Many of the Muslim Brotherhood were oppressed, jailed, and even tortured for years under Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year reign. After the 2011 Egyptian uprising – the uprising that brought down longtime autocrat Mubarak after the killing of hundreds in clashes with police and pro-regime supporters – the Brotherhood had their freedom back and Mubarak was put in prison. They ran for presidential elections, nominating Mohamed Morsi, who eventually won the run-off with 52% of the votes. Tens of thousands celebrated the win of Morsi in the iconic Tahrir Square. Later Morsi gave a speech to the nation to confirm that he will do everything in his power to preserve dignity for Egyptians. However, nothing much changed since the power was handed over to a civilian government.
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On the 4th of December, Egypt’s secular opposition besieged Ittihadiya presidential palace and declared a sit-in, in objection to Morsi’s political decisions, as well as the constitution draft issued by the constituent assembly. Next day, Morsi supporters attacked the sit-in and clashes broke out. At least nine were killed and hundreds injured. Rocks, molotov cocktails, shotguns and even machine guns were used in the clashes.
On the 6th of December, Morsi gave a speech regarding the clashes outside the presidential palace, saying ‘I won’t tolerate anyone working to overthrow a legitimate government’. Morsi’s speech ignited a new escalation in violence, as hundreds stormed and looted the Muslim Brotherhood’s main headquarters in Cairo, on the same day, in objection to his speech.
In a country where certain freedoms are being stripped away from the people, the price for freedom is always steep. More than 1200 were killed – since the Egyptian revolution erupted – during clashes with police, army and pro-government supporters.