Egyptians rally against army over beatings of protesters

Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:48pm GMT
 

By Edmund Blair and Marwa Awad

CAIRO (Reuters) - Thousands of Egyptians rallied in Cairo and other cities Friday to demand the military give up power and vent their anger after 17 people were killed in protests where troops beat and clubbed women and men even as they lay on the ground.

One image in particular from the five days of clashes that ended this week has stoked their fury: that of soldiers dragging a woman lying on the street so that her bra and torso were exposed, while clubbing and stamping on her.

"Anyone who saw her and saw her pain would come to Tahrir,"

Omar Adel, 27, said in Cairo's Tahrir Square. "Those who did this should be tried. We can't bear this humiliation and abuse."

Some protesters have been demanding the army bring forward a presidential vote to as early as January 25, the first anniversary of the start of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, or at least much earlier than the mid-2012 handover now scheduled.

But other Egyptians fret that 10 months after Mubarak's downfall Egypt remains in disarray. They want protests to stop so order can be restored and the economy revitalised, voicing such views in a smaller protest in another part of Cairo.

The Muslim Brotherhood's party, leading in a staggered parliamentary election that runs to January and is Egypt's first free vote in six decades, said it would not join Friday's rally.

It also supports the army's schedule and says the process must be decided by balloting, not street pressure.   Continued...

Egyptian protesters shout anti-military council slogans as they hold a national flag with the words "Down with the military council "at Tahrir Square in Cairo December 23, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany
 
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