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Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying

This bi-weekly Arab Awakening space is a holding operation on Egypt - excerpts from their articles, blogs and tweets - as people try to work out what is happening.  The ‘You tell us’ feature offers some first hand accounts and a range of opinions, first and foremost from the people of Egypt.

Tahrir Egypt Demotix/Roopa_Gogineni. All rights reserved.

Introduction: countdown from August 14 - 21

It has been a week now since the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Rabaa and Nahda began. Local and international media reporting of August 14 and thereafter has been “questionable”, to say the least. Inevitably it takes some time for the useful analysis to take stock of these historic events. Mohammed Bamyeh has spoken about “an ‘unconscious’ of the revolution that gradually emerges to the surface, sometimes in the form of sudden earthquakes, as one tries to experiment with building a post-revolutionary society” – but this is for the long term.

In the meantime we are creating this bi-weekly space as a holding operation, for you to hear the voices of those on the ground – excerpts from their articles, blogs and tweets - as people try to work out what is happening.  This new ‘You tell us’ feature will hopefully provide you with some first hand accounts and a range of opinions from the people of Egypt. That’s why this revolution started, right? For “bread, freedom and social justice.”

Egypt has never failed to surprise. Since Morsi’s ousting on July 3, 2013, people all over the world as well as in Egypt have been wondering if this was a coup by Egypt’s military or not? Recent events are beginning to answer that question. 

August 14 is not going to go down well in Egyptian history. The pro-Morsi sit-ins were violently dispersed, leaving the death toll higher than on any other day of clashes since the uprising began in 2011.  The Egyptian security apparatus, military and/or police, do not exactly have the best track record. For the curious, here’s a list from a blogger, who calls herself Baheyya, compiled of the approx. deaths at the hand’s of the Egyptian security apparatus since January 2011. 

People in Egypt are divided between the pro-military camp (a.k.a. anti-terrorism camp), pro-Morsi camp (a.k.a. anti-coup camp) and there’s a small minority – although it may grow over the coming weeks – that is anti-military, anti-Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) pro-revolution and anti-coup. Does that make sense? Slightly confusing, right?

As of today, over 1500 people have lost their lives, over 50 churches and numerous Christian establishments have been destroyed as well as police stations and government buildings. VP Mohamed El Baradei – who was very popular among the pro-military camp – resigned on the first day of clashes and is now facing trial for ‘betrayal of trust.’ Emergency law was re-instated on August 14 and a dusk till dawn curfew is in place for a month. The cherry on top is the release of former president Hosni Mubarak. 

The dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, by the Egyptian military and police forces, started around 6:30AM on August 14, 2013.

 

August 14

Among the first-hand accounts of the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in, Mada Masr published this article the day after. Numerous tweets indicate that there was no “safe exit” for the pro-Morsi crowd… 

Sharif Kouddous (@sharifkouddous)
8/14/13, 9:03 AM
At SW #Rabaa entrance, tear gas volleys. Gunfire. Crowd disperses, many overwhelmed by gas, then return. Repeat. pic.twitter.com/5NE8dz7pQW 

Erin Cunningham (@erinmcunningham)
8/14/13, 8:44 AM
Al Jazeera English producer live from #Rabaa sit-in: "I have not seen any evidence of a safe exit" for protesters. #Egypt 

Mosa'ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing)
8/14/13, 10:35 AM
The scene at Rabaa's frontline resembles a warzone. Clashes ongoing for six hours now. pic.twitter.com/zVeaKs76GG

لسيد مانكي (@Sandmonkey) 8/14/13, 12:11 PM The Morsi Supporters seems to be going down to die, but are not only facing the police, residents are attacking them as well.#alfmaskan

The many Egyptians who have been hostile towards international media are often justified, but with numerous foreign journalists risking their lives to cover events as they unfolded, this is by no means the end of the story. Local media was not questioned by the majority although consistently skewed, pro-military/ anti-Muslim Brotherhood propaganda from journalists who hadn’t yet left their comfort zones.

