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Fifteen people arrested for handing out flyers

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 2 August 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the arrest of 15 citizens in Alexandria for distributing flyers urging citizens to sign a petition calling for political reform. The citizens were arrested on allegations that these demands pose a "threat to public peace and security". In contrast to this, the government has lauded the distribution of flyers advocating for the nomination of the president's son in the upcoming presidential elections of 2011.

The demands outlined in the flyers are considered fair and have been agreed upon by those who call for reform and democracy in Egypt. The demands include ending the state of emergency, election monitoring by the judiciary and allowing Egyptians who live abroad to vote, among others. However, security officers arrested the citizens who distributed the flyers while, at the same time, they welcomed the actions of other citizens who posted flyers calling on people to vote for the president's son for the presidency, which shows a blatant double standard and police prejudice towards one party versus another.

ANHRI said, "Shame on the government for arresting citizens for expressing themselves publicly and peacefully. The government should welcome people who call for reform and democracy in the same manner that it welcomes supporters of the president's son. Reform and democracy are in the best interest of everyone, they do not favour any particular individual or group."

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