In the months following Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, the new Egyptian military government has taken to extreme measures to stay in power.
While at first many heralded General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s coup as a step in the right direction, his decision to run for president of Egypt makes for plenty of comparisons between himself and Mubarak — except Sisi’s puppet government may be going to even greater extremes to crush dissent.
Here are seven notable steps taken to stop a further revolution:
1. A puppet is investigated and labelled a terrorist mouthpiece.
An advertisement for Vodafone Egypt featuring a nonsensically babbling puppet triggered investigations that the puppet could actually be transmitting secret messages in code to Muslim Brotherhood operatives. A Facebook page with over 600,000 followers that was set up to support the Egyptian security apparatus quickly called for the puppet’s masters to be arrested for using unknown codes.
2. Foreign journalists are being arrested as enemies of the state.
So far over 20 reporters working for, or somehow associated with, al Jazeera have been arrested in Egypt. The journalists are charged with conspiring with a terrorist group and spreading false images, after they covered clashes in Tahrir Square last year. Leaked footage of the journalists has also been circulated, though it has apparently been edited to include ominous music from the “Thor 2” soundtrack.
3. The interim government is encouraging vigilantism against all possible enemies.
Sarah El Deeb, an Associated Press Correspondent in Cairo, has said, “An official in the state prosecutor’s office last month encouraged citizens to arrest lawbreakers and hand them to the police.” This led, amongst other things, to the citizen’s arrest of another journalist.
4. Former President Mohamed Morsi is being charged with terrorism.
To effectively limit any chance of Morsi coming to power again, the current government is charging him as being part of a regional plot involving Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran. He is also being charged with illegally breaking out of jail. While it is true that Morsi escaped from jail, he did so during the first round of the revolution when protestors were setting political prisoners free.
5. Morsi was forced into a soundproof glass box during his trial.
In his second public appearance since July, Morsi was brought into the courtroom to face charges. After his first public appearance was marked by outbursts from the former president, the current government took further precautions and forced him into a soundproof glass box — the first time something like this has taken place in Egypt.
6. The largest opposition group was labelled a terrorist organisation.
The Muslim Brotherhood, following the election of Morsi, was one of the largest political movements in Egypt. By labelling it as a terrorist organisation, the interim military government eliminated a major political hurdle for themselves. This labelling has further repercussions, allowing the state to arrest anyone with any possible connection to the movement – such as unassociated family members, journalists, and bloggers.
7. The military has cut down the number of people protesting by sheer force.
No official estimates exist on the numbers of civilians killed by the military during crackdowns after the coup against Morsi. It is estimated that between 1,000 — 8,000 people have been detained and multitudes more have been killed. Understandably, large scale protests associated with the start of the Egyptian revolution have fallen by the wayside.
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