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Air Defence Stadium 'massacre' sparks powerful reactions - Daily News Egypt

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Air Defence Stadium ‘massacre’ sparks powerful reactions

Reactions focus on mourning, condemning excessive force by security

Air Defence Stadium 'massacre' sparks powerful reactions (Photo by Mohamed Abu Al-Dahab)
Air Defence Stadium ‘massacre’ sparks powerful reactions
(Photo by Mohamed Abu Al-Dahab)

The Air Defence Stadium killings led to uproar from different political parties, coalitions, opposition groups and institutions. All parties mourned the dead and expressed their condolences to the victims’ families.

Al-Watan Party offered its condolences to the Egyptian people and expressed its “shock and grief regarding the killing of over 22 Egyptian youth in the vicinity of the air Defence stadium”. It further condemned the excessive use of violence by security forces. The party also attributed criminal responsibility for the incident to the “head of the regime, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Interior and other security officials”, in a statement released Sunday night.

The Bread and Freedom Party announced, in a statement, that it had already called before for the removal of the Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim. It put all those responsible for the crimes committed by police personnel against the people under investigation.  It stated that the stadium massacre is “just another crime in a series of systematic crimes supported and protected by the regime”.

“The killing of the White Knights youth is a continuation of the degradation of Egyptian lives, whether they were in a peaceful protest or at a football match,” said the Al-Wasat Party Vice-President, Mohamed Mahsoub, on his Facebook page.

Al-Karama Party condemned the “unjustified violence” used by the Interior Ministry in yesterday’s clashes, an incident it described would “definitely diminish the regime’s legitimacy”. The Party’s statement further called for establishing an “independent investigative committee” to present the facts to the public, the restructuring of the interior ministry and the removal of its minister.

Al-Nour Party denounced the incident, calling for a quick investigation and the immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.

The Conference Party mourned the death of the victims and held the Egyptian Football Association along with the Ministry of Youth and Sports accountable for not postponing the match “until after the Russian President’s visit”.

“The killing of some fans in front of the Air Defence Stadium is certainly an organised plot by supporters of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood,” said Mohamed Moussa, the Conference Party media spokesperson, in a Sunday press release.  He added: “They wanted to show that Egypt is wrought with tensions and instability after they have failed at turning Matariya into a terrorist hideout.”

The “Revolutionary Socialists” stated that they would not be accepting any more “lies or fact-finding committees or notions of restructuring the Interior Ministry”. They called for the people to “unite in their anger and vow to claim retribution for the fallen martyrs”.

“A week after the third anniversary of the Port Said Massacre which left 74 dead, we are shocked with yet another massacre leaving tens of Ultras youth dead by the hands of the security forces,” mentioned the group’s statement released Monday.

Ultras White Knights (UWK) stated via their Facebook page that the caged corridor where most people met their deaths was constructed only one day before the match. They added that “it was never used in any football match in Egypt or elsewhere in the world”.

Ultras Ahlawy, hardcore fans of Al-Ahly SC, expressed their shock that for the second time after the Port Said massacre in 2012, football fans die for going to attend a match and “the killer walks free without charges”. Ultras Ahlawy announced that they will boycott all matches in “this filthy league” on their Facebook page.

The Al-Ahly SC administration expressed its condolences and announced three days of mourning for the dead Zamalek fans.

The 6 April Youth movement condemned Sunday’s events, describing it as a “new massacre” on their Facebook page.  General Coordinator, Amr Aly, called for the removal of the Interior Minister and his referral, along with all officials responsible for securing the match, to trial. Aly also demanded that football fans should be granted “safe exits” in order to avoid recurrent clashes.

Similarly, the Egyptian Centre for Human Rights called for opening investigations with senior Interior Ministry personnel responsible for securing the match.

The “Anti-Coup Alliance” stated in a Sunday statement that the “circle of retribution widens each and every day and the regime that can only deal with youth by force must fall”.

The Salafi Front held President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb and Interior Minister Ibrahim responsible for the unjustified deaths. The Front also strongly condemned the resumption of the match “while blood was being shed”, in their statement on Monday.

Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, offered his condolences to the families of the victims and expressed his wishes for the quick recovery of the injured.

At least 22 football fans were killed Sunday after police attempted to disperse fans whilst entering the Air Defence Stadium in Cairo. The fans were entering the stadium to watch the game between Zamalek and ENPPI teams.

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