Violence returned to in Cairo as plain-clothed security officers killed five protesters and wounded dozens of others Wednesday morning, less than three weeks before presidential elections.
On Tuesday, soldiers in plain clothes threw building blocks and rocks at the protesters and fired tear gas at them, according to an eyewitness quoted by CNN.
Demonstrators near Cairo’s largest mosque have been rallying near the defense ministry for four days to protest the Egyptian provisional military regime’s disqualifying an Islamist candidate, Hazem Abu Ismael, from running in the presidential elections slated for May 23.
Authorities ruled that he could not enter the race because his mother, now deceased, held American citizenship, despite his denial. Nine other candidates also have been barred from running in the first balloting for a president since Hosni Mubarak was last elected. Mubarak is on trial for murdering protesters in the rebellion last year, and a verdict is to be handed down in early June.
Following a violent attack on protesters Saturday night, Amnesty International called on Egyptian authorities to make sure “security forces fulfill their responsibilities to protect protestors."
"Egypt's ruling military council must make sure that attacks like this weekend are independently and impartially investigated, with anyone found responsible for abuses brought to justice," said Ann Harrison, Amnesty’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.