Egyptians Riot in Cairo Court

Egyptians rioted in a Cairo courtroom after a judge freed 10 police officers accused of killing protesters during the revolution.

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 03:16

Downtown Cairo
Downtown Cairo
Israel news photo: WikiMedia Commons

Egyptians rioted in a Cairo courtroom Monday after a judge freed 10 police officers accused of killing protesters during the revolution that toppled the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

Hundreds clashed with security guards for hours following the court order to release the officers.

Egyptian Prosecutor-General Mahmoud Abdel-Meguid immediately ordered the reversal of the court order after protesters attacked the courtroom. However, attorney Amin Ramez, representing the victims' families, pointed out the move was “illegal” since Abdel-Meguid has no authority over the court system.

More than 846 people died during the uprising, and more than a thousand others were injured. Only one police officer has been convicted of being involved in the deaths, although many government personnel were seen beating protesters.

Friends and relatives of the dead protesters, most of whom were also involved in the uprising, staged a separate protest. They blocked traffic on the Cairo-Suez highway by lying on the roadway.

Military officials negotiated with the demonstrators, according to Associated Press, and a few hours after nightfall convinced them to reopen the road and move instead to a spot inside the city of Suez. Thousands of people joined the protesters in two of the city's main squares, halting traffic in the process.

Suez was another of the major flashpoints during the Egyptian revolution, which does not yet appear to be completely over. Tensions remain high, and protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square are still triggered easily, leading to massive public demonstrations against the caretaker government.

National elections to determine the next president are expected to take place in October.