3 journalists lose their lives today. 

The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh)
8/14/13, 12:20 PM
Advice: never trust anything pro-Morsi tells you or state/private media. Always look for primary data from people you know are credible.

Jonny Hallam (@Jonny_Hallam)
8/14/13, 2:05 PM
Confirmed on Website > Sky News cameraman Mick Deane has been shot and killed in #Egypt this morning #Cairo

Mosa'ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing)
8/14/13, 6:05 PM
My brother @abdallahelshamy, AJA correspondent, has been arrested in Rabaa.

Activists, human rights advocates and journalists were all trying to collect information as the clashes took place… convinced that neither security forces or the Muslim Brotherhood could be trusted:

Samer Al-Atrush (@SameralAtrush)
8/14/13, 2:12 PM
I counted 124 bodies in Rabaa. Most in field morgue (hall 1) rest in Rabaa hospital proper, bottom floor and 3rd floor

Human Rights Watch (@hrw)
8/14/13, 6:05 PM
For live updates on the deadly clashes in #Egypt, follow here:hrw.org/egypt-live-upd…

Omar Robert Hamilton (@ORHamilton)
8/14/13, 6:31 PM
Brutal photos from Rabaa today by @mosaaberizingflickr.com/photos/mosaabe… 

At the same time that the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo were being cleared, churches and Christian establishments in the rest of the country were being attacked.

MK مريم (@MariamKirollos)
8/14/13, 9:10 AM
And now a church building in Sohag is set ablaze.

MK مريم (@MariamKirollos)
8/14/13, 10:44 AM
My source in Delga says that 10s of Coptic houses were torched while the police remain absent. 

MK مريم (@MariamKirollos)
8/14/13, 11:09 AM
I'm losing count of churches and Coptic houses that are being attacked nationwide.

Mohamed Abdelfattah (@mfatta7)
8/14/13, 11:27 AM
5 churches burnt in #Minya as per Sky News Arabia, 4 are killed. 

Bishop Suriel (@BishopSuriel)
8/14/13, 2:55 PM
Bible Society in Cairo has been burnt and destroyed by MB just now. 

hossam bahgat (@hossambahgat)
8/14/13, 4:49 PM
This is EXACTLY what authorities were told repeatedly to anticipate if they decide to forcibly disperse sit-ins. Where is the plan? 

Bishop Macarious, from Minya, confirmed in this video [Ar] interview on August 14, that there was no security on site before, during or after the forcible clearance of the sit-ins. He believes the attacks on the churches happened simultaneously as the sit-ins were being dispersed. When church authorities were frantically reaching out to security forces to come and help, the response was a simple apology "we are sorry," with no actual or promised material aid offered. The Minister of Interior and Prime Minister both apologized for this lack of security presence and promised to remedy this in the future. However, as the day was coming to an end, there were still no extra security forces at any church in Minya.

For a full updated list of the torched churches and Christian establishments since August 14, visit Amira Mikhail’s blog.

The Revolutionary Socialists released a statement denouncing the violence. 

Hazem El-Beblawi, Egypt’s interim Prime Minister and former Deputy Prime Minister in 2011, in a speech addressed to the nation, declared that police forces used the utmost restraint in dispersing the sit-ins and that Egypt was on the path to safety and security. There was no mention of the attacks on the churches or the reasons why security forces had failed to protect them. Minister of Interior, Mohamed Ibrahim – appointed by deposed president Mohamed Morsi in January 2013 –, announced in a televised news conference that both sit-ins had been cleared and that “the government will not allow any other sit-in around the country.”

A police station in Kerdasah was also attacked, in which 15 policemen were killed and 1 survived.  Here’s a detailed report of the survivor’s account of what took place (published August 19).

The UN urges calm and restraint.

