Anti-Mubarak protest squashed

I wasn't there (stayed home because I felt sick) but heard that today's cross-faction rally against the nomination of Mubarak for president was squashed violently. Riot police, plainclothes security goons and other baltaguia charged protesters and hit them with clubs, kicked them and generally seem to have behaved as they did on 25 May during the referendum. Over 25 people were arrested, including top Kifaya members George Ishaq (who is 67), sloganmeister KamalWael Khalil and Amin Iskander.

This doesn't bode well for the election.

There are already reports out on this:

  • Al Jazeera
  • Reuters
  • Associated Press


  • I'm not sure when Charles or Josh, who were there, might post, so here are a few of pics sent to me by my friend Paul who was there. Pretty self-explanatory:

    paul_protest1.jpg

    paul_protest2.jpg

    paul_protest3.jpgCorrection: It was Wael Khalil and not Kamal Khalil who was arrested earlier, the wires got it wrong. I received this email, originally by the Weekly's Amira Howeidy, this morning:

    Anti-Mubarak demonstration attacked by police
    30 July
    Central Cairo was a military zone today. Armies of anti-riot police and goons dressed in civilian clothing made sure no demonstration took place today. When I arrived in Tahrir square at 5:45 pm, it was evident from the unsually high volume of security forces (special forces, anti-riot police and others) on every single street, square, building and every platform in tahrir and all the streets that lead up to it.
    It was around just beofre 7pm when saw police officers order these thugs to arrest "him" in Bab El-Luq st. Him turned out to be my friend and brave activist Wael Khalil. I wrote a mini profile of him a couple of weeks ago here.
    Kifaya big names like Amin Iskandar and George Ishak were arrest in front of the Nasserist Party headquarters but releasted a couple of hours later. By the time I got there at around 6, there were hundreds of thugs running in organized groups and arresting lots of young men. Anti-riot police stood there watching while high ranking police officers issued their ordrers to the thugs (who were armed with short but thick truncheons).

    I've never seen anything like this before. Not even on 21 March 2003 when thugs were set loose on the demonstrators in downtown cairo. The Security apparatus today has announced its new election policy which obviously wont tolerate demosntrations- at any cost.
    Until writing this email, Wael and other activists were still in detention.
    Comment

    Issandr El Amrani

    Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.