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Egypt 21 Sentenced to Death for Football Riot

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(CNN) -- An Egyptian judge sentenced 21 people to death Saturday for their roles in a football game riot last year, a ruling that sparked deadly clashes between security forces and relatives of the convicted.

The Port Said football incident left 74 people dead and 1,000 others injured.

Soon after the sentencing in the nation's worst stadium disaster, protests erupted outside the prison in the northeastern port city.

Clashes between defendants' relatives and security forces left eight dead, including two police officers, the nation's health ministry said.

At least 70 people were injured, said Dr. Khaled El Khatib, the health ministry spokesman.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/26/world/meast/egypt-soccer-deaths/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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And these are the descendants of the people who built the pyramids! Apart from their religious belief, what went wrong?

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They need to build more pyramids

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They need to build more pyramids

yep, but this time round they will be able to fill those tombs to the brim the way they are going. Their forefathers would turn in their cartonnage.

Edited by freetoroam

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Crazy stuff going on with the government over there.

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Being one of « them », I am sure you will excuse me if I do not find the last posts funny in the least! There is nothing funny about despotism, political cynicism that is willing to sacrifice the lives of citizens to preserve and further its hold on power, or the willingness of young people to die for freedom, democracy and social justice. I think Egyptians set an example of a non-destructive, peaceful revolution in 2011; their ancestors have nothing to be ashamed of, or they of their ancestors, cartonnage or not.

What is happening in Port Said cannot be understood unless it is put in the context of the events of 2012. Football fans, or ‘Ultras’, have demonstrated against SCAF and the MB, they also protected other demonstrators from attacks using excessive force by the security forces, or Islamist militias. As punishment, a trap was set for them during a football match in Port Said last year, using the rivalry between the two teams and their fans. Armed thugs were transported by buses into the city, the gates of the stadium were locked, the electricity was cut, the police disappeared, and a massacre started. Those who planned, financed, and arranged for it were never named, arrested, or put on trial; only some ‘foot soldiers’ were, as well as some who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Police officials who were responsible for securing the stadium are under nominal arrest. The verdicts in their case have been postponed till March, while those of implicated civilians were rushed basically to calm the Ultras who participated in yesterday’s demonstrations and who have consistently demanded that those who planned the massacre be brought to justice. The MB hopes that by going through the motions of administering justice, it can weaken the demonstrations against its rule by removing the uncontrollable Ultras from the equation. In all of their calculations, they either forgot that the people of Port Said will not willingly accept to become the scapegoat, or cynically decided to sacrifice one city in order to calm down the rest of the country.

Finally, let me state the obvious: football hooliganism and rioting in general are not restricted to Egypt; other countries too are known to indulge!

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Finally, let me state the obvious: football hooliganism and rioting in general are not restricted to Egypt; other countries too are known to indulge!

You do not have to explain it, as pallidin said, "Crazy stuff going on with the government over there."

As for the football hooliganism, well, England are by no means exempt from that! but this thread is not about football hooliganism, its about them being put to death because of it, and that is something we do not do in England!

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Finally, let me state the obvious: football hooliganism and rioting in general are not restricted to Egypt; other countries too are known to indulge!

You do not have to explain it, as pallidin said, "Crazy stuff going on with the government over there."

As for the football hooliganism, well, England are by no means exempt from that! but this thread is not about football hooliganism, its about them being put to death because of it, and that is something we do not do in England!

They were not charged with hooliganism, disrupting public peace, or even manslaughter, but with first degree murder. The whole thing is a sham, a political ploy.

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British football hooliganism have it a lot easier .. They should be thankful they are not living in a place like Egypt

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What is happening in Port Said cannot be understood unless it is put in the context of the events of 2012. Football fans, or ‘Ultras’, have demonstrated against SCAF and the MB, they also protected other demonstrators from attacks using excessive force by the security forces, or Islamist militias. As punishment, a trap was set for them during a football match in Port Said last year, using the rivalry between the two teams and their fans.

===============================================================

I do not understand this bit. if the fans had demonstrates against SCAF and the MB as well as protecting other demonstrators from attacks by the security forces, then who was it who "set it up" for I can not see why the fans would be so protective against those mentioned, and yet go and fall for a trap like this instead of sticking together like they have done......I may have read it wrong.