Press releases of human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: Egypt: Security forces must avoid further bloodshed 

Human Rights Watch: Dispatches: Deaths, Chaos in Egypt

 

August 15 

Deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s detention is extended for another 30 days. The interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, does not deny the use of live ammunition. The deceased are not released from the morgue unless their families agree to suicide as the cause of death. Numerous western countries advise Egyptian security forces to refrain from using excessive force and condemn the dispersal of the sit-ins.

Main points from Reuters press release:

* Envoys warned of political and economic consequences

* Diplomats told Sisi ElBaradei would quit if force used

* US Defence Secretary called Sisi almost daily

* Egypt burning cash reserves at $1.5 bln a month

AJELive (@AJELive)
8/15/13, 8:13 PM
#UN Security Council to meet on Thursday to discuss #Egypt | Read more on our live blog: aje.me/142LfzG 

Most Egyptians agree that the US should not interfere in Egypt, but here is a link to President Obama’s speech. The UAE expresses its support for the government’s crackdown and Egypt’s National Salvation Front believes it is a necessary step towards democracy.

An interview by Democracy Now! with two Egyptian journalists, Sharif Abdel Koddous and Lina Atallah, and the executive director of the Middle East Research & Information Project, Chris Toensing, confirms that there was no safe exit for the pro-Morsi protestors on August 14, that there was excessive use of violence in the dispersal, make-shift clinics were not secured, journalists were targeted…

The Muslim Brotherhood vow there will be no retreat: they will fight back and bring down the military coup. 

Salma Elwardany (@S_Elwardany)
8/15/13, 2:52 PM
Egypt Brotherhood Torches Building as Death Toll Rises bloom.bg/19tU2Pt via@BloombergNews

More people, churches and Christian establishments are attacked throughout the day with no visible effort by security forces to prevent these attacks. Some churches are protected by members of the communities, with Muslims trying to protect Christians. 

آدم (@adamakary)
8/15/13, 5:12 PM
Coptic priest: It's ironic bc most of the churches that were torched needed permits for renovation. Now the army will rebuild them. #Egypt

wagih adli ابوغريب (@wagihadli)
8/15/13, 5:52 PM
cars with speakers inviting muslims to kill christians in Minya. A masacre is about to be seen in the streets and more christians killed

The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh)
8/15/13, 5:53 PM
Gunmen in Sohag stopped a car, shot a man and his wife dead when they identified them as Christian. V @Hani1907

Press releases & reports by human rights organisations:

Human Rights Watch: Egypt looking depressingly like Iraq

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights: Joint Press Release: Non-peaceful assembly does not justify collective punishment - Rights groups condemn lethal violence against those in sit-in and terrorist acts of the Muslim Brotherhood

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights: Observatory for Violence: 525 dead, 3717 injured, and assaults on churches, and private and public properties as a result of dispersing “Rabaa” and “Al-Nahda” sit-ins. 

 

August 16 

Tamarod calls on Egyptians on State TV to form neighbourhood watches to protect the Egyptian people. 

Khaled Dawoud, spokesperson for the National Salvation Front, resigns.

آدم (@adamakary)
8/16/13, 8:20 AM
When a death toll hasn't even been finalized in clashes from a previous day and a new death toll is on the horizon... #Egypt 

In Egypt's carnage, struggle to lay out the dead” by Samer al-Atrush.

Rawya Rageh (@RawyaRageh)
8/16/13, 12:59 PM
Anti #MB promo on state TV shows footage of sit-ins, tag line: Not peaceful, not Islamic, return to your people, #Egypt united

The Muslim Brotherhood calls for nationwide marches in response to the security crackdown in which hundreds were killed. (For a first hand account of what took place, read journalist and blogger, Sarah Carr’s account, published on Mada Masr on August 17, 2013). Marches converge in Ramsis Square where violence soon breaks out: 

Jeremy Bowen (@BowenBBC)
8/16/13, 1:52 PM
Ramses demo stayed peaceful for less than an hour. Sign of incendiary mix in divided #Egypt #Cairo

