Prison guards under siege (follow up)

January 30, 2011

I’m still visiting Al Jazeera http://english.aljazeera.net/ to get the latest news about the protests in Egypt.

The working week in Egypt has begun now and the regime hopes that the protests will fizzle out.

Egyptian authorities have ordered the Al Jazeera offices in Cairo to be closed and have suspended its correspondents’ accreditations.

The statement from Al Jezeera:

Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists.   In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.
“Al Jazeera assures its audiences in Egypt and across the world that it will continue its in-depth and comprehensive reporting on the events unfolding in Egypt.  Al Jazeera journalists have brought unparalleled reporting from the ground from across Egypt in the face of great danger and extraordinary circumstances.  Al Jazeera Network is appalled at this latest attack by the Egyptian regime to strike at its freedom to report independently on the unprecedented events in Egypt.”

Soldiers have started to arrest protesters.

Following the news I always asked myself: Where are the women? They take part in the protest, but in a traditional Islamic patriarchal society their role is limited.

Women in Arab countries face gender-based inequalities associated with the so-called “patriarchal gender system”. The system, regardless of religion, features kin-based extended families, male domination, early marriage (and consequent high fertility), restrictive codes of female behavior, the linkage of family honor with female virtue, and occasionally, polygamous family structure. In some countries, veiling and sex-segregation are rules of the gender system.

Egypt’s women take part in the protest movement: Making the rounds on social networking sites is a photo album compiled by Leil-Zahra Mortada, who is collecting photos of women in the protests. She calls it a “homage to all those women out there fighting, and whose voices and faces are hidden from the public eye.”

Salma ElTarzi, a protestor in Cairo, told Al Jazeera by telephone that she and other demonstrators have been subject to brutal violence from police: “We’ve been seeing atrocities and what’s more important is the withdrawal of police. On the 28th midday, they were brutally bombing us with tear gas, with live bullets. My brother was shot with a shotgun. There was blood everywhere. Suddenly, after all this violence, police started retreating for no apparent reason.”

The regimes plan obviously is to have the police take off their uniforms, pose as thugs and start looting. As a reward or payment or whatever one wants to call it, they get to keep whatever they can get their hands on.

Many eyewitnesses reported that the looters were in fact police men. The regime hopes to get the people thinking: “we were safer and much better off under Mubarak’s rule, at least there was not that much chaos, looting and killing”. The population therefore will be scared from continuing with the protests, and will start to believe that without Mubarak and his security apparatus the country would descent into chaos. Therefore people will have no choice but to bear the regime with the latest addition of vice president Omar Suleiman and the new prime minister Ahmed Mohammed Shafiq Zaki.

In a Saturday Night Live comedic spoof of the Egypt crisis an impersonator of Mubarak is saying:

“My people love me. They are upset because the internet is down. I’m willing to take the following steps to show I’m willing to change. Number 1: I’m firing my cabinet. Number 2, I’m hiring a new cabinet, made up of members of my fired cabinet.”

If you are a comedian, you are sometimes allowed to tell the truth even on NBC.

Latest news:

The death toll rises. Al Jazeera reports that 150 protesters have been killed since Friday.
Hundreds of judges join the protests in Cairo.
At least two military fighter jets flew low over protesters in Cairo. The sound was deafening,
Mohamed ElBaradei has urged the USA to support calls for Mubarak to step down, saying “life support to the dictator” must end.

One comment

  1. Interestingly written! Mr. Troop Mom


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