Friday, January 28, 2011

Mesir terus membara..

Protests have erupted in cities
across Egypt following Friday
midday prayers, with angry
demonstrators demanding an
end to Hosni Mubarak's 30-year
presidency. Tens of thousands of
protesters have taken to the
streets across the country,
witnesses have said.
Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh,
reporting from the
Mediterranean port city of
Alexandria, said protesters
streamed out of mosques shortly
after prayers to chant slogans
against Mubarak. Police
responded immediately, firing
tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Alexandria is a stronghold of the
Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's
technically banned but largest
political opposition group, but
Rageh said the crowds in the city
predominantly consisted of
"ordinary citizens".
"This is the same mosque where
protests were held against police
brutality in June after a 20-year-
old man was beaten to death by
police," she said. "It ’s very
symbolic that the current
protests are taking place at the
same place all over again."
Protests were also reported in
Suez, a port on the Red Sea east
of Cairo, and in the Nile Delta
cities of Mansoura and Sharqiya,
witnesses said.
Clashes between protesters and
police erupted outside a mosque
in Cairo. Protesters reportedly
threw stones and dirt at the
police after security forces
confronted them. They held up
posters saying "No to
dictatorship" and stamped on
posters of Mubarak.
Friday marked the fourth
consecutive day of protests in
the Middle East's most populous
nation coming on the heels of a
social uprising in nearby Tunisia
that ousted that country's
president of 23 years.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the former
head of the United Nations'
nuclear watchdog and an
opposition leader in Egypt,
returned to the country on
Thursday night after telling
reporters he was ready to lead a
"transition" if asked. On Friday,
he prayed with thousands of
worshippers at a mosque in
Cairo and had reportedly been
prevented from moving freely by
security forces.
The countrywide violence has so
far left seven people dead.
In response, the government has
promised to crack down on
demonstrations and arrest those
participating in them. It has
blocked internet, mobile phone
and SMS services in order to
disrupt the planned
Networking sites
Before Egypt shut down internet
access on Thursday night,
activists were posting and
exchanging messages using
social networking services such
as Facebook and Twitter, listing
more than 30 mosques and
churches where protesters were
to organise on Friday.
"Egypt's Muslims and Christians
will go out to fight against
corruption, unemployment and
oppression and absence of
freedom," a page with more than
70,000 signatories said.
The Associated Press news
agency reported that an elite
special counterterrorism force
had been deployed at strategic
points around Cairo, and Egypt's
interior ministry warned of
"decisive measures".
Safwat Sherif, the secretary-
general of the ruling National
Democratic Party, told reporters
on Thursday: "We hope that
tomorrow's Friday prayers and
its rituals happen in a quiet way
that upholds the value of such
rituals ... and that no one
jeopardises the safety of citizens
or subjects them to something
they do not want."
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the
Muslim Brotherhood said that 20
members of the officially banned
group had been detained
Abdel-Moniem Abdel-Maksoud
said two of the most senior
movement members were
detained: Essam El-Erian, its main
spokesman, and Mohammed
Moursi, a prominent
Brotherhood leader.
Fierce clashes
On Thursday, protesters hurled
petrol bombs at a fire station in
Suez, setting it ablaze. They tried
but failed to set fire to a local
office of the ruling National
Democratic Party. At another rally
near Giza on the outskirts of
Cairo, police used tear gas to
break up hundreds of protesters
late at night.
Cairo, normally vibrant on a
Thursday night ahead of the
weekend, was largely deserted,
with shops and restaurants shut.
In the city of Ismailia, hundreds
of protesters clashed with police
who used tear gas and batons to
disperse them.
"This is a revolution," one 16-
year-old protester said in Suez .
"Every day we're coming back
"The intensity continues to
increase," Al Jazeera's Jamal
Elshayyal reported from Suez.
"There have been fierce clashes
with rubber-coated steel bullets
being fired by the riot police as
well as tear gas."
Human Rights
Human Rights Watch said
Egyptian police had escalated the
use of force against largely
peaceful demonstrations and
called it "wholly unacceptable
and disproportionate".
Barack Obama, the US president,
urged both the government and
protesters to show restraint as
they expressed their "pent-up
frustrations". Hillary Clinton, the
secretary of state, had earlier
said that the protests offered the
Mubarak government an
opportunity to institute social,
economic, and political reforms.
"It is very important that people
have mechanisms in order to
express legitimate grievances,"
Obam said as he answered
questions from an online
audience on the YouTube
Obama also urged Mubarak to
make changes to the political
system to appease the angry
"I've always said to him that
making sure that they are
moving forward on reform -
political reform, economic reform
- is absolutely critical for the
long-term well-being of Egypt."

1 comment:

lunaticg said...

Kat mana-mana pun dah sibuk nak buat demonstrasi jer kerja...