أبو كار (@Sarahcarr)
8/16/13, 11:36 AM
"When dealing with terrorism, the consideration of civil and human rights are not applicable," - Defence Min spoxman online.wsj.com/article/SB1000…

Mosa'ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing)
8/16/13, 1:52 PM
Gruesome clashes near the police station, with many dead carried away.

d. parvaz (@dparvaz)
8/16/13, 3:52 PM
Report on #Egyptian state radio says military helicopters are shooting st “armed people in Ramses Square” #cairo #goodgod

Dalia Ezzat (@DaliaEzzat_)
8/16/13, 4:40 PM
Watch @BowenBBC 's report on the violence in Ramses square todaybbc.in/16U6N1Z 

Mayy El Sheikh (@MayyNYT)
8/16/13, 6:36 PM

It seems armed thugs have become a definite part of the equation; it’s no longer Islamists vs. police.

آدم (@adamakary)
8/16/13, 7:19 PM
The iconic Arab Contractors building that was part of several major nat'l projects like the construction of the Aswan Dam, is still on fire. 

Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher)
8/16/13, 8:15 PM
In 1949, Muslim B'hood founder Hassan al-Banna was shot dead, likely by state security. Today, @sharifkouddous reports, his grandson was too.

Mosa'ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing)
8/16/13, 11:11 PM
Important to highlight presence of guns with some pro-Morsi protesters during the clashes: youtu.be/BoZZ8_nJBHY

The Salafi Al-Nour Party (funded by the Saudi regime) initially supported the Muslim Brotherhood, but switched its affiliation to the interim government when the Muslim Brotherhood refused to take part in negotiations prior to the crackdown on the sit-ins. They did, however, reject the declaration of a state of emergency.

Sherine Tadros (@SherineT)
8/16/13, 10:20 AM
Salafi Nour party reject foreign intervention in #Egypt affairs and any attempt to internationalize the crisis

According to this report, Saudi Arabia is more concerned with security than diplomacy, pledging big promises of aid:

آدم (@adamakary)
8/16/13, 4:12 PM
#Saudi ambassador pledges $5 billion in aid to #Egypt - that's just a little more than 4 years worth of US aid.

The Global Post publish a list of the “top 10 American corporations profiting from Egypt’s military.”

Journalists & journalism under threat…

آدم (@adamakary)
8/16/13, 1:57 PM
#Breaking: Al Jazeera Mubashir Masr has been taken off the air. #Egypt

AJELive (@AJELive)
8/16/13, 7:09 PM
VIDEO: #RobertFisk, the #MiddleEast correspondent for The Independent, discusses Egypt unrest - #Egypt LIVE BLOG: aje.me/16QEOOL

Omnia Al Desoukie (@Omniaaldesoukie)
8/16/13, 8:47 PM
Egyptian television gloating in horrible English is shameful and offensive.

The attacks continue on Christian establishments. 

mia (@amiramikhail)
8/16/13, 8:50 PM
Personal contact in #Minya: A Christian, trying to put out one of the church fires was stabbed 30 times; and is in intensive care.

Condemnation by Egyptian human rights groups of violence by both the state and Muslim Brotherhood is published on Mada Masr, an Egyptian online newspaper. 

Press releases by human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: Egypt’s disastrous bloodshed requires urgent impartial investigation

Human Rights Watch: Muslim Brotherhood abuses continue under Egypt’s military

  

August 17

Abdel Atty, spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, denies the use of excessive force. Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said the deaths of Friday were caused by clashes between residents and protesters.

Blogger and journalist, Wael Eskandar, on “The Revenge of the Police State” poses an interesting question at the end of his article:

“As we confront the question of whether or not Egypt will witness the “return” of the police of the Mubarak era, a number of critical questions arise, such as: Is there any revolutionary fervor left to resist this route? Or have revolutionary commitments been drained through all the blood and the failed attempts at establishing a democratic political order?” 

