Tuesday’s papers: Military disperses Tahrir sit-in and Mubarak to stand trial

The story dominating almost all of today’s newspapers is the forcible clearance of the Tahrir Square sit-in by the military. Almost all the newspapers note that this was undertaken with much popular support.

The newly launched Al-Tahrir newspaper publishes the headline: “End of the sit-in at the behest of the people." It reports that there were some clashes that occurred between the protesters and military forces, leading to slight injuries. It also reports that soldiers chanted “God is great" as they cleared the square.
The privately owned Al-Dostour also leads with a similar headline, reporting that the sit-in was broken up by the military with supporters cheering on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). It says the military gave the protesters half an hour to clear the square, which they refused to do. After clearing the square, the military arrested a number of “thugs,” according to the newspaper’s report. 
The privately owned Al-Shorouk has an interesting addition to the story in its coverage, reporting that the military reached its decision to end the sit-in “by force” after “coordination” with a number of political forces that were not named. The military justified its actions by saying acts of thuggery had increased, and the armed forces would not allow “the revolution’s square” to be a place of lawlessness.
The state-run Al-Ahram takes a different approach to the story, merely reporting that the military police opened the square for traffic. It focuses heavily on the support from citizens for ending the sit-in and continues on to cover the arrests of “thugs” and “outlaws.” It makes no mention of the clashes or the extent of force used to end the sit-in.
The state-run Al-Akhbar reports that the protesters refused to leave the square and then armed themselves with weapons to counter any attempts to clear it. It does at least report that the military police and Central Security Forces then proceeded to end the sit-in by force. Naturally, this was met with much cheer from those watching, the newspaper says.
The opposition Al-Wafd paper looks at the forcible clearance of the square from an economic standpoint, stating that the closure of traffic and recent events has affected the economy of the area since 25 January. It refers to the anger of shop owners near the square and recent clashes between them and the protesters.
The other big story of the day is the impending trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, which also makes front-pages news in most papers. Al-Ahram leads with: “The suspect Hosni Mubarak officially notified of place and time of trial.” It reports that Mubarak consulted with his lawyers before signing the notification.
Mubarak’s trial is set for 3 August, and he is to be tried alongside his two sons, Alaa and Gamal; former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and six of his aides; and businessman Hussein Salem, who will be tried in absentia. Much speculation has surfaced about whether the former president will actually appear in court, but Al-Ahram says the Interior Ministry plans to transport him to Cairo for the trial.
Al-Akhbar reports on the preparations being made for the trial, which is to be broadcast on state television. Labeling it the “trial of the century,” the newspaper reports that Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy has inspected the courtroom and that securing the courthouse – located in what was formerly known as Mubarak Police Academy – will be done in conjunction with the armed forces.
Al-Shorouk, however, reports that some political figures believe that Mubarak will not appear in the courtroom and that the order for his appearance will be rescinded at the last minute. They believe that the constant talk about Mubarak's ill health has been a precursor for his non-appearance at the trial.
Egypt's papers:
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt
Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size
Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run
Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run
Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned
Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned
Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party
Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party
Youm7: Weekly, privately owned

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