Egypt Must Stop Crackdown on Protesters

The crackdown on protesters in Egypt continues for a second day today as Egyptians flock to the streets to speak out against poverty, police abuse and corruption.

Today’s demonstrations follow a day of protest in Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities that saw at least three deaths, rubber bullets and tear gas employed against crowds, beatings of detainees and at least 500 protesters arrested.

Security forces forcibly dispersed demonstrators and detained at least 500 © Demotix / Nour El Refai

As the government’s crackdown intensifies, Amnesty International continues to call on Egyptian authorities to refrain from using excessive force against demonstrators.  Security forces must be held in check.

“We witnessed reckless policing yesterday with the security forces relying on tear gas and using rubber bullet as a first resort” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

Demonstrations yesterday started peacefully but stone throwing and scuffles broke out when the security forces started forcibly dispersing demonstrators.

Three demonstrators were reportedly killed as well as one policeman in the largest demonstrations that Egypt has seen in decades.

The Ministry of Interior issued a warning that protests today will not be tolerated and those arrested will be prosecuted.

We fear that the Ministry’s warning signals the authorities’ readiness to unleash the full ferocity of the security forces with their track record of abuses.

Instead of threatening demonstrators, we are urging the Egyptian authorities to open a proper investigation into the killings of protestors and hold accountable anyone found responsible.

The Ministry of Interior announced today that 500 protesters have been arrested.  We are concerned that some have been detained simply for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Others who may have been arrested on suspicion of violent acts must be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and tried in fair proceedings or otherwise released.

We’ve also received reports accusing the Egyptian authorities of blocking Twitter, and the video-sharing website Bambuser.  We’ve also received reports that mobile phone networks were blocked in some areas and we’ve been unable to reach a number of human rights activist on the phone.

Twitter and Bambuser have officially confirmed that they were blocked in Egypt yesterday.

These blocks on communication show that the government is trying to stop the world from knowing what is happening in Egypt, and to cut off demonstrators from each other.

Undue restrictions and sweeping measures under the nearly 30 years of state of emergency have routinely been used by the Egyptian authorities to quash the legitimate exercise of the rights to peaceful protest and assembly in violation of Article 21 of the ICCPR which guarantees the right to freedom of assembly.

Egypt must stop crackdown on protesters

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20 thoughts on “Egypt Must Stop Crackdown on Protesters

  1. If the human family/species is to survive those in it need to think about being positive and compassionate in their dealings with others. While this is true for every individual it is especially true for those in positions of leadership, as they are the ones that set the tone. We only have one planet and we all have needs therefore those who hold the reins need to be more sharing and caring. Please, Mubarak let the humane side of you be real, allow people to be creatively expressive and allow change. You do not need to hold on to power till you pass, it would be more noble to gracefully pass the baton to the people as Gorbachov did.

  2. There is one problem though protests started getting violent from the side of protesters when some representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood decided to use the protests and twist them around for their own private agenda and hidden purposes if they had not intervened, which would be impossible as they are trying to use the fact that people are suffering from the current corrupt government to carry out their own goals and manipulate people into joining their side. This always has to be kept in mind if not than the Muslim Brotherhood, which do not represent the Islam Religion in any way and are considered by the educated and aware Egyptians as terrorists, would reach what they exactly want.

  3. the right of LIFE is the most sacred right of any human,FREEDOM follows right after and we are denied both, we plead for every human right activist in the world, please scream out, tell everyone, we are just the youth of Egypt tired of oppression and corruption, we feel it's about time that we speak up, we are not extremists, we are not violent.
    PLEASE speak up for the basic rights we all share as humans, the right to live and be free, that right was violated in Egypt, which means every human has been violated, scream out and ask every politician and every human to let us speak our minds and invoke our rights.
    Demonstrations are being cut off by police and protesters are clobbered down
    help us organize and protect the demonstrations, especially on Friday
    spread the word.

  4. the right of LIFE is the most sacred right of any human,FREEDOM follows right after and we are denied both, we plead for every human right activist in the world, please scream out, tell everyone, we are just the youth of Egypt tired of oppression and corruption, we feel it's about time that we speak up, we are not extremists, we are not violent.
    PLEASE speak up for the basic rights we all share as humans, the right to live and be free, that right was violated in Egypt, which means every human has been violated, scream out and ask every politician and every human to let us speak our minds and invoke our rights.
    Demonstrations are being cut off by police and protesters are clobbered down
    help us organize and protect the demonstrations, especially on Friday
    spread the word.

  5. If the human family/species is to survive those in it need to think about being positive and compassionate in their dealings with others. While this is true for every individual it is especially true for those in positions of leadership, as they are the ones that set the tone. We only have one planet and we all have needs therefore those who hold the reins need to be more sharing and caring. Please, Mubarak let the humane side of you be real, allow people to be creatively expressive and allow change. You do not need to hold on to power till you pass, it would be more noble to gracefully pass the baton to the people as Gorbachov did.

  6. There is one problem though protests started getting violent from the side of protesters when some representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood decided to use the protests and twist them around for their own private agenda and hidden purposes if they had not intervened, which would be impossible as they are trying to use the fact that people are suffering from the current corrupt government to carry out their own goals and manipulate people into joining their side. This always has to be kept in mind if not than the Muslim Brotherhood, which do not represent the Islam Religion in any way and are considered by the educated and aware Egyptians as terrorists, would reach what they exactly want.

