ElBaradei plans protest for torture victims, calls for election boycott

Mohamed ElBaradei, former chief of International Atomic Energy Agency, has announced that he will lead a silent protest in Alexandria next Friday in solidarity Khaled Saeed, the Alexandrian teen allegedly beaten to death by police, and other victims of torture.

The ruling regime is not interested in serious change, said ElBaradei, adding that it represents about 0.5 percent of Egyptians and is strengthened by the security apparatus, which defends the government against the people.

At a private meeting on Friday with some 150 university students, representatives of the National Association for Change (NAC), and other opposition groups, ElBaradei said the opposition is partly responsible for the current situation because of their internal conflicts and inability to work together. He stressed that in the context such fragmentation, any opposition party fielding a candidate in elections would be a betrayal of the national will.

ElBaradei called on all parties and political forces to refrain not only from voting in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, but also from running any candidates.

Commenting on the recent conflict between judges and lawyers, ElBaradei expressed his surprise that lawyers would protest over someone’s personal dispute with a prosecutor. “If 450,000 lawyers in Egypt have a problem with the regime, why don’t they demand their rights from the regime in the way they demand rights from the judges? The ongoing crisis between lawyers and judges is a result of the poor state that Egypt had reached.”

The meeting ended with a celebration of ElBaradei’s 68th birthday. He was presented with a big cake in the shape of the Egyptian flag, bearing the words  “Together we will change.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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