Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Security Force Beatings Continue

Reuters is reporting three more non-violent demonstrations Thursday were violently broken up by security forces. Six reporters were briefly detained at one demonstration, and photographers from Reuters and al-Jazeera were dragged away. The al-Jazeera cameraman was "badly beaten," according to the Reuters report.

The protests were in support of judges facing a disciplinary committee for criticizing election abuses last year. At one of the demonstrations, more than 300 Muslim Brothers appeared, according to news reports. Dozens of MB members have been arrested, according to the movement.

But it's not just the Muslim Brothers. Secular opponents, political party members and members of the judiciary are part of this growing groundswell of protest. The demonstrations to date have been vocal but small; today's was so large that some Cairo shops in the vicinity of the three protests closed up. But while the demonstrators are growing in number, according to news reports they are still outnumbered by the "thousands" of security forces who were called upon to prevent the protesters from entering the court house. Inside, two judges Mahmoud Mekky and Hesham Bastawisi face charges deemed unfair by many activists. They charge the government is attempting to crack down on the traditional independence of the Egyptian regular judiciary.

Here is the BBC report:

Here is the Reuters report:


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