Middle East

10-year anniversary of Egypt’s Arab Spring – Middle East Monitor

Ten years ago today millions of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to protest against long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak who ruled over Egypt for 30 years.

They faced government-backed thugs on 2 February during the Battle of the Camel, when tourist workers charged at the crowds and fought them out of the square.

Police and army threw tear gas at them and shot into the crowds, but those who could remained on the streets.

On 11 February, following 18 days of protests, President Hosni Mubarak resigned.

Despite the initial euphoria that followed that event, the army carried out a series of orchestrated moves to regain power culminating in the 2013 coup which paved the way for General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s ascent to power.

Al-Sisi went on to lead the harshest crackdown against protesters in Egypt’s modern history, imprisoning thousands of members of the opposition in revenge for the revolution.

The revolutionaries have been cast as terrorists in the eyes of the state and its media. Many are in prison or in exile.

Read testimonies of protester during the 18 days that changed Egypt

Tens of thousands of government critics are held on politically motivated charges and held in pretrial detention.

Several female influencers have been arrested and detained on “morality” charges, including violating family values.

Opponents are forcibly disappeared, systematically tortured and denied medical attention whilst in jail.

Al-Sisi has sought to promote himself as a bulwark against terrorism in the region and an anchor of stability to curry favour with Western leaders.

His critics say he is neither and in fact the continued repression is the root cause of instability in Egypt.

Read: Egypt’s Arctic Spring

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