By Nada Nader and Mahmoud Mostafa
After a bloody night at the Air Defence Stadium, where at least 22 football fans were killed, victims’ families and Zamalek fans were waiting at the morgue to receive the corpses.
State TV announced Sunday that 22 were killed in the events that preceded the match, when security forces tried to disperse large crowds of Zamalek supporters attempting to enter the stadium. Hardcore Zamalek fan group, the Ultras White Knights (UWK), however said that 28 were killed.
Large numbers of fans arrived at the stadium before the match against Enppi. Security forces deployed at the stadium to secure the match were reluctant to allow the fans in, with or without tickets, due to the mass crowding at the gate.
A long narrow metal passage-gate was placed at the main gate to reduce the number of fans entering at once. Security forces used tear gas and birdshots to disperse the crowding fans in narrow gate, according to videos, pictures and testimonies circulated on social media.
The UWK described the violence against Zamalek fans as a “deliberate massacre”. They claimed the special security measures were prepared only one day before the match, and had never been used in football stadiums inside or outside Egypt.
In front of the Zeinhoum morgue, where bodies of the killed were transported, Adel Eissa, one of the fans, told Daily News Egypt: “Security forces initially agreed to allow a number of fans to enter the stadium, and then they stopped the rest and told us we will let you in through another gate.”
He added: “As soon as people began to turn around and head to the other gate, tear gas canisters and birdshots were fired and, with the large crowd being crammed in a narrow passage, some fans fell to the ground.”
“Everybody started to run and some tried to climb the walls to flee the violence, but either fell back and were stamped on or were met with the same response by security forces from the other side,” Eissa said.
The father of one of the killed fans, Ahmed Medhat, said: “I tried to call him but his phone was off. We tried to contact one of his friends over the internet, and then we found his photo after he died.”
“They treated us very poorly at the morgue, they took a long time letting us in,” Medhat said. “They were afraid to put in the report that my son was killed by two bullets in the chest.”
“They mutilated the body to cover up for the authorities’ crime, I won’t rest before justice is achieved,” he asserted.
The families had to sign the morgue’s report to be able to receive the corpses of their relatives.
“The deaths were the result of the huge number of Zamalek fans passing through an ironed three- to four- meter wide corridor that had barbed wire on its sides to reach the stadium,” an eye-witness in front of the morgue said. “It formed a massive crowd among the fans on the stadium entry gates.”
“Without warning security forces started to fire tear gas on narrow corridor, most of people were able to flee the queue and some died of suffocation and stomping. I heard the sound of the fire but I didn’t see anyone dying of it,” he added.
A woman who lost her only son, Amr Steve, in the 2012 Port Said massacre was present at the morgue to express her sorrow for the indescribable deaths of the youth.
In February 2012, 74 supporters of Al-Ahly were killed when fans of their rival Al-Masry team stormed the pitch during a game between the two teams. Security forces were blamed for failing to prevent the massacre back then.
“Moratda Mansour is the main reason behind this massacre. He is a regime follower. I refuse to talk to media; all of you are big liars. The state media didn’t mourn our sons who were killed in Port Said neither did they with the Cairo Defence martyrs like when a police officer died. Mansour continued the match as if nothing happened out there,” she said.
Hassan El-Shazly said: “Abd El-Rahman died with a birdshot in his neck; I was obliged to sign off on suffocation as the reason for the death to bury him. I’ve no time to make my son suffer anymore. I want to ask them a question: what will they gain after killing a 20-year-old student?”
Other people at the morgue described the media as liars, hypocrites and followers of the regime and refused to talk.