Egypt’s army cracks down

Rania Abouzeid reports:

The bare-chested 20-year-old Egyptian turns slowly to reveal a broad back that resembles a work of sadistic abstract art — a bloody, bruised composition of pink, red and purple. Long, deep gashes had been sliced through his skin; welts, pinker and more superficial, crisscross his body. His upper left arm is a mix of purples, a cufflike bruise that wraps all the way around his bicep. His right hand is bandaged, one of his fingers sprained. He runs his good hand over his closely shorn hair. His wavy locks, he says, were shaved off with glass shards by the same people who beat him.

On Wednesday, March 9, Khalid, who does not want his last name published, went down to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, concerned about reports that thugs were attacking protesters in the iconic site where he had previously joined hundreds of thousands of his compatriots in the protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak. He wanted to check on several friends among the hundreds of activists still camped out in the square to press the military government to meet the revolution’s demands.

That afternoon, without warning, soldiers surged into the square behind what several witnesses said were lines of plainclothes thugs armed with metal pipes, electric cables and long, thick wooden rods. The uniformed and nonuniformed men reportedly worked in tandem, just like in Mubarak’s days, rounding up hundreds of young men and women in an attack that lasted several hours, according to multiple accounts.

ABC News reports:

A coalition of six youth groups that emerged from Egypt’s revolution last month has refused to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Cairo earlier today, in protest of the United States’ strong support for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who was ousted by the uprising.

“There was an invitation for members of the coalition to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation,” the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

A spokesman for Clinton had no immediate response to the snub. Another State Department official, who would not speak for attribution, confirmed such a meeting had been slated for Tuesday and noted that she still plans to meet with members of civil society and transitional government officials during her visit, during which she will urge Egyptians to continue on the path towards democracy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Egypt’s army cracks down

  1. Norman

    Is it any wonder? The arrogance of Ms Clinton seems to know no bounds. The U.S. first stands behind the old, then when it’s obvious that doesn’t work, then it says: “hey, we’re now with you”. Whoopee! Now, we shall see if there really will be a change, or is it going to the same old shit?

  2. Christopher Hoare

    A standing army is the greatest threat to the freedom in every country. One can always include paramilitaries, termed security forces, and the police within this category of authoritarian tools at the disposal of repressive governments. The Egyptian people were lucky that their respect for the largely draftee military service was sufficient to keep the more brutal elements in check during the revolution. What happened subsequently in Libya was much more likely, and now seems to be in danger of returning to the norm.
    If you wish to live in a free society under the rule of law you had better ensure that the military organs of the state are manned and commanded by civilian soldiers whose interests are the same as those of the population at large. There are very few states in which this is the case today.

Comments are closed.