terça-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2016

Tahrir square, five years later

It was exactly five years: Tahrir square in Cairo, was filling up with people to demand the departure of President Hosni Mubarak, after thirty years in power.

The day January 25 would eventually be called the day of the revolution. For this fifth anniversary, was not organized any ceremony. The demonstrations were banned. Only the forces of order are visible. Some supporters of the President Sissi could go to the Plaza.

The April 6 Movement, essential for the 2011 people's movement, was banned and some of the leaders are arrested.

Are rare those who can still speak freely: "I never imagined that we could make it to the State. If we had 1% or 1% of economic power before the revolution, now we have nothing. This is because of the current regime, not because of the revolution, "says the activist Dolly Bassiouny.

Abdel Fattah al-Sissi became the strongman of the country in July 2013, after the coup d ' état that walked away from power the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

The summer of 2013 was marked by a relentless crackdown against the Islamist opposition. A crackdown then extended to the secular and left-wing movements. Prisons and torture have become chains.

On the eve of this on January 25, the President made a little communication to the country: "the Egypt of today is not the Egypt of yesterday. We are building together a secular, modern State, which defends the values o f democracy and freedom, "said Sissi to the Egyptians.

In recent days, the police raids multiplied the opponents of the regime and to all those who could come down to the streets in the day January 25. For days, the police showed up at the headquarters of the Publisher Merit in Cairo: "we will continue to play our part. We will continue to dream of freedom for our people. Freedom of all kinds of oppression, discrimination and of fascism, whether military or religious. We will continue to say what we believe. It makes no sense to oppress people and freedoms whatever motivation is religious, national or political â€", "says Mohamed Hashem, owner of the Publisher.

The political disillusionment joins a worsening economic and social situation. The tourism sector, one of the most important in the country, is suffe ring from instability and jihadist violence.

Talk now with Hasni Abidi of Arab Studies Center of Geneva:

Hasni Abidi is the paradox of today's Egypt. Tahrir square was the symbol of all opposition, was a true Agora, the historic square of opposition to totalitarianism, not only for the Egyptians but also to the Arab world, and indeed for the whole world.

And if this square got, though, turning the streets into a real Egyptian political party, today, this square reveals the disillusionment of the Egyptian people, five years later. I would even say that, today, the people suffer with this paradox, since 25 January day is a journey, in principle, to commemorate the revolution and, at the same time, the power has banned all demo nstrations. Is the paradox.

Euronews: Since 2012 the day January 25 was baptized as the "day of the revolution". But when we see empty streets and the silent social networks, we can say that this is a sign of resignation?

Hasni Abidi: is it true that the Tahrir square is empty, but the silence is not absolute, even if the power trying to impose this silence. There is a fear installed on site, but also in the spirit of the people, which is the most disturbing, is indifference. The Egyptians took to the streets to demonstrate, not risked their lives to demonstrate to a large part of the population, with the exception of the middle class, this gesture makes no sense already.

Euronews: In 2011, the Egyptians were proud for havin g overcome the fear imposed by Mubarak. Fear seems to have returned, maybe with more intensity. What happened in these 5 years?

Hasni Abidi: it is first of all the failure of this democratic transition, difficult and dangerous, carried out by a President out of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, who, unfortunately, for lack of time and experience, failed to unite the whole society. You were mad at called "Egypt. Morsi's failure paved the way for other forces, which never disappeared, the army, which has returned to the center of power. I'd say the transition, badly managed by the military after the fall of Mubarak, is responsible for the difficult and delicate situation of a transition that is paralyzed today in Egypt.

Euronews: the Egyptians demanded bread, freedom and social justice. That is what makes the cu rrent state of the rights and freedoms in the country?

Hasni Abidi: Today is not only the situation of public and private freedoms that are in regression, the second element, the economy, is also totally stopped. These two elements joined by a third, to which President Al-Sissi doesn't seem to mind, and that is national reconciliation. The Egypt is far from reconciliation and while not attacking this challenge a large amount of Egyptian society, of political construction to economic reconstruction, it will be difficult for the Egypt can return to serenity, but also who can look to the future with serenity.

If You Enjoyed This, Take 5 Seconds To Share It