사망자 중 경찰관 2명과 축구선수 2명이 포함됐으며, 부상자도 4000여명으로 늘었다.
지난해 이집트 축구 참사와 관련해 포트사이드 축구 팬 등 27명의 사망자를 내고 사형을 선고하자 이에 반발한 포트사이드시 시위대와 경찰이 토요일 격렬히 맞섰다.
시민 혁명 발발 2주년을 맞은 이집트가 연이어 터진 대규모 유혈 사태를 겪고 있다.
|판결이 발표되자 카이로의 알-알리 팬들은 환호성을 질렀다. (AP)|
이 같은 유혈 사태는 무함마드 무르시 대통령이 당면한 큰 과제이다. 비평가들은 무르시가 경찰과 사법부의 개혁을 이끌어내지 못했으며 무바라크에 대한 반란이 2년 지난 오늘 변한 것이 적다고 비판했다.
포트사이드에서 시작된 폭동은 경찰들과 축굴 골수 팬으로 알려져 있는 ‘울트라스(Ultras)’의 적대감에서 비롯됐다. 울트라스로 알려진 이 그룹은 무바라크에 대한 시위를 주도했던 선동자이다.
생존자들과 목격자들에 의하면 무바라크의 신봉자들이 작년 유혈사태와 관계가 깊다고 전했다. 2월 1일에 시작한 유혈사태는 포트사이드의 홈팀 알 마스리가 카이로의 알-알리에 3-1로 이겼을 때 시작되었다고 말했다.
토요일 충돌은 지난해 2월 1일 축구팀 알-알리의 팬 74명이 숨진 참사와 관련해 카이로 법원이 축구팬과 선수에게 사형 선고를 내리면서 시작됐다.
판사는 축구팬과 선수 21명에 대해 이러한 판결을 내린 것에 대한 근거를 설명하지 않았다. 이집트에서의 사형은 교수형으로 진행된다.
나머지 52명 피고인에 대한 판결은 오는 3월 9일에 내려질 예정이다. 어떤 이들은 살인죄 혹은 폭동에 동조했다는 죄명을 받고 있다.
관계자들은 총 27명의 시민이 사망했고 총격으로 인해 약 400명이 부상을 입은 것으로 확인됐다고 밝혔다. 관계자들은 익명 보장으로 실명을 밝히지 않았다.
약 220km 떨어진 카이로에서 이 재판은 시민들에게 공개됐다.
판결이 발표되자 축구게임에서 사망한 시민들의 관계들과 카이로의 알-알리 팬들은 환호성을 질렀다.
법조인들은 사실조사위원회를 구성하여 정보당국이 개입했을 가능성이 내비치는 증거 확보에 성공했으나 결정적인 증거를 확보하는 데에는 실패했다.
재판중인 아홉 명은 안전 관계자들이며, 범인을 축구장 안으로 입장시킨 것과 무기들을 조사하는데 있어 실패한 혐의를 받고 있다.
정식 수사를 제대로 하지 못한다는 것은 무죄의 피고인에게 유죄 판결을 내릴 수도 있을 것이라고 카림 에나라가 전했다. 사건 수사를 담당하고 있는 경찰 수사관은 무바라크의 유임자이다.
이집트의 폭동 사태 이후 가장 논란이 되었던 사건은 무바라크에 대한 폭동이다. 무바라크는 자신의 29년 통치를 종식시킨 반정부 시위를 진압하는 과정에서 900명에 달한 시위대원들의 학살을 막지 못한 혐의로 종신형을 신고 받았다.
무바라크의 억류자 중 한 명이었던 현직 대통령 무르시는 대통령 집권 100일 안에 치안을 보장하겠다고 공약했었다. 하지만, 비평가들은 무슬림 동포단을 반대하는 이들을 타겟 했지만 종합적인 개선을 하는 데에는 실패했다고 말했다.
반면 그의 무슬림 동포단 지지자들은 정부를 비판적인 시각으로 보게 만드는 미디어가 문제라고 지적했다.
젊은 층이 많은 알-알리의 팬들은 사형선고를 줄이지 않는 이상 더 많은 폭력시위를 강행할 것이라고 말했다. 그들의 페이스북페이지에도 유혈사태를 암시하는 글들이 있었다.
반면 포트 사이드의 거주자들과 활동가 라샤 하무다는 살인과 관련된 모든 이들이 정의의 심판대에 서길 원한다고 전했다.
이에 대해 국제사회는 우려의 뜻을 표했다.
영국 외무부의 앨리스테어 버트 중동·아프리카 담당 장관은 “폭력사태는 지금 이집트에 필요한 대화를 끌어내는데 도움이 되지 않으므로 강력히 규탄해야 한다”며 우려를 드러냈다. (코리아헤럴드)
Egyptians riot after soccer fans sentenced to die
Relatives and angry young men rampaged through the Egyptian city of Port Said on Saturday in assaults that killed at least 27 people following death sentences for local fans involved in the country's worst bout of soccer violence.
Unrest surrounding the second anniversary of Egypt's revolution also broke out in Cairo and other cities for a third day, with protesters clashing for hours with riot police who fired tear gas that encompassed swaths of the capital's downtown.
The divisive verdict and bloodshed highlight challenges being faced by President Mohammed Morsi, who took office seven months ago following an Egyptian revolution that ousted autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak. Critics say Morsi has failed to carry out promised reforms in the country's judiciary and police force, and claim little has improved in the two years after the uprising against Mubarak.
