Thursday, May 18, 2006

Egypt Warns Against Street Protests.

Egypt warned Tuesday it would deal with unauthorized street protests as violations of the law, suggesting police would likely arrest activists if they demonstrate again this week in support of two pro-reform judges facing disciplinary procedures.

The warning from the Interior Ministry followed clashes last week in downtown Cairo when thousands of riot police beat and chased demonstrators supporting the judges who blew the whistle on electoral fraud in last year's parliamentary vote. Authorities arrested 255 people.
The assault on demonstrators drew worldwide criticism.

The European Union called the police operation "disproportionate" and questioned arrests made under emergency laws that allow detentions without warrants and imprisoning people for months without charge.

Gamal Mubarak, who is the president's youngest son and his presumed political heir, talked briefly last week with President Bush while at the White House for meetings with top officials.
Gamal Mubarak is spearheading democratic reform within his father's ruling party. But many in Egypt question whether the changes aim to ensure his father's hold on power.


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