Members of Al-Masry Club’s ultras group, Ultras Masrawy, gathered outside the Port Said prison on Monday night objecting to reports that defendants in the Port Said Massacre trial will be moved to Cairo.
The defendants were set to be moved to Cairo next Saturday when the verdict in the Port Said trial is to be heard.
Ultras Masrawy fear for the lives of the defendants. The protesters left only when they were assured that the defendants would remain in Port Said during the hearing, according to the state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union website.
There are more than 70 defendants accused of involvement in the Port Said Massacre, which took place after a football match between Al-Ahly football club and Al-Masry football club last February and left over 70 football fans dead.
The accused include around ten police officials and several members from the administration of the Port Said based Al-Masry Club.
Ultras Ahlawy described the decision to keep the defendants in Port Said as a continuation of the complicity of the Ministry of Interior. The group believes that this is the ministry’s attempt to protect the accused police officials.
Ultras Ahlawy is organising trips for members of Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras Devils from all governorates, to gather them at the trial at the Police Academy in Cairo.
Ultras Ahlawy said in a statement: “Everyone will see that the numbers that participated in the Tahrir Square march is a very small part of the mobilisation.”
Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras Devils organised a very large protest in Tahrir Square last Friday.
Prosecutor General Tal’at Abdallah presented new evidence in the Port Said trial on Monday.
He said the new evidence incriminates some of the accused of “massacring our children in what is referred to as the Port Said Massacre.” The new evidence has sparked fears that the verdict will be postponed.
Abdallah’s spokesperson, Hassan Yassin said presenting new evidence does not necessarily mean that investigations will be re-opened or that the verdict will be postponed. Yassin said these matters are left for the court to decide.
Ultras Ahlawy has been holding outdoor multi-media presentations and protests over the past few days to remind people of the massacre, ahead of the verdict which will be read a day after the second anniversary of the 25 January.
Since the massacre, the Egyptian Premier League has been suspended and attempts to resume league football over the course of the past few months have failed. Ultras Ahlway have refused the resumption of the league before those responsible for the massacre have been held accountable. The league is set to resume in early February.