Today, Egyptians will protest at Tahrir Square in Cairo to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Arab Spring. With the
Today, Egyptians will protest at Tahrir Square in Cairo to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Arab Spring.
With the Arab Spring ousting then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is undoubtedly uncomfortable with today’s protesters calling for his removal. Already, authorities have arrested six suspects they believe are connected to Hasm – a Turkish offshoot of outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
With Turkey providing refuge to Muslim Brotherhood leaders following the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, tension has been escalating between the two states. As opponents in the crises in Libya and Syria as well as competitors for natural gas along the Mediterranean, Cairo is concerned about Ankara’s domestic influence. Last week, Egyptian authorities closed the Turkish Anadolu news agency, arresting four of its employees.
Since two Coptic churches were bombed by ISIL assailants three years ago, Egyptian authorities under a declared state of emergency have had broad arresting powers. Decrying the arrests as overzealous and part of a larger issue of unwarranted detentions, protesters are demanding the release of 60,000 prisoners. With Al-Sisi showing strong resistance to domestic dissent, expect today’s protest to have little impact as he further consolidates his power and regional influence.
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