Protesters were beaten and handed to security forces by street vendors in Downtown Cairo on Saturday, after they allegedly attempted to break into the Cairo Appeals Court, Located in the Egyptian High Court of Justice building.
Hundreds of 6 April Movement members protested near the court on Saturday morning, demanding punishment for those who killed revolutionary activist Gaber Salah, known as Jika. Another group of protesters arrived at the court building demanding the release of detained activist Hamada El-Masry, who was arrested on Thursday following clashes between lawyers and policemen outside the Boulaq Aboul Ella police station.
Both groups chanted slogans criticising President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. They also chanted against the Ministry of Interior and demanded the dismissal of Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah.
Protesters blocked the 26th of July Street, where the High Court of Justice building is located, before street vendors began attacking them. Protesters were beaten by vendors before being turned in to security forces located inside the Appeals Court and to Azbakiya Police Station.
A security officer at the Appeals Court denied any protesters were currently detained inside the court, claiming that street vendors had taken the beaten protesters to Azbakiya Police Station, instead.
He said protesters clashed with street vendors who were angry for not being able to sell their products due to the numerous protests organised by activists in front of the court. The officer refused to give his name or any further comments.
Some bystanders claimed that the vendors detained some protesters inside their shops. Yet this remains unverified.
Abu Maged, a street vendor, claimed that they had beaten the protesters because they tried to break into the Appeals Court, describing them as “thugs”. Abu Maged added that protesters tried to destroy their wares when they prevented them from breaking into the court. “We taught those kids a lesson they will never forget,” he said.
Officers eventually cleared the area of vendors, bystanders and journalists.