Egyptian women claim judge barred them from voting

Associated Press
Egyptian women wait in line outside a polling station to cast their votes in a referendum on a disputed constitution drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. Egyptians were voting on Saturday on a proposed constitution that has polarized their nation, with Morsi and his Islamist supporters backing the charter, while liberals, moderate Muslims and Christians oppose it. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
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ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (AP) — Some 1,500 Egyptian women blocked a main road in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, claiming a judge prevented them from voting on the draft constitution because they weren't veiled.

The women lined up on Saturday night in front of cars in the city's Sedi Gaber district, chanting "down with the Muslim Brotherhood rule."

Amira Abdel-Azem, a hospital manager, said judge supervising the polling station was only allowing women wearing a niqab, a veil that covers everything but the eyes, to cast ballots. It was not possible to immediately verify her account.

Alexandria is a stronghold of ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis but has seen tensions rise over the disputed charter.

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