Unstoppable Revolution in Egypt

Human Wrongs Watch

Cairo, Nov. 23 – Violent clashes between security forces and unarmed protesters continued to expand in Cairo and other major Egyptian cities for the fifth consecutive day since the “One Million” people march which started on November 18 to demand the immediate end of military rule.

Image: The Lion of Egyptian Revolution* | Wikimedia Commons

Most conservative estimates talk about 35 deaths in five days in addition to over 2,000 people injured and more than 300 people arrested.

Several hundreds of thousands of Egyptians continued shouting “al shaab urid isqat el moushir” (the people want the fall of the field marshal), in explicit reference to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, deposed Hosni Mubarak’s Defence minister and current Chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) since last February.

The new, massive wave of protests came hours after Tantawi announced that the military had no interest in staying in power; that it would organise presidential elections by June next year; that the scheduled parliamentarian poles will start on Nov. 28, and that it will form a new government following the people demands.

Far from calming down the protests, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians continued their mobilisations amid growing mistrust of the ruling military junta.

Woeful Performance on Human Rights

‘Egypt’s military rulers have completely failed to live up to their promises to Egyptians to improve human rights and have instead been responsible for a catalogue of abuses which in some cases exceeds the record of Hosni Mubarak,’ Amnesty International (AI) said in a new report.

In Broken Promises: Egypt’s Military Rulers Erode Human Rights, AI documents “a woeful performance on human rights by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF)” which assumed power after the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The report’s release follows a “bloody” few days in Egypt that has left many dead and hundreds injured after army and security forces violently attempted to disperse anti-SCAF protesters from Cairo’s Tahrir square, says AI.

By using military courts to try thousands of civilians, cracking down on peaceful protest and expanding the remit of Mubarak’s Emergency Law, the SCAF has continued the tradition of repressive rule which the January 25 demonstrators fought so hard to get rid of,” said Philip Luther, AI’s Middle East and North Africa acting director.

Independent Probe”

For her part, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay deplored on Nov. 23 the role of Egypt’s military and security forces “in attempting to suppress recent protests demanding a return to civilian rule, particularly the reported killing of some 30 protestors,” and called for an “independent probe” into the abuses.

Pillay called on Egyptian authorities to end the “clearly excessive” use of force against protesters, including the apparent improper use of tear gas, rubber bullets and “live ammunition.”

Brutal Beating”

Some of the images coming out of Tahrir [square], including the brutal beating of already subdued protestors, are deeply shocking, as are the reports of unarmed protestors being shot in the head,” she stressed.

There should be a prompt, impartial and independent investigation, and accountability for those found responsible for the abuses that have taken place should be ensured.”

The Military Inflaming the Situation”

On Nov. 21 UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and several independent UN human rights experts voiced their “alarm at the violent crackdown on protesters, and urged Egypt’s interim authorities to guarantee the protection of key liberties ahead of next week’s parliamentary elections.”

Pillay noted that “the actions of the military and security forces, instead of improving security and helping Egypt’s difficult transition to democracy, have once again simply served to inflame the situation, resulting in huge numbers of people taking to the streets to demand their rights.

The more they see fellow protestors being carted away in ambulances, the more determined and energised they become,” she stated.

She also renewed her call for the “lifting of the state of emergency,” and the “full eradication of torture and ill-treatment,” among other reforms. (Human Wrongs Watch)

Also read:

UN: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40490&Cr=egypt&Cr1=

Egypt’s Military Rulers Erode Human Rights http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE12/053/2011/en

Egypt: Military Junta, More Repressive Than Mubarak https://human-wrongs-watch.net/2011/11/22/3705/

The Egyptian Revolution Was Inevitable And It Is Irreversible’ https://human-wrongs-watch.net/2011/09/06/“the-egyptian-revolution-was-inevitable—now-it-is-irreversible”/

Egypt: Blogger Passes 40th Day of Hunger Strike https://human-wrongs-watch.net/2011/10/04/2592/

*Picture credit:  The_lion_of_Egyptian_revolution http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_lion_of_Egyptian_revolution_%28Qasr_al-Nil_Bridge%29.jpg

2011 Human Wrongs Watch

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