Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Nothing changes in Egypt

Back when Egypt was still a dictatorship, there was no such thing as freedom of speech. Bloggers who criticised the government or wrote satirical poems about Hosni Mubarak were jailed. The revolution was supposed to have changed all that, and turned Egypt into a democratic society which respects human rights. But guess what's just happened?

One of Egypt's most prominent revolutionaries has been taken into custody by the country's military rulers, provoking the biggest crisis yet in relations between pro-change activists and the increasingly repressive army junta.

Alaa Abd El Fattah, a 29-year-old who has been at the forefront of anti-regime struggles for a decade and was a political prisoner during the Mubarak era, was arrested on Sunday on charges of inciting violence against the military. He refused to recognise the legitimacy of his interrogators or answer their questions and is set to be held for 15 days, a period that can be renewed indefinitely by the authorities.

Which shows that nothing has really changed after all. Mubarak may be gone, but the army remains, its authoritarian instincts (and laws) fully intact. If Egypt is to be truly free, they need a second revolution, to rid themselves of the generals.