Amnesty International Article on the
Rabaa al-Adawiya Killings in Egypt
On August 14th, 2014, Amnesty International published a piece written by Mohamed Elmessiry, one of their researchers on Egypt. In the post, he describes what he saw during the summer of last year when Egyptian forces killed over 600 protesters. This is a powerful piece, and one that shows the level of violence that the military carried out against not only Muslim Brotherhood supporters, but anyone opposed to the military. Yet, as Amnesty International points out, despite these killings, not one person has been tried for these crimes. In fact, El-Sisi continues to trample on notions of liberal democracy by his actions against those critical of his regime and the way that he came to power.
In all of this, it is important to keep in mind this authoritarianism of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and the international response, or rather, the weak international response to his rule. His crimes against Egyptians have virtually been ignored. In fact, many Western leaders have called on working with him, instead of condemning what has transpired in Egypt. This continues to play into what we have seen for decades, and that is that many Western leaders who claim to speak of democracy and democratization seem to be much more interested in a loyal ally rather than one truly practicing liberal democracy. And with El-Sisi, this is what they are seeming to get. They have someone who greatly reduced the Muslim Brotherhood, and and one that does not seem to have a varied foreign policy compared to these outside states. What we must keep in mind the entire time however is that this is leading a a regime that looks awfully similar to that of Hosni Mubarak, as well as other dictatorships that Western states have backed.
Again, democratic movements were present in Egypt when Mubarak was overthrown. The Arab uprising was a show of Middle Eastern commitment to democracy (and a counter to all of the arguments that such a relationship is “not possible”). Yet, even when the initial protests began, it was not the Western leaders’ who were out in front calling for his removal. This was not in their interests. And unfortunately, the same seems to be with El-Sisi. So, we must be skeptical when leaders are calling for democracy, because sadly, what we often seeing is merely a show of democratization, and continued support of authoritarianism.