Yet more civil unrest is set to follow, as a violent week of protests against Mohammed Morsi leaves 60 dead, in what is described as the ‘deadliest week’ since the president came to power.
Leaders from the main political groups in Egypt met on Thursday to sign an agreement opposing the violence while youth groups continue to arrange yet more rallies and protests in Tahrir Square near the Presidential Palace.
The riots have been organised to mark the anniversary of the football riots in Port Said, which saw the deaths of 74 people, and the death sentence given to 21 people involved. The court ruling is just one of the measures opposed by Egyptian people under Morsi’s reign. The violence began on January 25, a day which marks the two year anniversary of the uprisings which brought down dictator Hosni Mubarak and ended the regime. However, demonstrations throughout Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities transformed into violent protests against current President Mohammed Morsi, following months of social unrest over his disproportionate self imposed powers.
While the protests taking place mark separate problems in the history of Egypt’s unrest, protesters are collectively rebelling against underlying issues of freedom and human rights, as well as emphasising their distrust of police forces and government bodies regarding public safety and well-being.
Late last year several bloody riots took place after the arrival of Morsi’s draft constitution, which, while providing for some human rights, namely torture, several fundamental areas of human rights were grossly overlooked. Not only did Mr Morsi appear to provide himself with excessive powers, his proposed constitution also deprived citizens of rights regarding freedom of speech through media and press, appears to reduce the social rights of women as well as freedoms concerning the right to practice religion.
The violence has also taken an all too familiar and sinister turn in the reports of sexual violence against women during the protests of last week. The High Commissioner for Human Rights reports reveals 25 women have been sexually assaulted since renewed violence began. The 2011 uprisings against Hosni Mubarak saw shocking increases in sexual crimes against women, which are now playing out before the world just two years on.
The document opposing the violence states the political leaders undersigned ‘condemn the inciting of violence, its justification…and its exploitation in any form,’ however, the some political factions are calling for the president to amend his constitution before any talks can take place regarding the future of Egypt and an end to the protests.