Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Egypt to hold an anti-government protest

Anti-government activists prepare to hold a day of protests across Egypt, inspired by the recent events in Tunisia. Organisers of the anti-government movement called on the Egyptian people to come together for a "day of revolt against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment". Over 90,000 people have signed-up to participate in the protest, among them some members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). In a separate statement, however, the group has made clear that it would not officially participate in the protests.

The country's Interior Ministry issued a warning, ahead of the protests, saying that those demonstrating against the government would face outright arrest. The statement further explained that the country's “security apparatus will deal firmly and decisively with any attempt to break the law".

The organisers of the forthcoming protests are rallying people together on the Internet via Facebook, saying: “Our protest on the 25th is the beginning of the end… It is the end of silence, acquiescence and submission to what is happening in our country. It will be the start of a new page in Egypt's history - one of activism and demanding our rights."

The country's political opposition seems uncertain about the uprising with Mohamed El-Baradei encouraging Egyptians to take part, and the MB, who still remains the most powerful opposition movement, resorting to silence.

The social concerns and complains voiced by Tunisians, which led to the uprising, are echoed by the Egyptians, among them political corruption, high unemployment and an oppressive State. And much like in Tunisia, self immolation has hit record numbers in Egypt currently totalling at six. Over the last couple of weeks, Egypt has also seen a rise in young activists voicing their concerns about the shortcomings of the Egyptian government.

Sources: New York Times, BBC News, Reuters, Wall Street Journal

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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