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685Egypt Students Demonstrate for Democracy

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  • Greg Cannon
    Apr 4, 2005

      Egypt Students Demonstrate for Democracy

      Tuesday April 5, 2005 4:46 AM


      Associated Press Writer

      CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - About 300 university students
      staged a rowdy protest in downtown Cairo on Monday
      calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step
      down and further democratic reforms.

      The protest, held on the grounds of the American
      University in Cairo, was the latest in a series of
      demonstrations aimed at increasing political freedoms
      in Egypt, the Arab world's largest country, which
      Mubarak has ruled since 1981.

      Truckloads of police cordoned off the university
      during the protest, which comes ahead of planned
      September presidential elections in which more than
      one candidate - other than Mubarak - will be able to

      ``Change for Change ... Not for Bush,'' said one
      student banner in reference to contentious Middle East
      reform calls by President Bush.

      Another said: ``No more extensions. No to
      Succession,'' displaying opposition to Mubarak
      continuing as president or handing power to his
      youngest son, Gamal.

      ``One of our main demands would be the immediate ...
      (end) of emergency laws, limitation of how many terms
      a president can be in office, and free elections
      observed by U.N. personnel,'' said Ahmed el-Droubi,
      one of the protest organizers.

      Egyptians enjoyed a brief period of relatively free
      protest following Mubarak's surprise Feb. 26 call on
      the parliament, which his National Democratic Party
      dominates, to amend the constitution to allow for open
      presidential elections.

      But security officials since have cracked down,
      arresting members of Egypt's largest Islamic movement,
      the Muslim Brotherhood, and banning protests.
      Officials have been particularly angered by criticism
      of Mubarak and his family.