Archiv für September 2011

UPDATE A military president?

On Monday, the 26th of September, Hussein Tantawi, chief of the ruling military council, visited Downtown Cairo – apparently without journalists or security and, for the first time since decades, not in uniform but in dress. But somebody was filming with his phone and the state-TV showed this scene in the news: Tantawi, in dress, passing the shopping street of Downtown, shaking hands with citizens.

The incident was discussed intensively in liberal press and among activists – and was seen by many as further confirmation of rumors that army-chief Tantawi is planning to run for president in the upcoming elections. In the same time, Al-Shorouq newspaper brought out news that the presidential elections will be postponed to end of 2012 or 2013, from official side this was not confirmed so far. The parlamentary elections will start in november 2011.

Update (October 6th):
The new timetable for elections, postponing presidential elections to end of 2012 or later, rises among political analysts exactly these fears:
“It seems that the military has its own candidate,” says Ammar Ali Hassan, political analyst and columnist. “It [the military] is waiting for the ripe moment when public opinion is willing to accept the idea of having a presidential candidate who belongs to the military.”
writes Al-Masr Al-Youm in a good article about the topic.

UPDATE Elections start in november

Finally: On Tuesday, the 27th, the military leadership announced the dates for the upcoming elections: Candidates can register from the 12 of october on. The parlament will be elected in three rounds.
- The people assembly (lower house) will be elected on 28th of november, 14th of december and 3rd of january, each round the voting takes place in different districts (Cairo p.e. the 28th of november).
- For the Shura (upper house) the elections will start on 29th of january.
In march both houses should have their first assembly.

At the same time there were some information that the presidential elections, said to be held shorty after the parlamentary ones, will be postponed to end of 2012 or 2013.

On Sunday, just two days before announcing the dates, the government, backed by the military, confirmed again a change to the election law. The new law amendments are criticized widely by politicians, parties and activists. One third of the seats will now be given to „independent“ candidates in a single-winner system (the winner of a election district will take all the votes and get to seats, all other votes are lost) while the rest will be elected through a list-based system. Questions were rised who these „independent“ candidates will be and fears that these seats might be given through corruption or to candidates loyal to the old regime (that always used the singe-winner system) or the ruling military. The government changed the election law several times in the last month, still many facts about how the elections will be organized or controlled remain unclear. The military council announced before it will not allow any international observers. Further concerns are rised due to the fact that the emergency law is in full power again since three weeks – how can there be free elections or a free election campaign while every discussion of the politics of the ruling military council can be punished, demonstrations have to be allowed and everybody can be arrested without any reason?

Update (4. Okt.)
After a meeting of 13 party-leaders on Saturday the SCAF decided to take the changes back (articel in the taz in german about the changes), all seats of the parliament will be given by party-lists. The parties now will therefor not boycott the elections. The deal the parties signed with the SCAF was nontheless critizied for ignoring same important demands: the ending of the emergency law for example. Protests came also from other side: As the government announced and confirmed today that some former members of Mubaraks party NDP are not allowed to take part in the elections, members of the 10 parties that evolved from the former NDP threatened with protests, blocking of roads and cuts in electricity. The announced a march with 15 million people on Tahrir – in favor of the old regime. Counter-revolution II?

Ausnahmezustand

Ägypten im Ausnahmezustand. Für eine Zusammenfassung der Ereignisse in Ägypten siehe Artikel in der taz, zu Israels Reaktion in der Süddeutschen, für ein Beispiel der Berichterstattung, wie sie die europäischen Medien und Agenturen dominiert die Zeit. Die EU, USA und die internationale Gemeinschaft hat das Militär nun offenbar hinter sich, wenn es gegen jede Art von weiteren Protesten und Streiks vorgeht.

Ereignisse vom Sonntag:

- Nach der Wiedereinsetzung des Ausnahmegesetzes hat eine Verhaftungswelle eingesetzt: 93 Personen wurden am Sonntag festgenommen, sie wurden von der wieder aktivierten Sicherheitspolizei Amn el-Dawla in ihren Häusern bzw. Arbeitsstellen verhaftet – das ist seit der Revolution nicht mehr geschehen! Die Regierung behauptet, sie seien am Angriff auf die Botschaft beteiligt und werden von Sondergerichten verurteilt werden. Aktivisten sagen, es handele sich um Protestierende, die auf dem Tahrirplatz waren.

- Derweil häufen sich Vorwürfe gegen das Militär, der Vorfall an der Botschaft sei von diesem initiiert. Augenzeugen berichten, die vier jungen Männer, die zuerst in die Botschaft eindrangen, seien von Soldaten bis zur Tür der Botschaft gebracht worden, diese haben dies später in Interviews bestätigt. Ein Salafiten-Führer der zunächst den Angriff auf die Botschaft guthieß, veröffentlichte Sonntag abend eine Nachricht: Hinter dem Angriff auf die Botschaft steckt das Militär. Wir müssen uns auf eine baldige Konfrontation einstellen.

