15 year old in critical condition as heavy-handed Egyptian troops and police clear Tahrir Square protesters in dawn assault

Will Longbottom – Daily Mail December 20, 2011

A teenage protester has been shot during a police raid in the Egyptian capital this morning.

In the second dawn raid in as many days, troops and riot police descended on Cairo’s Tahrir Square in a bid to evict protesters.

Dr Ahmed Saad, a volunteer at the field hospital in the square, said the 15-year-old was in a critical condition after he was hit.

Egypt’s general are coming under mounting criticism over the excessive use of force by troops against unarmed protesters, including women.

Since the latest outbreak of violence on Friday, at least 14 protesters have been killed.

Security forces initially succeeded in removing protesters from the square, but they returned a short time later using a different route.

They then pulled out following clashes in which protesters hurled rocks at them.

The military took power after an 18-day uprising forced long-time leader Hosni Mubarak to step down 10 months ago.

They have since been accused by activists and rights groups of mismanaging the transition period, human rights abuses and failing to revive the ailing economy or restore security.

Yesterday, a member of the military council sought to discredit the revolutionaries behind the ongoing protests and spoke of a conspiracy to ‘topple the state’

Major General Adel Emara defended the use of force by troops and refused to apologise for the brutality shown, particularly toward female protesters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, addressing students at Georgetown University yesterday, accused security forces of specifically targeting women.

‘And now, women are being attacked, stripped and beaten in the streets,’ she said.

‘This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonours the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people.

Navi Pillay, UN human rights chief, called on ruling generals to arrest and prosecute officials behind the crackdown.

Some newspapers in Egypt have been critical of the crackdown.

Independent Al-Tahrir featured a composite picture of Maj Gen Emara addressing a news conference with the iconic image of soldiers stamping and beating a half-naked woman behind him.

Mocking his use of the patriotic card in defence of their record, the words ‘Egypt always come first’ are written below the image.

But others have reacted angrily to further protests. A retired army general told a newspaper this week that the protesters should be thrown into ‘Hitler’s ovens’ – a reference to the gas chambers used by Nazi Germany in the Holocaust.


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