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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Oct. 30, 2018 (DPA photo via AP Images).

Egypt’s Sisi Has Established Brutal Authority, but Not a Secure Regime

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018

CAIRO—To the many Egyptians who took to the streets in January 2011 to bring down former President Hosni Mubarak, Cairo is full of reminders of the country's post-revolution failures. Tahrir Square is once again a bleak traffic-laden roundabout; just next to it, the Egyptian Museum is associated with torture by the military after activists were detained and interrogated there following a protest in March 2011. Nearby, the downtown area of Maspero is notorious for the massacre of Coptic Christians. To the east, Rabaa al-Adaweya Square symbolizes the violent repression of those, many of them from the Muslim Brotherhood, who opposed the military coup that brought the current president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, to power in July 2013.

Cairo’s charged urban geography frames the harshness of present-day Egypt. Since taking power, Sisi has used the security apparatus to eradicate dissent and eliminate any remnants of the civic space that emerged nearly eight years ago. Tens of thousands of Egyptians have been arrested. Cases of torture and forced disappearances have become common, and the use of military courts to prosecute civilians has widened. ...

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