Sherifa Zuhur (@SherifaZuhur)
8/17/13, 3:32 PM
#Egypt's presidency - said in English (not Arabic) Constitution will be by all Egyptians for all Egyptians 

Galal (@GalalAmrG)
8/17/13, 7:52 PM
Tamarrod should realize that they don't represent anyone. Egyptians gave them a mandate to remove Morsi, not speak on their behalf. #Egypt 

Clashes continue in Ramsis Square around Al Fattah Mosque. Muslim Brotherhood supporters are reputedly besieged inside the mosque from the night before.  

Alastair Beach (@Alastair_Beach)
8/17/13, 12:13 PM
Chaotic scenes inside Al Fath Mosque. Mixture of locals, police, troops, army and relatives. pro-morsies still barricaded at back.

Sharif Kouddous (@sharifkouddous)
8/17/13, 12:51 PM
Police and army firing heavily at mosque minaret. Mayhem inside. Loud booms. Absolute chaos.

Bill Spindle (@BillSpindle)
8/17/13, 4:59 PM
#Egypt Ramses Square video footage from @MattMcBradley:on.wsj.com/15SypA4

Journalists under threat… 

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) release a statement to foreign correspondents. See here.

Patrick Kingsley (@PatrickKingsley)
8/17/13, 11:28 AM
taken to nearby police station. translator with me

Nancy Youssef, نانسى (@nancyayoussef)
8/17/13, 5:34 PM
Just came back from Fateh Mosque where cop urged men around me to beat me up. "She is an American!" Manhandled and now furious. 

Sharif Kouddous (@sharifkouddous)
8/17/13, 6:13 PM
The vicious rhetoric against the media from all sides is manifesting itself on the streets w/ attacks on journalists, especially foreigners

Lina Attalah (@Linaattalah)
8/17/13, 8:04 PM
Egypt is feeling severe bitterness towards some Western media coverage that is biased to the Muslim Brotherhood bit.ly/12dueS7

Egyptian State news announces the arrest of Mohamed al-Zawahiri, brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Egypt’s press centre hold an international press conference, chaired by newly appointed presidential advisor - Dr. Mostafa El Higazy, to explain the realities of the current situation. To view video, click here. 

Attacks on churches and Christian establishments continue, without any protection from state security… This is a report by Willem J. De Wit on how prayers continued in ruined church remains…

The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh)
8/17/13, 12:32 AM
One of the burned churches was over 1600 years old, i.e it lived through the entire Islamic history in Egypt.

In Minya, Mallawi Museum is looted... 

Rana Allam (@Run_Rana)
8/17/13, 10:53 PM
Mallawi museum looted and destroyed #Minyapic.twitter.com/HxCgHNoWrn #Egypt

Nora Shalaby ن. شلبي (@norashalaby)
8/16/13, 9:43 AM
Luxor Times: 1040 objects out of 1089 were stolen from Malawi Museumtinyurl.com/m2rbo3f #heritage #Egypt 

Yasmin El Rifae, in her blog post, concludes:

“I do not know how we will move forward from here, or when we will stop flaunting our cruelty as a source of pride. How will the hundreds of families that bury their dead ever find peace in a country whose authorities bully them into accepting suicide as the official cause of death before releasing the body? Whose media refuses to call those they lost anything but terrorists? Elements of the Brotherhood are using terror, and its leadership is criminal; but it is not a monolith, and innocent people have surely been killed by the army’s own terrorism”.

A new campaign called “@masmou3” emerges on FaceBook and Twitter; this means “heard” in English - to give a voice to the “third” camp, who neither support the military/interim government or the Muslim Brotherhood.

مسموع (@masmou3)
8/17/13, 6:34 PM
If you reject religious fascism & the Egyptian State's route to civil war, every night at 9PM open your window & bang on your pans #masmou3 



August 18

Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, holds an international press conference, stating that Egypt emphatically rejects any intervention in its internal affairs. Fahmy argues that Egypt is currently confronting violence that is aimed at terrorizing Egyptians, and that the demonstrations involve criminal acts and are not peaceful protests. Fahmy adds that loss of life would have been much higher if police had not shown restraint. And that outside aid is appreciated and the idea of stopping it is not wanted.

