On the ninth anniversary of the January 25 revolution, which toppled the regime of President Hosni
Mubarak, Egypt is in a state of anticipation, in light of calls on the internet to protest, amidst heightened
security in anticipation of any protests.
Security services have strengthened their presence in the vicinity of state institutions and vital
installations, coinciding with the 9th anniversary of the January 25 revolution and police day
celebrations, and have launched sweeping arrests of activists and opponents in a number of
In conjunction with campaigns to arrest activists and dissidents from their homes, dozens were arrested
indiscriminately from the central Cairo area and the vicinity of Tahrir Square, where the secret police
intensified their presence significantly, and arrested all suspected opponents, including journalists.
Observers say that the state of security alert and campaigns of arrest expose the fragility of the Egyptian
regime because al-Sisi realises he is not popularly loved and that security repression is his only means of
staying in power.
Politicians and social experts point out that protests are a healthy phenomenon, and it is normal in
democratic countries, and police forces usually secure them because the system trusts in its popularity.
But in contrast, dictatorial countries fear protests and work to suppress them because dictators realise
that if they allow the people to protest that will lead to the regime falling. Therefore, the suppression of
protests is evidence of the weakness and fragility of the system, not its strength.
Egyptian media loyal to the regime of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi published photos of security directors
in the governorates inspecting streets and squares, stressing dealing decisively and forcefully with any
attempts to break the law, referring to protests.
Cairo witnessed yesterday, “a state of security alert, and the security services pushed formations from
the central security sector and secret police elements in public places, while security forces were
concentrated in the axes and main roads.”
He added: “The security services have also strengthened their presence in the vicinity of vital areas,
places of worship and police locations.”
Coinciding with the ninth anniversary of the January revolution, the tone of media skirmishes between
supporters and opponents of popular protests rose.
As the debate flared up across the country’s social media platforms, streets and squares were calm.
Wael Ghonim, one of the youths of the 2011 revolution abroad, through his Twitter account, topped the
list of opponents to protests.
On the other hand, the opponent contractor, Mohammed Ali, whom government circles consider “a
traitor to the country,” called for protests in the streets and squares again.
In the same context, media officials close to authorities called for the opening of the main squares on
January 25, to show the failure of the calls to protest.
Wael Ghonim, whose brother Hazem was subjected to a temporary security arrest, published successive
video clips, calling on Egyptians not to protest, strike or ruin the country with chaos.
Ghonim acknowledged that the situation in his country is not good, but he described those calling for
popular protests in conjunction with the anniversary of the revolution, as “merchants of anger” and that
these calls harm the country.
Ghonim emphasised that the calls for popular protest do not bear an alternative vision, saying: “We did
the revolution in 2011 and failed.”
Mohamed Ali does not agree with Ghonim and intensified tweets calling on Egyptians to go down and
participate in popular protests calling for the departure of the regime.
It is ironic that the regime is terrified of discussions on the internet. Mohamed Ali lives in Spain and is
able to terrorise al-Sisi with a few videos calling for a protest. Isn’t this evidence of how weak the system
is despite the strength of the security services? Asked an Egyptian journalist, Mohamed Mounir.