Introductory comment by Roger Annis, Dec 11, 2013
Below is a link to an article by Sharif Abdel Kouddous from The Nation two days ago that describes the deepening wave of repression in Egypt and the conditions of those being arrested. He is a correspondent and former co-host of Democracy Now who returned to live in Egypt in 2011.
The article resembles the extensive coverage being written by other Egyptians and published in Counterpunch and elsewhere. Abdel Kouddous concludes his article with the following:
Meanwhile, after months of a vicious crackdown targeting the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi supporters, the Interior Ministry has turned its attention to the activist community that first launched and sustained the revolution. Prominent figures, like blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah and Ahmed Douma, have been arrested in the middle of the night at their homes and accused of violating a draconian new anti-protest law. Dozens of non-Islamist protesters—among them some of the country’s most notable female activists—have been detained during peaceful demonstrations and beaten and abused while in police custody. And security forces have tried to quell a growing firestorm of protest and dissent on university campuses with brute force, killing at least one student and arresting scores in mass sweeps.
“I don’t think the people who stood against Morsi wanted this,” Abdullah says. “The way things are going, nothing is going to change in Egypt.”
A different view of the situation in Egypt is described in a recent article by Haitham Mohamedain and published in the UK Socialist Worker. He is a labour lawyer and a member of the Revolutionary Socialists of Egypt.
Mohamedain describes the military coup of July 3 as an act intended to forestall a revolutionary uprising of the Egyptian masses that arose in the preceeding month of June. That uprising failed, he says, explaining, “Because of the absence of a revolutionary party and a mass revolutionary front, the institutions of the state succeeded in assuming the political leadership of the masses.”
A state of “frustration and confusion” then took over in the country, in which large sections of the masses placed their political confidence in the generals who had overthrown the elected president and government.
Following some initial faltering and hesitation, Mohamedain says, the revolutionary forces in Egypt are once again on the political rise. They held several protests in October and November. These prompted the ruling regime to enact new laws outlawing street protests. And it has unleashed a wave of arrests that targets more than just the activists of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Despite it all, concludes the writer, “The revolution of 25 January continues,” (referring to the mass uprising in 2011 that overthrew the dictator Hosni Mubarak).
Mohamedain makes no mention of the movement of mass protest against the coup that is described somewhat in the article by Sharif Abdel Kouddous. That movement is being reported extensively by Egyptian writers in the pages of Counterpunch. The movement has, remarkably, sustained itself during five months of harsh repression since the coup. Protests are happening throughout the country, including on university campuses.
Repression deepens in Egypt
At first it was the Muslim Brotherhood. Now dozens of journalists, non-Islamist activists and students have been detained and beaten.
By Sharif Abdel Kouddous, The Nation, December 9, 2013
The Abu Zaabal prison complex lies some twenty miles northeast of Cairo, where the dense urban cacophony of the capital quickly gives way to rolling fields, rubbish-strewn canals and small clusters of hastily built red brick buildings. Outside the main gate—a pair of large metal doors flanked by Pharaonic-themed columns—sit four army tanks, their long snouts pointed up and out.
Gehad Khaled, a 20-year-old with an easy laugh and youthful intensity, has been coming to Abu Zaabal on a regular basis for nearly four months to visit her imprisoned husband. Abdullah Al-Shamy was among hundreds rounded up on August 14, the day security forces violently stormed two sit-ins in Cairo and Giza that formed the epicenter of support for the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, leaving up to 1,000 people dead.
Abdullah was at the Rabaa Al-Adeweya sit-in for work. As a correspondent for the satellite news channel Al Jazeera, the 25-year-old journalist had been stationed at the pro-Morsi encampment for six weeks, becoming a familiar face to the channel’s viewers in one of the summer’s biggest international news stories.
Gehad would visit Abdullah at the sit-in, where he was working around the clock. The two had been married in September 2012, though Abdullah spent little time at home because of regular deployments to countries like Mali, Libya, Ghana and Turkey for Al Jazeera. “The longest period we spent together since we were married was in Rabaa,” she says with a smile.
Read the full article in The Nation here: