Thousands pray in Cairo’s Tahrir ahead of mass rally


Thousands of protesters gathered for prayers in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday ahead of a mass rally to demand democratic change, a year after the uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak. Marches were to leave Cairo mosques after noon prayers towards Tahrir, on a day dubbed “the Friday of Pride and Dignity” by the dozens of pro-democracy groups organising the rallies. In Tahrir, protesters, who joined hundreds already camped out since Wednesday’s anniversary of the uprising, gathered in prayer amid the tents that marked the sit-in.
Waving flags and holding up banners, the protesters are demanding the implementation of the goals of the revolution, including an end to military trials of civilians, the restructuring of the interior ministry and a guarantee of freedoms and social justice. “Come on Egyptians, hand in hand, we will see a new dawn!” the protesters chanted. Demonstrations were also expected in other parts of the country, including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the canal city of Suez.
Friday’s rallies mark a year since the army was deployed to control the deadly protests calling for an end to Mubarak’s regime.
The military took power when Mubarak resigned on February 11, in a dramatic turn of events for the Arab world’s most populous nation who had known the same president for 30 years. But a year later, many are disenchanted and even angry at the ruling military, who protesters accuse of human rights abuses and of reneging on promises of reform.