Thursday, April 27, 2006

Egyptian police attack protesters

Egypt appears to have one of the most active pro-democracy movements. It is small and does not have good grass roots support, but it shows great promise.

Here is a report from Egypt on a police attack on a peaceful demonstration in Cairo. This is my first attempt to post a picture and format block quotes, so bear with me if the formating isn't so nice.

The source is Aida Seif El Dawla, chairperson of the Egyptian Association Against Torture. Human Rights Watch honored Ms. El Dawla in 2003 for her long struggle against torture and human rights abuses in Egypt.

On the 24th of April Egyptian police authorities attacked a peaceful sit in opposite the Egyptian judges club in down town Cairo, which started a week ago in solidarity with the protest sit in of Egyptian judges who demand their independence, and an impartial investigation in the violations committed by the Egyptian executive and police authorities during the last parliamentary elections.

15 of our colleagues were arrested and a judge was beaten so brutally he had to be taken to hospital.

Yesterday, the Egyptian prosecution, almost totally controlled by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, has ordered a 15 days extension of the imprisonment of our colleagues charging them of disturbing public peace and order.

Still the sit in continues and is expected to increase as we approach Thursday the 27th of April when two judges will be summoned for interrogation because they exposed the rigging in the last parliamentary elections and are among the leaders of a strong movement for the independence of Egyptian judiciary."

In another post, Ms. El Dawla sent this update the judge who was beaten.

Judge Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Latif Hamza, Chief judge of the North Cairo Court lying in Cleopatra Hospital in Cairo after being subject of police violence in the early hours of the 24th of April 2006 by Mubarak’s security forces.

Judge Hamza was beaten up, dragged across the asphalt of Abdel Khalek Tharwat street from the gate of the judges club to the police trucks. When he started bleeding they threw him into a taxi which drove him to the hospital.


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