Egypt frees ElBaradei protesters

2010-04-07 19:07
Egyptian protesters clash with anti-riot policemen , as dozens of protesters chanting "freedom" and calling for amending the constitution to allow fairer presidential elections, attempted to gather in downtown Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo)

Egyptian protesters clash with anti-riot policemen , as dozens of protesters chanting "freedom" and calling for amending the constitution to allow fairer presidential elections, attempted to gather in downtown Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Egypt's authorities freed on Wednesday dozens of opposition activists linked to top opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei a day after their arrest for seeking to stage a demonstration to demand political reforms, officials said.

State prosecutor Abdel Majid Mahmud ordered the release of 33 people, including 17 students, earlier on Wednesday, a judicial official said. A security source said several others were freed late on Tuesday.

According to Egyptian and international non-governmental organisations, including New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), 91 people were arrested on Tuesday.

They are all members of the April 6 opposition group that has rallied to the recently formed National Association for Change of former UN nuclear watchdog chief ElBaradei.

On Tuesday, April 6 tried to organise a protest in Cairo to demand political and constitutional reforms as well as the lifting of emergency laws that have been enforced for nearly three decades.

Condemnation

But organisers said police beat up protesters and arrested them as they prevented them from marching to parliament from Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.

"The police beat up protesters with clubs. We could not leave Tahrir. Policemen in civilian clothes prevented us," April 6's Esraa Abdel Fattah said on Tuesday, adding that "dozens" were arrested as they tried to flee.

The arrests and violence were condemned by Amnesty International and HRW on Tuesday, both of which also urged Egypt to lift laws on a state of emergency.

"This intimidation of opposition activists and government critics must end immediately," said Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Director Malcolm Smart.

His counterpart at HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson, said: "Armed security officials supposedly in service to the Egyptian people are beating up its young women and men."

'Unlawful' protest

"The government should ensure that all these incidents of police brutality are fully investigated and announce an end to this thuggery," she added.

But the interior ministry denied any wrongdoing. It said security forces cracked down on the protesters because April 6 had tried to go ahead with a demonstration despite failing to obtain a permit.

"The measures (taken on Tuesday) came after the security services turned down a request by April 6 to hold marches and protests," the ministry said on Wednesday.

It also described April 6 as "unlawful", and said 33 protesters were arrested and held overnight for questioning because "10 officers and individuals were wounded" in clashes between the two sides.

April 6 was set up in 2008 to protest against cost-of-living increases. In recent weeks it allied with ElBaradei's new political party, which is campaigning for constitutional reforms ahead of 2011 presidential polls.

ElBaradei, 67, has said he is willing to stand against President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 on condition that the election is free and fair and that the constitution is revised to ease candidacy restrictions.

The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner has emerged as Egypt's highest-profile opposition figure since he retired as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency at the end of last year.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  hrw  |  mohamed elbaradei  |  egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

ANC set for two-thirds majority - poll

The ANC is on course to win nearly a two-thirds majority in 7 May elections, a poll has showed, confounding analysts who had predicted a fall in support for the ruling party.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.