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Judges steering Egyptian reform

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Issue: 37 Section: International News Geography: Africa Egypt Topics: social movements

June 5, 2006

Judges steering Egyptian reform

by Gwalgen Geordie Dent

In an attempt to gain an influence-free judiciary and independent press in Egypt, protesters-- including over 300 judges and hundreds of journalists-- staged three major demonstrations in May.

According to the Gulf Times, "judges threatened not to supervise parliamentary elections [in September] in order to pressure the government into granting them full independence from the executive." The absence of judges supervising the elections would have put the government in danger of violating the Egyptian constitution.

Confrontations between the Egyptian government, judges and the press began surfacing in 2005 with allegations of massive vote fraud and election rigging in previous elections.

Since then, a number of arrests and disciplinary actions-- including withholding of wages and firings-- have allegedly been taken against judges, journalists and protesters.

The protests in May were in response to the prosecution of two senior Egyptian judges and have been met with violence and mass arrests by Egyptian police.

Gulf Times

United Nations Development Program

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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