Egypt Ends 2013 with Another Month of Post-Coup Repression
Further repressive measures in Egypt in December capped six months of arrests, deadly police assaults on protesters, and general democratic backsliding since the July 3 coup that overthrew the country’s first competitively elected president, according to the latest edition of Freedom House’s Egypt Democracy Compass.
An escalating crackdown on the media and political activists, and the extreme measure of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, demonstrated that the so-called “roadmap to democracy” laid out by the military and its allies is nothing more than a charade designed to solidify their authoritarian grip on power.
“Egypt’s leaders showed in December that they have no intention of building an inclusive, participatory democracy,” said Vanessa Tucker, vice president for analysis at Freedom House. “By declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, they have criminalized a sizable portion of the voting population. They later added insult to injury by escalating their assault on the media, thus ensuring that the broader public cannot access a diversity of viewpoints or unbiased information on the biggest political debates the country has ever seen.”
The country improved on one of the eight indicators tracked by the Egypt Democracy Compass due to the modest step of completing the draft of a new constitution. However, this development was overshadowed by a wide range of repressive actions, including arrests of journalists and activists, raids on civil society organizations, and the broadest expansion yet of the government’s furious assault on political Islam.
Egypt Democracy Compass
Blog: Freedom at Issue
Freedom in the World 2013: Egypt
Freedom of the Press 2013: Egypt
Freedom on the Net 2013: Egypt
Photo Credit: Lilian Wagdy
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.