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Egypt protesters say tortured by police after peaceful demonstration

[JURIST] Two Egyptian protesters were allegedly tortured and sexually assaulted by Egyptian police [Kifaya statement] after a peaceful demonstration in favor of two judicial reformists who exposed alleged fraud in the country's election last year, according to one of the men's lawyers Friday and opposition group Kifaya [party website, in Arabic; Wikipedia backgrounder]. Mohammed el-Sharkawi participated in a protest outside the Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo at the same time that 300 judges staged a silent protest [JURIST report] outside the Egyptian Supreme Court to call for greater judicial independence from the government and to support two judges who were put before a disciplinary panel [JURIST report] for revealing that some of their colleagues allowed fraud [JURIST report] in the parliamentary elections last November. El-Sharkawi was arrested after allegedly being beaten by Egyptian police and was later sexually assaulted at the Cairo police station.

El-Sharkawi is a member of the Youth for Change [BBC backgrounder], which is affiliated with the Kifaya opposition group. Both el-Sharkawi and another protester allegedly tortured by police, Kareem el-Sha'er, have been ordered by state prosecutors to serve 15 days in prison for insulting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile] and for charges of illegal assembly and incitement. Earlier this week, three Egyptian journalists and a lawyer were charged [JURIST report] with slandering a local election commission chief by alleging fraud in the elections and publishing the names of the two judges accused of rigging election results. AP has more.

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