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Egyptian judges protest

29. April 2006

Dozens detained in clashes between police and demonstrators

Despite the presence of dozens of thugs and members of the police, hundreds of demonstrators in support of the judges managed to gather in front of the judges syndicate at 10.30 this morning. They were quickly cordonned off by police and surrounded by riot police carrying truncheons, as police was gearing up to sweep away the demonstrators.

Downtown Cairo was since the early hours of this morning transformed into a chase between hundreds of demonstrators and Mubarak’s henchmen. Nonetheless, hundreds of demonstrators managed to gather in front of the Ministry of Justice around the judges’ march. The most significant was a protest by about 10 people which soon turned into hundreds, in front of the Ministry. Those gathered were quickly surrounded by police which proceeded to beat them up.
The same thing happened with another group on 26 July street. But every time the police broke up the crowd, demonstrators regrouped in other locations.

At 9.30 am this morning, more than two hundred judges took to the streets to in protest of the brutality of Mubarak’s regime and of his henchmen. They forced the police and the thugs to move back.

The judges had arrived early at the club, despite the atmosphere of terror in downtown. Dozens entered the journalists syndicate, as members of the security services and their henchmen targetted known activits to search them in a humiliating manner, confiscated their belongings and arrested others. Among them were Mohamed Abdel, member of the journalists syndicate, and syndicate members Hamdy Kandil and Ashraf Ibrahim (Engineers for Democracy), activists Wael Khalil, Ali Al Fil, Mohamed al Sherif, Mohamed Abdel Moneim, Aziz Ragih, Ahmed Shuaib. More than fifty people have been detained since last night.

The ministry of Justice was this morning the scene of the disciplinary hearing of two pro-reform judges Hisham Bastawisi and Mahmoud Mekki, who have risen as symbols of the judges revolt against fraud and call for independence.

Members of State security have, since 9 this morning, chased cameramen of satellite channels in front of the journalists syndicte, harrassing them and threatening them with breaking their cameras. The Al Jazeera camera team was rounded up thrown out of the area.

Last night, police had already arrested dozens of activists who had gathered in front of the Judges Club to express their solidarity.They are : Kamal Khalil (Socialist Studies Center), Ibrahim El Sahari (Socialist Studies Center), Islam Hanafi, Akram El Irani, Bahaa Saber, Hussein Mohamed Ali (Al Ghad Party), Khaled Ali, Saher Gad (journalist), Seif Abdallah (al Karama party), Tarek Hassan, Karim Mohamed, Malek Mostafa, Mohamed al Agami, Mohamed Daridir, Mohamed Adel (wounded), Mohamed Abdel Rahman, Mohamed Fawzi Imam, Yasser Badran, Gamal Abdel Fattah, Sameh Mohamed Said, Sami Diab.

Almost a dozen activists have also been detained since April 24, also in front of the Judges Club. They were placed in detention for 15 days. They are : Karim al Shair, Ahmed Maher, Mohamed al Sharkawi, Emad Farid, Hamada Faysal, Mohamed Roshdi, Ahmed Yasser al Droubi, Ahmed Salah.

How can you help?
Send protest letters to the prosecutor General, Maher Abdel Wahid. Fax: + 202 577 4716, or to the Egyptian embassy in your country.