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Being one of « them », I am sure you will excuse me if I do not find the last posts funny in the least! There is nothing funny about despotism, political cynicism that is willing to sacrifice the lives of citizens to preserve and further its hold on power, or the willingness of young people to die for freedom, democracy and social justice. I think Egyptians set an example of a non-destructive, peaceful revolution in 2011; their ancestors have nothing to be ashamed of, or they of their ancestors, cartonnage or not.

What is happening in Port Said cannot be understood unless it is put in the context of the events of 2012. Football fans, or ‘Ultras’, have demonstrated against SCAF and the MB, they also protected other demonstrators from attacks using excessive force by the security forces, or Islamist militias. As punishment, a trap was set for them during a football match in Port Said last year, using the rivalry between the two teams and their fans. Armed thugs were transported by buses into the city, the gates of the stadium were locked, the electricity was cut, the police disappeared, and a massacre started. Those who planned, financed, and arranged for it were never named, arrested, or put on trial; only some ‘foot soldiers’ were, as well as some who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Police officials who were responsible for securing the stadium are under nominal arrest. The verdicts in their case have been postponed till March, while those of implicated civilians were rushed basically to calm the Ultras who participated in yesterday’s demonstrations and who have consistently demanded that those who planned the massacre be brought to justice. The MB hopes that by going through the motions of administering justice, it can weaken the demonstrations against its rule by removing the uncontrollable Ultras from the equation. In all of their calculations, they either forgot that the people of Port Said will not willingly accept to become the scapegoat, or cynically decided to sacrifice one city in order to calm down the rest of the country.

Finally, let me state the obvious: football hooliganism and rioting in general are not restricted to Egypt; other countries too are known to indulge!

I don't understand the dynamics of this so thanks for the explanation, Meryt. It seemed very strange to me that multiple death sentences would come down for what seemed to have been a football riot. We in the west do have an unfortunate habit of making lightly those things we don't truly understand but i agree wholeheartedly with you that the sacrifices of the youth in Egypt for their freedom is a thing worthy of great honor. I pray for them that they can stay the course and be rewarded with real freedom soon. I think that blood and sacrifice is the only thing that will slow the power grab of the MB.
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What is happening in Port Said cannot be understood unless it is put in the context of the events of 2012. Football fans, or ‘Ultras’, have demonstrated against SCAF and the MB, they also protected other demonstrators from attacks using excessive force by the security forces, or Islamist militias. As punishment, a trap was set for them during a football match in Port Said last year, using the rivalry between the two teams and their fans.

===============================================================

I do not understand this bit. if the fans had demonstrates against SCAF and the MB as well as protecting other demonstrators from attacks by the security forces, then who was it who "set it up" for I can not see why the fans would be so protective against those mentioned, and yet go and fall for a trap like this instead of sticking together like they have done......I may have read it wrong.

The Ultras are not one group; each major football team has its own 'ultras': a grouping of fans, mostly young men, with no clear organization or formal connection to the administration of the team itself. The largest of these are the Ahly Ultras who number in the thousands, spread all over Egypt. The second ‘Ultras’ in the incident were fans of the team of the host city.

Due to the frequent confrontation they used to have with the police following major matches, ultras acquired a certain experience in street clashes. They started to become involved as 'ultras' in political demonstrations when the security forces used lethal force on demonstrators in Mohammed Mahmoud street and other areas in Cairo last year and tens were killed, hundreds were injured. They used their 'skills' to protect other demonstrators then, and in later demonstrations when people were facing armed Islamists. Even though they used the name “Ahly Ultras”, they participated in demonstrations as Egyptians seeking the same goals and demands. Because of their large numbers, loose organization, and lack of clear leadership, they proved to be both uncontrollable and unstoppable to the authorities and MB.

