The Arab Network for Human Rights Information said that democracy in Egypt continues to deteriorate in 2020 with the recurrent governmental violations of law. This was in the seventh report on democracy in Egypt issued by the Lawyers for Democracy initiative established by ANHRI.
The report brought up the official obituary of the late president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak despite his overthrow by the 25January Revolution and the final court indictment of him in the case of the presidential palaces, which contrasts with the sordid governmental treatment of the death of the late President Mohamed Morsi, the first elected civil president in Egypt’s history.
In the year of the pandemic, and despite the state of emergency, the state refused to lower the number of prisoners, rather the security bodies in Egypt went on detention campaigns that expanded to doctors and researchers who criticised the governmental treatment of the crisis. Moreover, the crackdown against human rights defenders has continued and escalated, and the Egyptian judiciary in collaboration with the security bodies expanded the detention of political detainees against the law through what has become known as “the revolving door policy” (inserting the prisoner in a new case with the same charges to renew his remand after getting parole in a previous case).
The report monitored that 94 out 364 various protests in 2020 were subjected to the violence of the Egyptian police. The Muslim Brotherhood remained in the front of the dissenting scene in Egypt with 111 protests against al-Sisi’s military regime despite of the violent coercion. The MB depended on the tactic of small quick demonstrations to escape the violence of police and avoid arrests of the protesters. The year 2020 witnessed continuous labour and social protests against the governmental policies that side with the rich against the poor; 173 labour protests were recorded indicating that a labour movement will remain a headache for the Egyptian regime. Student protests declined recording only 17 events amid security domination at universities and election fraud. Moreover, the report recorded 49 events during the 20September protests, which expanded to Upper Egypt and rural areas.
There were 78 trials of a political nature recorded with the MB in the front again with 56 trials compared to eight trials for civil democratic activists. In addition to this, 1,134 civilian citizens stood trial before military courts and 78 people were sentenced to death. The report monitored 32 people sentenced to death in cases of a political nature.
The passive revolution
Since 2013, the military took charge in Egypt inaugurating the years of bullets and prisons. Political parties were broken down, opponents were sent to prisons, demonstrators were confronted by bullets, media was expropriated in favour of the authorities, and the security bodies have predominated every detail in the country. Many believed that there was no hope for reform of the judiciary, military and parliament controlled by al-Sisi’s organs.
However, the political opposition in Egypt remained alive attempting to resist the dictatorship even by exposing its crimes and corruption. The Muslim Brotherhood has survived the massacres and the absence of its leaders who were either killed or imprisoned. The working classes started to realise the truth of the regime as a tyrant that allies with corrupt clients remembering what happened in the last years of Mubarak. Despite the coercion and continuous deterioration, the Egyptian regime remains under threat failing to anchor its feet. This pushes the regime to more and more coercion, but this coercion accumulates to fuel a new revolution.