Furthermore, Egypt's Council of Churches reject foreign interference in Egypt’s internal affairs. 

Bel Trew - بل ترو (@Beltrew)
8/18/13, 5:59 PM
Area by Cairo's main morgue Zeinhom stinks of decomposing bodies and antiseptic. Volunteers are helping, including bringing spare coffins

Muslim Brotherhood call for demonstrations. In Cairo and Giza, there are 6 planned marches and a press conference in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Maadi, which was cancelled for security reasons. 

السيد مانكي (@Sandmonkey)
8/18/13, 4:16 PM
MB march has arrived in roxy,& created a triangle of chanters under AlAboudi. 30 protesters. now chanting "we give our life & blood 4 islam" 

Adly Mansour, the interim president, puts forward a proposal to “legally dissolve” the Muslim Brotherhood. 

آدم (@adamakary)
8/18/13, 2:39 PM
Constitutional Advisor to the president Ali Awad says 1st draft amending the 2012 constitution will be ready for submission tomorrow. #Egypt

Egypt’s Deputy Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, talks to the nation. El-Sisi states that all measures taken were transparent and honest and that the will of the Egyptian people is above all.

Mahmoud Salem, famously known as Sandmonkey, posts “4 common misconceptions Egyptians have” on his blog, as a response to the constant bickering that is taking place on social media platforms. It gives you a good idea of what certain segments of the Egyptian “elite” are thinking. 

Sarah Carr “With or against us”

Some voices are starting to emerge in opposition to both the military/interim government as well as the Muslim Brotherhood. In this BBC interview Khaled Abdalla, an actor and founding member of the Mosireen Collective, gives his opinion on why ‘both sides are wrong.’

Sharif Abdel Kouddous “Bloodshed in Egypt: No end in sight”

The attacks on the churches and Christian establishments continue. Here’s a horrific AP account. 

Sarahngb (@Sarahngb)
8/18/13, 6:02 PM
Police and Army fully responsible for attacks on #EgyChurches and failure to protect Egyptian Copts and Egyptian heritage.

Paul Sedra (@sedgate)
8/18/13, 11:00 PM
An absolutely chilling report from @kristenchick. In Egyptian village, Christian shops marked ahead of church attack csmonitor.com/World/Middle-E… 

The crackdown on journalists continues…

Mosa'ab Elshamy (@mosaaberizing)
8/18/13, 8:56 PM
My brother and @AJArabic's reporter @abdallahelshamy is detained for 15 more days. Facing charges of inciting murder & sectarian violence..

Sharif Kouddous (@sharifkouddous)
8/18/13, 11:02 AM
Two Canadian filmmakers, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, arrested on Fri. in Egypt. Whereabouts still unknown. More: podur.org/node/1018

Omar Robert Hamilton (@ORHamilton)
8/18/13, 11:18 PM
3 Some eng-language jrnos risking their lives @sharifkouddous @azortiz @Sarahcarr@Beltrew @PatrickKingsley @RaynerSkyNews @Alastair_Beach

News emerges that prisoners die in police custody following the clear-out of Al Fattah Mosque in Ramsis on Saturday. Till now, it is not confirmed how or why these men were killed, but rumour has it that tear gas was fired inside the truck transporting them, which had no windows, and they died of asphyxiation. 

Agence France-Presse (@AFP)
8/18/13, 9:39 PM
#BREAKING: Egypt police say 36 dead prisoners suffocated from tear gas

Gigi Ibrahim (@Gsquare86)
8/18/13, 10:34 PM
As if the past years of police brutality wasn't an enough of a testimony, a police that mass kills 38 prisoners in custody is unjustifiable!

