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Protests in Egypt after soccer riot verdicts

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 9 March 2013
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Protests in Egypt after soccer riot verdicts, 9 March 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/519a6ae416.html [accessed 30 July 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

March 09, 2013

By RFE/RL

Protests have broken out in Cairo and Port Said after an Egyptian court delivered verdicts over a deadly football riot last year.

Fans of Cairo's Al-Ahly club stormed the headquarters of the Egyptian Football Federation in the capital on March 9, setting it on fire. State media said a nearby police officers' social club in Cairo was also ablaze.

In Port Said, hundreds of protesters sought to disrupt car ferry traffic across the Suez Canal.

Seventy-four people were killed when riots broke out in February 2012 at a league game in Port Said between a local football club, Al-Masry, and Cairo's Al-Ahly.

Earlier on March 9, a court in Cairo confirmed death sentences against 21 people for their role in the riot. Five defendants were sentenced to life in prison while 28 were acquitted.

The remaining of the total of 73 defendants in the case received lesser prison sentences.

The trial over the Port Said riots has been the source of some of the worst violence in Egypt since the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

Tarek Sherif, a lawyer representing plaintiffs, said that he doesn't think the verdict is adequate "because it isn't a case of a football riot, it's a murder case."

"It was not investigated correctly and the legal procedures were also not followed correctly," he said.

Among those acquitted were seven of the nine police officers on trial over the riots.

Hardcore Al-Ahly fans known as Ultras had vowed revenge if the defendants, including police, were exonerated.

Dozens of people have been killed in unrest in Port Said since the 21 death sentences were initially passed in January.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and AP

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

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