Egypt to review trial procedures, free protesters

Anti-corruption activists push for Mubarak trial after government violence against Tahrir Square protesters; army enjoys broad support.

May 14, 2011 03:34
1 minute read.
Protesters fill Egypt's Tahrir Square

Protesters fill Egypt's Tahrir Square Cairo 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)

CAIRO - Egypt's military rulers said on Friday they would review legal procedures used to try young activists detained after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February, and free some.

The move meets some of the demands made by anti-corruption activists who staged sit-in strikes in March and April to push for Mubarak and other former top government officials be put on trial.

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Many demonstrators had accused the army of arresting anti-corruption protesters in March and April when they defied a military curfew and camped out in Cairo's Tahrir square, the center of the protests that toppled Mubarak and a major thoroughfare in the traffic-choked capital.

"The Egyptian Supreme Military Council will review the legal procedures of the trials of all the revolution's youths, especially those arrested in March and April," the council said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

"All honest youths of the revolution will immediately be freed."

The army has enjoyed broad support since taking control on Feb. 11 after Mubarak stepped down but there has been increasing complaints that while some protesters were still being held, it was foot-dragging in bringing Mubarak to trial.

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Mubarak had been ordered detained in April but remains in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Political analyst Nabil Abdel Fattah said the military council may have intended to please the general public and "assure them that it is still listening to them and cares to see justice done".

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