Egypt’s state unleashed a bloody torrent of murders and arrests against peaceful protesters on the fourth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution last weekend.
The graphic images of the slaying of socialist activist Shaimaa el-Sabbagh have been shown around the world.
She was part of a small protest to lay a wreath in Cairo’s Tahrir Square commemorating the people killed by the police and the government’s allies during the revolution.
She was hit in the head as police fired birdshot ammunition, a supposedly non-lethal alternative to shot gun pellets, into the crowd.
She was one of at least 18 people killed at protests in Cairo, Giza, Kafr al-Sheikh and Menya. Over 150 people were arrested.
Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013.
He has presided over hundreds of death sentences and the imprisonment of tens of thousands of opponents.
El-Sisi is trying to crush all opposition through violence and terror. This has not stopped him receiving backing from the West.
A statement from Egypt’s Revolutionary Socialists said, “The regime trembles every time the anniversary of its great defeat in January 2011 approaches, when the Egyptian masses overthrew Hosni Mubarak and gave the thugs of the interior ministry a lesson they will never forget.
“No matter how often they try to deceive us and deceive the masses with their lying claims that January 2011 was a conspiracy, we see the revolution reflected in their fear as they mobilise hundreds of thousands of the interior ministry’s thugs to prevent any mass movement on the anniversary, even if it was just a peaceful march with flowers.
“The interior ministry attacked just such a march by comrades from the Popular Socialist Alliance with bullets and birdshot, murdering the young poet, our comrade Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, a courageous daughter of Alexandria, who had long defended the rights of the workers.
“She dreamed of a future in a homeland of human dignity for her six year old son, Bilal.
“Sisi’s regime denied Shaimaa and her comrades even this dream. We call on all those who believe in the revolution to unite their ranks in the face of this repressive authoritarian regime, which is leading this country into the abyss.”
Trade unionists, campaigners and activists in Britain and across the world need to step up our solidarity with the opposition in Egypt, and demand the release of all prisoners.
The Arab Uprisings Four Years On, conference organised by Mena Solidarity, Egypt Solidarity Initiative and BahrainWatch, 6pm Friday 13 February and 10am Saturday 14 February. For details go to egyptsolidarityinitiative.org