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Tens Of Thousands Gather In Cairo On Anniversary Of Anti-Mubarak Revolt

Egyptians Mark Protest Anniversaryi
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January 25, 2012
Thousands of Egyptians have gathered on Cairo's Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of the mass revolt that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign as president. A year ago, inspired by an uprising in Tunisia, Egyptians took to the streets to call for democratic change and to demand the fall of the regime. More than 800 demonstrators were killed during last year's protests. (AP video)

Thousands of Egyptians have gathered on Cairo's Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of the mass revolt that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign as president. A year ago, inspired by an uprising in Tunisia, Egyptians took to the streets to call for demo

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Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered in central Cairo to mark the first anniversary of the mass revolt that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign as president.

Exactly one year ago, inspired by an uprising in Tunisia, Egyptians took to the streets to call for democratic change and to demand the fall of the regime.

The demonstrators on January 25 massed in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which was the focal point of the protests that eventually led to Mubarak's ouster on February 11.

Supporters of Islamist parties and pro-reform demonstrators rallied on different sides of the square.

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups -- banned under Mubarak --  said they had gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the toppling of Mubarak's regime. On the other side of Tahrir, pro-reform demonstrators were demanding a swift end to army rule and the prosecution of officials responsible for the killing of more than 800 demonstrators during last year's protests.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Back At The Egyptian Revolution
  • Demonstrators clash with police in central Cairo on January 25, 2011. The protesters were inspired by the uprising in Tunisia that led to the ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
  • An antigovernment protester defaces a picture of President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria on January 25, 2011.
  • Police use a water cannon against antigovernment protesters in downtown Cairo on January 25, 2011.
  • Demonstrators protest near police on January 25, 2011, to demand the ouster of Mubarak and call for reforms.
  • A protester attends to an injured man during clashes in Cairo on January 28, 2011.
  • Egyptians gather around the burning headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party in Cairo on January 28, 2011.
  • Egyptian protesters run for cover as police open fire on crowds in central Cairo on January 29, 2011.
  • Protesters carry the body of a man killed during an attempt to storm the Interior Ministry in Cairo on January 29, 2011.
  • An Egyptian man displays empty bullet cartridges in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on January 29, 2011.
  • Egyptian demonstrators gather around a wounded comrade shot by police during clashes near Tahrir Square on January 29, 2011.
  • An Egyptian civilian kisses an army soldier after troops took position at major junctions in central Cairo on January 29, 2011.
  • Hungry and thirsty protesters reach out for food and drink during mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square on February 8, 2011.
  • An injured protester takes part in mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square on February 9, 2011.
  • President Hosni Mubarak speaks to the nation on February 10, 2011. It was thought Mubarak would announce he was stepping down, but protesters left disappointed.
  • Demonstrators react as they listen to Mubarak's speech in front of a big screen in Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011.
  • An Egyptian soldier is mobbed by celebrating protesters in Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011.
  • Demonstrators crowd Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011.
  • Egyptian antigovernment bloggers work on their laptops from Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011.
  • Antigovernment protesters march in the coastal city of Alexandria on February 11, 2011.
  • An Egyptian flag with January 25 -- the date the uprising started -- written on it is seen amid the crowd near army tanks on Tahrir Square on February 11, 2011.
  • Antigoverment demonstrators flood Tahrir Square on February 11, 2011.
  • Opposition supporters attend Friday Prayers on Tahrir Square on February 11, 2011.
  • Protesters demonstrate by raising their shoes in front of the Egyptian national TV building in Cairo on February 11, 2011.
  • Protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square after the announcement by Vice President Omar Suleiman that Mubarak had stepped down on February 11, 2011.
  • Protesters celebrate in Tahrir Square after the announcement of Mubarak's resignation on February 11, 2011.

On January 24, Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, announced that a decades-long emergency law will be partially lifted.

"Now that the people have voiced their word and have chosen members of parliament , I have taken the decision to end the state of emergency throughout the republic except when facing crimes committed by thugs," he said.

"This decision will take effect as of January 25, 2012."

Tantawi's definition of "thuggery" was not immediately known, but the regime has previously used the expression "thugs" to justify crackdowns on protesters demanding a return to civilian rule.

'Revolution Day'

Human Rights Watch on January 25 condemned the announcement, calling it "an invitation to continued abuse" and the stifling of freedoms.

The anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolt comes just two days after the newly elected parliament met for the first time on January 23.

The Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood -- which was banned under Mubarak -- holds the largest number of seats following Egypt's first free elections in decades.

In an acknowledgment of the events of one year ago, the ruling military council has declared January 25 to be "Revolution Day." The date was once the official "Day of the Police."

The military has planned its own public events, with a naval parade in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, air shows in Cairo, and fireworks displays around the country.

Security forces have indicated that they are on alert for "any attempts to sabotage" the celebrations, but said police have been ordered to keep a low profile.

Amnesty International has called on security forces to protect demonstrators and uphold the right to peaceful assembly.

In recent months, Tahrir Square has been the scene of deadly clashes between security forces and antimilitary protesters.

Compiled from agency reports
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