Egyptian Minister of Interior Magdy Abdul Ghaffar urged police forces to leave no room for Rabaa commemoration protests on Friday.
Two years have past since what Human Rights Watch described as one of the most brutal acts of violence against peaceful protesters to date, The Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins crackdown, with no tangible legal action taken for those responsible.
With calls for protests on the second anniversary, which coincides with Friday, the day of the week which is symbolic to Egyptians since the January 25, 2011 revolution that overthrew the deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak after 30 years of corrupt rule lasted for 17 days and ended on a Friday with Mubarak's resignation and subsequent arrest.
The Egyptian police forces have long kept squares all around Cairo and major governorates like Alexandria and Suez, vacant. Specially the Rabaa square which will no longer be called by its original name, from now on it is officially ‘Hisham Barakat’ square, the slain general prosecutor who was assassinated by ISIS affiliates last June in Cairo.
Barakat was one of the Egyptian officials who orchestrated the brutal Rabaa dispersal, along with President Abdel fattah el Sisi and other high ranking army and police personnel.
One year after taking office, Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, who also belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, was facing calls for his resignation, and early elections in June 2013.
In response Muslim Brotherhood supporters and pro-Morsi protesters setup one of the largest demonstration camps in Egyptian history, the Rabaa and Nahda camps in Cairo. From June 28 until August 14 2013.
Two years have passed since the coup orchestrated by now president and former army general Abdul Fattah el-Sisi on July 3rd of 2013. Over 800 civilians died in Rabaa and Nahda camp crackdown, the military and police forces joint operations in both squares caused one of the most violent scenes in Egypt’s modern history.
Hundreds were detained just for standing in the square, dozens of journalists had their cameras confiscated and were detained as well for covering the crackdown. Some of the Egyptian journalists detained in Rabaa square during the crackdown are still in jail to this day, with no trial, meanwhile foreign journalists were deported.
With the crackdown over pro-Morsi protesters and anti-government activists getting tighter, the promise of freedom of expression in Egypt is slowly dying, with politically motivated mass death sentences handed out for Brotherhood members and sympathizers, the narrow and dim political environment Sisi plunged Egypt in, bears tremendous similarities to that of Mubarak’s rule.