“I participated in January revolutions” hashtag goes viral on Egyptian social media

Protesters pray during a mass protest held on Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of Egyptians flocked to central Cairo's Tahrir Square in what they called "Revolution First" Friday, calling for the ruling military to achieve all demands of the Jan. 25 Revolution. They also called for purifying and restructuring the police institutions, and speeding up trials of all former regime officials and police officers involved in killing protesters and causing chaos. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)

Protesters pray during a mass protest held on Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of Egyptians flocked to central Cairo’s Tahrir Square in what they called “Revolution First” Friday, calling for the ruling military to achieve all demands of the Jan. 25 Revolution. They also called for purifying and restructuring the police institutions, and speeding up trials of all former regime officials and police officers involved in killing protesters and causing chaos. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)

As the fifth anniversary of 2011 revolutions approaches, thousands of Egyptian expressed their pride on Twitter and Facebook, for participating in the 25 January revolution with the Arabic hashtag: #I_participated_in_January_Revolution.

The hashtag appeared on Twitter and then on Facebook over the past week after reports spread online that detained leftist activist and leading member of Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate Taher Mokhtar was asked by prosecutors if he had taken part in “the violent events of 25 January 2011.”

According to Mokhtar’s lawyers and members of the Doctors Syndicate, the young doctor answered that he indeed participated in the January Revolution and that it was not a crime.

Mokhtar is accused of calling for protests on the uprising’s coming anniversary and possessing anti-regime publications after being arrested by police in his apartment in downtown Cairo.

The arrest of Mokhtar is considered by human rights activists an escalation in the crackdown against political activists in Egypt in the past two weeks as the January revolution anniversary starts.

In an act of solidarity, several Egyptian political activists and figures  launched the (#I_ participated _in_January_Revolution) hashtag to stress the fact that taking part in the 2011 protests that led to the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak was not a crime.

"I participated in January revolutions" Facebook page logo. (Facebook)

“I participated in January revolutions” Facebook page logo. (Facebook)

Hours into the launch on Twitter, the hashtag reached over 10,000 tweets, with average citizens and popular public figures, including politicians, expressing pride in what they consider a day that changed the face of Egypt, according to Al-Ahram website.

Egyptian political activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah wrote that her Twitter timeline was full of people using the hashtag and that the revolution was the noblest thing accomplished by her generation. Political activist Shady El-Ghazly Harb, businessman Hassan Heikal, author Ahdaf Soueif, and former presidential candidate Hamden Sabbahi were among those taking part in the online rally for the hashtag.

A Facebook page called “I participated in January Revolution” was launched explaining the story of the hashtag. The page also published a statement of Egyptian public figures and intellectuals demanding the release of Taher Mokhtar and other “political detainees” in Egypt while vowing to continue to work towards achieving the 25 January Revolution’s goals.

“We are not only demanding the release of thousands of political detainees currently in jail for no crime except dreaming for a better future of the Egyptian people, but we also announce our pride for participating in the 25 January Revolution,” said the statement.

“The [charge] against Taher Mokhtar and his comrades is our charge and we will not deny it. We will continue our struggle till all the detainees are free and the state of justice and freedom is founded,” said the statement, which criticized the government for what it describes as its attempts “to erase the 25 January Revolution.”

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone