Thursday, 27 March 2014

Egypt & the Arab Spring

THIS week's condemnation of 529 Islamist members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death by a court in Egypt is an example of  an authoritarian  regime engaged in a vendetta.  In January 2012 on this blog we together with some supporters of the Northern Anarchist Network (NAN) then welcomed the Arab Spring, and supported Libya's rebellion against the Gaddafi regime. 

Last year, we likened the coup by the Egyptian military and the ousting of the Islamic government of Mr. Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party, to the rebelion of General Franco and some elements of the Spanish army against the legally elected republican government in Spain in 1936.  On Monday the condemning of 529 Islamists to death for the killing of a single police officer last summer is a shocking example of a judicial system victimising a political party and its supporters.

Thought the verdict is expected to be overturned on appeal, it is bound to stir up hatred and radicalise the Muslim brotherhood.  Legal experts, claim the verdict is the largest mass sentencing in modern Egyptian history. It followed a trial that lasted little more than two days — not enough time to make a case against even a single person, much less 529 people, charged with murder for the killing of a police officer in rioting that followed the ousting of Mr. Morsi.

The convicting so many people for involvement in one death is daft.  Though 16 of those charged were acquitted it in no way legitimizes the legal process. Only 123 defendants were in the courtroom; the rest were either released, out on bail or on the run.

The overthrow of the Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 was widely welcomed, but current events suggest that the hopes that the Arab Spring provoked two years ago have now been all but extinguished.

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