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Hundreds of Egyptian Students Demonstrate Against Constitutional Reforms


Hundreds of Egyptian students have demonstrated in Cairo against constitutional reforms proposed by Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters at Cairo University Wednesday walked in a mock funeral procession, carrying a coffin and a banner that said the reforms "mean the death of Egypt."

The protesters are supporters of Egypt's banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood which Wednesday urged its supporters to boycott a referendum on the proposed constitutional changes.

Brotherhood officials said that likely vote- igging will make next week's referendum pointless.

The Brotherhood is the country's largest opposition bloc. The group won a fifth of the seats in Egypt's parliament by running candidates as independents.

President Mubarak's proposed reforms include sweeping security powers and a reduced role for judges in monitoring elections. The reforms would ban religious groups, like the Brotherhood, from forming political parties.

Opposition leaders say the changes will strengthen the ruling party's grip on power.

The rights group Amnesty International says the reforms are the most serious attack on human rights safeguards since Egypt enacted emergency laws more than 25 years ago.

The emergency laws were passed after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. They are still in effect.

Egypt's parliament approved the constitutional amendments on Monday, paving the way for the referendum.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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