This, in effect, discriminated against the independents. Instead of rectifying the problem, it is business as usual for the FJP, with the Shura Council legislating as before.
Then there was the unprecedented 2011 crackdown by the transitional military government on nongovernmental organizations operating in the country, including Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute. The prosecution continued under Morsi’s presidency, and the 43 defendants in the case — including 16 Americans — were convicted and sentenced to prison this month, most in absentia. Their crime? The organizations were working “without proper licenses” and had received foreign funding.
Uglier still, documents leaked in April show that the Egyptian military took part in torture and killings during the early months of 2011. More than 1,000 people are reported to have disappeared during the 18 days of protests.
The report that the leaked documents came from was submitted to Morsi in January, but he has not made the findings public or asked for a public investigation as a result of the revelations. Instead, Egypt’s defense minister, Gen. Abdel Fattah Sisi, warned the public against slandering the military.
In short, Egyptians increasingly feel that Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian government has never gone away but was simply replaced by another oppressive regime and kept in check only by a powerful military. “And that would have been OK with most of them, if the government had improved the economy or opened space for personal self-expression,” Samaan said.
Because none of these things has materialized, Morsi is now treading on thin ice. We shall soon see how strong his hold on power really is.
Dalibor Rohac is a policy analyst at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington. He wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.