Egyptian Authorities Release 41 Student Protesters

Authorities have released 41 students detained during street protests last week in support of two pro-reform judges, a security official said Thursday.

The students included members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and the anti-President Hosni Mubarak movement "Kifaya", or "enough", said the official on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

CountryWatch: Egypt

More than 300 demonstrators were arrested May 18 for what police said were illegal demonstrations and insulting Mubarak, Egypt's ruler of nearly 25 years.

The two judges were appearing on the same day before a disciplinary hearing after they blew the whistle on fraud during parliamentary elections last year.

The official said the release of the 41 students was in response to pleas by their families to free them ahead of year-end exams.

Violence broke out over the past two weeks when hundreds of riot police chased and beat up protesters in downtown Cairo. The United States sharply criticized the violence, saying it "raises serious concerns about the path to political reform in Egypt."