Pay back came in Port Said during a match between two teams with a history of rivalry. Buses from outside the city brought in an unknown third party, groups of armed people who were distributed on both sides of the stadium where each of the two 'ultras' were seated. During the match offensive banners against the host city were unfurled; agents provocateurs ran to the field, attacked both players and spectators with knives, hatchets and clubs which normally are not allowed in the stadium. The police which should have stopped them watched idly at the beginning then simply disappeared. In the mayhem which followed as fans tried to escape they discovered that the gates were locked, and then all the lights were cut off. Many were injured or died in the stampede and when the gates collapsed under the sheer weight of people pushing against them. The names and identity of those who planned for and instigated the incident are still unknown, and the investigations carried out did not even exert any serious effort to identify them. They were content to arrest some of the pawns only. Many suspect the MB. What is certain is that the police's sudden disappearance, the locked gates, and the cutting off of all lights indicate some prior planning which involved the police itself, as well as a third party. Someone wanted to teach primarily the more politically active Ahly Ultras a lesson, a 'good beating'. Whoever it was, they are also incompetent planners because they did not factor in stampedes which ensue from general panic in a closed area. Football fans do not wear clothes with the club’s insignia or other identifying scarves etc. In the melee it would have been difficult to identify who is who, particularly since the bused group was seated on both sides of the stadium.

I agree with you and Pallidin, but that is what happens when the government is in the hands of those who mix political power, with religious zealotry, and a firm belief in their monopoly of 'righteousness'. It deafens their ears, minds and hearts to others; ultimately, it cheapens the value of human life. I am sad for my country.

Edited by meryt-tetisheri

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I don't understand the dynamics of this so thanks for the explanation, Meryt. It seemed very strange to me that multiple death sentences would come down for what seemed to have been a football riot. We in the west do have an unfortunate habit of making lightly those things we don't truly understand but i agree wholeheartedly with you that the sacrifices of the youth in Egypt for their freedom is a thing worthy of great honor. I pray for them that they can stay the course and be rewarded with real freedom soon. I think that blood and sacrifice is the only thing that will slow the power grab of the MB.

Thank you for your prayers and support, they are sincerely appreciated.

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Right on Meryt,hoping the egyptian people find the freedoms from dictatorships and religious dominations they are seeking.

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Well it just got a whole lot worse, there are now 30 people dead and 300 injured as a result of riots against the sententing to death of 21 people for previous football riots .... which had originally resulted in 73 dead

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/26/world/africa/egypt-unrest/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Cairo (CNN) -- A stern Egyptian court ruling tied to a soccer riot spurred clashes that left at least 30 people dead on Saturday, the latest round of violence in the unsettled North African nation.

In addition to those killed, more than 300 were wounded when people in the northeastern city of Port Said clashed with authorities outside a prison where their kin were being held, the head of Port Said hospitals told state-run Nile TV.

They were angry because 21 of their relatives had just been sentenced to death for their role in a February 1 riot in a Port Said stadium.

That 2012 incident -- during a game between Cairo's prestigious Al-Ahly football club and the host Al-Masry team -- ended with 73 dead.

Two months later, Egypt's general prosecutor charged 75 people with "premeditated murder and attempted murder," while three Al-Masry officials and nine police officers were charged with "assisting the murderers."

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I can't watch that in my country but the title has me wondering "We came, we saw, he died Gaddaffi" has me wondering what it has to do with this topic?

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I was just commenting on how our Secretary of State has helped overthrow Qaddafi's regime to usher in a new era of peace and love.

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I'll just step in here and say that if President Barack Hussien Obama had never uttered the words Mabarak has to go...none of this would have ever happened! Moreover, I will just step up and ask this question while I'm here: What the hell are we doing selling them F-16s and Tanks???

mmm, mmm, mmm...Barack Hussein Obama...mmm, mmm, mmm...fearless leader of the Left! Way to go dude!

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I'll just step in here and say that if President Barack Hussien Obama had never uttered the words Mabarak has to go...none of this would have ever happened! Moreover, I will just step up and ask this question while I'm here: What the hell are we doing selling them F-16s and Tanks???

mmm, mmm, mmm...Barack Hussein Obama...mmm, mmm, mmm...fearless leader of the Left! Way to go dude!

