Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Egypt: Elections Marred as Opposition Barred from Polls

Violence, Arrests and Fraud Allegations Widespread

Human Rights Watch, November 29, 2010

2010_Egypt_Elections.jpg
Riot police form a line as opposition members and supporters gather to support their candidates for the upcoming elections.
© 2010 Reuters
 
The authorities promised that Egyptian civil society could monitor the elections without the need for international observers. Unfortunately the repeated exclusion of opposition representatives and independent monitors from polling stations, along with reports of violence and fraud suggest that citizens were not able to partake in free elections.
Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division
(Cairo) – Elections to Egypt’s People’s Assembly on November 28, 2010, were marred by reports that opposition supporters were barred from polling stations and subjected to violence, Human Rights Watch said today. There were reports of numerous irregularities including arrests and harassment of journalists, denial of access for opposition candidate representatives to 30 polling stations visited by Human Rights Watch across the country and widespread allegations of voter fraud.

“The authorities promised that Egyptian civil society could monitor the elections without the need for international observers,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division. “Unfortunately the repeated exclusion of opposition representatives and independent monitors from polling stations, along with reports of violence and fraud suggest that citizens were not able to partake in free elections.”

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