After deposed President Hosni Mubarak was acquitted in the case of killing protestors in the January Revolution, the case of the January Revolution Martyrs is completely closed, as the ruling is a final ruling issued by the highest court, the Cassation Court. This was preceded by the acquittal of all the past leadership and leaders before Mubarak’s rule, including ministers, members of the national party and businessmen accused by the Egyptian people of corruption.
This draws the curtain on the entire January Revolution because all of those who carried out the revolution are either in prison or six feet under, and all of those who carried out the counter revolution are alive and free, enjoying the blessings of the country they looted. Egypt has returned to its former self and the Mubarak regime has been fully restored. Will this be a death sentence for the glorious January Revolution that called for a good life, freedom and social justice, and chanted “Lift your head up high, you’re Egyptian”?
There is no freedom in Egypt and no social justice. Instead, oppression and corruption is widespread. The cases of forced disappearances, torture and liquidation of those opposed to the regime have increased without putting them on trial. There have been more cases of human rights violations in Egypt and it reached an unprecedented number. The media in Egypt has been nationalised; everyone is writing and saying what the media officer in the army dictates to them and no one is allowed to cross the line drawn for them.
Everything has become militarised, as if the country has become a military camp within the army’s republic. The Egyptians’ life has become more miserable after the Egyptian pound was floated. It was a disaster for Egyptian citizens, as there was a crazy increase in prices, which impacted the middle class, so imagine what it did to the lower poorer class which has grown and represents 40 million Egyptians who live under the poverty line, according to the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics. Al-Sisi recently said in one of his meetings where he tries to improve his image: “Didn’t anyone tell you you’re very, very, very poor?” He repeated it three times in a provocative manner, as if he were putting the Egyptians down. This came at the same time that the American Department of Justice reported on its official website that the Egyptian intelligence agency signed a contract with an American advertising company to improve Al-Sisi’s foreign image and paid the company $30 million. Wouldn’t these millions have been better spend on the Egyptians to improve their living conditions, especially since this money belongs to them?
Yesterday, Egyptians protested in Alexandria and a number of other municipalities for a loaf of bread, after the government decided to cut subsidisation. They called for overthrowing Al-Sisi and neither the police nor the army were able to prevent the anger of the people, so the government was forced to back down from the decision. This reminded the people of the 18 and 19th January 1977 riots during Sadat’s rule; can the bread riot occurring yesterday be an indicator of the hunger revolution many have predicted?
The days are filled with events and perhaps these events will occur in the coming days. Would the Egyptians only revolt for bread and not revolt against the coup and for the blood shed at the hands of the military while they were the ones who took to the streets in January to demand a dignified life and freedom? Some believe there is no harm in this, as the French Revolution started with bread and overthrew the monarchy, so will the coup be overthrown by the next revolution of the hungry?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.