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74 Killed in football violence


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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16845841

 

At least 25 people have been killed in fan clashes following a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said, reports from Egypt say.

 

Reports said the deaths occurred after supporters invaded the pitch following a match between top-tier clubs Masry and Ahly on Wednesday.

 

A number of people were also said to be injured in the violence.

 

Some of the dead in Wednesday's clashes were security officers, the Associated press quoted a morgue official saying.

 

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says there are fears that the death toll could rise as scores were injured - some, reportedly, as a result of knife wounds.

 

Our correspondent says the lack of apparent security might have contributed.

 

Police in Egypt have been keeping a much lower profile since last year's popular protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power.

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At least 38 supporters have died after thousands of Masry fans invaded the pitch following the team’s 3-1 Egyptian Premier League victory over Ahly on Wednesday.

 

"There are 11 deaths at my hospital. Two other hospitals include 25 deaths. Three fans have also died in the stadium," Medhat El-Esnawy, the manager of Port Said's El-Amiry hospital, said in a television interview.

 

“Some died of stampede and others died of suffocation.”

 

Ahly’s panicked players flooded the club’s in-house television channel with phone calls to speak about the post-match horror and call on authorities to intervene and protect them.

 

“The security forces left us, they did not protect us. One fan has just died in the dressing room in front of me,” veteran playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika screamed in a phone call with the club’s channel.

 

“People have died, we are seeing corpses now. There are no security forces or army personnel to protect us,” attacking midfielder Mohamed Barakat added.

 

“It is our fault because we played that match. The authorities are afraid to cancel the league because they just care about money, they do not care about the lives of people.”

 

Thousands of Masry fans stormed the pitch immediately after the final whistle, chasing Ahly players and technical staff members, who ran for their lives. They subsequently clashed with Ahly’s visiting supporters as the melee escalated.

 

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Chat on the news was that the Cairo fans have been prominent in the revolution and in battles with security forces and that they police and pro-Mubarek elements allowed this to happen, although those allegations are coming fro the Muslim Brotherhood in Parliament against the Military Govt so perhaps to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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Crowds are gathering in central Cairo as tension rises after riots in the city of Port Said on Wednesday which left at least 74 people dead.

 

Angry fans closed off Tahrir Square and state TV ahead of a protest against police handling of the clashes.

 

Three days of national mourning have been declared over the riot, in which fans invaded the pitch after a match involving top Cairo club al-Ahly.

 

Emergency meetings of the cabinet and parliament are taking place.

 

Parliament opened with a minute's silence. Speaker Mohamed Saad al-Katatni said the riots were the "work of the devil" and that Egypt's revolution was "in danger".

 

Funerals were expected to be held after noon (10:00 GMT) prayers in Port Said.

 

The Confederation of African Football said a minute's silence would be held at the quarter-final matches of the African Cup of Nations at the weekend.

 

There has been tragedies in football before but never have 74 people been murdered!

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Thats what I heard? Not one report of crushing in the reports just  .

 

 

Aye but very few of them will have been consciously murdered. A big percentage will have been killed (but not murdered) trying to escape in stampedes etc. Not that it matters, like. Deid is deid!

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Aye but very few of them will have been consciously murdered. A big percentage will have been killed (but not murdered) trying to escape in stampedes etc. Not that it matters, like. Deid is deid!

 

Ok murder may not been the correct work, possibly genocide?

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Aye but very few of them will have been consciously murdered. A big percentage will have been killed (but not murdered) trying to escape in stampedes etc. Not that it matters, like. Deid is deid!

Dead is indeed a fatal condition. One from which there is no return.

 

However, whilst it doesn't matter to the deceased, the method of their deceasement does matter.

 

There are issues of legal responsibility and culpability to be considered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I achieve my objective? This HAS to be the most useless, inane and uninformative of all posts ever? I win.

 

 

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The speculation fromm bbc sources last night was that the police consciously stood back and let the violence rage on. Apparently the senior officers who would be present at these games were mysteriously absent.

 

Reasoning is that the al-Ahly 'ultras' are responsible for much of the non-football civil disobedience organisation. Following the uprising a year ago where the police were murdering civilians that protested against mubarak (unlike the army who actually protected the civilians from the police quite often) this means that al-Ahly fans have been responsible for protest/violence against the police. This supposedly was to do largely with revenge.

 

What they didn't explain was how port said civilians (assuming that's who was running riot) fit into this. Egypt is said to have problems with football violence generally, but it seemed a bit to well organised an attack on the visiting fans than just to be due to police standing back and letting things happen.

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  • 1 month later...

Egypt's top prosecutor charged nine senior police officers on Thursday with assisting a murderous mob of soccer fans who killed 74 rival supporters last month after a match in the Mediterranean city of Port Said.

 

Many Egyptians accuse police of looking the other way while violent crime has spiked in the year since Hosni Mubarak's ouster in an uprising. But the charges in the Port Said riot went a step further, alleging the police actually aided the perpetrators of the world's worst soccer-related disaster in 15 years.

 

The riot set off days of deadly clashes in Cairo between police and protesters, who accused the Interior Ministry of doing nothing to protect fans. The interior ministry oversees the police.

