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Egyptian Revolution five years on: Christians generally supportive of El-Sisi, says Middle East expert

Mon 25 Jan 2016
By Aaron James

A Christian Middle East expert has said that Coptic believers are on the whole supportive of the Egyptian government, five years on since the revolution.

But Dr Harry Hagopian, a church consultant and international lawyer also said many human rights and advocacy organisations believed human rights abuses were worse in the country under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi than they were under President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in 2011 after twenty years in power.

After Mr Mubarak was ousted Egypt held its first democratic elections, choosing Mohamed Morsi in 2012. He was then ousted in a coup d'etat by former military general El-Sisi in 2013.

Millions took to the streets to protest against Mr Mubarak and his government.

Opinions are divided as to whether the revolution was successful. Some say it was vital to stop human rights abuses and bring democratic power and freedom to people.

Others say Egypt's economy was severely destabilised because of it and it hasn't recovered since, and that human rights abuses are even worse than before.

Mr Hagopian told Premier's News Hour: "Civil society, representatives and NGOs and human rights organisations are saying that freedom and liberties are worse now than they were even five years ago under Mubarak.
"The Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II as well as the Mufti of al-Azhar have come out in support of what happened in Egypt now, and are supportive with the regime and with the situation at the moment.

"There are more people who're saying 'we need the stability, even if it means buckling under and shackling ourselves'.

"The Christian communities by and large in the region have often wanted to protect themselves under the shade of the ruler."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Dr Harry Hagopian on the News Hour:

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