The Counterrevolution in Egypt


Another sign that Egyptian authoritarianism didn't end when Hosni Mubarak left office:

The Egyptian cabinet [on Wednesday] approved a decree-law that criminalizes protests, demonstrations and sit-ins that interrupt private or state owned businesses or affect the economy in any way.

The decree-law also assigns severe punishment to those who call for or incite sit-ins, with the maximum sentence one year in prison and fines of up to half a million pounds.

"This law would only be implemented during times of emergency law and those draft laws would be presented to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to issue a decree," Magdy Rady, spokesman for the cabinet told Ahram Online.

If this law is a case study in what can go wrong when a revolution keeps a substantial segment of the old power structure in place, some of Libya's rebels are showing us what can go wrong when you decide to use the old regime's methods against its alleged agents. The L.A. Times has a disturbing report from a prison in eastern Libya here.