The Islamist leader, Egypt's first freely elected and civilian president, met for the first time with top generals as part of the newly formed National Defense Council to discuss the deployment of troops in two cities. The military was deployed to Port Said hours after the verdict was announced, and warned that a curfew could be declared in areas of unrest. The military was also deployed to the canal city of Suez, where protesters attacked the main security compound there after eight people were killed late Friday.
Saturday's riot in Port Said stemmed from animosity between police and die-hard soccer fans know as Ultras, who also were part of the mass uprising against Mubarak that began on Jan. 25, 2011, and at forefront of protests against the military rulers who assumed temporary power after his ouster.
It also reflected tensions after the uprising that reached into all sectors of Egyptian life, even sports.
Survivors and witnesses said Mubarak loyalists had a hand in instigating last year's attack, which began Feb. 1 after Port Said's home team Al-Masry won a match, 3-1, against Cairo's Al-Ahly. Some say ``hired thugs'' wearing green T-shirts posing as Al-Masry fans led the attacks.
Others say, at the very least, police were responsible for gross negligence in the Feb. 1 soccer brawl that killed 74 Al-Ahly fans.
Anger at police was evident in Port Said, home to most of the 73 men accused of involvement in the bloodshed, although the trial was held outside Cairo.
Judge Sobhi Abdel-Maguid did not give his reasoning when he handed down the sentences for 21 defendants. Executions in Egypt are usually carried out by hanging.
Verdicts for the remaining 52 defendants, including nine security officials, are scheduled to be delivered March 9. Some have been charged with murder and others with assisting the attackers. All the defendants _ who were not present in the courtroom Saturday for security reasons _ can appeal the verdict.
Supporters of those sentenced to death said they were being used as scapegoats. The rioters attacked the city's prison after the verdict was read live on state television to try and free the defendants. A police lieutenant and police officer were killed in the assault.
Residents also focused their anger against the government, attacking a power station, the governor's office and local courthouse. They staged a sit-in along the main road leading into the city and occupied a police station.
Security officials said a total of 27 people were killed and some 400 wounded, many by gunfire, throughout the city. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.
Victims were killed when police fired tear gas, bird shot and other live ammunition at the mob. Two soccer players who died_ one from Port Said's Al-Marikh club and the other a former player of its Al-Masry club _ apparently were killed on their way to do training near the prison. One of the players was shot three times, a local health official said.
Some 220 kilometers (135 miles) away in Cairo, the divisive nature of the trial was on display.
Relatives of those killed at the soccer game erupted in joy in the courtroom after the verdict was announced.
Families yelled ``Allahu Akbar!'' Arabic for ``God is great'' and pumped their fists in the air. Others held up pictures of the deceased, most of whom were young men from Cairo's poor neighborhoods. One man fainted while others hugged. The judge smacked the bench several times to try to restore calm.
Supporters of Cairo's Al-Ahly celebrated the verdict in the team's club before heading toward Interior Ministry headquarters, which manages the police, for more protests.
Lawmakers had formed a fact-finding committee that found some evidence toward collusion from authorities, but the evidence was not conclusive.
Nine of those on trial are security officials, charged with assisting the attackers for failing to search for weapons as is customary and allowing known criminals to attend the game. One was a senior officer who locked the exit designated for Al-Ahly fans. Many victims suffocated or were trampled to death in the corridor trying to escape the violence. Others were thrown off bleachers, undressed, beaten with iron bars and had the words ``Port Said'' carved into their skin.
Police reform researcher Karim Ennarah said the lack of a proper investigation raises the specter that some of those on trial are innocent. The state prosecutor's office, tasked with investigating the case, was long run by a Mubarak holdover.
``We still operate in a state that doesn't hold its employees, specifically in the security sector, to account,'' Ennarah said. ``There might have been democratic elections, but it still is a very undemocratic state in terms of how police work.''
The most high profile case since Egypt's uprising was that of Mubarak himself. He was found guilty of failing to stop the killing of around 900 protesters. The verdict angered people who wanted him executed on charges of ordering deadly force. He was sentenced to life in prison in what even some of his opponents argue was a verdict based on flimsy evidence aimed at appeasing an angry public.
A lawyer of one of the defendants given a death sentence Saturday said this verdict too was political.
Days before the verdict, Morsi declared the victims ``martyrs of the revolution'', granting families up to $15,000 in compensation.
``There is nothing to say these people did anything and we don't understand what this verdict is based on,'' Mohammed al-Daw told The Associated Press by telephone.
``Our situation in Port Said is very grave because kids were taken from their homes for wearing green T-shirts,'' he said, referring to the Al-Masry team color.
The president, once a detainee under Mubarak for his political activities with the Brotherhood, had vowed to restore security in his first 100 days in office. Instead, critics say he has waged a personal campaign against anti-Brotherhood figures rather than carry out comprehensive reform.
His Muslim Brotherhood allies blamed ``misleading'' media outlets for enflaming the public against the government. The main opposition bloc said it holds Morsi responsible for ``the excessive use of force by the security forces against protesters.''
Fans of Al-Ahly, mostly young men in their teens, promised more violence in the days leading up to the verdict if the death penalty was not handed down. Their main Facebook page had called for bloodshed.
``This was necessary,'' said Nour al-Sabah, whose 17-year-old son Ahmed Zakaria died in last year's melee. ``Now I want to see the guys when they are executed with my own eyes, just as they saw the murder of my son.''
``We are not really that happy,'' Mohamed Ahmed, a survivor of the attack, said. ``The government helped the Ultras of Port Said by blocking the gates of the stadium until people suffocated to death.''
Meanwhile, Port Said resident and activist Rasha Hammouda said the city wants those involved in killings to be brought to justice.
``We have no problem with execution of those who killed, but bring everyone who is involved,'' she said. (AP)