The West must act now in Egypt

The past few weeks have witnessed a sharp deterioration of Egypt as a country and the world is understandably worried.  Many world leaders are calling for the west to act now to prevent further escalation of the problems in that courntry which is sure to kick back to western powers. That Mr. Mubarak must go now seems clear as ‘people power’ in the country is now too advanced and for him to continue would only make matters worse.

It is interesting to note that since 1967 and before Mr. Mubarak took power in 1981, Egypt has been a presidential republic under emergency law for more, or less an uninterrupted period.  Under its ’emergency’ laws, the government has been authorised and mandated to deploy wide police powers, allow for no constitutional rights for citizens and have unrestricted state censorship powers. No non-governmental political activity such as street demonstrations, or financial contributions to political parties are allowed and human rights organisations agree that more than 17,000 people under detention without trial under that law and political prisoners are in the region of some 30,000.

As for the US’s Patriot Law, the government can imprison anyone for any period of time at its pleasure and keep them without trial and access to legal representation for any period it chooses.  The law excuses its harshness by the government’s claim that the country would descend into arnachy and Muslim terror groups would become prominant in the country if the law was not applied.

So, with this record of appalling injustice against his own people, why was Mr. Mubarak’s Egypt not treated to a taste of democracy along the lines of Iraq and Afganistan well before now?  Is the west to blame for letting things get so bad that a raging domino effect is being seen in the region now with people demanding rights to freedom from oppression?

So what must the west do now to put Egypt right and to prevent further deterioration in the region?  Your views are always welcome on Times of Dominica…

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