Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Asmany feared, the last day of voting today saw security forces intensifying their use of violence against voters to thwart any further gains by opposition candidates, especially the Muslim Brothers. Security forces did not confine themselves to blockading roads and closing off polling stations, but fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of voters. In Mansoura, Kafr al-Shaykh, and Zaqaziq, voters suffered tear gas inhalation and assorted injuries. al-Jazeera
reports at least seven fatalities and 600 injuries. However, al-Jazeera also reports relatively unobstructed voting in Baltim and Hamoul, and the opposition al-Karama's Hamdeen Sabahy is quoted as saying that unlike last thursday, police today have refrained from terrorising voters in his district.

This elderly woman in the town of Kafr al-Shaykh was overtaken by tear gas before samaritans came to her aid.

Women voters barred from entry congregate outside a polling station in the town of Kafr al-Shaykh, and a wounded supporter of the Muslim Brothers in Mansoura (above).

In Mansoura (left), Central Security Forces fire at supporters of the Muslim Brothers, while the latter take shelter behind makeshift shields and throw stones at police.

This voter in Zaqaziq tries to reason with troops blocking access to a polling station (above).

What can possibly be said when ordinary people attempting to peacefully exercise their right are met with state-sponsored, lethal violence?

*Thanks to the talented photographers of Reuters, the Associated Press, and Agence France Presse.