The Muslim Brotherhood has called for a “million man march” on Thursday and Friday after acquittals were announced in the “Battle of the Camel” court case in the Cairo Criminal Court.
“The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is appalled by the acquittal of all defendants in the 25 January revolution’s notorious ‘Battle of the Camel’, in which scores of peaceful protesters were killed and injured,” read a statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing. “The FJP urges the Attorney General to submit the real evidence that will convict the criminals who shot and shed blood of innocent revolutionaries.”
“The FJP further calls upon all national movements, parties, and stakeholders to unite and demand justice without delay,” the statement concluded.
“The nation is yearning for swift justice, which hasn’t been achieved in Tahrir, Mohamed Mahmoud, or Maspero killings,” the organisation said on its Twitter page.
Muslim Brotherhood youth were present at the Battle of the Camel and attempted to defend protesters against the unknown attackers. However, the group was heavily criticised for its silence after clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street and after the Maspero massacre. Thousands of protesters marched to Maspero on the one year anniversary of the massacre on Tuesday to commemorate the victims and demand the prosecution of senior military officials. However, the Muslim Brotherhood did not officially participate in the march and remained silent on the anniversary.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s planned protest falls on the same day as another already planned by 20 groups calling for a more representative constitution. The coalition issued a statement on 6 October calling for a sit-in in Tahrir Square to protest against the Constituent Assembly and advocate sweeping economic and political reforms. The civil bloc was highly critical of President Mohamed Morsy and political Islamists in its statement.
“We’re worried that people will go to Tahrir Square tomorrow and not get a clear message,” said Mahmoud Nasser, a founding member of Al-Dostor, one of the parties calling for Friday protest.
Nasser emphasised the importance of the constitution, saying the FJP would continue to raise issues distracting from the urgency of action he believes needs to be taken to reform the Constituent Assembly. “We need a constitution that represents all members of Egyptian society,” he added, noting that various draft articles of the constitution were dominated by the ideology of the Islamist members of the assembly, to the marginalisation of other groups.
On Wednesday, Cairo Criminal Court acquitted the defendants charged in relation to the Battle of the Camel, an incident in which Mubarak loyalists attacked protesters in Tahrir Square on 2 February 2011, leaving 11 protesters dead. Among the 24 regime figures acquitted included former head of the People’s Assembly, Fathi Sorour, ex-secretary general of the dissolved National Democratic Party and former head of the Shura Council, Safwat Al-Sharif, and former MP and businessman, Mohamed Aboul Enein.
The acquittals came as a shock to many and follow many previous acquittals issued after prosecutions for killing protesters during Egypt’s 18-day uprising.