Egyptian police Attacks Peaceful Protesters, One Judge Wounded and 15 Detained
One judge was wounded and 15 activists were detained on Monday when Egyptian police broke up a protest in support of judges calling for reforms outside the judges syndicate in Cairo.
Pro-reform judge Mahmud Hamza was hospitalized after being attacked by Egyptian police down town. Unofficial stories said that Hamza was dragged and beaten in the street by security and he was mugged.
Salma, one of the 40 protesters and a member the pro-reform Youth for Change movement said “Plainclothed security tried to remove us by force. They beat some of the protesters up and when judge Mahmud Hamza came down to defend us, he was beaten up too.”
Pro-reform judges started a sit-in on April 19 to support two colleagues, who face disciplinary action after alleging the judiciary helped rig the 2005 parliamentary polls that saw the ruling party retain a firm grip on power.
Judge at the scene, Nagui Derbala, said “Mahmud Hamza is the price the judges are paying for their independence. It is a message from a security service that does not respect the law. Every day there is more proof that there is no independence of the judiciary."
The judges syndicate, which has become one of the most potent symbols of calls for change and reform in Egypt, has campaigned relentlessly over the past year to demand more independence from the executive branch.
Picture: Sign reads in Arabic: "Independent Judiciary=Free country". Protesters said that all signs were stolen in the attack. I am glad I took a picture for the sign.
From yesterday coverage of the judges' protest:
Mubarak is Hanging in Cairo’s Downtown Streets