Egypt’s Roadmap to Repression
With a lull in the mass shooting of protesters and the lifting of a state of emergency, the past month presented Egypt’s rulers with an opportunity to return to a democratic path. Instead, the interim authorities have sought to institutionalize their repressive tactics with a restrictive new assembly law and a largely unreformed draft constitution, effectively canceling out the modest gains registered in the latest edition of Freedom House’s Egypt Democracy Compass.
“Over the last few months, there was at least a possibility that the harsh tactics used by the authorities since the summer would be a temporary crackdown, to be followed by more open policies once the immediate coup crisis had passed,” said Vanessa Tucker, vice president for analysis at Freedom House. “But now it is clear that the regime hopes to permanently impose a retrograde, Mubarak-style order on a population that is no longer willing to tolerate it.”
Although progress was noted in one of the eight indicators tracked by the Egypt Democracy Compass for November due to the removal of the state of emergency and a related curfew, the new assembly law and the mass arrests of both Islamist and non-Islamist activists caused backsliding on another indicator, meaning no overall gains were recorded.
Egypt Democracy Compass
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.