Hundreds of Egyptians dressed in black clothes with white ribbons pinned to their chests protested in Cairo, demanding an apology to female activists and journalists who were allegedly beaten and sexually harassed during demonstrations last Wednesday.
Demonstrators took to the streets last week to hold a rally against Egyptian President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/08/24/35182.html ' target=_blank>Hosni Mubarak and protest a referendum vote on a constitutional amendment intended to encourage multi-party elections. Some call the amendment a step toward democracy, while others insist it is merely a cosmetic change aimed at appeasing the West and allow the ruling party to retain power.
Whether or not the change would indeed pave the way for Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential elections, the harassment of protesters at last week's rally has drawn significant attention. Photos of protesters being attacked appeared in newspapers the following day, prompting many Egyptians to do something rarely done — publicly criticize Mubarak and his administration, reports ABC News.
Egypt's main &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/03/07/44130.html ' target=_blank>human rights organizations and a new group calling itself the League of Egyptian Mothers, had called for on Wednesday to be a day of mourning.
“I want a public apology from those responsible,” said Ghada Shahbandar, a demonstrator. “My children will not be brought up to believe that this is acceptable.” Journalist Nawal Ali Ahmed says she was not demonstrating but was on her way to an English class when she attacked.
“I can't tell you how much they beat me. Then they started tearing my clothes off and stealing my gold and my money and my mobile phone,” she said. “Friends managed to rescue me after I was dragged on the ground while the officers stood and watched.”