Mass Arrests as Egypt Junta Clears Protesters From Tahrir Square

Regime Enforces Ban on Protesters

With violence on the rise between the protesters and a group of apparently pro-Mubarak attackers across Cairo, the military junta which took over in the wake of Mubarak’s ouster has cleared the square by force.

The military insisted that they had arrested about 100 people and had cleared the square of all demonstrators because public demonstrations are banned in the nation. The attempt to ban the protesters is not sitting well, of course, since the junta is supposed to be extremely temporary, setting the stage for free elections.

The clearing also sparked international condemnation, as did reports from witnesses that those who were arrested by the junta were beaten in detention before being released. The military also seized all journalist photo and video footage of the breakup.

The military has so far not removed Egypt’s emergency law, and is now acting under virtual martial law. The first vote, a constitutional referrendum, is scheduled for March 19, but it remains to be seen exactly when the seating of a new government will take place.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.