More deaths in Cairo as police crackdown intensifies
19 Dec, 2011 18:25
Another round of violence has hit Cairo on Monday as hundreds of police in riot gear swept through Tahrir Square and opened fire on protesters, killing at least three.
The UN has condemned Monday’s deadly raid with the UN’s human rights chief calling for an investigation into the acts of violence that have left more than 700 injured. The overall death toll from the recent clashes has reached 14, Egypt`s Health Ministry reports. But witnesses say they saw six killed by gunshots on Monday alone, which if true would raise the death toll even higher.Meanwhile, General Adel Emara from Egypt`s military council has announced a plan to burn a parliamentary building had been uncovered.“We’ve received a call to say that a plot was uncovered today to burn parliament and there are now large crowds in Tahrir Square ready to implement the plan.”The Agence France Press reported that hundreds of people had gathered in Tahrir Square for the funeral of one of the protesters killed earlier.The heavy clashes between protesters and the government forces erupted on Friday and continued through the weekend. The crackdown comes with Egypt two-thirds of the way through the election process to replace the military government. The Islamist party, the Muslim Brotherhood, holds a substantial lead in the race. But John Rees, a political activist from the British-based Stop the War Coalition, thinks the violence committed by government forces provides decisive evidence that there is no difference between the toppled President Hosni Mubarak regime and that of the military council. “The governing body of Egypt since the fall of Mubarak has continued Mubarak’s policies: economically, socially, politically,” Rees says. “Many of those people who fought in January and February believe the government is continuing the Mubarak-era regime’s policy and that could not be clearer with the current crackdown and the extreme violence now is being used against the protesters.”Rees explained that “the demonstrations, the strikes at that time, the beginnings of splits in the military themselves, all forced the senior ranks of the army to dump Mubarak in order to protect their own rule.”Commenting on the West’s role in events in Egypt, Rees accused it of “times two” hypocrisy, saying that Western countries first provided arms for the Mubarak regime and are now providing the military council with arms to fight the protesters.RT has talked to Wael Eskandar, a blogger and journalist working out of Cairo, who also says that people in Egypt simply do not trust the military council. “The demonstrators do not believe that the democratic process as it is called will lead to democracy. They have no faith that the military will leave any kind of power. They do not believe that everything has been fair so far.”One example of this, he says, is allowing the Al-Nour party to participate in the elections, while such parties based on religion are prohibited under the law – but nothing is being done.“People are demonstrating because they do not believe that the military`s control over every aspect will eventually lead to any sort of democracy.”