It was not these words which did Egypt in, but rather the other words said by the US ambassador to SCAF hours before Mursi was declared president, as attested by Mahmoud Hussein, secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview:

"The US ambassador called SCAF hours before Morsi was declared president, something that triggered controversy.

The US wants to protect its interests. The US was of the view that if the deposed regime came to power once again through forgery a second revolution would break out. Its intercession was not out of bias to Mohamed Morsi but for the election results to be declared without forgery. SCAF and the Elections Committee had knowledge that Morsi was ahead. In this case America stood by legitimacy to avoid a revolution that may turn the country against it."

http://english.ahram...ypts-undem.aspx

It is no secret that members of MB met US officials at least 14 times during the revolution. It is widely believed that the results of the presidential elections were 'originally' in favor of Shafik yet after an unexplained delay it was Mursi who was declared winner. It is also noteworthy that most of Mursi's disasterous grab for power decisions were preceded by meetings with Mrs. Clinton.

For a while it seemed that the Obama administration was paying heed to the Egyptian people's aspiration for freedom, democracy, and social justice in January 2011 but then they went ahead to aid and support a much worse version of Mubarak, thus earning the immense gratitude of Egyptians!

Don't worry about the F-16s and tanks, the army is a state within a state, unless the MB succeeds in infilterating it.

Edited by meryt-tetisheri
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It was not these words which did Egypt in, but rather the other words said by the US ambassador to SCAF hours before Mursi was declared president, as attested by Mahmoud Hussein, secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview:

"The US ambassador called SCAF hours before Morsi was declared president, something that triggered controversy.

The US wants to protect its interests. The US was of the view that if the deposed regime came to power once again through forgery a second revolution would break out. Its intercession was not out of bias to Mohamed Morsi but for the election results to be declared without forgery. SCAF and the Elections Committee had knowledge that Morsi was ahead. In this case America stood by legitimacy to avoid a revolution that may turn the country against it."

http://english.ahram...ypts-undem.aspx

It is no secret that members of MB met US officials at least 14 times during the revolution. It is widely believed that the results of the presidential elections were 'originally' in favor of Shafik yet after an unexplained delay it was Mursi who was declared winner. It is also noteworthy that most of Mursi's disasterous grab for power decisions were preceded by meetings with Mrs. Clinton.

For a while it seemed that the Obama administration was paying heed to the Egyptian people's aspiration for freedom, democracy, and social justice in January 2011 but then they went ahead to aid and support a much worse version of Mubarak, thus earning the immense gratitude of Egyptians!

Don't worry about the F-16s and tanks, the army is a state within a state, unless the MB succeeds in infilterating it.

Yeah right, and for a while, it seemed like the Obama Administration really believed that Benghazi was the result of a You Tube video...

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I think the attached video link puts the events in a proper context:

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t2#/video/world/2013/01/26/sayah-egypt-port-said.cnn

All 72 deaths in the original football riot of 2012 were on one side - The Ultras, now what are the odds of that?

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I believe there is still 50 verdicts left to be handed down in this case. So its too early to say how its gonna end up. Has potential to throw Egypt right back into turmoil. I was hopeful they would find the peace they protested for.

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I believe there is still 50 verdicts left to be handed down in this case. So its too early to say how its gonna end up. Has potential to throw Egypt right back into turmoil. I was hopeful they would find the peace they protested for.

The verdicts of the police officers, and Port Said's chief of police are the ones which were postponed. Civilians' verdicts were rushed, and were severe, out of expediency. The Ahly Ultras, who were participating in the country-wide demonstrations on 25 January, had to be 'bribed' and calmed down in the hopes separating them from the other demonstrators. It is very unlikely that the postponed verdicts will as harsh as the ones already passed on a hodgepodge group of known thugs with criminal records, and unfortunate fans who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. No effort was exerted to uncover those who hired the thugs or bussed them to the stadium, locked the gates...etc. A civilian charged with murder while crying that he was innocent had a heart attack and died in the court as his sentence was passed. Since the families of the accused and the people of Port Said felt that the trial was a miscarriage of justice and a ploy aiming to silence the Ahly ultras by using their city as a scapegoat, they revolted. Peace comes when real justice is seen to be meted.

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