Gigi Ibrahim (@Gsquare86)
8/18/13, 10:27 PM
Justifying a state who fails to protect churches, citizens, murders 100s daily & massacres prisoners w/ an even armed group is wrong #Egypt

And the campaign for people’s voices to be heard continues…

Khalid Abdalla (@khalidabdalla)
8/18/13, 10:20 PM
The aim is to make a discussion our country desperately needs more possible. That discussion is not happening, it is being silenced.#masmou3

  

August 19

24 members of Egypt's security forces are killed in a blast according to reports. Initial reports indicate that armed militants have attacked two vehicles carrying the soldiers with rocket launchers. Rafah border crossing is shut.

Jared Malsin (@jmalsin)
8/19/13, 7:52 AM
Between detainee deaths and reported Sinai attack, that's at least 60 dead in Egypt last night. And it's not even 9 a.m.

Relatives of the 36 Egyptian prisoners killed visit the morgue, seeking further information about their family members' deaths.

MK مريم (@MariamKirollos)
8/19/13, 10:29 PM
The backlash against human rights defenders is sickening. Ironically, they're the same ppl hysterically quoted on HR violations under Morsi.

Nervana Mahmoud (@Nervana_1)
8/19/13, 10:58 PM
The only way to defeat the Junta is to stop playing into their hands ..focus on winning back other partners in #jan25

On the same day, rumours circulate that Mubarak is soon to be released. The prosecution apparently clears Hosni Mubarak of a corruption case and as a result, Mubarak's lawyer states that a simple administrative procedure is all that is left and that it isn’t expected to take more than 48 hours. He could be freed before the end of the week.

Some tweets in response:

“@AlArabiya_Eng: #BreakingNews#Mubarak’s lawyer says expects former Egyptian president to be freed this week after prosecutor clears him in corruption case”
@isodera: #Egypt: @alarabiya_eng But, of course, the Army and the Dictator are one! Period. 

Tarek Shalaby (@tarekshalaby)
8/19/13, 12:14 PM
Mubarak could be freed this week. This is a real test for the revolution. We cannot give up or else we lose. We have to keep fighting #Jan25

Alaa Bayoumi (@Alaabayoumi)
8/19/13, 2:43 PM
#National #Salvation front in #Egypt is holding presser LIVE on state TV coming out in support of police and military forces

Samer Al-Atrush (@SameralAtrush) reports: Two Egyptian journalists killed when army fires on their car after curfew.

It turns out that only one of the journalists was killed, the other survives and is now detained under suspicion of possessing unlicensed weapons. This came only after he made a statement which would have questioned the military’s handling of the situation that night. For more information, go here.

Attacks on Christians continue…

Mina Fayek (@minafayek)
8/19/13, 9:53 PM
Just imagine the feeling when your house is marked with a red "X" & an Islamists march is passing by while no sign of police in city. #Minya 

Press releases & reports by human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: Human Rights Leaders Call for Action by Egyptian Authorities 

Human Rights Watch: Egypt: Security Forces Used Excessive Lethal Force

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights: The Organization demands an immediate investigation for the death of the MB detainees. 

EOHR demands the Egyptian Government to quickly arrest the assailants of the Sinai Soldiers.

 

August 20

The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, is arrested, found in an apartment near the Rabae sit-in.

السيد مانكي (@Sandmonkey)
8/20/13, 5:21 AM
The MB Supreme guide Mohamed Badie just got arrested pic.twitter.com/93uTyIaviZ

The political affairs chief of the UN arrives in Cairo for a series of discussions with Egyptian authorities and Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

President Adly Mansour declares 3 days of mourning over the 24 soldiers who were killed in northern Sinai.

آدم (@adamakary)
8/20/13, 3:06 PM
9 foreigners detained 15 days pending further investigation for their alleged involvement in attacks on Fath mosque/Azbakeya police station. 

دم (@adamakary)
8/20/13, 3:10 PM
#pt defendants accused of threatening nat'l security, disturbing social peace, possession of fire arms, etc - defendants denied all charges

Dalia Ezzat (@DaliaEzzat_)
8/20/13, 5:59 PM
Mubarak might be released, "Baradei in Vienna and Morsi in prison. Welcome back, 2010." - @Sandmonkey

A gruelling account of what it’s like for families of the deceased by Ned Parker, the former Baghdad bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, and Yassin Gaber, a Cairo-based Egyptian journalist and the former managing editor of Egypt Independent. 

