- North Africa
- Demonstration - Human rights - Governance
More protests expected in Egypt
The alleged mistreatment of an Egyptian Google executive whose Facebook group may have triggered the Egyptian revolution is set to inspire more protests against President Hosni Mubarak.
According to reports, the protests may intensify after reports that Egyptian state security kept Google Inc executive, Wael Ghonim, blindfolded for two weeks.
A posting on the social network site after Ghonim’s release on Monday reads: "Anyone who saw the Wael Ghonim interview and is not going to Tahir tomorrow (Tuesday) has no heart."
Ghonim was behind a Facebook group that helped to inspire the protests, and though he has been released, his treatment in the hands of Egyptian state security is expected to fuel more protests against Mubarak.
"I am not a symbol or a hero or anything like that, but what happened to me is a crime (...) We have to tear down this system based on not being able to speak out," Ghonim told Dream TV after his release on Monday.
Mubarak’s unwillingness to cede grounds to opposition during reconciliation talks has left Egyptians threatening to take their two-week campaign to the streets with more mass demonstrations on Tuesday and Friday.
The Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, said on Monday it could quit the process if protesters’ demands were not met, including the immediate exit of Mubarak.
The opposition has called for the constitution to be rewritten to allow free and fair presidential elections, a limit on presidential terms, the dissolution of parliament, the release of political detainees and lifting of emergency law.
Experts say there has been little progress in talks with the government.
The Egyptian government is forcing demonstrators out of central Cairo, but the protesters who are currently barricaded in a tent camp on Tahrir Square have vowed to stay until Mubarak relinquishes his office.
Egyptians vow to maintain pressure on the government after the 82 year old dictator said he will stay until an election in September.
The United States, adopting a cautious approach to the crisis, has urged all sides to allow time for an "orderly transition" to a new political order in Egypt, for decades a strategic ally.
However, many Egyptians are desperate to return to work and normal life, even some of those wanting to oust Mubarak. The United Nations says 300 people may have died so far.