Egypt Attempts to Suppress Calls for Electoral Reform

Washington
Freedom House condemns the violent attacks on peaceful protesters in Egypt today and urges the United States government to speak up clearly and firmly for the rights of Egyptians to free expression and assembly. At least 90 protesters were arrested and beaten as they stood outside of the Egyptian Parliament to call for an end to emergency law in Egypt and for constitutional and electoral reforms.|

“Only a government that fears its own people would respond in such a brutal way to a peaceful call for credible elections,” said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House’s executive director. “Egyptians simply want elections that give them a genuine choice.”

Presidential candidate Ayman Nour and his supporters were prevented from leaving their offices and were assaulted by police when they attempted to join the protest. The Egyptian police also confiscated the equipment of journalists covering the event and blocked opposition websites, including the Elbaradei 2011 website and Facebook group of Mohamed ElBaradei, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the website of the April 6 youth movement.

“At a time when the Egyptian government should be making the electoral system more open, it is instead moving in the opposite direction,” said Daniel Calingaert, Deputy Director of Freedom House. “Unless electoral reforms are carried out, the upcoming elections in Egypt will lack credibility.”

Egypt is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2009.
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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