- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

Egypt Releases Reformists After Clashes

The Egyptian authorities have released detainees who were arrested on Saturday in heated clashes between security personnel and opposition protesters.

Security forces confronted activists who were protesting in central Cairo against the leadership of incumbent President Hosni Mubarak and who were urging the introduction of reforms.

Reports said police and government supporters kicked and beat with clubs the pro-reform demonstrators.

Police officers arrested about 20 people, among them members of Kifaya (Enough), a movement which has staged unprecedented demonstrations against Mubarak and his regime in the past few months.

The protests come in the run-up to the presidential election, slated for September 7. For the first time in Egypt’s history, this will be a multi-candidate election, after Mubarak initiated a constitutional amendment earlier this year allowing people other than himself to run for presidency.

Kifaya and other opposition groups have called to boycott the election, claiming the requirements for running a candidate are too restrictive and do not constitute real reform.

The Media Line analysts said Saturday’s violent clashes indicate that the government is trying to stifle expressions of opposition before the vote.