Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

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Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by DJKeefy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:53 pm

Egyptian security forces have blocked access to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the highly symbolic focal point of the 2011 revolution, as part of a wide-ranging crackdown aimed at heading off planned protests against the president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Barricades and checkpoints on surrounding streets and the Qasr al-Nil Bridge diverted traffic on Friday afternoon, and three metro stations underneath the square were closed. Security officials stopped and searched pedestrians in the vicinity.
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The Sisi regime appeared to have been caught off guard last weekend when hundreds of protesters took to the streets in major towns and cities. Security forces responded with live fire and teargas. More than 2,000 people have since been detained, including high-profile activists who do not appear to have had any involvement in the protests, according to civil society groups.

On Thursday the interior ministry made clear it intended to use force to quash any demonstrations on Friday.

A resident of Warraq Island, a poor area of Cairo involved in a protracted uprising against a municipal development plan, said about 300 people had staged an anti-Sisi protest on Friday afternoon that had got broken up by police firing teargas and bird shot. Police also dispersed a protest involving 50 to 60 people in the southern Cairo district of Helwan.

In southern Egypt, small-scale protests were staged in Qus and Qena city, witnesses told Agence France-Presse.

In the port city of Suez, a man who took to the streets last weekend said a heightened military presence had dampened the prospect of fresh protests. “I think the battle will be deferred to another time,” he said.

Sisi, who came to power in a coup in 2013, has overseen a wholesale crackdown on freedom of speech and public dissent, considered by observers to be the worst in Egypt’s modern history.

His expansion of a bloated security state has led to a rise in torture and police brutality that could constitute crimes against humanity, according to Human Rights Watch. An estimated 60,000 political prisoners languish in jail.

Sisi attempted to project an image of business as usual in a rare interaction with the public when he greeted a crowd gathered to welcome him at Cairo airport as he returned from the UN general assembly in New York. “You didn’t have to wake up on a Friday, it’s not worth it. Don’t worry about anything,” he said. “What happened before will not happen again.”

Pro-regime gatherings took place in Cairo’s middle-class area of Nasser City and the northern port city of Alexandria.

“People are demonstrating their love and support for their leader, their army, and their country,” said Ahmed Mohammed, a member of the Future of a Nation political party, set up to support Sisi. “This is just the beginning. It’s a celebratory environment to counter the terrorist call to protest against the president and his achievements.”

Last week’s rare protests were sparked by a series of social media videos posted by Mohamed Ali, a former military contractor living in self-imposed exile in Barcelona who called for a million Egyptians to march on Friday.

Ali has alleged that the Egyptian military squandered public funds to build palaces and luxury hotels, including opulent palaces for the president. Sisi later denied the claim, calling them “lies and slander”. “Of course I have built presidential palaces, and I will build presidential palaces,” he said. “But they are not for me, they are for Egypt.”

The loud wail of police sirens could be heard throughout Friday over Tahrir Square, a vital intersection in central Cairo that was the centre of protests that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the gathering point for demonstrations against the late former Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in 2012 and 2013.

The UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet expressed deep concern over this week’s mass detentions. “I urge the authorities to radically change their approach to any future protests, including those that may take place today,” Bachelet said in a statement.

Amnesty International called on world leaders to prevent a crackdown on demonstrators. The Franco-Egyptian Initiative for Rights and Freedoms published a letter to France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, calling on his government to “seriously consider its responsibilities concerning the use of French weapons against peaceful protesters”.

Egypt’s attorney general said late on Thursday that 1000 people had been detained and questioned in relation to last weekend’s protests.

Ali’s corruption claims spoke to deep discontent among many Egyptians, living in a country where 32.5% of people live below the poverty line, according to the government’s own estimates. Many have struggled to maintain their standard of living since the government began harsh austerity measures, dramatically raising everyday costs through cuts to vital subsidies on commodities such as fuel and electricity.

“Many Egyptians are understandably nervous about a new uprising. One must bear in mind that from the perspective of most Egyptians they have overthrown two governments since 2011 and for most of them their standard of living has deteriorated each time,” said Timothy E Kaldas of the Washington thinktank the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.

“That said, the popularity of Sisi and his government has been declining for years as people’s standard of living has plummeted and the number of Egyptians in poverty has risen substantially.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... s-protests
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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by Horus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:09 pm

More than 2,000 people have since been detained, including high-profile activists who do not appear to have had any involvement in the protests, according to civil society groups.
His expansion of a bloated security state has led to a rise in torture and police brutality that could constitute crimes against humanity, according to Human Rights Watch. An estimated 60,000 political prisoners languish in jail.
Egypt’s attorney general said late on Thursday that 1000 people had been detained and questioned in relation to last weekend’s protests.
Tells you all you need to know about that particular regime Keefy :st
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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by A-Four » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:58 pm

I remember reading the very sensible note earlier this week by the Doctor, for the ex-pats to keep their heads down on Friday. Various media including B.B.C. are reporting of trouble at a number of places in Upper Egypt along the Nile Valley earlier today.

These days most ex-pats I knew who lived out of the cocoons, or for that matter the so called 'super cocoons' such as Hurgarda, have long gone, though for reasons other than of the past or present troubles in Egypt, sad to say they have not been replaced.

As I have written in the past on this forum, when you live in Egypt, you need a good doctor, you need a very good lawyer, (that's if you buy property), and a very, very good Egyptian friend who will tell you the truth of what is happening in his or her country, especially if you do not speak Arabic.

Never forget Egypt is a wonderful place, it's people are remarkable, but it's still a third world country, with a third world mentality.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:20 pm



Mmmmm.....

Reminds me of Trump’s attempts to prove his inauguration was better attended than Obama’s. :lol:

Having said that, and watched the Egyptian news channels...there really wasn’t much happening in Cairo. Even Sally Nabil .....obviously not incarcerated....couldn’t point to much on BBC news apart from extensive security barriers.

They obviously didn’t want a repetition of last Friday.

I haven’t heard of anything significant elsewhere in Egypt.

P.S. I’m staying with a very, very good Egyptian friend ( no fan of the regime incidentally) who tells me the truth of what is going on in his country.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by DJKeefy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:07 am

newcastle wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:20 pm
And many people will believe photos and videos from 2013 coup/will of the people.
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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:04 am

DJKeefy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:07 am

And many people will believe photos and videos from 2013 coup/will of the people.
My first thoughts were ....that looks too big a crowd to be true.

But then I looked at other reports and images, the local TV, and spoke to my host’s brother who was in Cairo. They’re genuine enough.

And if you think about it, any use by the state media (Al Ahram etc) of old footage would backfire on them. These things are easily verifiable nowadays....as Al Jazeera was found out and had to issue an apology over some of the footage it broadcast concerning Friday 20th Sept.

The pro-Sisi marchers had, of course, the benefit of government sanction, organisation and support....the complete opposite of the dissenters :)

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by carrie » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:53 am

Well good for El Sisi seems he still has the people behind him?

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:09 am

carrie wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:53 am
Well good for El Sisi seems he still has the people behind him?
Hard to tell.

There’s no way of knowing how many of the people genuinely believe in him and how many think he’s just another corrupt dictator in a long line of them.

But there’s little doubt who has the upper hand when it comes to running the show.....for the time being at least.

The regime can point to economic recovery, energy independence and a whole host of positive developments with regard to health, education etc.

On the other hand, poverty is increasing.

Unless the former eventually improves the latter, real stability remains a dream.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by A-Four » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:03 pm

carrie wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:53 am
Well good for El Sisi seems he still has the people behind him?
Well, I remember when a number of the conservative old boys on the West Bank, said much the same about Mubarak to me. The trouble with dictators is that they never realise when the people are no longer behind them.

The trouble with cocoons, and so called super cocoons in Egypt, there are a number of 'them there white people' who have a special reason to say all is fantastic. I remember a certain lady picking up tourist at Luxor airport to stay at her hotel and flats on the West Bank saying all was well in Luxor, and posted on this forum to say so. I was in the centre of luxor that very same evening when all hell let loose, they certainly were not fireworks, and for sure it was not pigeons that were being shot at.

In the cocoon known as Luxor, you simply have to drive ten minute either north or south to discover real Egyptian life, and what may happen. With regards the so called super cocoons, real Egyptian life is difficult to find, youare more likely to find your being invaded by Somalia, than anything else.

In other words be on your guard be careful of who you take notice of, and especially of mini-cab drivers who live in a super cocoon. :wi .

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:36 pm

carrie wrote: ↑Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:53 am
Well good for El Sisi seems he still has the people behind him?


Hard to tell.

There’s no way of knowing how many of the people genuinely believe in him and how many think he’s just another corrupt dictator in a long line of them.