- Innenminister Essawy verteidigt die neuen harten Regeln: Jeder der versuche eine Polizeistation oder ein offizielles Gebäude angreife auf den werde direkt geschossen, schießen die Polizisten nicht, werden sie hart bestraft. Das Notstandsgesetz werde insbesondere gegen Drogen- und Waffenhändler, thugs („Verbrecher“, häufig für Protestierende verwendete Beschuldigung) sowie Streikende (!) angewandt.

- Al-Jazeera Ägypten ist weiter dicht. Die Regierung hat heute 16 internationale Fernsehstationen angegriffen, Sendegeräte beschlagnahmt und Mitarbeiter verhaftet. Mehreren bekannten Fernsehmoderatoren wurde am Sonntag abend jeder weitere TV-Auftritt verboten.

- Der heute begonnene Prozess gegen die Verantwortlichen der „Camel battle“ ist vertagt. Live-Übertragung ab morgen verboten.

9/9 Angriff auf die Botschaft

Freitag abend auf dem Tahrir-Platz: Der friedliche Protesttag war vorbei, im Abendlich Gruppen mit Handschuhen und Plastiktüten über den Platz um ihn zu säubern. Doch während die einen noch aufräumten, sorgten andere wenige Kilometer weiter für mehr Scherben als wohl jemand an diesem Abend erwartet hätte. Schon am frühen Nachmittag war eine Gruppe von Demonstrant_innen zur israelischen Botschaft gezogen, die in einem 20-stöckigen Gebäude neben der Nilbrücke zum Stadtteil Giza liegt. Dort ist letzte Woche eine gewaltige Mauer errichtet worden, die verhindern soll, dass wie vor wenigen Wochen Demonstrant_innen an das Gebäude gelangen. Vor vier Wochen war ein junger Ägypter an der Außenwand der Fassade hinaufgeklettert und hatte unter dem Jubel von Zuschauern die israelische Flagge verbrannt und die ägyptische gehisst (später hatte ihm der Gouverneur seiner Heimatstadt eine Wohnung und einen Job versprochen, noch später hat die Zeitung Al-Masr Al-Youm herausgefunden, dass es sich scheinbar nicht um eine einzelne Person, sondern eine Gruppe von vier Leuten handelte, und der gefeierte Ahmad Shafat gar nicht derjenige war, der geklettert war.)

(mehr…)

Finally: 9/9

For weeks, actitivist were calling for a march on Friday 9th of september, called „friday of correction of the way“. It’s the first march since the army cleared the square on 1st of August, since this date, no group was able to enter Tahrir Square, instead, it was „occupied“ by hundreds of soldiers and riot-police-officers who were standing guard to prevent new protests. Till the last moment it was not sure they army would allow the protest – finally thursday evening the army left the square and people started gathering in smaller and bigger groups, chanting, lying in the grass of the inner part that had been closed for weeks now, trying the „seats“ they army brought in for their soldiers or using them to climb on and waving flags.

Friday morning: Desillusion. Just few hundred people on the square. Small marches through the streets of downtown.

After noon: People finally come in, the crowd is growing, several tenthousand join now. Chants for a civilian government, against the army. Many workers groups and some left parties join, also several thousands ultras of the clubs Ahly and Zamalek joined, the had a huge fight with the police two days before, the police had attacked them in the stadion when they started chanting a revolutionsong.

Images of Tahrir Square around 2pm…

Etwas später als geplant, aber sie kommen noch ;-) Die neuesten zwei Ausgaben, des Newsletter Tahrir unten in der Seitenleiste! Nummer 4 in Kürze… / Later than originally planed, but now they are out, the two new issues of the Newsletter Tahrir down in the Sidebar, issue n° 4 coming soon (German).

UPDATE Save Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Imprisoned blogger and activist Maikel Nabil Sanad’s life is in danger: after a hungerstrike for almost two weeks and a thirst strike for six days he’s in coma since three days. The army brought him to the military hospital, no one is allowed to see him. Sanad was arrested in march and sentenced to 3 years for „insulting the army“ after writing an article on his blog about the role of the army during the revolution.

The last months the movement of young protesters and also the groups of prisoner support didn‘t care so much about Maikel – many activists didn‘t like him because of his closed contacts to israelien (anti-war-)activists, others feared supporting him could be dangerous because of his open critic of the army. While he was internationally well-known and had supporters in anti-war-group all over the world, in Egypt himself by wide parts of the movement either didn‘t like or didn‘t know him.

This changed now: Cartoonist Carlos Latuff draw a comic for him, there are various calls to support Maikel Nabil in the internet, a group staged a protest in front of the Syndicate of Journalists in Cairo Downtown (video). The No Military Trials Group that got famous for protesting succesfully against military trials for activists, produced another video where well-known activists and politicians call to support Maikel Nabil. May it be of help…

UPDATE: Maikel is out of the hospital since Tuesday according to supporters, his health state is slightly better since he started to drink, but he announced to stop drinking from Friday on again. The court announced it will decide upon his appeal to review the case november 1st.

weiterlesen: Artikel in der taz und aktuelle Infos auf der Aktionsseite von Connection e.V.