With news of the acquittal and imminent release of Egypt’s deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak, the military regime has exposed its ugly face to full view.
Since the counterrevolutionary coup began on 30 June, the Egyptian people have been subjected to unprecedented brutal and humiliating persecution. This has eroded much of what had been accomplished by the revolution of January 2011.
The crackdown on peaceful rallies in Cairo’s Rabaa and Nahda squares on “black Wednesday” last week resulted in the deaths of many more than those reported killed in any single day by Bashar al-Assad or Muammar Gaddafi during the Syrian and Libyan revolutions. The numbers killed since the start of the coup are estimated at more than double those killed during the 2008 Israeli assault on Gaza.
Egyptians, and much of the world, watched in horror as the military and police stormed into the camps, torched tents while people were still sleeping inside them, and killed and maimed indiscriminately. Since then other massacres have been perpetrated in various parts of the country. Mosques were attacked to flush out protesters seeking refuge inside them, while evidence is emerging that some churches were torched in an attempt to implicate the Muslim Brotherhood and allied Islamists and thus justify the crackdown on them.
Crimes against humanity previously unheard of are being perpetrated in a systemic fashion with the aim of terrorising the entire population into submission to the new coup authorities. What remains of press and TV channels is under the absolute control of those in power and their task is to justify their brutality.
Yet, despite all this, the people of Egypt remain defiant. The past few days have proven beyond doubt that nothing the coup authorities do will extinguish the struggle for freedom and dignity. Rallies continue to be organised in support of legitimacy and democracy across the country. The more people die, the more people take to the streets.
The coup leaders and their media seek to convince local as well as international public opinion that they are fighting terrorism and that what they are doing is justifiable. Such terrorism, they claim, is led or incited by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is committed to peaceful protests and has pledged never to resort to violence in response to the violence perpetrated against it by the coup authorities. We believe that our peacefulness is a more powerful weapon than all the killing machines employed by the army or the police.
The worst terrorism that exists in Egypt today is that perpetrated against the people by the coup alliance, which conspired with the aid of Arab monarchies in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan, fully supported and lobbied for by Israel and with complicity of the United States of America and its western allies, in order to kill the Egyptian dream and undermine the Arab spring.
State institutions in Egypt, including the army, the police and the judiciary, have been hijacked and turned into tools of oppression. Those who willingly or knowingly participate in this project are hereby warned that they will one day, sooner or later, be brought to justice. I appeal to army and police officers and soldiers to rid themselves of the military uniform and go home.
The Egyptian people have decided to be true to their humanity and conscience. They are determined to rise up to defend their country against dictatorship and tyranny. They aim for a free and prosperous future for their children.
For the sake of Egypt, we will continue to take to the streets across the country peacefully to declare this coup null and void. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is pushing the country to an unprecedented level of chaos and state violence but we will not give him a chance to turn our beloved Egypt into another Syria, or to escape questioning about his crimes.
I address world conscience and public opinion. I appeal to world humanitarian and human rights organisations. I appeal to the international delegations that came to see us in Rabaa and who testified that we were completely peaceful, to stand for democracy and expose these war crimes.
The sacrifices made so far by the defenders of legitimacy have been made in order to put an end to the military rule that humiliated the Egyptians and persecuted them for more than 60 years. We made these sacrifices in order for Egypt to become a true democratic civil state in which human dignity is sanctified and human rights respected.
These sacrifices will continue until the Egyptian dream comes true. The counter-revolution will be defeated and the great Egyptian revolution will prevail.
This article first appeared on theguardian.com
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.