  7. the right of LIFE is the most sacred right of any human,FREEDOM follows right after and we are denied both, we plead for every human right activist in the world, please scream out, tell everyone, we are just the youth of Egypt tired of oppression and corruption, we feel it’s about time that we speak up, we are not extremists, we are not violent.
    PLEASE speak up for the basic rights we all share as humans, the right to live and be free, that right was violated in Egypt, which means every human has been violated, scream out and ask every politician and every human to let us speak our minds and invoke our rights.
    Demonstrations are being cut off by police and protesters are clobbered down
    help us organize and protect the demonstrations, especially on Friday
    spread the word.

  8. the right of LIFE is the most sacred right of any human,FREEDOM follows right after and we are denied both, we plead for every human right activist in the world, please scream out, tell everyone, we are just the youth of Egypt tired of oppression and corruption, we feel it’s about time that we speak up, we are not extremists, we are not violent.
    PLEASE speak up for the basic rights we all share as humans, the right to live and be free, that right was violated in Egypt, which means every human has been violated, scream out and ask every politician and every human to let us speak our minds and invoke our rights.
    Demonstrations are being cut off by police and protesters are clobbered down
    help us organize and protect the demonstrations, especially on Friday
    spread the word.

  9. Liberty and Freedom of expression is the essence of dignified life,which no one should be robbed off.we must not intermingle the democratic movement with terriorism.then no one in the world will fight for democracy if we label them with any other thing.

  10. Liberty and Freedom of expression is the essence of dignified life,which no one should be robbed off.we must not intermingle the democratic movement with terriorism.then no one in the world will fight for democracy if we label them with any other thing.

  11. That's 100% true. We have to be smart about it. We have to stand our grounds and maintain the peacefulness of the demonstration. Even if anyone is trying to taint the main purpose of the demonstrations in any way, we have to be strong and keep the lines of the demonstrations stronger.

    If we are not aware of how some people will find these demonstrations as an opportunity to set forth their agenda, then we are as ignorant as the pavement we are walking on.

    Be aware people of what is going on, understand who would benefit and why from tainting these demonstrations that started out to be a magnificent event.

    Maintain the magnificence of the 25th of January.

    Don't give the officials a chance to call you ignorant, barbarians, violent or attribute to you any negative characteristics.

    Demonstrate right!!!! And spread the word!!!!

  12. That’s 100% true. We have to be smart about it. We have to stand our grounds and maintain the peacefulness of the demonstration. Even if anyone is trying to taint the main purpose of the demonstrations in any way, we have to be strong and keep the lines of the demonstrations stronger.

    If we are not aware of how some people will find these demonstrations as an opportunity to set forth their agenda, then we are as ignorant as the pavement we are walking on.

    Be aware people of what is going on, understand who would benefit and why from tainting these demonstrations that started out to be a magnificent event.

    Maintain the magnificence of the 25th of January.

    Don’t give the officials a chance to call you ignorant, barbarians, violent or attribute to you any negative characteristics.

    Demonstrate right!!!! And spread the word!!!!

  13. We Tunisians ask you to support our brothers and sisters in Egypt as they try to end the dictatorship they’ve been living under for 30 years and fight tirelessly for their freedom, dignity, and rights. The Egyptians are isolated from the world right now: they have no internet, no mobile network, no blackberry. The Egyptian government is trying to hide these facts so the world cannot witness what is/will be happening.

  14. We Tunisians ask you to support our brothers and sisters in Egypt as they try to end the dictatorship they’ve been living under for 30 years and fight tirelessly for their freedom, dignity, and rights. The Egyptians are isolated from the world right now: they have no internet, no mobile network, no blackberry. The Egyptian government is trying to hide these facts so the world cannot witness what is/will be happening.

  15. Reasonable people of America stand with the people of Egypt

    Pray in unity for their basic human rights and help in anyway possible reach our government to say stand on the peoples side. From an American who loves an Egyptian I pray Gods speed to all the people of your country…May God bless and keep you all.

  16. Reasonable people of America stand with the people of Egypt

    Pray in unity for their basic human rights and help in anyway possible reach our government to say stand on the peoples side. From an American who loves an Egyptian I pray Gods speed to all the people of your country…May God bless and keep you all.

  17. I hope they are fighting for the Democracy and the Human Rights.
    We Iranian people support them if they are fighting for Human Rights and democracy and freedom. Iranian green movement still is growing and deepening.
    We Iranian people have been hurt so much and suffered from the Islamic dictatorship that I wish it never happen in Egypt.

  18. I hope they are fighting for the Democracy and the Human Rights.
    We Iranian people support them if they are fighting for Human Rights and democracy and freedom. Iranian green movement still is growing and deepening.
    We Iranian people have been hurt so much and suffered from the Islamic dictatorship that I wish it never happen in Egypt.

  19. Being an American it is hard for me to imagine living in a dictatorship. Democracy is freedom of speech,Freedom of all religions,freedom to vote. It is hard work but you can all succeed. There is always a crisis before things turn around. I admire all of you from all those countries that desperately want simple freedoms. If you look back at our history there were many wars between us in the USA before we got our freedom. Continue to demonstrate peacefully. You are truly making history. You no we all have the same heart. We have the peaceful right to be who we want to be. Thinking of you from the Good old USA.

  20. Being an American it is hard for me to imagine living in a dictatorship. Democracy is freedom of speech,Freedom of all religions,freedom to vote. It is hard work but you can all succeed. There is always a crisis before things turn around. I admire all of you from all those countries that desperately want simple freedoms. If you look back at our history there were many wars between us in the USA before we got our freedom. Continue to demonstrate peacefully. You are truly making history. You no we all have the same heart. We have the peaceful right to be who we want to be. Thinking of you from the Good old USA.