A review of the situation in Egypt over the last eight months raises serious concerns about the extent to which the state of human rights has rapidly deteriorated under the leadership of President Mohamed Morsi. Indeed, the rights situation in Egypt currently appears even direr than it did prior to the revolution and the ouster of the former president. The country has merely traded one form of authoritarianism for another, albeit with some new features.
Under the former president, the independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press were never attacked as fiercely as they have been over the last eight months. Similarly, supporters of the National Democratic Party, the ruling party prior to the revolution, never practiced torture themselves, nor did they attack protestors in the way that supporters and members of the current ruling coalition of parties have done. Rather, during the era of the former president, such ‘dirty work’ was left to the security establishment and its hired thugs.
One of the questions often asked is how is it that an uprising that seemed to feature pro- democratic, secular young people on Facebook and Twitter became one dominated by theocrats of the Muslim Brotherhood? Was the image that you saw on television incorrect?
Was this revolution really led by those young people? I’m going to show why that image was not incorrect at all— the revolution truly was led and catalyzed by these young people on Facebook and Twitter—but why eventually the Muslim Brotherhood was able to take control of the revolution.
Since the outbreak of violent events marking the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on January 25, 2013, several fatwas have been issued by Islamic clerics in Egypt encouraging violence against regime opponents. In recent days, in the lead-up to the second anniversary of the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2013, the language of the fatwas has become increasingly severe, even to the point of sanctioning the killing of the leaders of the National Salvation Front – the umbrella organization of opposition forces in Egypt – including former IAEA director Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, and former Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. Consequently, many warn that there could be a wave of political assassinations that would spark a civil war in Egypt, especially in light of the murder of former Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid on February 6, 2013.
While protests continue throughout Egypt, several laws are currently under discussion - whether in the Shura Council or the Cabinet, all of which could play a significant role in shaping the coming months and years in Egypt. The most pressing of these laws is the electoral law, with President Mohamed Morsi stating that parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned in April. Other laws currently being discussed include laws regulating protests, combatting thuggery, regulating NGO operations in Egypt, and lastly, a law to combat sexual harassment.
The Electoral Law
Before the latest wave of protests, one of the most pressing issues being discussed in the Shura Council was the Electoral Law . The Shura Council had approved the law and referred it to the Supreme Constitutional Court in January, but further amendments are expected.
The United States has largely eliminated the infrastructure and operational leadership of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network over the past five years. However, its ideological offspring continue to proliferate across the globe.
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