Sunday 20 August 2017

Robert Fisk: Revolution by Twitter as Egypt's corrupt regime clings to power

Mariam Solayman, a member of an Egyptian activist group, shouts anti-government slogans in front of a police cordon during a demonstration in central Cairo yesterday
Mariam Solayman, a member of an Egyptian activist group, shouts anti-government slogans in front of a police cordon during a demonstration in central Cairo yesterday

Robert Fisk

A DAY of prayer or a day of rage? All Egypt was waiting for the Muslim Sabbath today -- not to mention Egypt's fearful allies -- as the country's ageing president clings to power after nights of violence that have shaken America's faith in the stability of the Mubarak regime.

Seven people have so far been killed and almost 1,000 others have been imprisoned, police have beaten women and, for the first time, an office of the ruling National Democratic Party was set on fire. Rumours are as dangerous as tear gas here. A Cairo daily has been claiming that one of President Hosni Mubarak's top advisers has fled to London with 97 suitcases of cash, but other reports speak of an enraged president shouting at senior police officers for not dealing more harshly with demonstrators.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel prize-winning former UN official, flew back to Egypt last night but no one believes -- except perhaps the Americans -- that he can become a focus for the protest movements that have sprung up across the country.

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