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Egypt: People Rights Vs Military Dictatorship: What Arab spring brought to Egypt? Is it Democracy or Military Coup?
The ECCD conference at the People’ Social Forum
Ottawa from Aug 22 2014.
- Roger Annis (journalist)
- José Del Pozo (prof of Latin America History UQAM)
- Mohamed Kamel (ECCD)
In April, a brutal Egyptian judge known locally as "the Butcher" handed down a mass death sentence to 683 men. To most civilized observers, this kind of action is associated with the world's most tyrannical regimes.
But to the Harper government, this is the behaviour of a country "progressing towards democracy."
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I never liked the term "Arab Spring"; it has a connotation of over-optimism that can't be rationally understood in a region that painfully emerged out of French and British colonialism to quickly fall into a new era of cultural and economic colonialism where foreign soldiers were replaced by TV satellite dishes, Coca-Cola and Star Academy-like shows.
The world remembers January 25, 2011 as the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution and a key date in the "Arab Spring." It inspired the world with its grassroots and ad hoc energy as well as its inspiring principles: prosperity, freedom, and human dignity. Three years later, we find a movement stalled and even in reverse especially after the military coup of July 3, 2013. On the third anniversary, we examine the status, legacy and future of this revolution, Egypt, and the Arab Spring. Our invited speaker is Prof. Fadel, from UofT Law School to present perspectives on the situation in relation to democracy and human rights as well as offer his view on possible ways forward. The talk is followed by Q&A period.
Once again Conservative ideology has trumped what's right.
Prominent Toronto filmmaker/professor John Greyson and London, Ontario, physician/professor Tarek Loubani have been locked up in an Egyptian jail for nearly 40 days.
After a prosecutor recently extended their detention by 15 days, these two courageous individuals launched a hunger strike demanding their release or to at least be allowed two hours a day in the fenced-in prison yard.
Before President Mohamad Morsi had barely warmed his seat as head of state, demonstrations prompted Egypt's military to remove him from office. After one year, the country's first democratically elected president was now held at an undisclosed location. It was the only way, the military argued, that Egypt could be saved from political polarization and violence; the only way the country could restore democracy and avoid descending into chaos. But what has occurred over the last two months of military rule has been nothing short of chaotic.