Egypt 2009-2015


  • June 4: President Obama in Cairo: “But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: … they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.”


  • January 25 : Inspired by the removal from office of President Zein El Abdine ben Ali in Tunisia on January 14, mass protests broke out in Egypt calling for an end to police brutality, lifting the Emergency Law, and an end to President Mubarak’s thirty year rule.
  • February 11: President Mubarak resigns, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) assumes power.
  • March 9: Protesters are detained by the military and some are tortured in the Egyptian Museum. Around 150 are tried and convicted by military courts.
  • April: Human Rights First releases How to Seize the Moment in Egypt
  • May 19: President Obama: “[Egypt] can set a strong example through free and fair elections, a vibrant civil society, accountable and effective democratic institutions, and responsible regional leadership. … We look forward to working with all who embrace genuine and inclusive democracy.”
  • October 9: Maspero Massacre: Military police kill at least 25 and wound over 200 mainly Coptic Christian demonstrators protesting against the SCAF outside the Maspero television building in downtown Cairo.
  • November 19-21: Clashes between protestors calling for the SCAF to step down and security forces lead to at least 50 deaths and 1500 injuries in central Cairo.
  • November: Human Rights First releases Promoting Reform in Egypt
  • November 28: The first round of post-Mubarak parliamentary elections are held, resulting in a sweep for Islamist parties, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party the biggest winner.


  • January: Human Rights First releases Egypt’s Transition to Democracy, One Year On
  • July 14: Secretary of State Clinton: “The United States supports the full transition to civilian rule with all that entails.”
  • June 15: A ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court to dissolve the Islamist dominated parliament is enforced by the military.
  • June 30: Mohamed Morsi is sworn in as Egypt’s first civilian president.
  • November 18–21: Non-Islamist members of the constitutional assembly resign, saying that the new draft will lead to Islamist domination of the government.
  • November 22: Fearing that the courts will step in to dissolve the constitutional assembly, President Morsi issues a new constitutional decree, giving him powers to override the judiciary. He immediately faces accusations that he and the Brotherhood are engaged in a lawless power grab.
  • November 24: The judiciary condemns Morsi’s decree as an unprecedented assault on judicial independence.
  • November 29: The Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly produces a new draft constitution that undermines legal safeguards for basic freedoms.
  • December: Human Rights First releases How to Make Change in Egypt a Human Rights Success Story


  • January 25: Protesters gather in Tahrir Square to mark the two-year anniversary of the uprising and to object to Morsi’s abuse of power.
  • March: Human Rights First releases Egypt’s Human Rights Crisis Deepens
  • May: Human Rights First releases Egypt: Attacks on the Media
  • May 20: U.S. State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell: “On Egypt, we are deeply concerned by the growing trend of efforts to punish and deter political expression in Egypt.”
  • June 21: Defense Minister Sisi warns President Morsi that he must take steps to heal divisions or else the military will be forced to intervene.
  • June 30: Millions participate in an anti-Morsi demonstration.
  • July 3: Sisi announces that Morsi has been deposed.
  • July 3: President Obama: “We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian Constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters.”
  • July 8: Soldiers and police open fire on protesters opposing the military coup against deposed President Morsi, killing at least 50.
  • July 27: State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki: “The law does not require us to make a formal determination … as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination.”
  • August 1: Secretary Kerry: “The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descendance into chaos, into violence. And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgement—so far. To run the country, there’s a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy.”
  • August 14: Riot police backed by the military drive Morsi supporters from two sit-ins in Cairo, killing hundreds and wounding thousands more.
  • August 15: President Obama: “The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces. We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest. … While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back.”
  • September 5: Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim narrowly escapes from a suicide bombing of his motorcade as the crackdown on Morsi supporters continues with more killings of protesters and arrests.
  • September 23: A court bans all Muslim Brotherhood activities.
  • September 24: President Obama: “[O]ur approach to Egypt reflects a larger point: The United States will at times work with governments that do not meet, at least in our view, the highest international expectations, but who work with us on our core interests.”
  • October: The United States suspends delivery of military hardware to Egypt out of concern over the worsening human rights situation.
  • November 3: Secretary Kerry: “I welcomed [Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil] Fahmy’s restatement of the interim government’s commitment to the roadmap that will move Egypt forward on an inclusive path to democracy and to economic stability. . . . The roadmap is being carried out to the best of our perception.”
  • December: Human Rights First releases How to Turn Around Egypt’s Disastrous Post-Mubarak Transition
  • December 25: Egypt’s interim government declares the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.



  • March: The United States lifts the suspension on the delivery of military hardware, despite the lack of improvement in human rights conditions.
  • May: Morsi is sentenced to death, having previously been sentenced to twenty years in prison on other charges.
  • June 29: Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat is assassinated by a car bomb outside his home in Heliopolis as clashes between insurgents and the security forces, and acts of terrorism continue to rise.
  • August 2: Secretary Kerry: “We have confidence in Egypt, and it’s important to be beginning to rebuild elements of our relationship based on this Strategic Dialogue. … The American people are committed to the security and to the economic well-being of the Egyptian people, guided by the vibrancy of your own civil society, your politics, your free and fair democratic process.”

Published on February 10, 2016


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