Cairo activists: New boss same as old boss

July 15, 2011 at 3:30 AM
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CAIRO, July 15 (UPI) -- Egypt's new leadership is disturbingly similar to the Mubarak regime protesters overthrew, demonstrators camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square said.

"We have a feeling the regime is still there, somehow," musician Tarek Geddawy, who returned to the square July 8 and has stayed on since, told The New York Times.

The new rulers "sacrificed the icons of the regime, but the cornerstone is still there," he said.

The military's 18-member ruling council first said it would hand over legislative powers after a parliamentary election in September and then said the election may take place in November. The Interior Ministry said Wednesday it dismissed 505 generals and 82 brigadiers, 27 of them accused of killing protesters.

But the Tahrir Square protesters said this is all but meaningless.

"Our mistake," a sign declares, "is that we left the square."

The thousands who returned to the square in the past week promised a giant "Final Call" rally after Jumu'ah, or Friday prayer. Similar protests are planned in the coastal cities of Alexandria and Suez.

This time, "Nobody is going to go back home -- no one," Dr. Ayman Abu Zeid told the Times.

Mubarak, at a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, is to go on trial Aug. 3 in the death of more than 840 protesters and for alleged corruption.

He denied all charges to investigators, independent opposition newspaper al-Dustur reported Thursday, quoting a transcript of his investigation.

"These accusations are not true at all. I would never participate in the killing of Egyptian citizens and would never seize state money and I have never acquired anything illegally," the transcript indicated Mubarak said.

He also said his response to the demonstrations was "to deal with the protesters without violence, peacefully, without the use of weapons or bullets or even carrying weapons," the transcript indicated.

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