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Ex-Mubarak death claims trigger clashes in Cairo's Tahrir

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Ex-Mubarak death claims trigger clashes in Cairo's Tahrir

Clashes erupted in Tahrir Square Monday night between protesters and caretakers of the only stage left in the sit-in after the latter prevented a lawyer from continuing his speech.

Hamed Seddik, a geologist at the National Research Center, has become known for his belief that former president Hosni Mubarak died in 2005 and that the country was ruled by a replacement since then.

Although his story has been consistently rubbished by the media and public opinion, Seddik found a way to get on the Tahrir platform to reveal what he claimed was “The truth that will save all the Arab revolutions.”

“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has been ruling the country since 11 February, know that the man in Sharm El-Shiekh is not the real Mubarak,” insisted the legal consultant for the Revolution’s Protectors Front on the Tahrir stage. “The prosecutor-general knows, and all the political leaders know, including the leaders of the parties, movements, the Muslim Brotherhood group and the Salafists sheikhs,  whom I demand to reveal the truth [about Mubarak] and urge Egyptians to stay in Tahrir as a way of Jihad.”

"Continue, Shiekh,” chanted the protesters who listened.

“I have filed more than 200 lawsuits since 2004 and I was finally able to get a statement from the court of appeals to confirm the identity of Mubarak, and nothing happened,” Seddik claimed.

“Enough is enough. There are others want to speak too,” said one man on stage.

Clashes between audience and Tahrir stage adminstrators

Those in charge of the stage took the microphone from Seddik many times but the listeners around the stage wanted him to continue. Some wanted to hear the story out of curiosity or just for fun and only few seemed convinced.

Side conversations among the protesters implied that Seddik’s claim may not a myth because the former president hasn’t appeared in public since his last speech on February 10, one day before the January 25 uprising that forced him to step down. Some chatted about his health, doubts of his residing in Sharm El-Shiekh hospital and others gossiped about rumours of his escape to Saudi Arabia, Emirates or Israel. Others still insisted that people should be patient since he is scheduled to appear live in court on 3 August.

“Let the man speak,” protesters called out to the stage officials.

In the end, Seddik, the legal consultant charged with documenting Mubarak’s crime campaign, decided to leave the scene, jumping off the platform after an altercation between him and someone on stage turned violent.

“What are you doing? Give him back the mic. What is this, a local wedding?” shouted one angry protester.

The angry audience started attacking the stage, throwning stones, and some on stage fought back by throwing glasses back at them.

“Dirty stage,” some demonstrators yelled.

Ahram Online was there to film a video, but were unable to complete the coverage because a few enthusiastic demonstrators thought it unacceptable to shoot “negative scenes in the sit-in that don’t represent its real character.”

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