By Marwa Al-A’asar
CAIRO: Suez protesters on Thursday ended their open sit-in near the Suez Canal waterway and control office in Port Tawfik, continuing the ones in El-Arbaein Square and in front of the local municipality building for the 11th consecutive day.
Protesters, meanwhile, vowed to escalate the situation after four demonstrators who had earlier started a hunger strike outside the local municipality building were allegedly tortured inside a Suez police station.
“The situation first erupted early Thursday when a low-ranking policeman provoked the four after they had been admitted to the hospital in a bad condition,” local journalist Sayed Abdellah told Daily News Egypt.
“Afterwards, the four had an argument with the policemen before a police truck carried them away from the hospital to the police station where they were violently beaten up,” he added.
After hearing this news, dozens gathered outside the station, demanding their release. The four were carried again to the hospital.
Since they had first started their sit-in on July 4 following the release of seven police officers charged with killing and injuring protesters on bail, protesters have called for sacking both the Suez attorney general and the prosecutor general as well as cleansing the judiciary and the interior ministry.
The demonstrators also called for the arrest of the seven police officers. Seven others are being tried in absentia. The trial was adjourned until September.
They accused the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of violating the rights of the martyrs and their families as well as those injured during the first days of the January 25 uprising.
“We still call for the same earlier demands … and will never stop protesting until they are met,” member of the Suez Revolution Coalition Ahmed Abdel-Gawad told DNE.
Several complaints filed about two months ago before the local attorney general accusing 41 police officers and low-ranking policeman of using live ammunition against peaceful protesters have reportedly not yet been looked into.
Protesters also called for swifter trials of former corrupt officials, policemen accused of using live ammunition against protesters, as well as ex-president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons and wife and former interior minister Habib El-Adly.
Mubarak will stand trial before a criminal court in August over corruption charges, the premeditated murder of peaceful demonstrators and the injury of others.
Demonstrators distributed leaflets in and around Suez calling on residents to take part in Friday’s mass protests dubbed “The Final Warning,” to be held in parallel to a major demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
They are expected to gather following Friday prayers from mosques all over the city and head to El-Arbaein, named by citizens the Martyrs’ Square.
Suez witnessed intense clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the early days of the January 25 uprising. The first revolution martyr was shot dead near El-Arbaein on the night of Jan. 25.
Official reports said 29 were killed and 1,000 others wounded during the clashes.
On Wednesday evening, dozens of members of national forces and political parties reportedly held a protest in downtown, about 3 kilometers from El-Arbaein, denouncing any acts that would hinder the Egyptian economy.
Earlier on Sunday, hundreds blocked the Suez-Ain Sokhna desert road, preventing cars from passing through. Factories in the area couldn’t resume their operations. A few hours later, the military police dispersed the sit-in by force and another one held later during the day near the Suez Canal.