Clashes in Egypt on two year anniversary of Mubarak ousting | News | DW | 12.02.2013
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Clashes in Egypt on two year anniversary of Mubarak ousting

Protesters have clashed with police in Egypt on the two year anniversary of autocrat Hosni Mubarak's ousting. Opposition groups are upset with the current government, saying it hasn't fulfilled the revolution's goals.

Demonstrators were sprayed with water hoses and tear gas Monday as security forces tried to disperse a crowd gathered outside the presidential palace in Cairo. The forces were attempting to break up the small group of protesters after some of them attempted to cross a barbed wire barrier meant to block them from the palace gate.

Some of the protesters threw stones, while others chanted "The people want to bring down the regime."

The crowd had marched to the palace on a day of demonstrations against Egypt's Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi. Opposition groups have called for the protests to demand Morsi fulfill the goals of the revolution which brought him to power.

Among key demands are a new unity government, amendments to a controversial new Islamist-backed constitution, and the firing of the country's prosecutor general.

Activists are also angry that no one has been held accountable for the deaths of dozens of protesters killed in clashes with police in recent months. Hundreds rallied outside the office of the Morsi-appointed prosecutor general, lobbing plastic bags filled with red liquid to recall the blood spilled by civilians in clashes with security forces.

Some 1,000 protesters also gathered in the capital's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 2011 revolution.

"The revolution continues," read some banners, with people chanting "After blood has been spilled, there is no legitimacy."

Earlier in the day, masked men briefly blocked trains at a central Cairo subway stations and dozens of other protesters blocked traffic with burning tires on a main overpass in Cairo.

Still seeking change

Morsi won a narrow majority, claiming just under 52 percent of the vote, in a presidential runoff election against Ahmed Shafik in June 2012.

Egypt has seen steady violence since protests began to mark the two-year anniversary of the uprising's beginning on January 25. The violence increased with riots in the Suez Canal city of Port Said when a court sentenced 21 local soccer fans to death for their roles in a riot last year that killed 74 people.

Protesters also claim that the country's new constitution, approved in December, was rushed through the Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly despite disagreements with the opposition, who say some clauses undermine freedoms of expression, religion, and women's rights.

Opposition activists in Egypt also want a new Cabinet, accusing the government of failing to rein in police brutality or institute economic reforms. Members of April 6, a group key to the uprising, rallied outside the office of the chief prosecutor - appointed by Morsi - who they accuse of punishing protesters while turning a blind eye to police transgressions.

People also staged a Monday march in the coastal city of Alexandria, another site of deadly clashes between protesters and Morsi supporters in recent months. Local television showed demonstrators carrying pictures of some of those killed in the violence over the past two years.

dr/ccp (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)