CAIRO: Public prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud announced Monday that 157 people involved in the demonstrations which erupted in Mahalla on Sunday have been charged with a range of offences including riotous assembly and criminal damage.
Violence again erupted in the town on Monday. Protests began in the afternoon at around 4 pm, in a repeat of yesterday’s events when thousands of Mahalla residents and workers in the Ghazl El-Mahalla textile factory took to the streets following the afternoon shift.
Protestors are angry about the collapse of a strike in the Ghazl El-Mahalla factory, planned for Sunday but which was aborted after intimidation by security bodies and internal divisions between workers.
During yesterday’s demonstrations violent clashes occurred between members of security bodies and protestors. According to Mahmoud, the clashes resulted in the injury of 35 demonstrators, 26 policemen and three senior officers.
The public prosecutor denied rumours that fatalities occurred during yesterday’s demonstrations.
Activist websites had published reports that two people had been killed when security bodies used teargas and live ammunition to contain the demonstration.
Mahmoud also said that eleven shops and two schools were damaged during yesterday’s protests.
An eyewitness who was in Mahalla on Monday told Daily News Egypt that the situation remains extremely tense.
“Relatives of people who have been arrested started a procession from the public prosecution office in Mahalla to the Shon Square, said Ahmed Ghazi, a lawyer with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.
“Young men ripped down a poster of [President] Mubarak in the square and set it alight, he continued.
“Security bodies are using teargas and firing ammunition at the crowd and both protestors and members of security bodies have been injured, Ghazi said.