Egypt’s Disgraceful Descent
Egypt is on the road to self ruin. Four years after the protests on the Tahrir Square erupted into a revolt against Hosni Mubarak’s tyrannical rule, the country is firmly back into the hands of despots who are trampling upon the civil liberties with much more elan. Its compliant judiciary has pronounced death sentence against Mohammad Morsi, the only elected President of the nation, and a hundred other Muslim Brotherhood activists. It has released the former ruler Hosni Mubarak and his two sons Gamal and Alaa. Charges of killing protestors against Mubarak have been dropped. Repression is scaling new heights. Strangely, the Western nations who tirelessly prescribe democracy for all in the developing world, have been mute spectators of the throttling of democracy and civil liberties in the most enlightened nation of the Arab world.
Egypt has been under the reign of terror under Jamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadath and Hosni Mubarak, none of whom was elected by people in a free and fair elections. In the first opportunity to elect a leader of their choice in an election that were free from rigging and ban on parties, Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Morsi was elected to head the government with a mandate from 52% of the electorate. He was ousted in a coup by Army chief Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi drowning into despair hopes of a new era ignited by the 2011 protests.
‘Elections’ that followed last May and rejected by the Western civil rights organizations, turned the soldier into the President in an exercise that totally lacked legitimacy and credibility.
Discomfited though, the West avoided any condemnation and laid bare its intent of siding with its interest rather than the values it cherished and propagated. Washington carefully abstained from using the term ‘Coup’, for it would have meant cutting off the military aid under the Congressional rule.
What has followed in Egypt since Al-Sisi’s takeover is utterly disgraceful. Hundreds of thousands of protestors wanting democracy back have been thrown into jail. Al-Sisi has brought in a new Constitution and bolstered his own position and is likely to rule the most enlightened of the Arab nations with iron hand. The judiciary has acted in tandem with the military-politicos and has been generously handing out death sentences against everyone opposed to the current regime. In one instance, death sentence against 547 political detainees were pronounced after a mere 45-minute trial. Laughably, these included one per cent inhabitants of the Town Mattay. The Amnesty International called the sentencing “injustice writ large”, and said it was the largest “batch” of simultaneous death sentences seen in recent years—”not just in Egypt but anywhere in the world.”
But Egypt is scripting a new history by pronouncing death sentence for the only elected President in its history. The West’s failure to condemn all that has been done to squash democracy’s prospects in Egypt is no less disgraceful.