Egypt: crackdown ahead of revolution anniversary

In anticipation of the fifth anniversary of the start of the Egyptian revolution, authorities have spent the last week clamping down on dissidents in an effort to avoid further political unrest. At the instruction of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egyptian security forces searched over 5,000 homes, seized activists in public, closed an art gallery, raided a publishing house and arrested a medical doctor in a night-time raid, all as "precautionary measures." Fearing a similar uprising to the one that ousted his predecessor Hosni Mubarak, al-Sisi addressed his critics last month, stating "Why am I hearing calls for another revolution? Why do you want to ruin the nation? I came by your will and your choice and not despite it." Speaking anonymously to the Associated Press, an Egyptian senior security official stated, "We are very concerned and will not allow protests. These movements are aimed at polarizing society and mobilizing the masses against the government."

United by social media communication, Egyptian activists took to the streets on Jan. 25, 2011. Beginning in Cairo, the protests forced then-president Mubarak out of office. Afterwards, a military junta took over control of the country, installing an interim constitution that promised a fair election of government officials. Mohamed Morsi was elected and became president in 2012, but was ousted following more protests in 2013. Morsi's ouster led to the rise of now-president al-Sisi.

From Jurist, Jan. 23. Used with permission.