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Egyptians remember 20 Zamalek fans killed by police in 2015

Egyptians on social media are commemorating the anniversary of the death of 20 Zamalek SC football fans who died after police fired shotgun pellets at them as they queued to enter the Air Defence stadium.
Egyptians on social media are commemorating the anniversary of the death of 20 Zamalek SC football fans who died after police fired shotgun pellets at them as they queued to enter the Air Defence stadium on 8 February 2015 [BosbbosaDe/Twitter]

Egyptians on social media are commemorating the anniversary of the death of 20 Zamalek SC football fans who died on 8 February 2015 after police fired teargas and shotgun pellets at them as they queued to enter the Air Defence stadium.

Under the hashtag, #JFT20, are pictures of the 20 people that died and calls to never forget what happened.

At the time, the Interior Ministry accused the fans of trying to force themselves into the stadium without tickets whilst Zamalek fans, known as the White Knights, said police fired indiscriminately into the crowd and accused them of a "massacre and premeditated murder."

One fan said that police kettled thousands of supporters into a 12-foot-wide corridor. A stampede ensued after police fired tear gas into the crowds and closed the barricades so that they could not escape.

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Following the stampede Egyptian authorities suspended football league matches indefinitely, the first time a suspension was in place since the Port Said massacre in 2012.

The White Knights were later smeared with "setting up an illegal group with the aim of sabotaging the constitution and preventing the state from carrying out all its functions, as well as harming society and national unity."

Three years later at least 21 White Knights were arrested whilst protesting the chairperson of the club, Mortada Mansour, who they accused of inciting security forces against them.

In 2012, 72 Al Ahly SC football fans, the Ultras, died in what was reported to be a revenge attack after they joined the 2011 revolution. They were on the frontline of the uprising where they chanted slogans including that the military were "dogs like the police."

Fans from the Al-Masry football team attacked the Ultras with knives, clubs and rocks during the match. Some were trampled to death and others thrown off the stands.

The tragedy raised serious questions over how they managed to bring weapons into the stadium and why the police did not intervene to save the Ultras. It was later revealed that the escape routes had been locked.

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