Be especially aware of those who haven’t set foot in Egypt for years and get all their information from mainstream western media!

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by Horus » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:27 pm

Although Carrie I suspect that people like A4 still have many friends and contacts in Egypt and his sources of information are just as reliable as those of anyone else, he has been very knowledgeable on certain things in the past and stories from a friend of a friend are just that, stories and often the most blind are those in the middle of a situation, rose tinted glasses and all that. 8)
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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:37 pm

How some people change their tune when it suits...... :)))



As for very knowledgeable.....who was it who claimed Sally Nabil (the BBC’s Egypt reporter) had been arrested. :lol:

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by carrie » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:12 am

Actually I was being ironic in my post hence the question mark.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:52 am

carrie wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:12 am
Actually I was being ironic in my post hence the question mark.


Quite right to be Ironic Carrie and to take these public demonstrations of adulation for Sisi with a pinch of salt. All it really tells you is that the forces of the regime can organise a good show when they want to.

As I said earlier, what the population as a whole think is hard to tell. Well....impossible really. No one opposed to Sisi is going to broadcast the fact. Not if they want to prosper.

No one can tell you - with anything more than guesswork - how the population divides in terms of political support , or opposition, for the government.

What is obvious is that the regime is in full control. The recent protests, notwithstanding the backing from Qatar and Turkey, have been minute when you consider Egypt is a country with a population of around 100 million.

Again - sorry for the repetition - much will depend on how Sisi’s economic reforms and the various initiatives work out. Egyptians are a pretty patient lot....I expect they’ll give him another 5 years at least.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by carrie » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:09 am

I remember when there were demonstrations against Morsi, a friend living in Zineer near Karnak told me that buses had been organised to take people up to Cairo to show support for him. A day out and 75le as well.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:43 am

carrie wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:09 am
I remember when there were demonstrations against Morsi, a friend living in Zineer near Karnak told me that buses had been organised to take people up to Cairo to show support for him. A day out and 75le as well.
:lol: :lol:

With inflation, and the currency devaluation, I expect Sisi pays better! :snig:

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by newcastle » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:30 am

Some interesting commentary by The Listening Post on recent events in Cairo, the Egyptian media response and a view on how things could progress.....


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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by Yildez » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:53 pm

Thanks very much for the link Newcastle 👍

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by Hafiz » Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:48 am

Al Ahram and the 'nice' young majors who control the Egyptian news do lie – but we rarely catch them at it.

Nine years ago Mubarak attended a conference of Middle Eastern leaders in Washington.

This was the official photograph pit out by the lying Christians – note Mubarak of at the rear left next to Israel:

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Here is what al Ahram published – Mubarak leading the world:

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After they were caught ‘at it’ it didn’t stop them or lead to an admission or apology. (note their primitive technology - possibly Military Intelligence (non-oxymoron) can't even keep the floor rug the same colour) Here is what al Ahram thy said/vomited (and this was in the 'good old days'):

“But the newspaper's editor-in chief, Osama Saraya defended the decision in an editorial today, saying the original photo had been published on the day talks began and the new version was only meant to illustrate Egypt's leading role in the peace process.

"The expressionist photo is … a brief, live and true expression of the prominent stance of President Mubarak in the Palestinian issue, his unique role in leading it before Washington or any other," Saraya wrote. “https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/ ... ni-mubarak

The editor’s second comment is illiterate/incoherent/illogical. What leading ole in the peace process - Egypt has been dragging its chain on this matter for 70 years.

After 70 years of a brutal and corrupt military dictatorship, declining power and a collapsing economy lies are part of the very substance of life and lying as a way of life has migrated from the ruling classes to spread widely in Egypt.

The reporting on the Tamrod movement and how it led to Morsi’s downfall/Sisi's rise was also infected with lies and little truth.Military Intelligence and Naguib Sawiris did the job with wads of cash and casual threats. Threats and cash are an absolute guarantee of getting lies published in Egypt.

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Re: Egypt's Tahrir Square on lockdown as regime moves to stifle protests

Post by Who2 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:40 am

carrie wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:09 am
I remember when there were demonstrations against Morsi, a friend living in Zineer near Karnak told me that buses had been organised to take people up to Cairo to show support for him. A day out and 75le as well.
It is well known that Zineer is and was as corrupt as Morsi.
Besides stealing the outside furniture from the newly refurbished Hilton twice,
they were bought off with TV's and fridges to vote for Morsi as were many villages.... 8)
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