Another Bloody Protest in Egypt, Activists Get a Beat-Down

Several Egyptian activists were rounded up and beat down before they were dragged off to prison where fellow activist and Blogger Alaa sits after his arrest last week.

Egyptian policem clash with protesters during a protest in Cairo May 11, 2006. Egyptian security forces beat activists and assaulted and detained journalists on Thursday during a protest in support of judges who faced a disciplinary committee for criticising election abuses last year. (REUTERS/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Egyptian forces squashed three separate protests today in Cairo beating activists with sticks and fists:

Egyptian security forces beat activists and arrested journalists in Cairo on Thursday during protests in support of judges facing a disciplinary committee for criticising election abuses last year.

Activists organised at least three separate demonstrations in central Cairo but in each case plainclothes security men moved in, beating and detaining selected protesters.

Thousands of riot police, armed with sticks and shields, sealed off main streets near the High Court, disrupting traffic in the heart of the capital.

One of the largest protests was by some 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition group.

The protesters gathered quietly around the corner from the court to escape the attention of security forces and then began chanting “Judges, judges, save us from the tyrants!”

They marched for some 15 minutes before teams of plainclothes security attacked the leaders, pulling them to the pavement and beating them with fists.


An Egyptian plainclothes policeman beats a protester in Cairo May 11, 2006. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

Thousands of police were involved in the violence against the protests:

At least eight people were arrested during the scuffles. Al-Jazeera television said one of its cameramen was beaten by security forces.

The Egyptian government has taken a tough new line against pro-democracy activists who have rallied around the judges and accuse President Hosni Mubarak of backing off promised reforms. In recent weeks, 48 activists have been arrested during demonstrations to support the judges.

The scuffles began after riot police in black uniforms cordoned off streets leading to the court then began pushing back protesters and journalists. When the protesters ran away, police chased them and grabbed some, dragging them toward trucks.

And, beating them senseless!

Egyptian police arrest protesters during clashes in Cairo May 11, 2006. Egyptian security forces beat activists and assaulted and detained journalists on Thursday during a protest in support of judges who faced a disciplinary committee for criticising election abuses last year. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

It would be a great move for President Bush to comment on these recent crackdowns as Jay Reding proposed via Glenn Reynolds reported earlier in the week. After all, President Bush is “The Great Democratizer”. It would be the right thing to do and a smart move for the president and it would fit for him to help out these democracy protesters violently put down and detained in Cairo.

Also,… Sandmonkey, Big Pharoah and Freedom for Egyptians have the latest on Alaa and how you can help!

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