Saturday, March 26, 2011

Egyptian Revolution 1.0

"We can see a national dialogue begin, where the government of Egypt must take concrete steps for democratic and economic reform."--Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 1-30-11

AhramOnline reported Egypt's scales tipped away from democratic freedom::

The Egyptian cabinet today approved a decree-law that criminalizes protests, demonstrations and sit-ins that interrupt private or state owned businesses or affect the economy in any way.

The decree-law also assigns severe punishment to those who call for or incite sit-ins, with the maximum sentence one year in prison and fines of up to half a million pounds.

“This law would only be implemented during times of emergency law and those draft laws would be presented to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to issue a decree,” Magdy Rady, spokesman for the cabinet told Ahram Online.
This rings of "economic freedom," not personal liberty.  All an oppressive regime needs is a threatened state owned business to take away citizens' free speech rights.

Another loss of freedom is implied in the law, the monitoring of citizen communications.  Otherwise, how would the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces know who called for or incited a sit-in?

The Egyptian Revolution will remain at 1.0, with no upgrades in sight.

(Thanks to EPJ for the lead)

Update 3-28-11:  President Obama remarked in his speech on Libya. "There are places, like Egypt, where this change will inspire us and raise our hopes."  Harkens back to "Hope & Change"...