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Millennium Post

Brutal suppression

The sentencing to death of 528 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in Egypt has indeed stunned the whole world. Not only does it signify the lowest that authorities in Cairo can sink to, but also how one of the central episodes of 2011 Arab Spring has now dwindled into a gore-fest characterised by brutal state-sponsored repression. Counterrevolution in Egypt is almost complete with Muslim Brotherhood, the 85-year-old political party, not only outlawed but its members and sympathisers now being systematically hunted down and persecuted by the al-Sisi regime. An ironical throwback to the bitter three-decade-long dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has left no stone unturned to consolidate power in Egypt, and the witch-hunt to which he has subjected the Morsi loyalists is inconceivably extreme. Ever since Morsi regime, the first democratically elected government in Egypt in over 30 years, was toppled last July in a counterrevolution of sort (sparked off by proposals to push through changes in legislation by the ex-president), Egypt has been marked by popular protests and their violent repression by the military, causing hundreds of deaths in the process. While the army under the aegis of General al-Sisi has resorted to firing at defenceless demonstrators, police and army brutality has taken a toll on Egypt’s political fabric, with persecution becoming the order of the day.

Over 16,000 young supporters of Morsi as well as members of Muslim Brotherhood have been detained, jailed and generally incarcerated since last July. Now with the vicious decision subjecting 528 to death for protesting that resulted in the death of just one police officer and injuring a few others, every law in the country has been broken. The unfairness and sheer audacity of the judgment reeks of how sold out the judiciary is to the military overlords in the country and utterly disregarding is the army brass of international protocols. The hideous transformation of the uprising that marked Tahrir Square in 2011 into a grotesque military crackdown of Islamists and those with democratic leanings has targeted a generation of youth volunteers which stood up against Mubarak but is now languishing in jail or cowering in silence after being traumatised by police brutality. To think that the West supported the ‘popular’ protest and accepted the coup as legitimate only bespeaks the double standards routinely practiced by Euro-American nations.
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