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May 26, 2006


Gag Halfrunt

Ahdaf Soueif writes about the situation in Egypt in the Guardian today.

(It's in the Guardian's Comment is Free blog, but also appears in the printed paper.)

Practically every sector of Egyptian society now finds itself in conflict with a regime that aligns its interests with those of a very narrow business elite and uses the security apparatus to stifle dissent. Farmers try to physically defend lands from repossession; industrial workers camp out in great state factories being sold to private investors at well under their value; journalists campaign for the freedom of the press; professors and lecturers hold their union meetings on pavements as the authorities lock them out of their universities; civil engineers hunt for somewhere to hold their AGM as the authorities lock them out of their syndicate; a phalanx of senior judges stand vigil outside their club, their decorations blazing on their chests.

Nur al-Cubicle

L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut)

The reform movement Kefaya (Enough!) accused police yesterday of having tortured two of its supporters after they were arrested during a rally supporting reformist judges. They were taken away blindfolded to a location believed to be the Qasr al-Nil police station, where they were tortured; Kefaya reports that Mohammad al-Sharqawi, one of the pair, was particularly abused. « State Security officers sodomized MMohammad al-Sharqawi, a young activist, using rolled up cardboard for nearly 15 minutes », says Kefaya. « They ripped his underwear and threatened him with rape. » The allegations have not yet been verified.

The police held the two for several hours before releasing them to the Security Court Prosecutor in Heliopolis, northeast of Cairo. « I saw the Sharqawi had been tortured », said Gamal Eid, one of the lawyers present during the interrogation of the two men, to AFP. « His eyes were swollen and he had shoeprints on this neck and chest », he adds.

Sharqawi and Shaer recounted what happened to them to judicial authorities and demanded a medical examination, said Kefaya.

Lawyers report that the Prosecutor decided to place them in detention for 15 days, after charging them with violating the State of Emergency, citing the provision against public protests.

Nur al-Cubicle

And as usual, the educated and determined people of conscience, who peacefully challenge abusive authority, are the most feared by the Security State.


One wonders what, if any, pressure is put on Egypt by the US to encourage democracy.


Yes, more protests against such regimes are definatly needed.


Manal and Alaa Bit Bucket at Washington Post, in an article about crackdowns on bloggers.

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