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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

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Nov 11, 2011

The Fate of Young Political Activists

The Egyptian Revolution of January 25th 2011 has been recognized worldwide as a model for its peaceful success, which brought down the previous authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak.

The young Egyptians not only inspired the uprising but also were the vanguard of the revolution. Their political success has inspired younger generations globally to rise up and challenge their governments, even in democratic societies, demanding political and economic reforms. Such political movements have been going on in many cities, particularly in the U.S., Spain, Italy, Germany, China and India.

It is regrettable to say that the Egyptian Higher Military Council, who played a positive role in protecting the revolution during its first stage of uprising, began to change its original strategy.

Many of the demands set by the protestors were not met. Furthermore, many of the supporters and followers of the previous regimes are still part of the functioning government, especially in the areas of the judicial system, the media both electronic and print and the political security system. Also, the emergency law that was supposed to be lifted is still in use. According to the Egyptian press, more than twelve thousand Egyptians have been arrested and many consists of young political activists who have defied the military power and continue their protests to achieve their goal. However, during the past few weeks, several prominent members of the leadership of the young group who played an active role in the Egyptian uprising have been arrested and are waiting to be tried by an Egyptian military court.

The latest well-known political activist is Alaa Abed il-Fatah, who has been accused by the military security as a criminal who stole weapons from the Egyptian military security and was calling on young Egyptians to attack the military security forces during the Copts’ protest in front of Maspero TV station in Cairo last October 9th. Alaa has denied the accusation and he has been in prison pending further investigation by the Egyptian military court. The Egyptian press has revealed a rumor that Alaa was offered release if he stopped attacking General Tantawi, the head of the Egyptian Higher Military Council, but he refused to do so and said that his supporters will continue the struggle for the liberation of Egyptians from the authoritarian rulers. The Egyptian press reported (11/9/2011) that Alaa’s mother, Dr. Liala Sueif began a hunger strike in protest of the jailing of her son. Another young Egyptian individual has joined the protest with Alaa’s mother to send a message to the Military Council demanding that he be tried in front of a civil court instead of a military one.

The supporters of Alaa marched with his mother to protest in front of the Turah prison and were attacked by a group of hoodlums to disperse their protest. I wonder who sent such hoodlums to do the dirty job for the military.

In the meantime, international press such as the British Guardian newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post and other newspapers have criticized the Egyptian Military Council for their un-democratic ruling and the suppression of free press and free speech. After all, the Egyptian revolution objectives were not only the removal of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, but also to restore democracy, justice, freedom and free expression. The emergency military law should be abolished and civilian, not military, courts should try suspected violations of the law. Torture of suspects is still taking place in Egyptian prisons. The security officers who killed Khalid Saeed received seven-year jail sentences. Such light sentences encourage some security investigators to continue with their inhumane torture of prisoners. The latest murder case that was reported a few days ago was the death of Issam Atta. Reports revealed that the security found a cellular phone in the possession of Atta and that led to his torture and death. If they are found guilty, those security officers should receive death sentences in order to set a new standard for others. It is regrettable to point out that many indications going on reflect on the changing policy of the Egyptian Higher Military council. The military commands are drifting away from the Egyptian public and want to maintain their authority and control of the Egyptian society. After all, they were part of the previous three regimes from 1952 until January 25th, 2011.

It will be a miracle if the Egyptian Military Council will surrender their authority to a civilian government after the forthcoming election, which is scheduled at the end of November 2011. After all the main objectives of the January 25th Revolution were democracy, justice, equality and freedom of expression. Let us hope that such demands will finally be accomplished without more bloodsh

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