Protest Erupts Over Egypt’s Police Trials

Posted July 6th, 2011 at 2:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptians hurled stones at a government building in Suez on Wednesday after a court upheld a ruling to release police officers accused of killing demonstrators during this year's anti-government uprising.

The protest is part of growing dissent against Egypt's military rulers. Some Egyptians say they are frustrated with what they perceive as the rulers' reluctance to prosecute officials from former President Hosni Mubarak's regime who are accused of violence against demonstrators.

Egyptian activists are calling for a huge rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to show their discontent with the court decisions. The Muslim Brotherhood — Egypt's most organized opposition group — has changed its stance and announced plans to attend.

On Monday, hundreds of Egyptians attacked a Cairo courthouse after a judge ordered seven police officers charged with killing 17 anti-government demonstrators to be freed on bail until their September trials. Three other police officers are being tried in absentia in the case.

Last week, more than a thousand people were injured in confrontations between police and protesters in Cairo. Some protesters had been demanding the country's military leadership speed up the prosecutions of officials blamed for the deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.

At least 850 people were killed during the 18-day revolt that culminated with President Mubarak's resignation in February.

On Tuesday, an Egyptian court acquitted three Mubarak-era ministers of corruption charges. However, a fourth ex-minister was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.