That the road from revolution to a new Egypt is arduous and twisting comes as no surprise. But few expected that today, one month from presidential elections, Egypt would be moving toward more repression and less accountability than under the deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s crackdown on human-rights organizations, the prosecution and sentencing of the comic actor Adel Imam and the notorious imposition of Article 28, which removes the basic rights of citizens to challenge anything about the upcoming presidential election, create a trifecta of repression.
Blood is being spilled on Cairo’s streets once again, with up to 20 dead and counting, plus scores wounded by thugs attacking protesters outside the Ministry of Defense. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) is consolidating its power. With the leading human rights organizations — Freedom House, National Democratic Institute, International Republic Institute, the International Center for Journalists and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation — facing prosecution, oversight of the elections will be minimal at best. The government is eroding the power of civil society to help build a truly democratic Egypt.
This is what opaque, unaccountable, monarchic rule looks like. The way this was done is not a way that gives any transparency. If you’re another senior prince or another senior businessman, you don’t know what you can do to avoid a similar fate.