Tens of thousands protest in Cairo for unmet demands

Tens of thousands protest in Cairo for unmet demands
# 02 April 2011 03:45 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to press for unmet demands from the country’s military rulers, whom they accused of backtracking on promises of more transparency and democracy, APA reports quoting “Monsters and Critics”.
’If Mubarak isn’t tried this week, we will come next Friday and say ’down with Tantawi’,’ said a man via a loudspeaker, referring to the head of the Army and longtime Mubarak confidant, Muhammad Hussein Tantawi.
’Tantawi is one of Mubarak’s men,’ said Mohamed El-Sayed, a physics professor, who travelled from outside Cairo to attend the rally with his wife and two daughters.
’The Higher Council of the Armed Forces doesn’t move except when they know we’re planning a million-man protest,’ he added.
The council has been in control of the country since Hosny Mubarak was toppled from power on February 11.
There have been allegations that the army tortured detainees and accusations that it has not given new political parties enough time to campaign by scheduling parliamentary elections in September.
A number of opposition groups, including the April 6th Youth Movement and the January 25th Coalition, threw their weight behind Friday’s protest.
The aim of the massive rally was ’to save the revolution,’ according to organizers of the Facebook page that called for the protest.
Thousands also gathered in the northern coastal city of Alexandria.
However, the foremost demand of the protesters Friday was to bring to trial three of Mubarak’s closest allies: his former chief of staff, Zakaria Azmi; former speaker of the upper house of parliament, Safwat al-Sherif; and the former speaker of the lower house of parliament, Fathi Sorour.
Although the influential Muslim Brotherhood party did not express its support for the protest, many of the group’s younger members, who took part in the protests that ousted Mubarak, vowed their support.
’I came here today to protect the revolution from the ruling party, and also to show that the Muslim Brotherhood are not on the same side as the NDP,’ said protester Mahmoud Sabet, referring to the National Democratic Party, once led by Mubarak.
Other demands include the release of political prisoners, an international freeze on Mubarak’s assets, the dissolution of the NDP, and the removal from their post of members of the old guard still in charge of the country’s broadcast media and universities.
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