CAIRO - Dozens of young Egyptians ransacked the campaign office of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Fayoum city south of Cairo on Sunday, the state's Al-Ahram news website reported.
"Tens of young Egyptians stormed into the headquarters of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Fayoum destroying all the contents of the headquarters including furniture and computer devices," Al-Ahram online said.
It was the second attack on a Shafiq campaign office in recent days. Protesters stormed h is headquarters in Cairo's Dokki district on May 28 and set fire to storage rooms, destroying campaign posters and banners.
One of Shafiq's campaigners in Cairo, Karim Salem, said he was not aware of the attack in Fayoum.
Shafiq was the last prime minister of deposed president Hosni Mubarak and his success in getting through to a second round of Egypt's presidential election has angered opponents who see him as a symbol of a regime that they took to the streets to oust in mass protests last year.
Footage posted on Al-Ahram website showed young men destroying and burning Shafiq's pictures and banners and others chanting: "Fayoum says Ahmed Shafiq is feloul (an Arabic word used to refer to remnant of an ousted political regime)."
Shafiq, a former air force commander, will face the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi in a run-off on June 16-17 described to be a contest between the two most polarizing and controversial figures in the race.
The attack may have been sparked earlier Saturday, when Hosni Mubarak, toppled by an uprising last year after
30 years ruling Egypt, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Saturday for his
role in killing protesters. Although the trial set a precedent for holding
Middle East autocrats to account, it was not enough for thousands of
Egyptians who poured onto the streets after the verdict. Some wanted Mubarak
executed, others feared the judge's ruling exposed weaknesses in the case that
could let the former military strongman off on appeal.
gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, focus for the uprising that drove Mubarak,
now 84, from office on Feb. 11, 2011. Others in the second city of Alexandria
chanted: "We are done with talk, we want an execution!" The ruling came at a
politically fraught time for Egypt, two weeks before a run-off in its first free
presidential election that will pit the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned
under Mubarak, against the deposed autocrat's last prime
Israel, which had a three-decade relationship with Mubarak, had
no official response to the sentencing. Neither the Prime Minister's Office nor
the Foreign Ministry issued any comment, which was true of numerous other
governments around the world.
Labor MK Binymain Ben-Eliezer, who
developed a personal relationship with the ousted Egyptian leader over the
years, said after hearing the sentencing that "I feel a deep personal regret at
the decision of the Egyptian court." Mubarak, he said, "is a patriotic Egyptian
who led his people for 30 years and was concerned about the political status in
Egypt and its economy." Mubarak was wheeled into a courtroom cage on a hospital
stretcher to join co-defendants including his two sons Alaa and Gamal, former
Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and six security officials.
has ordered a punishment for Hosni Mubarak of life in prison based on charges of
participating in crimes of killing and attempted killing," Judge Ahmed Refaat
told the hushed courtroom.
Propped up on the hospital stretcher and
wearing sunglasses, Mubarak heard the verdict stony-faced. He was acquitted on a
separate corruption charge.
Refaat sentenced Adli to life in prison but
acquitted the senior security officials for lack of evidence.
charges against Mubarak's sons, relating to abuse of power and graft, but a new
case brought against them this week for stock market fraud will keep them behind
bars for now.
Businessman and Mubarak ally Hussein Salem, being tried in
absentia, was acquitted of corruption charges.
After a silence during
sentencing, scuffles broke out inside the court between security officers and
people chanting "Void, void" and "The people want the cleansing of the
It was the first time an ousted Arab leader had faced an
ordinary court in person since a wave of uprisings shook the Arab world last
year, sweeping away four entrenched rulers.
Rather than a healing
experience that many Egyptians wanted, many saw the trial that acquitted top
security officials as showing how much of Mubarak's old order was still in
Islamists and others called for protests on Saturday. But some
Egyptians said Mubarak's sentencing was enough, even if they were unhappy that
security officials were off the hook.
Brotherhood demanded a re-trial for Mubarak, who made Egypt into a staunch Arab
ally of the United States.
"The public prosecutor did not carry out its
full duty in gathering adequate evidence to convict the accused for killing
protesters," said Yasser Ali, campaign spokesman for Brotherhood presidential
candidate Mohamed Mursi.
Mursi has vowed that if he is president, he
would use the courts to ensure his predecessor stayed in jail. "It is not
possible to release Mubarak," he told Reuters on Thursday. "I promise the
martyrs, we will retrieve their rights in full, God willing." About 850 people
were killed in the 18-day revolt that toppled Mubarak.
Mubarak's last prime minister, a former air force chief like his old boss and
Mursi's opponent in the presidential run-off, calls Mubarak a role model. He
said on his Facebook page that the trial showed no one was above the
Shafiq has vowed to restore order swiftly after 15 months of
turmoil that has left many Egyptians exhausted. Any new violence could swing
other ordinary Egyptians behind him.
State television said Mubarak,
suffered a "health crisis" when he was taken by helicopter from the court to
Cairo's Tora prison, where he was admitted to a hospital facility. Mubarak had
been held at a luxurious military-run hospital during the 10-month
One medical source said Mubarak had argued with those around him
when he had landed at Tora, refusing to leave the aircraft.
routinely appeared in court on a stretcher, but it is not clear what ailed him.
He had occupied a large hospital suite and was free to see relatives, walk in
the garden and exercise, news reports and a hospital source said this
Al Jazeera reported that Mubarak would lodge an appeal. His lawyers
could not be reached immediately for comment on the report.
court, Soha Saeed, wife of one of those killed during the anti-Mubarak revolt,
shouted: "I'm so happy, I'm so happy." But, as the details of the verdict sunk
in, protesters clashed with police, hurling stones and criticizing the
Despite Mubarak's life sentence, lawyers acting for the families
of victims in the uprising said the acquittal of the six security officials
showed the weakness of the prosecution case and suggested the jailed president
could win an appeal.
"Regarding accusations against the police
leadership, the court is of the opinion that none of the actors who committed
the crimes of murder were caught during or after the events, so there is no
direct evidence for the charges," the judge said.
Charges against the six
included complicity in killing protesters and failing to prevent damage to
New York-based Human Rights Watch said the ruling "sends
a powerful message to Egypt's future leaders that they are not above the
But it said acquittals of security officials due to insufficient
evidence "highlights the failure of the prosecution to fully investigate
responsibility for the shooting of protesters," a possible green light for
The lawyers for the victims' families said the verdicts
against Mubarak and Adli were designed to appease public anger while leaving
room for them to be overturned on appeal.
Refaat opened Saturday's
proceedings by hailing Egyptians for removing the only leader many of them had
"The people of Egypt woke on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, to a new
dawn, hoping that they would be able to breathe fresh air... after 30 years of
deep, deep, deep darkness," he said.
Yet many Egyptians are still waiting
for the light - the messy trial and its aftermath typifying the chaos and
confusion that have marked a political transition led by the
The ruling army council that took over when Mubarak quit has
promised to hand over to a freely elected president by July 1.
Egyptians are fuming that the pillars of Mubarak's authoritarian rule, including
the hated police force, have survived his downfall intact.
marched on the supreme court building in central Cairo. A number of them hurled
stones that smashed windows, but others shouted "Peacefully" at them, stopping
the violence. In Tahrir, some protesters burned Shafiq's campaign
Few Egyptians had expected Mubarak to be put to death, although
protesters have often hung his effigy from lamp posts.
whose 27-year-old son was killed early in the uprising, travelled from
Alexandria for the trial.
"I want nothing less than the death penalty for
Mubarak. Anything less and we will not be silent and the revolution will break
out again," he said shortly before the verdict.Herb Keinon contributed
to this report
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