Activist groups and families of victims held a press conference on Saturday condemning “the assault of military forces against peaceful protesters” in front of the cabinet building in December 2011, and called for protests on Monday 16 December and Wednesday 19 December in commemoration of the events.
Activist groups who announced their participation during the press conference include: the Revolutionary Front, the Kazeboon (Liars) campaign, 6 April Youth movement, the Jika Movement, Revolutionary Socialists, Hakemoohom (Put Them On Trial) amongst others. They were joined by families of the victims who died in the events, including the families of Emad Effat, Alaa AbdelHady, Ramy Hamdy, Ahmed Mansour and others.
6 April leader Abdel Aziz [Zizo] Abdo said the movement was against the Protest Law and would not submit the prior notice the law requires for the protests. He added that the Muslim Brotherhood would not be a part of their demonstration.
Similarly, the Kazeboon campaign criticised Brotherhood’s “failure to bring about justice for the victims of the cabinet clashes,” highlighting a statement by Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy in which he commented that “the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t mind making a deal [overlooking violations] with the SCAF in return for handing over power [to them as a civilian government].”
“All the martyrs died for the key demands of the revolution – bread, freedom and social justice – which have yet to be met,” said Kazeboon’s Sally Toma.
The Kazeboon campaign is a self-described “street media campaign”, started in December 2011 to “expose lies by offering a counter narrative to that of mainstream media.” The movement draws its material from provocative and graphic images submitted by the public.
Hend Nafea was one of nine girls included in the 262 detained during the cabinet clashes, and pointed out during the press conference that “all of those detained were injured victims who suffered physical and psychological trauma resulting from their illegal confinement.” She cited the example of Naema, “a 14 year old girl who still is still dealing with the aftermath of her detention.”
All the detainees imprisoned during other clashes were acquitted after ousted President Mohamed Morsi issued a presidential pardon in October 2012; however, the case against the so-called “cabinet detainees” is ongoing.
“The case [of the cabinet detainees] is still being investigated after three years,” said Osama Al Mahdy, member of Warakom Bel Taqrir campaign, noting that the judge recused himself from the case last November and the case has yet to be reassigned.
“None of the lawyers know anything about the accusations made against military personnel,” he said. “Only one officer was tried for the violations of security forces: Hossam Al Din Mustafa, [but] there was a change in the date of the trial without notifying the lawyers involved and as a result the case was closed.”
Al Mahdy called for “unveiling the facts that the committee had discovered,” pointing out that the aforementioned committee investigated all of the alleged crimes committed by the protesters and security forces. Al Mahdy claimed that all the judges in the fact finding committee were “biased against the revolution” and that detainees were asked “leading questions.”
Warakom Bel Taqrir is a human rights campaign that monitors the fact-finding committee was set up by former president Mohammed Morsi to investigate crimes related to the 25 January Revolution as well as those which took place during the rule of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF).
“My son wasn’t a thug as they claimed. I demand to know what happened to my child. It is my right,” laments the mother of Ahmed Bkheet, one of the victims.