1919 - Throwing off the shackles of Empire

Published on: Sun, 14/04/2019 - 12:45

Janine Booth

After Britain and its Allies had won the war, proclaiming themselves champions of freedom and democracy, the people of its imperial possessions stepped up their democratic demand for some of that freedom for themselves.


In its largest colony, India, Britain imposed the Rowlatt Act, extending wartime powers of indefinite imprisonment without trial. It prompted anger and rebellion, against both the Act and continuing British rule.

The British left supported self-determination for India and other colonies, and in April, held a large public meeting in London, demanding ‘India for the

Daesh Sinai attack linked to growth of Islamism across the region

Published on: Wed, 06/12/2017 - 11:09

Simon Nelson

On 24 November, in the Egyptian province of Sinai, Daesh carried out one of their most sickening attacks. Killing 305 and injuring hundreds more, Daesh attacked the Rawdah mosque. Gunmen waited to shoot down fleeing worshippers after their bombing.

Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to Daesh in 2014 and has since been known as the Sinai Province of ISIS. It was founded out of a number of competing factions previously linked to Al Qaeda. It could now be the most capable and dangerous section of Daesh in Egypt. The declaration of a “state of emergency” in Sinai since 2014 has not slowed

Egypt tortures LGBT people

Published on: Wed, 18/10/2017 - 09:28

The Egyptian government has conducted an intense campaign of arrests, torture and intimidation against LGBT people over the past month. Dozens of LGBT people have been arrested, and many subjected to torture in custody in the form of so-called “anal examinations”, since 22 September, when the wave of repression was launched following a gig by left-wing Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in a suburb of Cairo.

The band’s lead singer, Hamed Sinno, is openly gay and a vocal advocate of LGBT freedoms. Conservative and pro-government media outlets orchestrated a campaign of moral panic and homophobic

Saudi Arabia tries to push Qatar into line

Published on: Wed, 14/06/2017 - 10:58

Dan Katz

A simmering conflict between the Gulf State of Qatar and its larger neighbour, Saudi Arabia, has abruptly flared into an open, serious stand-off.

Beginning on 5 June, a Saudi-led grouping of states including Egypt, Bahrain and UAE broke off diplomatic relations, and implemented travel and trade bans against Qatar. Qatar has said it will not retaliate.Saudi Arabia has closed Qatar’s only land border and ordered its citizens to leave Qatar.

UAE, Egyptian and Saudi ports have refused to allow Qatari ships to dock.80% of Qatar’s food comes from its Gulf neighbours and 40% comes across the land

Daesh resurgence in Libya

Published on: Wed, 31/05/2017 - 09:06

Simon Nelson and Charlotte Zalens

The fact that the perpetrator of the Manchester bombing, Salman Abedi, may have been part of a Daesh network in Libya has focused attention on the group outside of its main territories in Iraq and Syria. Daesh is known to have groups allied to it across the Middle East, Africa and Asia but in recent years their strength has grown in Libya.

The fall of Gaddafi lead to a series of fractured and splintered militias and rival governments fighting for control. The roots of Daesh in Libya lie with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, formed in the 1990s from remnants of the mujahideen who fought the

Demand for truth in Giulo Regini case sparks protests

Published on: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 12:04

Hugh Edwards

As the father of Italian student Giulio Regeni, murdered while researching trade unions in Egypt, said: "Giulio was a citizen of the world, and he didn't only live to study, he enjoyed himself. And here they are, the generation without limits and without borders, those for whom every place  in this world is a kind of home, ready to demand the truth for Giulio".

Two months after his murder, Italy this week awaits the arrival of the most senior Egyptian investigators who , it is claimed, will consign an exhaustively researched dossier on the death of Regeni into the hands of Rome's leading

Whitewash on Regeni

Published on: Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:55

Hugh Edwards

At the end of February, a month after the disappearance in Cairo of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, the official Egyptian investigation into his torture and death has reported. The murder, so the Minister of the Interior claimed, was “most likely” due to a “personal vendetta”, in a context of “young Arab/ foreign contacts” where drugs freely circulated.

This cynical nonsense was of a piece with the same minister’s claim, when Regeni’s body was first found, that death was “most likely” due to the victim being struck by a car. The autopsy in Italy revealed no evidence of any drugs, but that

Giulio Regeni: murdered by Sisi’s cops

Published on: Wed, 10/02/2016 - 11:35

Hugh Edwards

On 25 January, during celebrations in Cairo of the fifth anniversary of the rising against the Mubarak dictatorship in 2011, Giulio Regeni disappeared. He had been seized by the thugs of the secret services of the Al Sisi government.

On 4 February, his tortured and broken body was found in a ditch outside Cairo. Giulio Regeni, aged 28, was a doctoral student from Cambridge University, a socialist militant, and a freelance writer for the Italian left-wing paper Il Manifesto, for which he wrote extensively on the Egyptian trade union and labour movement. His last article, “In Egypt, second life

The killings in Sinai, Beirut, and Paris

Published on: Sun, 15/11/2015 - 15:29

Martin Thomas

On 31 October, the Islamist group Daesh claimed the destruction of a Russian passenger aircraft flight 7K9268, over Sinai, Egypt, on 31 October, killing 224 people. On 12 November it claimed 43 civilians killed by bombings in Beirut. And now it has claimed 129 people killed in Paris on the evening of 13 November.

In Paris, gunmen opened fire in many crowded cafes, dance halls, and stadiums. The latest count is 352 injured, 99 critically. The suspected ringleader, a Belgian national, has been killed in a police raid.

Daesh conquered Iraq’s second city, Mosul, in June 2014, and since then has

Egypt: militancy and Morsi

Published on: Tue, 17/02/2015 - 18:22

Harry Glass

On 25 January 2011, an 18 day struggle began that toppled one of the Arab world’s longest-serving dictators, Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt.

Eighteen months later, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the founding party of political Islam, was elected president. After barely a year he was deposed by a military coup and the old order was restored under Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. In the space of four years, Egypt has traversed from Mubarak’s military Bonapartism through the so-called “Republic of Tahrir” to the current “Republic of Fear”.

The revival of workers’ struggle in Egypt a decade ago

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