Violent Protests Erupt in Egypt After Court Upholds Death Sentences For 21 Soccer Rioters

by Colonel on March 9, 2013

“Three protesters have been killed and reportedly 65 injured in Cairo as outraged crowds protest both in the Egyptian capital and the city of Port Said over the latest verdict on the deadly Port Said stadium riot in February 2012.

Security sources have reported that one protester died from the effects of tear gas. Meanwhile, Ahram Online puts the number of dead at three, saying an 8 year-old boy was among them. It says the other two were killed by birdshot during the clashes.

The number of injured also differs with the majority of sources reporting about 15 people and Reuters putting the figure at 65.

The verdict, broadcast live from the courtroom, was initially cheered by fans of Cairo’s Al-Ahly team.

“First we were happy when we heard the 21 death sentences,” one fan told AFP news agency.

“We were cheering and didn’t hear the rest of the verdict. Then we were very angry.”

An Egyptian court has confirmed Saturday the death sentences for 21 football fans involved in the fatal riots in Port Said in 2012, in which most victims were supporters of the Cairo team.

It also sentenced five other suspects to life in jail and 10 others to 15-year terms, including the city’s security chief Esam Samak.

” — Copyright 2013 Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”

“The number of people injured in the fire at the Egyptian Football Association and the Police Club in Gezira has risen to 15, according to Ambulance Authority head Mohamed Sultan.

Sultan said that the injured suffered from bruises, abrasions, burns and smoke inhalation, though he added that none of the injuries were serious. Sultan added that the ambulance authority was on high alert and had stationed more ambulances downtown and near the ministries.

Members of the Ultras Ahlawy had gathered in front of the Ahly Club headquarters in Gezira two hours after the Port Said Criminal Court had handed down a verdict acquitting 28 defendants in the Port Said case. Though the court upheld the death sentences of 21 other defendants and sentenced five others to life, angry Ultras Ahlawy members started attacking the EFA and the Gezira Police Club.

Two military helicopters were deployed in Cairo to help contain fires at Egyptian Football Association and Police Club, which were set by Ultras Ahlawy members earlier today, the military spokesperson said on his Facebook page.

” — Al-Masry Al-Youm, Copyright 2013 Egypt Independent

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