CAIRO: Thousands protested in Suez and Alexandria following Friday prayers, coinciding with major demonstrations and marches in Cairo on a day dubbed "Correcting the Path."
In Suez, a few thousand protested in the main El-Arbaein Square, reiterating earlier demands of justice to the martyrs of the revolution, as well as calling for the execution of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and ex-interior minister Habib El-Adly.
Mubarak, sons Alaa and Gamal, El-Adly and six of his aides are all on trial for inciting the killing of protesters.
In Alexandria, thousands who belong to different political currents gathered first outside El-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque after prayers. They then marched from the mosque through the main Port Said street to the military’s northern sector where army forces were deployed, voicing the same demands.
Suez’ El-Arbaein, renamed Martyrs’ Square by citizens, witnessed the murder of the first protester shot on the night of Jan. 25. Official reports said 29 were killed and 1,000 others injured in Suez during clashes with security during the January uprising.
Demonstrators on Sept. 9 called for setting a timeline for handing over the country to a civilian authority and putting a timetable for holding parliamentary and presidential elections. They also protested against the military trials of civilians.
"No for military trials," protesters shouted. "Egypt is a civil state," they said.
Two hours later, clashes broke out between military police and protesters outside the local municipality building, resulting in the arrest of four activists.
While some protesters said the reason for the clashes was that a number of infiltrators began throwing stones at security forces, others said the troops attacked first when protesters attempted to approach the building.
The four were released later after arguments with organizers of the protest; two of them were rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment from alleged beating up by the military police.
"We intended to use Molotov cocktails against the military police if the four were not released," one protester told Daily News Egypt.
Official spokesman of the Suez Youth Coalition Medhat Eissa told DNE that clashes broke out when some unidentified demonstrators threw rocks at the military police.
Eissa said the activists were arrested mainly for chanting slogans against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
"The forces used electric rods ….dragging one [activist] for several meters on the ground, which resulted in severe back injuries," Eissa, who accompanied them at the hospital, said.
"We are planning to use medical reports that document their injuries and file an official complaint against the military police accusing them of physical abuse," he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, SCAF released communiqué 74 that made clear that no security forces will be deployed near gatherings during Friday protests.
Suez residents had other demands as well. "We adopt today the slogan ‘I want my rights’. Suez has been undergoing tough living conditions on different levels since the revolution, including bad services and security," Eissa said.
A number of demonstrators disagreed with preachers of some mosques who allegedly questioned their nationalism during their Friday sermons and accused secularists of atheism and affiliation to foreign entities, local journalist Al-Sayed Abdellah said.
Islamist groups had earlier announced that they would not participate in the Friday protests, whether in Tahrir or elsewhere.
Alexandria protesters mainly shouted slogans against the interior ministry and SCAF.
"What we are concerned about most today is the coming elections, the referral of civilians to military trials and when exactly the army council will hand over authority," activist Ahmed El-Masry told DNE.