Egyptian Islamists demand fair polls

Thousands of students have demonstrated throughout Egypt to demand that parliamentary elections next month be free and fair.

    The students were calling for basic freedoms

    Organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most potent opposition force, protests were staged at four universities in Cairo and several other cities under the slogan "Together for reform: Free university ... Free country".

    "State security is everywhere on campus," said 24-year-old demonstrator Alaa Alam.

    "We have no freedom to do anything. The security services do not only target us religious Muslims, but everyone in our country's universities.

    "There is a movement for reform in Egypt, and we are part of it. We are not asking for something extraordinary, we are just demanding our rights."

    Political detainees

    Alam was speaking outside Cairo University where 600 students - some of them wearing mock handcuffs and masking tape on their mouths - demonstrated.

    They were surrounded by hundreds of riot police.

    Female students hold signs next
    to police at Cairo University

    The students demanded the immediate release of all political detainees and urged the government to organise free elections starting on 8 November.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is officially illegal and could not field a candidate for the 7 September presidential election but is nevertheless expected to make a strong showing in the parliamentary polls, where its candidates run as independents.

    It was the first time the banned but tolerated movement organised a university protest under its name, rather than under the looser Islamist banner.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Palestine and Israel: Mapping an annexation

    Palestine and Israel: Mapping an annexation

    What will the maps of Palestine and Israel look like if Israel illegally annexes the Jordan Valley on July 1?

    An asylum seeker in the UK: Staying alive is a full-time job

    An asylum seeker in the UK: Staying alive is a full-time job

    Days without eating, shared beds and constant waiting - a torture survivor describes life as an asylum seeker in the UK.

    Project Force: Where could North Korea's missiles strike?

    Project Force: Where could North Korea's missiles strike?

    North Korea has long wanted to develop long-range missiles that could reach the US. Now it may have achieved that.