Egypt, One Year After the Revolution (Video)

The day before the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution of January 25, 2011, the head of Egypt’s ruling military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, said that the country’s decades-old state of emergency will be lifted on Wednesday. Tantawi said that the emergency law would still apply in regard to acts of “thuggery,” a term that he did not elaborate on and about which Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros said “no one exactly knows” the meaning of.  The emergency law is by no means lifted in Egypt as one activist, Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, told the Guardian:

“Tantawi’s speech does nothing to deal with the most harmful aspect of the state of emergency, which is allowing the police to retain powers to stop, search and detain anyone they suspect of being a ‘thug’, without having to obtain a judicial warrant.

“His comments are no different from Mubarak’s repeated promise to only apply the state of emergency to terrorism and drug trafficking, a promise that was routinely violated and only led to the creation of a state of exceptionality that put the police above the law.”

Bahgat also called on Egypt’s newly-elected Parliament to reject Tantawi’s decree and “insist on nothing less than the full and immediate lifting of the state of emergency and a return to normal civilian law.”

The emergency law was placed in effect in 1981 after Islamists assassinated president Anwar Sadat. Last year, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), the military council that has ruled Egypt since the ouster of Mubarak, expanded the scope of the law, so that it also included labor strikes, traffic disruption and the spread of false information.

Protesters Demand Immediate End to Emergency Law

An end to the emergency law was a key demand of protesters who took to Egypt’s streets a year ago. Protesters had initially viewed the military’s presence favorably because they did not attack them and chants of “The Army and the people are one hand” were heard in the revolution’s early days. But a year later, over 12,000 Egyptians have been detained by military tribunals and, since February, many have been injured and killed by military forces. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a long-time voice of the opposition, has withdrawn himself from the presidential race in protest of the military’s continued hold on power.

Egypt’s democratic transition has been stalled if not stopped in its tracks and the military junta seems to have “entrench[ed] its power and prevent[ed] oversight of their activities“; after all, Tantawi was Mubarak’s defense minister for 20 years. Last Saturday, Tantawi did pardon activist and blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who had spent more than 130 days of his detention on a hunger strike. Nabil was arrested after writing a blog post on March 8 titled “The army and people wasn’t ever one hand” and many have now taken up Nabil’s point of view.

First Day in Session For Egypt’s Democratically Elected Parliament

The newly elected Parliament’s first day in session proved chaotic. After being outlawed for years, the Muslim Brotherhood won nearly half the seats in the first free elections since Mubarak’s ouster. As the New York Times notes, the Brotherhood’s victory was “arguably the closest that Islamists have ever come to governing an Arab country since their movement was born here 80 years ago.” But the Brotherhood’s choice for speaker, Saad el-Katatni, who had previously served in the Parliament under Mubarak, was challenged by a former Brotherhood official, Essam Sultan, in a dispute that descended into a shouting match.

Anniversary of Egyptian Revolution

Protesters are planning to take to Egypt’s streets across the country and demand an immediate end to military rule. Anticipating this, Egyptian authorities have increased security at government buildings. Cairo’s state television building has been surrounded with barbed wire and armed soldiers. The SCAF is planning various official celebratory activities including ”military parades, air shows, a specially commissioned operetta and the distribution of prize coupons to citizens on the streets.”

In recalling the events of a year ago, activist Adel Abdel Ghafar writes about the first hours of the revolution on the New York Times’s Lede blog. This video shows a crowd gathering in front of the Mubarak’s National Democratic Party building as people look out on them; as Nabil writes “little did they know that this whole building would be burned down by protesters in a matter of days.”

This video shows the massive crowds assembling in Tahrir Square.

Tom Gara says that, at 3am on January 25, a huge crowd is already assembling in Tahrir Square. The revolution will continue.

Related Care2 Coverage

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Photo of mothers of martyrs by Gigi Ibrahim

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16 comments

Jose Ramon Fisher Rodrigu

Don't trust the army.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

Noted.

Naomi A.
Naomi A.4 years ago

Why is there always someone waiting to step in and carry on from where the other person left off?
Power is a scary thing and there are those who crave it more than anything else. Money comes into it as always but with power, such as that that running a country has, is heady stuff. (Apparantly)

Ernest R.
Ernest R.4 years ago

@ Kathleen L “I hope the women get good and mad, though, and not back down from their fight for equality”. Under an Islamist government ? You are joking, right ? Their time to get good and mad and fight for equality has passed. From now on, it is punishable by death or mutilation. That's what has changed, Joan M. Before the revolution, Egyptians expressed the desire to live under Sharia law. Now they have it.



Rob and Jay B.
Jay S.4 years ago

Now that Mubarak is gone the minority Coptic Christians (the original Egyptians who were conquered by the sword & subjugated under Islams' 'peaceful' oppressive rule) are being ethnically cleansed & thousands are fleeing for their lives as their homes, businesses, churches are burned, scores murdered & many were not allowed to vote in this so-called democratic election. The police/military are doing nothing to stop this either. A pregnant Coptic woman was being beaten by a Muslim man & when her husband came to her aid, along with other Copts, a violent group of Muslims armed with farm equipment attacked them all. Only the defending Christians were arrested. Where was this story?

Where is the outrage over this? If Muslims were being persecuted, ethnically cleansed or prevented from voting Care2 would have put it on their Daily Causes & screamed over it. Heck, just one Muslim gets hassled for wearing the anti-social burqa tent & they start screaming. Seems like very twisted values here from a site that claims to be about human rights & freedoms, but apparently those only apply to their chosen pet cause of the time. It's Islam & Islamists now, despite their record & beliefs of hate & killing from their ideology. Whose side are they really on here?

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

I quote: "...allowing police to retain powers to stop, search and detain anyone they suspect of being a "thug" (read terrorist), without having to obtain a judicial warrant..."
Now why, oh why, does this sound so familiar?

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Many are missing the point- the riots and protests were not for Democracy in Egypt. That never was the real issue. Mubarak had fed the people all those years despite a a growing population in a DESERT COUNTRY. No rights ; no birth control; no planning; it didn't matter.; as long as the mostly poverty stricken, ignorant populace got bread.
Well, the world economy collapsed and the money for food wasn't there anymore. Then people rioted, even though they were the problem. Women still have no rights; fundamental Islam steps in; people still wallow in ignorance and the population continues to grow. Starvation is coming for them all!

Beth S.
Beth S.4 years ago

Barry,

Unfortunately, the Muslim Brotherhood has made their plans about not honoring the peace agreement with Israel no secret. (http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=251730)

The MB and the Salafis are talking about closing beaches to tourists and cutting off all alcohol sales to tourists. In addition, some of the Salafis are even considering covering ancient Egyptian sites in wax or even destroying them, because they are anathema to Islam, echoing possibly the Taliban's destruction of ancient Buddhist shrines. (http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2012/1081/eg8.htm)

Since the fall of Mubarak, the floundering Egyptian economy worsened considerably, and the proposed Islamist's plans can only make prospects for the number one source of the country's revenue -- tourism -- gravely dimmer.

The Muslim Brotherhood's "moderate" mask is beginning to fall off its face, as it has stated that it will get considerably tougher when in office. Even word about the MB's Hamas arm’s true colors is beginning to get out, with numerous and serious complaints about human rights violations being voiced as reported by the Gaza-based NGO Al-Mazan.

A dark time is descending.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.4 years ago

It is a wait and see situation with I hope lots of deplomacy going on.