Egypt

Student demonstrating in Cairo, Egypt

Internet freedom and the development of a democratic system are important issues for young people in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The deep political divide, unemployment and sex-related topics are much debated. Press freedom in Egypt continues to suffer from vague laws and control by the government.

Facts

  • Population: 83.9m (2012)
  • Major language: Arabic
  • Freedom of the Press score: not free (score 62)

Politics

  • Very unstable political landscape, where military have considerable power and influence
  • 2011 Arabic spring ended the repressive regime of long term president Hosni Mubarak, first democratic elections in 2012, Mohammed Morsi (Freedom and Justice Party, Muslim Brotherhood) chosen as president
  • Morsi forced to step down by the military in July 2013, interim president Mansour sworn in until new elections, interim government¬† plans to ban the Muslim Brotherhood

Social/Economic

  • Religious tensions (Christians and Muslims), also tensions between conservative and liberal Muslims
  • Violence against women endemic, FGM widespread despite being illegal
  • High unemployment among young people, youth movements incited the protests in 2011

Media

  • Egyptian media are very influential in the region, severely polarised media landscape, satellite TV very important platform
  • Repressive regime until 2011; then moderate press freedom but decline in press freedom since 2012; journalists are threatened and attacked
  • High internet access, 25% of Egyptians are online, Twitter is used by most politically active people; Facebook is popular with young people

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