Defence witnesses recount details of Port Said prison clashes in court

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read
The Port Said clashes left tens dead and hundreds injured (file photo) AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

The Port Said Criminal Court postponed to 5 October the trial session of 51 defendants in the case known as the “Port Said prison clashes”, to continue hearing defence witnesses and to review the evidence.

The defendants are accused of killing police officers Ahmed Al-Balky, Ayman Abdel Azim and 40 others, as well as injuring over 150 people from between 26-28 January, 2013.

In Sunday’s trial session, a defence witness said that he was shot while attempting to aid one of the injured near the prison, state-owned Al-Ahram reported.

The witness noted that there was an armoured vehicle that was firing gunshots. He claimed that the reason behind them being assaulted was that the “people of Port Said” were seen as responsible for the death of Al-Ahly fans.

Another defence witness, Thabet Kamal, recounted the events that led to his injury on the day the police station was stormed, according to Al-Ahram.

Kamal testified that he was working in a nearby factory when the verdict was announced. After leaving the factory, he was shot in his right foot from gunshots coming from the direction of the prison, according to his testimony.

Clashes marred the Port Said governorate for three days starting 26 January 2013, after the verdict in the “Port Said Massacre” case was released. In the case, 21 were sentenced to death for their role in the death of 74 football fans during a match in February 2012 between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry club.

Angry protesters and the families of the sentenced prisoners had gathered outside the Port Said prison where the prisoners were kept. They were accused of attempting to break into the prison.

The army surrounded the prison with 10 armoured vehicles, deployed a tank at the entrance, and implemented a security plan for all vital facilities in Port Said.

The city then descended into violence, as protesters also broke into a police station east of the city and surrounded the Al-Arab police station. Following the incident, former president Mohamed Morsi declared curfew in the Suez Canal governorates, which was defied by many citizens.


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