Families of revolution martyrs, injured begin Tahrir sit-in

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CAIRO: More than 50 family members of those martyred or injured during the revolution began Tuesday a sit-in, setting up two tents in Tahrir Square, and announced their boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

In a joint statement, the families said that contrary to media reports, they have not received treatment, care or compensation.

Instead, they have endured “humiliation, ill treatment and the government failure to perform its duty towards them,” the statement added.

Families described the fund set up to provide health and social care for the Jan. 25 injured, headed by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, as a “charade.”

They blame the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for their current situation and Sharaf for not responding to their demands. They also blame political powers — whether parties, movements or coalitions — for neglecting the martyrs’ case.

Protestors are planning to join the mass demonstration planned for Nov. 18 and will continue the sit-in until their six demands are met; chief among which is the trial of police and security forces responsible for killing and injuring protesters during the January uprising.

They are also demanding that the administration of the fund providing health and social care be restructured. Thirdly, families are calling for a decree stipulating that the injured be treated in private hospitals in Egypt or abroad, with the state paying all medical bills. Further rehabilitation for patients should also be covered by the state.

Other demands include providing care for patients’ families until treatment is completed, and paying pensions to those suffering from paralysis and visual impairment that are equal to a martyr’s family’s pension.

A total of 530 martyrs’ families were granted LE 1,500 each in exceptional pensions last July. In addition, 1,000 of those injured during the uprising were to receive LE 5,000 for each victim who suffered permanent disability and LE 2,000 for milder injuries.

At the time, the finance ministry said that if no one in the family is eligible to receive the exceptional pension, the martyr’s rightful heirs will receive LE 50,000 in compensation.

The public prosecution office is responsible for specifying cases eligible for exceptional pensions and presenting certified documents proving their eligibility to the finance ministry.

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