Egypt Protests

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  • 1. Egyptian Protest
  • 2. Introduction The protests against Mubarak's regime began on 25 January 2011. By 29th January it was clear that Mubarak's regime had lost control, when a curfew order was ignored by the people , and the army took a semi-neutral stance on enforcing the curfew decree. Some protesters, a very small minority in Cairo, expressed nationalistic views against what they deemed was foreign interference, highlighted by the held view of the Unites States.
  • 3. Egyptian Protesters The demonstrations and riots started in the weeks after the Tunisian Revolution (That's why many protesters were carrying Tunisian flags). Grievances for Egyptian protesters have focused on legal and political issues including for example police brutality, state of emergency laws,as well as economic issues including high unemployment, food price inflation... The objetive from protest organizers is the fall of the Hosni Mubarak regime, and a new government that presents interests of the Egyptian people, and respects freedom and justice. Cairo, the capital city, has been described as "a war zone," and the port city of Suez has been the scene for violent clashes. The presence of Egypt's Central Security Forces police,has been little by little replaced by military troops. In the absence of police guards, there has been looting,and robbing, and in response, civilians have self-organized groups to protect their key sites.
  • 4. The causes of the rebellion in Egypt
    • National Democratic Party (NDP)and Mubarak's government have maintained one rule under a continuous state of emergency. Mubarak's government earned the support of the West and a annual aid from the United States by maintaining policies with towards the Islamic militants and stay peacefully with Israel.
  • 5. The causes of the rebellion in Egypt An emergency law was accepted after the Six-Day War in 1967, suspended for 18 months in the early 1980s,and continuously in effect since President Sadat's assassination in 1981. Under the law, police powers are extended, constitutional rights suspended, censorship is legalised, and the government can put in prison people indefinitely and without reason. The Mubarak government has cited the threat of terrorism in order to extend the emergency law. Human rights organisations said that in 2010 between 5,000-10,000 people were in detention without charge or trial.
  • 6. The causes of the rebellion in Egypt The forces paid by Mubarak's ruling party, Baltageya, has been a hallmark of the Mubarak government. The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights has documented 567 cases of torture, including 167 deaths in this cases,that occurred between 1993 and 2007 by the police. On 6 June 2010, Khaled Mohamed Saeed died under strange circunstances in Alexandria. Multiple witnesses testified that Saeed was beaten to death by the police. Mohamed ElBaradei, led a rally in 2010 in Alexandria against alleged abuses by the police and visited Saeed's family to offer condolences.
  • 7. The causes of the rebellion in Egypt Foreign governments in the West, including the US have regarded Mubarak as an important ally and supporter in the  Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. After wars with Israel, Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979, provoking controversy in the Arab world. As provisioned in the 1978 Camp David Accords, both Israel and Egypt receive billions of dollars in aid annually from the United States, with Egypt receiving over US$1.3 billion of military aid each year in addition to economic and development assistance. Many Egyptian youth feel ignored by Mubarak on the grounds that he is not looking out for their best interests and that he rather serves the interests of the West.
  • 8. 2010 elections During the Egyptian parliamentary election in 2010, opposition groups complained of harassment and fraud perpetrated by the government. As such opposition and civil society activists have called for changes to a number of legal and constitutional provisions which affect elections. They are three of them :
    • Amendment of Article 76 of the Constitution to make it easier for party and independent candidates to get on the presidential ballot.
    • 9. Amendment of Article 88 to restore full judicial supervision of elections. This would help tame election fraud and vote rigging, which are common in Egyptian elections.
    • 10. Amendment of Law 177 of 2005 in order to facilitate the formation of new political parties.
  • 11. Internacional Reactions International reactions have varied with most Western states saying peaceful protests should continue but also expressing concern for the stability. Many states in the region expressed concern and supported Mubarak, while others like Tunisia and Iran supported the protests. NGOs also expressed concern about the protests and the ensuing heavy-handed state response. Many countries also issued travel warnings or began evacuating their citizens. Even multinational corporations began evacuating their expatriate workers.