The uprisings in Tunisia, succeeding in bringing down the government, inspired the civil society in Egypt. On the 25th of January 2011, millions of protestors, belonging to different socio-economic and religious backgrounds, came on to the streets demanding the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. They complained of poverty, unemployment, corruption and autocratic governance of the president who had ruled the country for 30 years.
Cairo’s Tahrir square, occupied by millions of people, became the heart of the revolution. The social pressure of this movement led to President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, on the 11th of February 2011. The lead of the country was taken by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), traditionally beside people requests in Egypt and guided by Tantawi. Although found guilty, former president Mubarak eventually was cleared by all charges on November 2014 and people took the streets again when Mubarak’s sons and other exponents belonging to the regime were acquitted. If initially the SCAF were embraced as supporters of the revolution, in a second moment it appeared clear that the military leadership had his own agenda, betraying the Egyptian revolutionaries and the values fostered in Tahirir Square. In fact, it was secretly funneling financial, food and security support to the Muslim Brotherhood in sight of the upcoming elections. The inability of the revolution’s representatives to come together in one party determined the dispersion of votes amongst different candidates losing the opportunity to guide the country.
In June 2012, after a first round of elections, Egypt’s election commission announced Mohammed Morsi as the first elected president. His first reforms granted him unlimited powers which caused, along with the continuous repression and prosecution of journalists and attacks on nonviolent demonstrators, a revitalization of Tahrir Square movement in 2013, calling for President Morsi to step down. Morsi was unseated in July by General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. However, since al Sissi and his cabinet took office, they have provided near to total impunity for security force abuses and issued a raft of laws that severely curtailed civil and political rights, sadly erasing the human rights gains of the 2011 uprising that ousted the longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak