Thursday, February 03, 2011

More Updates On Egyptian Revolution Mubarak Thugs Attack Protesters in Cairo

Map of Cairo and the protesters

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Background of Egyptian Protest -Election Fraud Nov. 2010
US did nothing to insist on a fair election in Egypt because Mubarak is America's Friend who is given complete impunity to do as he wishes.
Some in the Western Media still raising unwarranted fears of the Muslim Brotherhood as if all the protesters in Egypt in the past week Jan 25-Feb 3 2011. are all from the Muslim Brotherhood

US administration ignores the complaints of vote rigging by their friendly repressive regime of Mubarak of Egypt
Even the complaints of Christian Egyptians are ignored by US government and the US Media
Coptics voice doubt over Egypt vote

Egyptian Rigged Elections Nov. 2010
Real News Network

Egypt Protests updates: The Guardian, Feb. 2, 2011

12.14am GMT:CloseLink to this update: It's after 2am in Cairo – time to wrap up the live blog for the evening, although we'll be keeping a close eye on an outbreaks of further violence. Here are the highlights this evening:

• At least three people were killed and as many as 1,500 injured in a day of violence in central Cairo, as supporters of the Mubarak regime appeared in force. Protesters found plainclothes policemen among them

• Fighting continued around Tahrir Square past midnight, with both sides building barricades and pro-government supporters throwing molotov cocktails, setting fire to cars and buildings while the army refused to intervene

• The US government incrementally increased its pressure on Mubarak to step down and for reforms to take place, with Hillary Clinton speaking directly to vice president Omar Suleiman

• Pro-government forces appear to have arrested or attacked journalists reporting on the bloody events in Cairo. CNN presenter Anderson Cooper and his crew were among those attacked

You can read earlier updates here.

Thanks for reading – we'll be back tomorrow.

12.01am GMT:CloseLink to this update: One last entry – a very depressing piece of analysis by Robert Springborg in Foreign Policy, who argues the upshot will be "back to business as usual with a repressive, US-backed military regime":

While much of American media has termed the events unfolding in Egypt today as "clashes between pro-government and opposition groups," this is not in fact what's happening on the street. The so-called "pro-government" forces are actually Mubarak's cleverly orchestrated goon squads dressed up as pro-Mubarak demonstrators to attack the protesters in Midan Tahrir, with the Army appearing to be a neutral force. The opposition, largely cognizant of the dirty game being played against it, nevertheless has had little choice but to call for protection against the regime's thugs by the regime itself, ie, the military. And so Mubarak begins to show us just how clever and experienced he truly is. The game is, thus, more or less over.

The threat to the military's control of the Egyptian political system is passing. Millions of demonstrators in the street have not broken the chain of command over which President Mubarak presides. Paradoxically the popular uprising has even ensured that the presidential succession will not only be engineered by the military, but that an officer will succeed Mubarak. The only possible civilian candidate, Gamal Mubarak, has been chased into exile, thereby clearing the path for the new vice president, Gen. Omar Suleiman.

On that happy thought: good night.
Jack Shenker

11.48pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: The Guardian's Jack Shenker reports on the fires now burning in central Cairo:

The fire you can see on television streams is a tree burning at the junction of Mohamed Haggag street and Mahmoud Basyuni, just off Abdel Munim Riyad square where the pro-Mubarak fighters are coming up against the anti-Mubarak protesters' barricade.

It's just two blocks from my apartment building so I know this area well. From my vantage point it appears as if the burning tree has set alight parts of a derelict structure nearby – a beautiful old corner building with gargoyles carved above the doorways - which is thankfully empty, though there are many densely-populated residential blocks just a stone's throw away.

It's almost 2am in Egypt, and amid all the drama on our screens and rumours zipping around on the web, we shouldn't lose sight of one basic and incredible fact – for the ninth night running, ordinary Egyptians are on the streets in their thousands, still bound together with remarkable social solidarity, still battling their three-decade-old dictatorial regime, still holding their ground even as it is rained on by rocks and molotov cocktails.

Downtown Cairo is aflame tonight, its streets playing host to block-by-block, roof-by-roof, corner-by-corner urban warfare – but it's the bravery behind those fighting that battle that should really be leaving people open-mouthed.

