Egypt remembers the 'martyr' who stirred a revolution

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Khaled Said
Cairo, Jun 7: Silence was observed in the memory of Khaled Said, an activist exactly a year after he was beaten to death outside a net cafe by two police officers in Alexandria.

After Khaled was killed brutally, the pictures of his battered body and face were posted on the internet by his family creating a stir across the country and eventually leading to the popular Egyptian uprising that led to the downfall of the Hosni Mubarak regime on Feb 11.

Tributes were paid to him and youngsters were seen holding Christian cross, copies of Koran and national flags draped around him, demanding justice to be done for Khaled Said who had to suffer the brutality of the police.

"Khaled Said died but brought the voice of justice to life, but a year has passed and his rights have not been returned," said Soha Fathy, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.

"I hear the voice of a martyr calling, asking 'where are my rights and where are the rights of my nation," shouted protestors outside his home in Alexandria, expressing indignation on the way the investigation against the two police officers were going on.

Said had posted a video that showed two policemen sharing drug bust spoils. According to witnesses, policemen pulled out Said from the Internet cafe and beat him to death.

The two accused are on a trail and the verdict is expected to come later this month.

"We feel great grief on this day because Khaled is not with us but it is also mixed with pride, because it was Khaled who sparked the revolution," said his sister, Zohra Said, "But we are still waiting for justice, " she added.

Hundreds of people gathered in Cairo outside the interior ministry building shouting slogans "do not worry Khaled, we have avenged your death."

"We are calling not just for a faster trial of those officers responsible for the death of Said and others," but also a complete restructuring of the role of the police, said Ayman Nour a capable presidential candidate.

"Last year, I stood with my back to the land because it was a message to the regime that we had lost hope. Today, I'm looking in, because I have faith and a will to build a new Egypt," said Mohamed Abdel Kareem, an activist.

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