Freedom on the march, Egypt edition

Today, democracy activists arrested.

Via Ashraf Khalil in Cairo, we learn today that Egyptian artist Ganzeer (real name Mohamed Fahmy) and activists Aida El-Kashef and Adel Rahman Amin were arrested by the military junta today for complaining about limits on free speech.

The group were putting up posters downtown of a bound and gagged man with the text "brought to you by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for an unlimited time." The poster also urged mass demonstrations against Egypt's military junta tomorrow. Another activist trying to organize protests was arrested on Wednesday.

Egypt's military rulers have demonstrated a penchant for using military tribunals on civilian posters since taking power in Egypt and have been slowly bringing back Mubarak-era restrictions on free speech.

Democracy activists have been calling for tomorrow to be a "million man march," though it looks unlikely that anywhere near that number will heed their call. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has enjoyed unprecedented political space since Hosni Mubarak's ouster and is one of the best-organized political groups in the country, has criticized the planned rally and praised the military's role in guiding Egypt towards September elections.

The notion of fulsome praise for the army from the Brothers would have been unthinkable months ago, but they're poised to do well in the elections and appear to be finding a new modus vivendi with the military.

The young revolutionaries who provided the energy that forced Mubarak to step down (and the military brass to abandon him), have been largely sidelined in the months since. A new political parties law has been issued and some constitutional reforms pursued, but those changes have largely been worked on behind closed doors by civilian politicians and officers who served Mubarak.

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