The government censors the media, bans all demonstrations, forbids the formation of any political parties or organizations and detain citizens indefinitely without charge. Corruption is rife, the judiciary is weak and police brutality is so common it is barely reported anymore.
Six days ago, Egyptians said ‘enough’, and millions took to the streets all over the country.
President Hosni Mubarak’s police forces responded in the manner which has characterized the last three decades: with swift brutality, the mass arrest of street activists and the suppression of communication networks. No sign of the protests were found on Egyptian television or radio, cell phone networks were shut down and Internet access was cut.
But over the weekend, as the Mubarak regime allowed phone calls for a few hours during the day, two young pro-Democracy activists – a young man and a young woman who’ve asked that we not use their names out of fear of imprisonment and torture — started a petition on Change.org, dictating the text in both English and Arabic to an ally over the phone.
“On January 25, we the people of Egypt took to the streets to demand our rights!” they said. “We are not unified by one party, class or religion: we are not Muslim and we are not Christian, we are not rich and we are not poor – we are the multifaceted people of Egypt – Muslims and Christian’s and Egyptians of all classes.”
They are calling for the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, free and fair elections, a new constitution, the return of open access to all communication networks, an end to police brutality and the complete and total release of all political prisoners and detainees. You can read the original Arabic version here.
“We are the ‘January 25 Movement’, and we are not going to stop until our demands are met!” they said. “We call on Egyptians and internationals to lend a hand and help us win by signing this petition.”
This is extremely urgent — these street activists believe Egypt is at a tipping point. The army has begun to side with the protesters, the President has already been forced to dismiss his entire cabinet, and there are unconfirmed rumors that some members of the ruling family are leaving the country.
A flood of international support right now can help to change the course of Egypt’s history for decades to come.
Please don’t wait to take action. Click here now to add your name to this critical petition for democracy started by these two Egyptian activists on behalf of the January 25 Movement.
Winning this and similar campaigns depends on our ability to quickly call on thousands of supportive folks like you. After signing the petition below, please click here to follow us on Facebook – just click ‘Like’ at the top of the page.
Photo: Gigi Ibrahim