Mubarak releases 34 political prisoners

Anti-government protestors gain support of Egypt’s labour unions

Over 20,00 factory workers joined the hundreds of thousands of protestors across Egypt demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down, as anti-government demonstrations in the country entered their 16th day. Cairo’s Tahrir square continued to be occupied by protestors, who have also gathered outside the parliament building. Many Egyptians abroad have returned home to join the protests. The government is struggling to function under pressure from its citizens and the international community. While Mubarak still refuses to step down immediately, the government did release 34 political prisoners as a gesture of good will. But human rights groups in Egypt have said that there are an unknown number of people missing since the unrest began on January 25th. Vice President Omar Suleiman maintained that Mubarak would not step down and called for an immediate end to protests. “If a coup happens,” said Suleiman, “[that] would mean uncalculated and hasty steps, including lots of irrationalities.” Opposition spokesman Abdul-Rahman Samir feared Suleiman was implying martial law, but remained defiant, saying “but what would he do with the rest of the 70 million Egyptians who will follow us afterward.”

Al Jazeera English

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