Thursday, April 27, 2006

Government Crackdown on Reformers

Press reports and activists are reporting that police attacked reform demonstrators in Cairo today. The demonstrators were showing support for two pro-reform judges who had been brought before a disciplinary board for accusing the judiciary of helping fix elections.

Outside, the government's usual strong-arm tactics were on display. Inside, the actual hearing of the two judges was adjorned until May 11 after one hour.

Here is a list sent by Egyptian activists of activists taken by state security intelligence yesterday evening from in front of the judges club in Cairo:

Kamal Khalil (Center for Socialist Studies)
Ibrahim El Sahari (Center for Socialist Studies)
Islam Hanafi
Akram El Irani
Bahaa Saber
Hussein Mohamed Ali (Ghad party)
Khaled Ali
Saher Gad (journalist)
Seif Abdallah (Karama party)
Tarek Hassan
Karim Mohamed
Malek Mostafa
Mohamed El Agami
Mohamed Daridir
Mohamed Adel (injured)
Mohamed Abdel Rahman
Mohamed Fawzi Imam
Yasser Badran
Gamal Abdel Fattah
Sameh Mohamed Said
Sami Diab

The following activists were beaten up by the police in front of the press syndicate
Karem Mahmoud
Rasha Azab
Nada Qassas
Ali El Tayyeb
The following activists were kidnapped by state security intelligence yesterday evening from in front of the judges club in Cairo
Kamal Khalil (Center for Socialist Studies)
Ibrahim El Sahari (Center for Socialist Studies)
Islam Hanafi
Akram El Irani
Bahaa Saber
Hussein Mohamed Ali (Ghad party)
Khaled Ali
Saher Gad (journalist)
Seif Abdallah (Karama party)
Tarek Hassan
Karim Mohamed
Malek Mostafa
Mohamed El Agami
Mohamed Daridir
Mohamed Adel (injured)
Mohamed Abdel Rahman
Mohamed Fawzi Imam
Yasser Badran
Gamal Abdel Fattah
Sameh Mohamed Said
Sami Diab

The following activists were beaten up by the police in front of the press syndicate
Karem Mahmoud
Rasha Azab
Nada Qassas
Ali El Tayyeb

In today's papers, the foreign press picked up on the demonstration and arrests, while the American papers focused on the failed bombing attempts in the Sinai. The Middle East Times story says demonstrators chanted "Judges are our voice against dictatorship." The BBC report emphasized the heavy security presence outside the hearing. Marlyn Tadros, an Egyptian activist whose always been a great help to Amnesty International, mentions the beatings in her commentary as well as the arrest of an al-Jazeera editor in Cairo. Baheyya includes video on her blog.

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