From the Egyptian NGO, Civil Monitors for Human Rights, in Cairo, May 11:
Egyptian Authorities Continue Crackdown on Opposition Today
Continuing in their policy of oppression, the Egyptian authorities are trying to prevent protests which the Egyptian opposition is organizing to support the judges Hisham Bistowissi and Mahmoud Mekki and to condemn the oppressive policies of the Egyptian government.
Security forces surrounded an area in downtown Cairo to the extent that it resembled a military barracks, and so that it appeared there were nearly two hundred vehicles from Central Security present. Security forces prevented citizens from passing through the area, Cairo entrances were closed and all cars appearing to carry protesters were stopped. In addition, a number of activists were arrested immediately upon their arrival in Cairo. The troops struck judges and protesters with sticks to prevent them from reaching the courthouse. Also, the oppressive practices extended to foreign journalists, preventing them from covering the demonstration and the violent practices which the police systematically used against the protestors. Police violence led to the arrests of average citizens who were passing through the neighborhood. Police likewise surrounded demonstrators who had sought protection inside the Fath Mosque in Ramses Square.
News sources reported that the police tried to arrest a foreign reporter and that a security car crashed into another reporter from a foreign agency. Also, a Reuters photographer was beaten and his camera was confiscated, a reporter from the Abu Dhabi was wounded. Eyewitnesses added that they witnessed Security forces take the camera from the Al Jazeera channel and beat the cameraman.
And in Assyut during the protest in front of the courthouse there, which was organized by the Tagammua’ Party, after ten minutes from the beginning of the protest, the security forces attacked and arrested five activists from the party; Assam Shabaan Hassan, Memdouh Magram, Walid Moustafa, Mahmoud Abbas, Halal Abd el Hamid (a reporter from Al Ahaly newspaper).
Up to now, the number of activists arrested is unknown, but sources told the Civil Monitor that a large number have been detained, about 500 were arrested today, including six reporters. It is possible, though, that the number will increase as the Security forces are still combing the streets of downtown Cairo searching for activists.
Civil Monitors for Human Rights Contacts in Cairo:
Office: 202 5317268
Some other recent reports on Egypt:
May 5 from Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrwatch.org/english/docs/2006/05/06/egypt13319.htm
April 28 from Amnesty International: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE120072006?open&of=ENG-2MD