The Egyptian state has released members of the Kifaya (Enough) movement who were arrested during recent protests in support of rebel judges. The judges had exposed ballot rigging in last November’s parliamentary elections.
About 20 activists, including veteran campaigner Kamal Khalil, were released on Wednesday of last week.
However, Youth for Change activists Muhammad al-Sharqawy and Karim al-Shaer were jailed for a further 15 days under emergency laws. Both men were also beaten during the weekly protests outside the high court in Cairo, Egypt’s capital.
Over 600 people were jailed after state security police tried to break up pro-democracy protests. Hundreds of members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were seized during the repression.
One prisoner, blogger Alaa Abdel Fateh, wrote on his release about how solidarity grew between left wing prisoners and young Brotherhood members.
He said, “[The Muslim Brothers] were from this new breed of Islamists who read blogs, watch Al Jazeera, sing popular songs, talk about love and chant ‘down with president Mubarak’.
“We got the news that I would be released. All of a sudden they transformed from just Brothers into comrades! They hugged me, they shook my hands, they laughed and they were genuinely happy.
“They felt and expressed solidarity and they gave me the one happy memory that would help me live through this hell.”