At least 12 people have been injured and several dozen arrested as pro-and anti-Mubarak Egyptians have clashed with the police after the court handed down life sentence for ex-leader Hosni Mubarak.
Severe clashes flared up near the Police Academy straight after the Cairo court passed the sentence for ex-leader Mubarak who was ousted last year as a result of national uprisings.
Pro- regime protesters have been infuriated by the sentence, which they said was unfair.
At the same time, anti-Mubarak Egyptians were outraged that the former president was not sentenced to death. They also rose up against the court’s decision to find the president’s two sons and six security chiefs not guilty.
Police forces tried to stop the protesters, as both sides were throwing rocks and bottle to each other. Several dozen protesters have been detained.
Police managed to calm the crowd and clear the square outside the Police Academy. Protesters have left the scene with some of them relocated to Cairo's Tahrir Square, the cradle of the uprising. The traffic has been stopped as a precautionary measure as police expect more clashes to erupt during the day.
Thousands of people continue arriving at Tahrir Square, demanding the death penalty for the sentenced former leader. Some groups of protesters also burned portraits of Ahmad Shafiq, a presidential candidate who served as Prime Minister during Mubarak’s rule. And as experts predict, today’s verdict may decrease his chances to win the presidential election runoff on June 16-17.
Meanwhile, dozens of young Egyptians stormed Shafiq's headquarters early on Sunday, destroying all the contents, including furniture and computers. This has been the second such attack in few days.
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose member is the election frontrunner, has issued a statement on their website condemning the verdicts that acquitted Hosni Mubarak’s sons and six assistants.
“The verdicts successively issued acquitting police officers accused of killing martyrs send a message to these officers and others to continue their oppression and aggression against the citizens to the point of murder, and that they are safe in the protection of the system,” the statement reads.
Hosni Mubarak was found guilty of complicity in the mass murder of protesters who demonstrated against his power in February last year. He was sentenced to life in prison. Mubarak's defense lawyer said he will appeal the sentence. The ex-president was cleared of corruption charges and the judge also dropped corruption charges against Mubarak's sons, Gamal and Alaa.
“The ruling is very disappointing,” revolution activist Sameh Fawzy told RT. Some Egyptians are now not sure if they still can rely on the normal judicial system or it is time to set up a revolutionary court that will try Mubarak and members of his regime, he noted.“It’s a matter of political assessment of the whole period.'"
Freelance journalist Bel Trew told RT that many people remain in the streets because there are fears among the protesters that the deposed leader will succeed in his appeal and will not serve the full sentence. “Basically people don’t believe the judicial system is transparent, so they think perhaps that Mubarak will be acquitted because that’s what the old regime which is still in place wants.”
People are beginning to make the connections between what they considered to be the old regime and the new regime which is the military council. “What people are really fearing is that this regime will never end and the revolution has is in fact not worked.”
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