x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

'It's not justice for the people. We have many martyrs'

Vox pops:

Norhan Aly, age 21, an Egyptian student, poses for photo in front of graffiti near Tahrir square, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. (Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)
Norhan Aly, age 21, an Egyptian student, poses for photo in front of graffiti near Tahrir square, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. (Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Sabry Anwar, 50, carpenter

Mr Anwar is proud that he has been part of Egypt's uprising since the beginning. "For all the 18 days I was here," he says standing with a placard covered in fake blood in Tahrir Square. Unlike many Egyptians, Mr Anwar says he was sceptical then.

"I always said there is no revolution that can dismantle a 30-year regime in 18 days. If Scaf was honest with the revolutionaries, they would not have allowed the amendments to the constitution."

He believes Egyptians were tricked. "The Muslim Brotherhood are the ones that convinced us to leave the square. We believed them. They told us the revolution had won." But, for Mr Anwar, yesterday's verdict is a sign that the protests were not successful.

"What happened today is a disgrace. It belittles the people of Egypt," he said. "What happened today is another blow to the revolution."

Mohammed Ismail, 55, flower seller

Mr Ismail is quick to express his dissatisfaction with the verdict in Mubarak's trial.

"This was an injustice trial. There is nothing more to be said. "It's not justice for the people. We have many martyrs."

He believes those on trial should case the same fate as those who died as security forces cracked down on protesters.

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It's written in the Quran. When will we get justice?" Mubarak, he believes should have been executed.

"He should have been shot in a public square. And this what Islam and all religions say." He says Egyptians cannot do anything."There is nothing left to do. We have to succumb to the will of God … We are suffering."

Sameh Anwar, 30, cafe worker

Mr Anwar is unhappy with the verdict because he believes Mubarak should have been freed.

"I hoped Mubarak to be declared innocent. We should count his past good for the country. He is not like [Syrian president]

Bashar Al Assad or [former Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi. He didn't spill our blood in the same way." Mr Anwar is, however, glad that Mubarak's two sons were cleared on charges against them. "This is normal," he says.

He believes the problem is not with these leaders, but rather with system. "It's not Mubarak's fault. It's the system that's flawed. He is above it all," he says.

"It's been something we've been suffering from since the time of Sadat and Nasser. The police believe they can get away with anything. Mubarak couldn't control these underlings."

Hala Sulimen Rizk, 19, student

Ms Rizk came to Tahrir Square right after the verdict to send a message to Egypt and the world: "The martyrs' blood is not cheap. We deserve dignity like any other people."

Standing with a group of other young women, Ms Rizk shouted for the military rulers to step down. She feels the trial was not fair.

"The sentence is not enough for me. They need to all be sentenced to death. The way people died in the revolution, they must die too," Ms Rizk says. She believes these results show little has changed in Egypt and she is angry with the election results also.

She voted for the revolutionary favourite, Hamdeen Sabahi.

"The corruption is still here. The system is still here," she says. "We are going to stay here in Tahrir Square for our dignity and take a stand."

Ahmed Massoud, 23, shop worker

He is happy with the sentence of Hosni Mubarak.

"At the end Mubarak will die in prison." But for Mr Massoud, the sentencing for Habib Al Adly did not go far enough.

"He should have been executed because he spilt the blood of the martyrs … The judge was trying to make people happy."

He will not be joining protesters in Tahrir Square. Although he holds these previous regime figures responsible for the death for his fellow Egyptians, Mr Massoud will vote for Ahmed Shafiq, a prime minister under Mubarak, in the presidential run-off this month.

"This verdict may lessen Shawfiq's popularity, but I believe he is best for president. He's not completely related to the Mubarak government. People are scared of the Muslim Brotherhood. If they come in to power they will never go out," Mr Massoud said.

Norhan Ali, 21, business student

She says she was not surprised by the Mubarak verdict. "I was expecting that because the military council is from the last regime," she says in reference to Scaf's ties to Mubarak. Despite low expectations, she is disappointed.

"I knew it wouldn't be justice," says Ms Ali.

"But I was hoping it wouldn't be complete injustice. This is complete injustice." She wants to know how so many of the key defendants were let off.

"Gamal Mubarak is innocent and the aides of Adly are innocent? It doesn't make sense. Who killed the people then if they are all innocent?"

Ms Ali, says she will use social media to protest against the decision. "Facebook and Twitter have become really effective. So I am putting my effort in it," she says. "But also in Tahrir, I will be there."