Academic journal article The Middle East Journal


Academic journal article The Middle East Journal


Article excerpt

Jan. 16: An Egyptian court sentenced Hammam el-Kammuni, the primary defendant behind a shooting spree that killed six Coptic Christians in 2010, to death. It is speculated that the sentence was most likely influenced by a January 1 church bombing and pressure from Coptic Christians to administer justice in sectarian-related cases. [Al-Jazeera, 1/17]

Jan. 17: An Egyptian man named 'Abdo 'Abdel Mon'am set himself on fire in front of Egypt's Parliament. The act of self-immolation was one of five other recent incidents (four in Algeria and one in Mauritania) believed to have stemmed from the self-immolation of a Tunisian man on December 17 that led to a popular uprising in that country. Seeking political change, some Egyptians called for protests against "torture, poverty, corruption, and unemployment." [NYT, 1/17]

Jan. 23: Interior Minister Habib el-Adly charged extremist group the Army of Islam with carrying out a New Year's Day church bombing that killed over 20 people. The Army of Islam was a militant group based in the Gaza Strip with links to al-Qa'ida. Investigators arrested several Egyptian men connected to the attack. The men provided details about how they were recruited by the Gaza group. A spokesman for Hamas denied the charge linking the Gaza-based group with the attack. [NYT, 1/23]

Jan. 25: On the national holiday Police Day, Egyptians gathered in Cairo to protest. Inspired by political events in Tunisia, protestors sought reform in a "Day of Revolution." The demonstrators protested against "rampant corruption, injustice, and high unemployment." More than 90,000 people signed up for the protest on the social networking website Facebook, indicating a rise in young activists in the region. [NYT, 1/25]

Three people died during protests that occurred throughout Egypt. Two civilians died in the eastern city of Suez. One person with existing respiratory problems died after inhaling tear gas, and the other died after being hit with a rock during a protest. One police officer was killed in Cairo after he was hit in the head with a rock in Tahrir Square. [Al-Jazeera, 1/26]

Jan. 26: Following fresh waves of protests, the Egyptian government intensified its efforts to crush riots by issuing a ban on all public gatherings. Protestors filled the streets and hundreds of people were detained. Riot police officers coupled with plain-clothes security forces used batons, bamboo staves, tear gas, and rubber-coated bullets to scatter protestors. [NYT, 1/26]

Jan. 27: Demanding the release of relatives who were detained in protests on January 25, Egyptian protestors used petrol bombs to torch a police post. The police inside fled the post before it was lit on fire. Opposition leader Muhammad ElBaradei also returned to Cairo in order to join and support protestors. [BBC, Al-Jazeera, 1/27]

Jan. 28: Tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo following Friday midday prayers, where protestors demanded an end to President Husni Mubarak's rule. Friday's protests were the first which the Muslim Brotherhood had publicly spoken about and called for. Late on January 27, internet access was shut down throughout Egypt and the government issued a curfew for January 28 from 6pm to 7am [Al-Jazeera, 1/28]

Jan. 29: Egypt's cabinet formally submitted its resignation, one day after President Mubarak asked the government to resign following country-wide protests. The cabinet's resignation paved the way for a new government to be formed. Receiving pressure and criticism from his people, Mubarak promised to enact social, economic, and political reforms. US President Barack Obama also urged President Mubarak to take concrete steps toward political reform and refrain from using violence against the thousands of protestors. [Al-Jazeera, 1/29]

Jan. 30: Information Minister Anas al-Fikki ordered the suspension of Al-Jazeera's license to broadcast in Egypt. A spokesperson for Al-Jazeera vowed that the company would continue its coverage of events unfolding in Egypt. …

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