in August.
Only one policeman has been convicted of killing demonstrators, and cases against police officers are pending in courts in several governorates, including Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.
Trials of police and former Mubarak officials have proceeded slowly or led to acquittals. Former Information Minister Anas al-Fiqqi and former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali were acquitted of misusing public funds Tuesday, according to al-Masry al-Youm.
Tensions between the government and the Revolution Youth Coalition have risen during the past two weeks after clashes on June 28th in Tahrir Square between demonstrators and police.
According to the Ministry of Health, over a thousand people were injured during the clashes.
Egypt's National Council for Human Rights formed a committee to investigate the Tahrir Square incident, and its members announced in a press conference Tuesday (July 5th) that the clashes were planned by unknown elements. However, the council condemned the police for using excessive force.
The council, which reports to the lower house of parliament, demanded immediate justice for the parents of those killed and a trial of all former regime officials responsible for the killings.
The council also called for health and material care to be provided at the government's expense to the people injured on June 28th.
A new crisis occurred in Suez between the government and the families of the martyrs after a court in Suez decided Monday (July 4th) to release 10 police officers on bail who were on trial for their involvement in killing demonstrators during the revolution.
The court's decision led to clashes, resulting in several casualties and the destruction of cars and damage to buildings adjacent to the court.
"The martyrs' families were demanding immediate justice for the last four months, and so far the trials involving the killings of demonstrators have moved slowly. The decision to release the officers in Suez inflamed the feelings of the people. We will participate in the million-man protest to achieve immediate justice, which is one of the most important principles of the Egyptian revolution," said Abdel Hamid, member of the executive office of the Revolution Youth Coalition.
Angie Hamdy, media coordinator for the April 6th Youth Movement, told Al-Shorfa that one of the main demands of the protesters is an apology from the Minister of Interior, Major General Mansour al Issawi, for the clashes in Tahrir Square last month.
She said it was imperative to provide "a clear explanation for what happened to the public, dismiss those involved in these events and dismiss leaders in the Ministry of Interior who are from the former regime."
April 6th leader Mohammed Adel said, "The Movement will do everything in its power to support the Minister of Interior to clean up the ministry from the corruption that it suffered during the former regime."
He added that the movement will announce the names of 40 police officials who were aides to al-Adly, and accuse them of being behind the chaos in January.
The Muslim Brotherhood announced Wednesday that it was changing its earlier position, which opposed participating in demonstrations against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces until the transition period ends. The major liberal and leftist parties also announced they will participate in the demonstration.
A statement from the Egyptian cabinet welcomed the demonstration within the framework of "the democratic development that Egypt is experiencing."
"[The cabinet] protects and supports the right of peaceful demonstration, provided it maintains the peaceful and civilized path established by the masses of the January 25th revolution. The nation has become a target for forces waiting to derail its democratic experiment and to prevent the revolution from achieving its objectives," the statement read.