Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Egypt arrests

Over 460* Egyptian activists have been arrested today (Wednesday 23 January 2008), during their attempts to convene a peaceful demonstration in front of the Arab League in downtown Cairo. 

The demonstration called for by the Socialist Alliance—a coalition of Leftist organisations and individuals—and joined by Muslim Brotherhood members, was to protest the latest atrocities against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. 

Starting Tuesday evening, Islamist activists were rounded up from their homes and workplaces in different governorates across Egypt, in an effort by the government to abort the demonstration. 

Among those seized are Dr Magdi Abdo from Cairo—who is under treatment from a recent stroke and his whereabouts are not  known yet— Ali Abdel Fattah from Alexandria who is a leading member of the International Campaign Against Zionist and American Occupation.
The arrests and violence reached its climax Wednesday morning when, according to eyewitnesses, subway stations were closed-down and security forces summoned people randomly around the neighbourhood. 

Using tear-gas and mass arrests the state security still did not manage to stop the demonstration scheduled for Wednesday morning. Over 300 hundred activists were arrested on sight, including veteran left-wing activists, Shahenda Maqlad, Adel el-Mashad, Abdel-Ghaffar Shurk and Salah Adly.
There is still a heavy security presence and arrests.  

The exact number is expected to be known tonight or tomorrow morning once the detainees are turned to the General Prosecutor’s office, and more statements are collected from demonstrators. While some of those arrested are in a security camp in Darasah, Cairo, the whereabouts of some are still unknown.
Statement from the Centre of Socialist Studies

*Some sources say that over 2,000 were seized. I will attempt to get a difinitive figure as soon as I can.


Anonymous said...

I'd double-check the 2,000 detainees estimate. All the numbers I heard were around few hundreds, up to 400.

Lebanese socialist said...

I have received figure of 400, 500 and 1000. The 2000 figure was emailed to me from Egypt. I soon as I get confirmation I'll put up the correct figures.