11.31pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: Frank Wisner, the US special envoy sent by Obama to talk to Egypt's government, is on his way back to the US, empty-handed it would appear. AP reports:

The White House had attempted to nudge Mubarak to the exits, dispatching former US Ambassador Frank Wisner as a special envoy to deliver the message to him. But by Wednesday, Wisner was on his way back to the United States.

A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the delicacy of the matter, suggested Wisner had been seeking specific pledges from Mubarak beyond just a promise not to stand for re-election. The official would not elaborate, but the administration has made no secret of the fact that it wants the state of emergency lifted and would prefer to see Mubarak's son, Gamal, not try to succeed his father. Mubarak mentioned neither in his address Tuesday night.

11.26pm GMT:CloseLink to this update: Sharif Kouddous, a prolific Egyptian tweeter and blogger in Cairo, describes "a brutal and coordinated campaign of violence" by the Mubarak regime, in an article posted on Democracy Now's website:

"Suddenly, rocks started falling out of the sky," said Ismail Naguib, a witness at the scene. "Rocks were flying everywhere. Everywhere." Many people were hit. Some were badly cut, others had arms and legs broken. The mob then charged in; some rode on horseback and camels, trampling and beating people. Groups of them gathered on rooftops around Tahrir and continued to pelt people with rocks.

"It's a massacre," said Selma al-Tarzi as the attack was ongoing. "They have knives, they are throwing molotov bombs, they are burning the trees, they are throwing stones at us ... this is not a demonstration anymore, this is war."

Some of the attackers were caught. Their IDs showed them to be policemen dressed in civilians clothes. Others appeared to be state sponsored "baltagiya" (gangs) and government employees. "Instead of uniformed guys trying to stop you from protesting. You've got non-uniformed guys trying to stop you from protesting," Naguib said.

During 2nd day of bloody clashes in Egypt, foreign journalists arrested By Will Englund , Griff Witte and Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, February 3, 2011

CAIRO - As bloody attacks on anti-government demonstrators in central Cairo continued for a second day Thursday, Egypt's new vice president appealed for patience in implementing reforms but warned against unspecified conspiracies and flatly rejected opposition demands that President Hosni Mubarak leave power immediately.

...a growing chorus of international condemnation as dozens of foreign journalists and human rights workers were arrested.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the arrests part of a "concerted campaign to intimidate" foreign press. "We condemn such actions," Crowley said.

"We have expressed our grave concerns with government officials in the Foreign Ministry and the [Egyptian] Embassy here in Washington," Crowley said later. "We are in touch with the military as well."

Egypt's Information Ministry said that journalists were rounded up across the capital but that it did not know by whom or where the reporters were being held.

Those detained included Washington Post Cairo bureau chief Leila Fadel, Post photographer Linda Davidson and an Arabic-speaking interpreter. The New York Times said two of its reporters were held overnight but had been released, and al-Jazeera said three of its journalists were detained and a fourth was missing.

Fadel and Davidson were released later Thursday from custody at the headquarters of the Egyptian military police, but they were not being permitted to leave a hotel near Cairo's aiport. Two Post employees remained in custody, said Douglas Jehl, the Post's foreign editor. The two - interpreter Sufian Taha and an Egyptian driver, Mansour el-Sayed Mohammed Abo Gouda - were separated from Fadel and Davidson, and their whereabouts were unknown.

Human Rights Watch said one of its American staffers, former journalist Dan Williams, was among several rights workers taken into custody when police and army personnel raided the Hisham Mubarak Law Center.

A total of eight people have been killed in violence over the past two days, Egypt's Health Ministry said. Hundreds have been injured. Doctors working with the anti-government protesters said five of the dead were shot in Tahrir Square before dawn Thursday by Mubarak loyalists.

In his interview on state television, Suleiman said Wednesday's assault by Mubarak supporters was the result of a "conspiracy." He added: "We should find out who was pulling the strings, and they will be strictly and fiercely penalized. ... We will identify who mobilized them and why they were engaged in fighting and why the clashes were not ended swiftly."

Suleiman also asserted that the anti-government protesters had been "infiltrated" by "certain groups," including unspecified foreigners. He raised the prospect that the Muslim Brotherhood or even business interests could be pursuing their own agendas by manipulating "the over-enthusiasm of the youth to divert them to certain acts."

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