Egyptians protest against a year of army rule

Afrasian.com: “Egyptians rally against defiant military rulers”

Egyptian military policement lined up behind barbed wire

Thousands of people rallied outside Egypt’s defence ministry Friday calling for the military rulers’ ouster a day before a civil disobedience campaign marking Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow a year ago.

The military responded by saying it would not bow to threats or plots against the state, official television reported.

During the day, several groups of protesters converged near the ministry as the security forces blocked off access with barbed wire and tanks.

Military music blared from behind the barrier, while the activists chanted slogans such as: “The people want the execution of the Field Marshal” — Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military council since Mubarak’s ouster.

The activists set off from several points across Cairo and snaked through residential areas to bypass military cordons several kilometres (miles) from the military headquarters.

The protesters plan a day of strikes and sit-ins to mark the anniversary on Saturday. Continue reading

Egypt: Women activists attacked by military with particular ferocity

Female protesters systematically targeted,

say rights watchdogs

Egypt Independent, 18/12/2011

Local human rights watchdogs on Sunday accused the Egyptian military of systematically targeting female political activists, and demanded that Egypt’s military rulers admit to violations committed against demonstrators.

In a joint statement, five human rights organizations accused military rulers of exercising “unprecedented violence against protesters, with the targeting of female activists being a distinctive feature of the proceedings to disperse sit-ins, as depicted in pictures and video clips showing protesters being arrested, beaten, dragged and stripped of their clothes.”

This video shows army soldiers  beating an older female activist named Khadiga al-Hennawy.

While this video shows army soldiers dragging, beating and stripping a female protester in the street.

The statement was signed by Nazra for Feminist Studies, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center and the Women and Memory Association.

They also called for the establishment of an independent judicial committee to investigate crimes against peaceful protestors.

The statement argued that the army’s decision to target female activists “is a continuation and escalation of a clear militarization policy against female human rights defenders, which was adopted by the former regime, and which is continuing after the 25 January revolution.”

“The frequency of the violence by the armed forces and the police is not a coincidence, but rather a pattern and a policy,” the statement added.

Critics say that the Mubarak regime also used to attack female protesters. In 2005, during an anti-Mubarak demo, female protestors were subjected to sexual harassment by unidentified individuals in civilian clothes. The public prosecutor closed investigations into the case, alleging a lack of evidence. Continue reading

Unyielding young Egyptian protesters refuse to succumb to military brutality

Citizen Action Monitor, December 17, 2011

“At least nine people have been killed in Egypt and more than 350 injured in the past two days of clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo. Soldiers have cleared Tahrir Square of protesters. And footage showed troops beating demonstrators and burning their tents. Protesters are calling for the country’s military rulers to step down. But the military blamed the protesters for the violence, and the country’s prime minister denied that excessive force was used.”Al Jazeera

Here is an Al Jazeera video clip that captures the ferocity of military brutality against courageous young protesters. Also featured is Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzouri’s bald-faced lies that the protests are “an attack against the revolution” and that military action is designed to “rescue the revolution.”

Egypt clashes continue for second day, Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports from Cairo December 17, 2011

Force and fire. That’s how security forces responded minutes after the Egyptian prime minister promised no violence will be used. Protesters didn’t expect much from the man whose very choice of head of cabinet was the main reason behind their sit-in. Still what he had to say disappointed many.

Kamal El Ganzouri, Egyptian Prime Minister – “What we’re having today is not a revolution. It’s an attack against the revolution. I told the youths that I have met, more than 350 of you on 11 days. They are youth from this country. I’ve met them and I told them – This is a government to rescue the revolution of the 25 of January.

But there was no rescue for these protesters who continued battling the military for the second day in a row. The violence spread from the cabinet and parliament buildings into Tahrir Square where the revolution began. Security forces stepped up their campaign after a government building, including a historic research centre, was set on fire in the melee.

They [state television] televised live footage of the violence. It gave the same line as military officials – that the protesters were simply carrying out acts of vandalism. No reference was made to security forces attacking other media. But whatever Egyptians were being told on state television, those on the ground, the ugliness they’ve witnessed first-hand is indisputable.

Indisputable, too, is the fact that the military council is gradually losing political ground. Already a new civilian advisory council that it had appointed, the new relations between the army and the protesters has suspended its work. The question now is whether the men in uniform will change their ways and if there’s even the will to do so.