Egypt marks revolution's third anniversary reeling from violence

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Three years ago, on 25 January, 2011, angry Egyptians demanded their ruler of 30 years step down. For 18 days, they demonstrated in central Cairo for Hosni Mubarak to go.

Finally, after repeated clashing, on 11 February, 2011, the president caved in, and transferred powers to the army.

The Mubarak regime finished, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution, which the protesters had insisted on.

By June 2012, the country held its first democratic presidential election in history and the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Mursi, won.

One year later, he was presiding over a very divided Egypt, and the army removed him from office, on the grounds that a large part of the population were dissatisfied with his performance.

Since then, there has been bloodshed and deadly violence. The interim military authorities cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Several thousand of its members have been killed or arrested since General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi took over from Mursi. The Brotherhood in December was declared a terrorist organisation.

Just days ahead of the anniversary of the people’s uprising, Amnesty International published a report on Egypt’s instability, talking about unprecedented violence. The NGO said the Egyptian authorities have crushed dissidents and stamped on human rights.

Khaled Mansour, at the head of an Egyptian initiative gives his view: “We have a long way to go to achieve the objectives of the January 25 revolution and even the demands of the people who went to the streets on 30 of June, and I think the first step is to genuinely and in a credible manner respect human rights — civil, political, social and economic. And always remember that it’s poverty and marginalisation that is the root of political disturbances and politically motivated violence or so-called ‘terrorism.’‘’

New presidential elections are expected to be held soon, following the recent adoption of a new constitution, confirmed overwhelmingly by a referendum a few days ago. General Sissi is expected to submit his candidature to become the elected president.

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