 

The nine officers, who include six generals and a colonel, are in custody. If convicted, the case would provide the first legal evidence that Egypt's hated and discredited police are collaborating in violent crime, something that the pro-democracy activists behind last year's uprising have long claimed.

 

The police say their situation has become untenable since Mubarak's ouster, with thousands of criminals who broke out from jails during the anti-Mubarak uprising still at large and armed. They say the nation's economic crisis, high unemployment and an increased flow of firearms from neighbouring nations are pushing crime rates even higher.

 

Additionally, the police complain that many Egyptians have become overly sensitive to police's use of force against violent crime, while longing at the same time for the restoration of security.

 

But Magda Boutros, a criminal justice expert at a leading Egyptian rights group, said there has been no genuine reform of the police force since Mubarak's authoritarian regime fell.

 

Killing frenzy

"There has been a great deal of talk that the police today are different from the police a year or more ago but there have really been no actual steps in that direction," she said.

 

The February 1 riot began minutes after the final whistle in a league match between Cairo club al-Ahly and al-Masry of Port Said. The home side won 3-1 but its fans set upon the rival supporters, invading the pitch and running the full length of the field before they reached al-Ahly fans.

 

 

 

Video clips posted on social networks show dozens of riot police armed with batons and shields standing by as the violence broke out.

 

The killing frenzy that ensued lasted 30 minutes, with fans getting thrown to their death off the stadium walls, killed by explosives as they tried to flee through a narrow corridor or clubbed to death.

 

In all, 75 people were charged on Thursday in connection with the carnage -- more than 60 of them fans.

 

Those killed were members of the Ultras Ahlawy, a group of avid club fans. The Ultras have been at sharp odds with the police and have played a key role in the uprising against Mubarak and subsequent clashes with the police and the army. They have routinely chanted songs ridiculing the police for their "stupidity".

 

The prosecutor general alleged the nine police officers participated in the Port Said killings by way of "assistance" to al-Masry fans. They said the officers, along with several al-Masry officials, knew in advance that the home fans planned to attack al-Ahly supporters, yet they intentionally allowed them to enter the grounds without searching them for weapons as is customary in soccer matches.

 

Maintaining public order

The police officers also allegedly allowed al-Masry fans to exceed by about 3 000 the maximum number authorised to attend the game and that many of them were criminals known to the local police.

 

"Those from the police among the defendants failed to take any measure provided for in the laws and the Constitution to maintain public order and safety and protect lives and property," the prosecutor general said in a statement.

 

It said the charges were based on video footage of the riot, the confessions of suspects and the testimony of at least 700 people who have been questioned. It said the killing of the protesters was planned in advance and that the culprits prepared for the massacre with knifes, rocks and explosives. Fans from the two teams have a history of animosity.

 

The accused police or their lawyers have not commented on the charges.

 

The riot shocked soccer-crazy Egypt, deepening the sense of uncertainty felt by many as their nation continues to be roiled by unrest and instability a year after the uprising. Some see charges against such high-ranking police officers as lending credence to persistent claims that the police were largely to blame for the precarious security in Egypt over the past year.

 

Police have yet to fully retake the streets after they melted away in yet-not-fully-explained circumstances four days into the 18-day popular uprising that toppled Mubarak.

 

Exasperation with police brutality was one of the root causes of the uprising and many rights activists suspect the police's apparent reluctance to restore security is pay-back for their humiliating defeat in the face of millions of unarmed protesters.

 

Purging the police

Rights activists have been charging that the interior ministry has not gone far enough with reforms.

 

Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim reacted angrily to calls by lawmakers for "purging" the police force, telling Parliament on Tuesday that he personally objected to the use of the word and reminded everyone in the chamber that policemen were dying or getting hurt every day in the line of duty.

 

Curiously, none of the dozens of police officers who have been tried on charges of killing protesters during the uprising have been convicted, something that some rights activists attribute to the weakness of the prosecution's cases, while others say it just shows that the old system is still largely in place.

 

"The resistance to reform is not unique to the interior minister," said rights lawyer and activist Negad Borai. "The entire regime is resisting reform as a policy."

 

He was alluding to claims by pro-democracy groups that the generals who took over from Mubarak are an extension of the former regime under which they rose to the very top of the military hierarchy.

 

Among those charged is the chief electrical engineer of the Port Said stadium. Numerous witness accounts said that power inexplicably went out at the venue minutes after the final whistle. The darkness, according to witnesses, helped the assailants to attack with impunity.

 

On Thursday, thousands of al-Ahly fans staged a sit-in outside the office of the nation's top prosecutor, Mahmoud Abdel-Maguid, to protest what they said was the delay in filing the charges and to demand swift justice. Many of the Ultras wore the red jersey of the club, possibly the most popular in Egypt. -- Sapa-AP

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  • 10 months later...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21209808

 

An Egyptian court has sentenced to death 21 defendants over clashes between rival football fans in which 74 people were killed in February 2012.

 

The riots - Egypt's worst-ever football disaster - began after a top-league game at Port Said stadium.

 

The ruling sparked a clash outside Port Said prison, where defendants are held, with two police officers shot dead.

 

The sentences came after clashes erupted on the second anniversary of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.

 

Thousands of people took to the streets on Friday to voice their opposition to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, accusing him of betraying the revolution.

 

At least seventy people were killed and more than 450 wounded in unrest across Egypt.

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