Activists call for mass protests in Egypt

Activists call for mass protests in Egypt. 45947.jpegTens of thousands are in Tahrir Square on the fourth day of demonstrations against the military junta, clashes left 28 dead...

On Tuesday, a crowd of tens of thousands thronged on Tahrir Square in Cairo. Egyptian activists have called for mass demonstrations at the site - which was the epicenter of the revolt that caused the resignation of Hosni Mubarak on February 11 - to intensify pressure on the military junta that has been ruling the country for nine months.

The board held emergency meetings with political parties to try to curb demands for a "second revolution." Protesters demanded the resignation of the junta and the transfer of power to a civilian authority on the fourth day of protests, despite a police crackdown that left at least 28 dead and thousands wounded since Saturday.

The mobilization continues though. On Monday, the transitional government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf submitted its resignation. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, however, has not yet ruled whether to accept or reject the resignation of the Executive.

The Egyptian military head of state, Hussein Tantawi, was expected to make a speech Tuesday to the nation. The new wave of mobilization occurs less than a week before parliamentary elections are scheduled to begin on November 28. In all, the electoral process will take three months.

At least three protesters were killed Monday night at Ismailia, Egypt, in the east, in clashes against the country's security forces, while fighting continued on Tuesday near the Interior Ministry in Cairo.

According to the state news agency, Mena, 60 other protesters were injured in clashes in Ismailia, a town along the Suez Canal. Civil unrest in Ismailia began on Monday, when citizens took to the streets to protest against the violence used by security forces against demonstrators in Cairo.

Meanwhile, in the capital, firing rubber bullets and the effects of tear gas left at least 20 wounded on Tuesday near Tahrir Square and the Ministry of the Interior, the location of most of the fighting, medical sources said to the agency Mena.

After the convening of the demonstration on Tuesday, police reinforcements drove to the vicinity of the Interior Ministry, whose access is prohibited by barriers of agents in riot gear.

The police continued firing tear gas against demonstrators, who responded by throwing stones into Muhammad Mahmoud Street, where the American University is. Last night, the protesters chanted slogans such as, "Freedom, freedom," "Egypt, Egypt" and "The people want the fall of Marshal" in reference to the head of the junta.

Request by Amnesty

Amnesty International (AI) called on the European Union (EU) on Tuesday to "increase pressure" on the Egyptian military junta to ensure a transition to democracy and respect for justice and human rights.

In a statement, the organization said there were "overwhelming signs" that the Egyptian authorities "did not intend to make the promised transition to democracy and justice," in reference to the clashes between the police and protesters in recent days.

According to NGOs, "clearer international pressure and clear objectives are needed " as the Egyptian military junta is "processing thousands of civilians, applying harsh measures to peaceful protests and expanding emergency laws."

In its latest report on Egypt, the organization condemned the "deplorable" human rights situation in the country under the transitional regime of the junta, and said it "fulfilled little of its commitments and the situation has worsened in several areas."

According to Amnesty, since August, some 12,000 civilians have been tried around the country in "extremely unfair" processes and noted that 13 of them were sentenced to death.



Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova


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Author`s name Oksana Orlovskaya