Ban on Rabaa won't dampen Egypt revolutionary spirit

Despite draft law banning Rabaa symbol, revolutionaries still plan to make four-finger salute during protests marking 5th anniversary of Egypt's Jan. 25 uprising

Ban on Rabaa won't dampen Egypt revolutionary spirit

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Egyptian government move to outlaw a four-fingered salute -- used by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi to commemorate hundreds of demonstrators killed in 2013 -- has failed to discourage protesters.

"Whether they criminalize it or not, we’re going to use the Rabaa salute to remember our dead," Hussein, a university student who declined to give his last name, told Anadolu Agency.

Last week, the Egyptian cabinet approved a draft law aimed at criminalizing the promotion and the distribution of stickers, posters or photographs that allegedly promote "terrorist" groups.

According to the draft law, anyone found guilty of posting, possessing, producing or promoting symbols associated with "terrorist" organizations will be "jailed and fined a minimum of 10,000 Egyptian pounds and a maximum of 30,000 Egyptian pounds."

The Rabaa symbol -- a hand with four fingers extended -- has been used by anti-regime protesters to express their opposition to President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief who ousted Morsi in a 2013 coup. 

Shortly after Morsi’s ouster, on Aug. 14, 2013, hundreds of his supporters were gunned down when security forces violently cleared their sit-in protest, which was held in eastern Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. 

Ever since, the hand gesture has been a common feature of pro-Morsi anti-coup demonstrations in Egypt. 

The Egyptian authorities, for their part, say protesters who give the four-fingered salute are members of Morsi’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. 

The Egyptian government banned the Brotherhood in late 2013 and declared it a "terrorist organization." 

Since Morsi's overthrow, Egyptian authorities have waged a harsh crackdown on his supporters and members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, killing hundreds and arresting tens of thousands. 

 

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2016, 09:25
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