Another day of big protests in Egypt

TONY EASTLEY: Egyptians have staged one of their biggest protests yet, again demanding that President Hosni Mubarak quit as leader.

Vice President Omar Suleiman who has become Hosni Mubarak's spokesman went on national television to praise what he said was a countrywide consensus for political reform.

He also promised protesters they would not face any reprisals.

Foreign affairs editor Peter Cave reports from Cairo that Tahrir Square was filled to capacity.

(Sounds of crowd clapping and chanting)

PETER CAVE: Far from diminishing, the protests continue to grow.

Dr Engyarafa was handing out food to the protesters in the square.

DR ENGYARAFA: What's going on - the whole of Egypt would like this tyrant, Mubarak, to just leave.

We've had enough. We've had more than enough.

I'm a university professor. I've taught my students about liberty and freedom for ages, but now it's time to put words into action.

And I've seen most of them here. I'm so proud to be an Egyptian.

PETER CAVE: What do you think of the concessions that have been offered by the Government so far?

DR ENGYARAFA: Garbage. Garbage. They don't mean a thing. We will need actions, not words.

PETER CAVE: What sort of actions?

DR ENGYARAFA: We don't need this government. We need another government. This is what we need right now. And new elections.

PETER CAVE: Is it acceptable for President Mubarak to remain in office until September or October?

DR ENGYARAFA: Not so. No, no, I don't think so.

And I think he's on his way to Germany right now - most of the people think so.

PETER CAVE: For treatment or to flee the country?

DR ENGYARAFA: To flee the country under the pretences of being treated.

(Sounds of crowd chanting)

PETER CAVE: Human Rights Watch says 297 have died in clashes in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez - many as a result of live gunfire as riot police fought running battles with protesters across the country.

A significant proportion came as a result of rubber bullets being fired at too close a range and from tear gas canisters fired into the crowd from very close range.

Thousands have been arrested; many of them were beaten and tortured; many after being released have come back to the square.

Journalist Khaled Dawoud was one of them.

KHALED DAWOUD: And it's the mob behaviour. As soon as you get one punch everybody else starts beating you up - started kicking me all over my body.

Finally we reached a position - you know, location - which is controlled by the army, particularly the military police. And again there was another session and round of beating when we got out of a cab.

And I was very shocked, because I saw almost like 200, 300 people inside that place - I was not the only one.

PETER CAVE: Despite his experiences, the journalist says he will continue to come back to Tahrir Square until President Mubarak is gone.

KHALED DAWOUD: I'm lucky actually that I managed to get out of this. But what happened to me?

No, it will actually make me more determined to come back here, because that's what I want to get rid of - I want to get rid of this regime which arrests us in the street with no reason and put us in jail where you - I could have been taken somewhere for days and days, held incommunicado; nobody knows anything about me.

So that's why I came back here again.

PETER CAVE: Journalist Khaled Dawoud,

This is Peter Cave reporting from Cairo for AM