World Bulletin/News Desk
Egypt's National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, the main support bloc of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, called on Monday for mass demonstrations on Tuesday to protest a court verdict that cleared former president Hosni Mubarak from charges of conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 uprising.
"We call on the masses of the revolution to come together on Tuesday in all squares to demand retribution for the martyrs and denounce the exoneration of Mubarak and his aides," the alliance said in a statement.
"We call on all Egyptians to restore the revolutionary spirit in order to get back rights of all the martyrs of January 25," it added.
On Saturday, a court dropped the case against Mubarak on charges of conspiring in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.
The court also cleared the former leader, ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly and six former top security officials of charges of ordering the murder of the anti-regime protesters during the 18-day uprising.
Mubarak was also cleared of corruption charges related to gas exports to Israel.
The rulings are still subject to appeal.
In late 2012, Mubarak and al-Adly were both sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering the murder of demonstrators during the uprising. The court later ordered a retrial, however, after the former president's lawyers successfully appealed the sentence.
The pro-Morsi alliance, meanwhile, continues to organize regular rallies to protest last year's ouster of Morsi – Egypt's first freely elected president – by the army.
Security forces, however, usually disperse these rallies by force amid an ongoing crackdown on Morsi supporters that has left hundreds of protesters dead and thousands behind bars.
Protests, mockery in Egypt
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Cairo University, waving pictures of Mubarak behind bars and demanding the "fall of the regime", the rallying cry of the Arab Spring uprisings that shook governments from Tunisia to the Gulf in 2011.
Police stood ready at the gates to bar students that sought to take their demonstration into the streets.
In Tahir Square, the symbolic heart of the revolt that ousted Mubarak, two people were killed and nine were wounded on Saturday evening, when security forces fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse about 1,000 protesters who attempted to enter the area.
Security forces closed a Cairo metro station, the state news agency said, an apparent effort to prevent gatherings downtown.
"Down with Hosni Mubarak, down with every Mubarak, down with military rule" said one Facebook page that called for protests against the ruling.
The verdict has also prompted a deluge of online cartoons about the return of the old guard.
One animated video begins with a group of Mubarak-era politicians in a darkened cell facing an array of charges. One by one they are released and end up celebrating their freedom with their former president, singing "yes, we are back".