EGYPT: CLASHES ERUPT AFTER COURT SENTENCES 21 TO DEATH IN FOOTBALL RIOT
January 26, 2013: An Egyptian judge sentenced 21 people to death for their roles in a football game riot last year, a ruling that sparked deadly clashes between security forces and relatives of the convicted.
The Port Said football incident left 74 people dead and 1,000 others injured.
Soon after the sentencing in the nation's worst stadium disaster, protests erupted outside the prison in the northeastern port city. Clashes outside Port Said prison left at least 20 civilians and two soldiers dead and dozens injured, a hospital official told state TV.
The sentences were handed down in a packed courtroom in Cairo as victims' relatives and those convicted wept.
"I thank God that justice is back in the courts of Egypt. Many mothers will sleep sound tonight knowing justice is served," the mother of Mustafa Issam, who was killed in the riots, told Nile TV by phone.
The sentences must be reviewed by Egypt's highest religious authority, who will return his opinion to the court March 9. On that day, an additional 54 defendants in the case will also be sentenced, the judge said.
Dubbed the "massacre at Port Said" by Egyptian media, the riot broke out on February 1, 2012, after Port Said-based Al-Masry defeated Cairo's Al-Ahly, 3-1. (Sources: CNN, 26/01/2013)