State Repression and Polarized Politics Thwart Hopes for Justice in Egypt

After toppling Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship in February 2011, Egyptians were eager for a reckoning with past injustices. The slogan of the revolution that brought millions into the streets and Tahrir square was reflective of this sentiment: “Bread. Freedom. Social justice.” The energy from the streets was channeled into discussions on the country’s future. At a regional conference on transitional justice organized by ICTJ in Cairo in October of that year, the discussion was auspicious and animate. Accountability and institutional reforms were at the top on the political debate. Today, the hopes and optimism of those days seem like a distant dream. After four years of political turmoil, the possibility of a genuine transitional justice process in Egypt is uncertain.

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