Hundreds Injured in Egypt on Protest Anniversary

Yahoo Contributor Network

Two years after the beginning of the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Reuters is reporting that more than 300 people have been injured during violent protests.

Police and protesters were reported to have fought in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and Ismailia along with other cities over claims by demonstrators that pro-democracy aims of the original movement hadn't been implemented by ruling Islamists, including President Mohamed Morsi, according to a report from the AP .

Here's a closer look at the day's events and what rights groups and diplomats are saying about the anniversary.

Clashes begin with stone-throwing youths

Reuters reported that thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 pro-democracy movement to accuse the government of betraying the revolution. Before dawn, police were fighting with young protesters who had hurled petrol bombs and firecrackers while approaching a wall used to blockade the square from government buildings. Protesters and police fought throughout the day, with demonstrators throwing rocks against security.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a political group that came to political power following elections, has denied that it is attempting to rule through strongarm tactics.

Diplomats appeal for continued progress towards democracy

After congratulating the country for freely handing over military rule to civilians, British Foreign Secretary William Hague noted that there were still challenges to be met. "An inclusive political process -- including free and fair parliamentary elections -- and a review process for the Constitution will be the next important steps in consolidating the country's political transition."

The United Nation's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement noted by the U.N. News Center on Thursday stating that the commitments made by Egypt should be carried forward. "Even as Egyptians engage vigorously in debate, the Secretary-General encourages them to remain committed to universal principles of: peaceful dialogue and non-violence," his spokesperson said.

Rights groups call for more action

The Committee to Protect Journalists noted that though Mubarak was gone, his method of silencing critics were still being used up to the anniversary of the anti-government movement. They noted instances of physical and legal attacks against journalists including editors and TV hosts.

Last Friday, Reporters Without Borders called for the Egyptian judicial system to overturn the conviction of Coptic Christian blogger Albert Saber Ayyad, accused of "denigrating religions." The blogger was released on bail Dec. 17.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.

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