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

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.