In my last blog post I talked about the Tunisian revolution, and how that set off similar a revolutions in Egypt, and an ongoing rebellion in Libya. In this blog post I will be talking about the revolution in Egypt, and what caused the protests to be successful and cause Hosni Mubarak to step down from office after 30 years.
Asmaa Mahfouz created video blog posts that she wanted to motivate the Egyptians to protest against Hosni Mubarak. She posted them on Facebook and YouTube, which was the reasons the internet was taken down by the government the day after the protests began. The protests began in January 25th, when tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo, and more in other cities in Egypt. January 25th was the day chosen because it was a national holiday, that celebrated the police officers who died in a confrontation with British soldiers. This most likely led to these protests to be successful because it was symbolic of the Egyptian people overcoming a oppressing force. On January 28th there began a series of protests called the "Fridays of Anger", where protesters would gather to protest with many other people in cities around Egypt. The Egyptian government then began to use the military to counter to protesters, but the military refused to do certain things such as shoot at the protesters. Finally, on February 11th, after 16 days of protesting and violence, Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and the Egyptian parliament was dissolved 2 days later, to be replaced by a temporary council that would hold power for 6 months to give time for elections to be had.
There were many causes for the revolution, but some of the main ones were police brutality, corruption, and "The Emergency Law". Before the protests, police brutality had become common in Egypt. Mubarak and his regime frequently denied the use of brutality and torture by the police, despite videos and first hand accounts of the existence of police brutality. For the 30 years of Mubarak's presidency, there had been suspicion of manipulation of election results. For the 5 elections Mubarak was in, he won each time with a huge majority. In 2005 Ayman Nour was imprisoned before the elections that he was running against Mubarak of that year. An emergency law had been made after the six day war in Egypt in 1967, but despite it being suspended for 18 months in the 1980s, it is still in effect. It suspended certain constitutional rights, legalized censorship, and allowed the government to imprison individuals indefinitely without cause. This law has not been removed yet, but it has been announced that it will.
In my next blog post I will be talking about the ongoing rebellion in Libya, what led up to it, the political state in Libya, and about Muammar Gaddafi.