Autocracy on the streets

The classroom is not the only place where autocracy has recreated itself; it has also done so on the streets of the Cairo, mostly notably at the expense of homeless street children. These children, of whom there are estimated to be around 600,000 in the city of Cairo alone, are subjected to harrowing levels of sexual violence and abuse. They are not offered any form of legal protection or social assistance.

The level of violence only came to public attention when the bodies of a number of street children appeared in 2006 and a gang of six individuals supposedly responsible for the murder, rape and torture of a number of children was subsequently arrested. The case was quickly stifled, with no notable response from the government, nor a change in the public perception of street children.

The autocracy, once again, created the space for repression, where the most vulnerable in society are preyed upon by the more powerful, decentralising repression and violence to the periphery and violating the basic social contract of the Leviathan, as defined by Thomas Hobbes.

The lives of these children are not valued, neither by the government, nor by more powerful segments in society. This manifested itself in a call made by an Egyptian writer that, in order to solve the problem, the children should be killed.         

Autocracy and women

Another social group that has been subjected to widespread abuse and repression are women. From domestic violence, to sexual abuse and mob violence, especially during the period of the mass protests that rocked Egypt between 2011 and 2013.

A UN survey stated that 99.3 percent of its respondents said they were subject to sexual harassment, either verbally or physically. In another survey, conducted in 2005, one third of women reported having been abused by their husbands, with seven percent claiming that they were beaten ″often″.

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Comments for this article: The tentacles of autocracy

Yes, Maged, "the culture" of repression penetrates society horizontally as well. But isn't that related to the general socio-economic structure and the power relations perpetrated by the reproduction of the same social relations? How long do those relations, and the socio-economic structure, survive if the complicity of reproducing the Egyptian regime, and its state repression, by international capital, the Western governments, the IMF, the Paris Club, etc. cease to exist? Six months?, a year? I think you should expnaded on this.

Nadim25.01.2018 | 12:17 Uhr