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"Down down military rule" - Egyptian woman leads the crowd in a chorus of protest against the visit of Egypt's military ruler Sisi to London. | by alisdare1
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"Down down military rule" - Egyptian woman leads the crowd in a chorus of protest against the visit of Egypt's military ruler Sisi to London.

This London crowd protesting against David Cameron's cosy red carpet and tea meeting with Egypt's military tyrant el-Sisi included both secular minded and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.


The woman in niqab with the megaphone is sheltering underneath a Rabaa al-adawiya umbrella. Rabaa Al-Adawiya is the name of the square in Cairo where Egyptian security forces suppressed a protest of supporters of ousted President Morsi on 14 August 2013 killing many hundreds of civilians and a number of prominent journalists including a veteran Sky News cameraman.


Human Rights Watch described it as ""one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history".


The woman wearing the niqab in the photo was leading the crowd in a chorus of anti-Sisi chants including -


يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر. مصر دولة مش معسكر


"Down Down military rule ....Egypt's a nation state not a military encampment"


- although it sounds a lot more poetic and forecful in Arabic -


"Yuskut yuskut hukm al askar.....Masr dowla mish muaskar."


The crowd refrained from Islamist chants possibly because many of the protesters were of a secular outlook. Only some of the estimated 40,000 political prisoners held in Egypt are from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations. Many of them are journalists, activists, bloggers, members of NGOs or just people posting something critical of or ridiculing the regime on social media - arrested for voicing their opinions in a country where the government fears freedom of speech.


Sisi's regime has also been responsible for the death of hundreds of protesters on the streets, hundreds of disappearances and death sentences, a clampdown on the press and media, trade unions and universities and allowing key Mubarak figures to return to politics and big business.


After disbanding parliament, Sisi decreed that the government could delegate business and construction projects to the military without any tender process and subsequently the Egyptian army has been awarded contracts worth billions of dollars.


This is what Human RIghts Watch conclude in their latest country report -


"Egypt’s human rights crisis, the most serious in the country’s modern history, continued unabated throughout 2014. The government consolidated control through constriction of basic freedoms and a stifling campaign of arrests targeting political opponents. Former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who took office in June, has overseen a reversal of the human rights gains that followed the 2011 uprising. Security forces and an increasingly politicized judiciary—apparently unnerved by rising armed group attacks—invoked national security to muzzle nearly all dissent."



Find out more at


( Freedom House uses one of my photos in its report. )



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Taken on November 5, 2015