EGYPTIAN BLOGGERS BEATEN AND SENT TO JAIL

Internet

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the arrests of two bloggers, Mohammed Sharkawy and Karim El-Shaer, during a demonstration at the Press Syndicate in Cairo on 25 May 2006, and the behaviour of the police in using violence to disperse protestors, and attacking "Los Angeles Times" correspondent Hossam El-Hamalwy as he was trying to cover the event.

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The two bloggers are now being held in Tora prison, where they are supposed to remain in detention for at least two weeks. They are accused of "insulting the president" and violating the state of emergency (which bans gatherings of more than five people). They both asked to be examined by an independent doctor to verify the injuries they received, but their requests were rejected.

Plain-clothes police sprayed El-Hamalwy with tear-gas as he was covering the protest. It seems the police wanted to prevent him and the two bloggers from going to another demonstration taking place outside the Cairo high court on 25 May. A third blogger, Alaa Abd El-Fatah, has been held since 7 May.