Egyptian anti-Mubarak verdict protesters tear-gassed by police

Demonstrators driven into side-streets by water cannon and gas

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Egyptian police have used tear gas and water cannon to break up a demonstration against the acquittal of the country’s former president Hosni Mubarak.

News that the ousted president had murder and corruption charges against him dismissed by a judge brought demonstrators out onto the streets of Cairo at the start of the weekend.

On Saturday some 2,000 young people protested the verdict near Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the nation’s 2011 uprising. The square itself was closed off by soldiers and police.

"The people want to bring down the regime!" protesters shouted, echoing one of the most prominent slogans of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising.

Protesters were further incensed after Mr Mubarak gave a television interview after the verdict in which he said he “did nothing wrong” during the 2011 clashes that left at least 200 protesters dead.

Eyewitnesses said protesters were driven into side-streets by the security forces’ assault, which authorities said was triggered after supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood joined the protest.

An Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesperson said in a statement that Muslim Brotherhood supporters threw rocks at security forces and fought with the existing protesters. The Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organisation under the country’s new military regime.

At least one person is reported to have been killed in the clashes.

Protesters chanted against Egypt’s current president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is the former head of the Egyptian armed forces.

Mr el-Sissi took power in a coup from the Muslim Brotherhood, who won democratic elections after the fall of Mr Mubarak.

The Muslim Brotherhood government, led by Mohamed Morsi, was also the subject of protests during its short period in office.

Yesterday’s verdict came only a day after huge anti-government protests where at least four people were killed, reportedly by security forces.

Comments