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Egypt's court releases 378 protesters on presidential pardon


14:34, January 20, 2013

CAIRO, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday dropped the riot and vandalism charges against 378 defendants on presidential pardon.

The defendants are accused of being involved in Central Cairo's Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes in late 2011 between protesters and security men.

Another defendant out of the total of 379 was tried for drug possession and was acquitted as proven innocent, not due to the pardon.

On Oct. 9, 2012, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a presidential pardon for all those detained or sentenced over charges related to their support of January 2011 "uprising" since Jan. 25, 2011 until he came to office on June 30, 2012.

The defendants included over 50 minors, three women, three Americans and one Syrian. A lot of them shouted from inside the dock against the verdict, as they wanted to be tried and acquitted not released on pardon.

The five-day clashes that took place late November 2011 killed over 40 and injured thousands as security forces violently dispersed a sit-in at Cairo's Tahrir Square.

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