More violence against judges, democracy protesters

I just got back from a trip to the Western Desert and have missed out on the tragic events of the last few days -- a judge being hospitalized, dozens of demonstrators being beaten up, at least 25 dead and many more wounded in two series of bombings in the Sinai. Now, just as I write, another demo has been brutally squashed by Central Security and hired goons. About an hour ago, Central Security troops cordoned protesters outside the Judge's Syndicate in Downtown Cairo in massive numbers. Then they brought in the plainclothes thugs used to beat up activists while keeping the interior ministry's uniforms clean. According to some SMSs I've been receiving, many judges and activists have been beaten, and some arrested -- including socialist leaders Kamal Khalil and Ibrahim Sahary.

More details later tonight, if available.

Update: There are reports of something nasty also happening in the Alexandria Judges' Club.

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,