Egypt extends detention of protesters

The Egyptian authorities have extended for 15 days the detention of 184 people arrested in May during weeks of protest in solidarity with two judges who faced disciplinary measures, judicial sources say.

    Protesters were beaten and clubbed by policemen

    The public prosecutor's office on Tuesday issued a renewal order for 164 people accused of illegal assembly, obstructing traffic, spreading propaganda and insulting the president, they said.
       
    The office of the state security prosecutor took the same step for a further 20 activists on the same charges, they added.
       
    The Egyptian authorities began last month to implement a tougher policy towards street protests, after allowing them to take place with relative immunity last year.
       
    Plainclothes security men backed by riot police have beaten and clubbed peaceful demonstrators and hundreds of people have been detained for at least some hours.
       
    Several of the biggest protests were in support of the two judges, who had criticised last year's elections, and of a broader campaign by judges seeking judicial independence.
       
    The United States, which says it favours political liberalisation in Egypt, has said the authorities should investigate allegations of police brutality.
       
    The demonstrators have been mostly from either the opposition Muslim Brotherhood or from the secular or leftist Kefaya.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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