Introduction by Roger Annis, March 30, 2014
Enclosed are links to four key articles published recently and reporting on the political situation in Egypt. See also my recent report on the show trial of the three Al Jazeera journalists that has seen several sessions in March 2014.
Al Jazeera has published a report on mass protests that took place on March 28 against the military coup regime that seized power last July 3. It says nearly 900 people have recently been arrested for being members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. This news coincides with the shocking ruling of an Egyptian court on March 24 condemning 529 people to death for the death of one policeman last August during a brutal police/military crackdown that killed hundreds of opponents of the military coup regime. Many of the 529 were convicted in absentia and none were allowed to present evidence. Please read an emergency appeal by Egypt Solidarity on this matter.
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1. Egypt’s unprecedented instability by the numbers
By Scott Williamson, published on Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 24, 2014
Egyptians have suffered through the most intense human rights abuses and terrorism in their recent history in the eight months since the military ousted then-president Mohamed Morsi. The extent of this story has been largely obscured from view due to the lack of hard data, but estimates suggest that more than 2,500 Egyptians have been killed, more than 17,000 have been wounded, and more than 16,000 have been arrested in demonstrations and clashes since July 3. Another several hundred have been killed in terrorist attacks…
2. Egypt’s revolution at three
By Noha Radwan, published on the website of Solidarity and in the March/April 2014 issue of Against the Current
… The rise of General Abd al Fattah al-Sisi as the savior of Egypt, since the ousting of president Morsi, can be traced to a complex set of conditions and events, all of which contributed to what amounts to a political counterrevolution and a return to Mubarak’s regime.
It may be hard to remain hopeful about a revolution that seems to have been so badly defeated, but I argue for such hope. Having been among those who witnessed the Egyptian revolution from its early 2011 phase, I have been closely observing its ups and downs and unexpected turns, especially during my frequent visits there.
…. What was surprising was the complacency of the larger public with these horrors and more. Yet, even a short stay in the country last December made this complacency easier to understand, though not to excuse.
Fear had become the most important state product since July. Fear of the MB’s alleged terrorism was on the mind of many, and so they had nothing to say against state terror. Egyptian state media had mastered the art of demonizing the MB. In the eyes of many, they had become nothing more than terrorists and enemies of not only the state, but the Egyptian people themselves.
My December trip to Egypt was primarily motivated by a search. I went searching for signs of hope for the revolution, for the smallest signs that the MB’s defiance of state suppression was not all that remained of it. These signs were faint and hard to find, but they were there.
3. Egypt: The Revolution’s last stand (student rebellion)
By Jesse Rosenfeld, published on the Daily Beast, March 23, 201
CAIRO, Egypt—To the extent the Egyptian revolution that started in Tahrir Square more than three years ago still survives at all, it does so on university campuses. And all sides know that is where it will live—or where it will die…
4. Two students killed after police enter Azhar campus
Two students were killed Sunday during clashes between police and Al-Azhar University students after security forces entered the campus to disperse protests. According to state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, one was a senior commerce student, Abdallah Ahmed, and the other a physical education student, Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Hafez, who was later transferred to Al-Zahraa Hospital and died from his injuries…