Saturday, July 30, 2005


Two days after Mubarak's speech announcing his candidacy and promising all manner of reforms, security forces beat up and arrested protestors even before they reached the site of Tahrir Square. The protest was called by a range of reform groups opposing Mubarak's candidacy. Starting on the side streets leading to the Square, plainclothes men with truncheons grabbed and beat protestors and threw them in police vans. al-Jazeera says journalists were also harassed. Kifaya leaders Kamal Khalil, Amin Iskandar, and George Ishaq were detained but later released. Two dozen other Kifaya demonstrators remain detained at the Central Security Forces barracks in Darrasa, which is unfit for holding civilians but this practice has been routine for at least the past 10 years. The use of plainclothes police and/or rented thugs is reminiscent of the May 25 referendum fiasco, and the March 2003 anti-war protests. AP Photo.