And another account, by Kareem Fahim, of how the “Islamists Step Up Attacks on Christians for Suppoting Morsi’s Ouster”

Matt Bradley (@MattMcBradley)
8/20/13, 12:32 PM
Minya governor told me Brotherhood was definitely behind attacks on churches here. When I asked for evidence he had none. #egypt

Press releases & reports by human rights organisations:

Amnesty International: Recent bloodshed underscores urgent need to halt arms transfers to Egypt

Egypt: Government must protect Christians from sectarian violence 

 

August 21

Egyptian authorities arrest two more Islamist figures.

Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy)
8/22/13, 3:07 AM
So basically, security forces mass kill Muslim Brotherhood supporters in middle of the day and arrest their leaders at dawn. #Egypt 

Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi calls for the formation of a committee of different political and social powers to "rebuild the country". 

The release of former President Hosni Mubarak is ordered by Egyptian court. 

Quentin Sommerville (@sommervillebbc)
8/21/13, 1:36 PM
@Reuters An Egyptian court ordered the release of former President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday, a judicial and a security source said

Yasmin Elayat (@yelayat)
8/21/13, 2:24 PM
! RT @MattFordVI: Police just came by my apartment asking for passport and press card. New #Egypt starting to feel like the old one.

Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM)
8/21/13, 2:26 PM
Fmr Pres Mubarak next retrial date is on August 25 coincidently the date set for trial of Muslim Brotherhood leaders Shater/Badie #egypt

Ahmed Bedier (@bedier)
8/21/13, 3:11 PM
#Mubarak release means the counter revolution by the deep-state WON. Egyptians lost and paid a heavy price. #tahrir #scaf #rabaa

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights releases a Q&A report soon after it is announced that Hosni Mubarak will most likely be released: 

“The cases involving illicit gain, the presidential palaces and the receipt of gifts from press institutions are still pending; Mubarak has not yet been acquitted or convicted in these cases. For the charge of killing demonstrators, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on 2 June 2012. Following an appeal, the Court of Cassation overturned the judgment on 13 January 2013, and the retrial is currently underway.”

Blogger, the Big Pharaoh: Is the Revolution Dead Now?

Sherief Gaber, an Egyptian activist and blogger, ends the day with a chilling recollection of the price of life in Egypt in “Deaths without Dignity” published by Mada Masr on 21st August 2013. 

“Hopefully a struggle for dignity in death will call attention to the fact that we still have not found dignity in our daily lives, that Zeinhom is not an impoverished anomaly but part of a continuous chain of repression, debasement and punishment by the state that begins at birth and ends not in death but in Zeinhom……….Each one of them is Ahmed, each boy, each girl. All of those in Tahrir are Ahmed, and they'll find justice for him." If we can continue now when we feel so outnumbered from all sides, if we can continue to face Zeinhom when its very essence tries to break us, then we have not yet lost”.

su zee (@suzeeinthecity)
8/21/13, 2:11 PM
Spare a thought for the families of #jan25 martyrs & 1000s of injured who today received proof that they died for absolutely nothing #egypt

 

Background:

For photos of these days’ events, go to Mosaab El Shamy’s flickr page, who was also interviewed by Max Fisher for the Washington Post. 

David Degner photos of the “Churches looted and burnt in Upper Egypt” 

To understand events leading up to June 30th, Mohamad Bamyeh’s “The June Rebellion”, originally published on Jadaliyya on July 1, 2013. 

See ‘related articles’ for openDemocracy highlights.

 

Our next Egypt in the balance update will be published in the week of Monday, August 26, 2013.

Please send us your suggestions of relevant blogs, articles and twitter accounts to share with our readers worldwide, on arabawakening@opendemocracy.net

 

 


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