Timeline: Egypt's year of revolution

Hatem Maher, Wael Eskandar, Tuesday 24 Jan 2012

Ahram Online presents a timeline of events since the eruption of January 2011 popular uprising that ended the 30-year autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak

Tahrir Square
Egyptian anti-government demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt (photo: AP)

25 January – Thousands of Egyptians take to the streets nationwide protesting against the Hosni Mubarak regime, chanting "Bread and Freedom" and "The People Want to Bring Down the Regime." The protests were dispersed violently at the end of the night and many were detained. 

27 January – Egyptians plan for nationwide protests on 28 January. In events of the previous days, six were killed in clashes with riot police and an estimated 850 to 1,000 have been detained. Egyptian authorities shut down the Internet at end of the day making Internet history.

28 January – Egyptians march in great numbers after Friday prayers from all areas of numerous cities in Egypt. The Friday is dubbed the "Friday of Rage" as the regime shuts down telecom networks and police forces clamp down on protestors to prevent them from reaching Tahrir Square in central Cairo. Hundreds are killed and thousands are wounded but the protesters manage to reach Tahrir Square.  Mubarak delivers a speech and sacks Ahmed Nazif’s government. The police withdraw and the army is deployed. A sit-in ensues. (details)

1 February – Amidst a million-man march by protesters calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down as president, Mubarak delivers his second speech which moved many viewers and further enraged some. (details)

2 February – In the morning, Internet connections are restored. Pro-Mubarak supporters rally and head to Tahrir Square to expell protesters. Men on horses and camels charge the square and attack protesters. The army does not intervene. As more pro-Mubarak thugs attack the square with rocks and Molotov cocktails, the army withdraws completely. Protesters set up barricades and fend off the vicious attack and maintain control of the square. (details)

Tahrir Square
Pro-government demonstrators, below, some riding camels and horses and armed with sticks, clash with anti-government demonstrators, above, in Tahrir square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. (Photo: AP)

6 February – For the first time, protesters hold a Coptic Mass in Tahrir Square.

7 February – Activist Wael Ghonim, who disappeared on 27 January, is released after hard campaigning to find his whereabouts. On the same day he gives a moving interview on Dream 2 TV, prompting masses to join the next day’s million-man protest.

10 February – Crowds anticipate what is to be Mubarak’s final speech following news that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) will remain in open session in order to safeguard "the people's achievements and demands". Mubarak's speech manages to enrage protesters who then march on the presidential palace, determined to bring millions to the street the next day.

11 February – Millions of Egyptians take to the streets to protest in what is dubbed "Defiance Friday". Protesters in thousands march to the state television building and to the presidential palace and at 6pm Omar Sulieman announces on state TV that Mubarak has stepped down.

21 February – A wall outside Anba Beshoy Monastery is demolished by the army amid reports of the use of live ammunition.

25 February – A couple of hundred protesters are attacked by the military with sticks, severely injuring some of them. The attack was against a planned sit-in to protest against Prime Minster Ahmed Shafiq, who was appointed by Mubarak. The military apologises the next day, claiming the attacks were unintentional.

2 MarchPM Ahmed Shafiq confronted by writer Alaa Al Aswany on ONTV, afterwards handing in his resignation.

3 March – Former Transportation Minister Essam Sharaf replaces Ahmed Shafiq as prime minister. Sharaf served under Mubarak from 2004-2006.

5 March – Protesters hone in on the infamous State Security Investigations headquarters in Nasr City, eventually getting inside the building. Nasr City State Security was one of the worst with regards to torture of civilians, according to protesters. On the same day, the governorate of Helwan witnesses sectarian clashes that resulted in the burning down and demolition of the church in Atfih.

8 March – Clashes break out in Mansiet Nasser, Moqattam, as Copts protest the burning of the church in Atfih, resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries. Some witnesses blame the army for the deaths with more allegations surfacing of the use of live ammunition.

9 March – The Tahrir sit-in that had extended from February is dispersed violently by army personnel and men in plainclothes. The dispersal is the most violent action since SCAF took over. Numerous activists are beaten and tortured in the Egyptian Museum, while the army performs virginity checks on 19 women protesters.

14 March – A Coptic sit-in outside Maspero (the state television building) protesting the demolition of the church in Atfih ends voluntarily by some members upon the army’s promise to rebuild the church. Those that remain are dispersed violently.

17 March – The first press conference implicating the army in torture and virginity checks is held at the Journalists' Syndicate. Numerous released activists and protesters speak about their experiences.

19 March – The first post-Mubarak referendum on constitutional amendments proposed under SCAF supervision takes place in Egypt. Many Egyptians line up in front of polling stations for the first time in their lives.

polling station
An Egyptian Christian woman fills in her ballot, indicating "No", during a referendum on constitutional amendments at a polling station in Cairo March 19, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

23 March – On the same day the cabinet approves a law criminalising protests, a protest held by students in the Faculty of Mass Communications at Cairo University is dispersed violently by the army.

28 March – Activist and blogger Maikel Nabil is the first prisoner of conscience arrested under SCAF rule. Nabil had a longstanding position against compulsory service in the military.

30 March – After 11 days of waiting for supposedly simple amendments of the constitution, based on the results of the 19 March referendum, a constitutional declaration is announced by SCAF.

8 April – Mass protests take place in Tahrir demanding the full dismantling of the old regime, regarding it as bent on counter-revolution. Some army officers join the protests in uniform. The military violently disperses the protests with help from the police and arrests the army officers.

10 April – Activist and blogger Maikel Nabil is sentenced to three years in prison for his blog post "The army and the people were never one hand".

7 May Churches are attacked in Imbaba as Salafists demand custody of a woman who allegedly converted to Islam but is reportedly held by the Church.

May 7, 2011 file photo, firemen fight a fire at a church surrounded by angry Muslims in the Imbaba neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

14 May – Coptic demonstrators are attacked while holding a sit-in outside Maspero protesting deadly Christian-Muslim clashes that left one church burned and 15 people dead.

15 May- Nakba Day witnessed protests outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo in solidarity with Palestinians. Demonstrators were dispersed using live ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets leaving 350 people injured. Over 150 protesters were arrested

27 May – Protesters take to streets and squares around Egypt in what is known as the "Second Day of Rage," demanding that the revolution run its course.

30 May – Activist Hossam El-Hamalawy and ONTV presenter Reem Maged are summoned by the military prosecution for criticising Egypt's ruling military on air.

18 June – Al-Fajr journalist Rasha Azab and editor-in-chief Adel Hamouda are summoned by the military prosecution for criticising Egypt's ruling military and are questioned the next day.

28 June – A premeditated attack on martyrs’ families at the Balloon Theatre in Agouza triggers protests in Tahrir Square. Clashes between protesters and the police continue through the night turning into mass protests the next day.

8 July – Protesters stage one of their trademark million-man marches in Tahrir Square to pressure the army into speeding up trials of former regime figures and police officers accused of killing demonstrators in January. A sit-in follows.

23 July – Thousands of protesters march from Tahrir Square to the Ministry of Defence to decry the unmet demands of the 8 July sit-in. Attacks on the protesters result in the death of activist Mohamed Mohsen.

1 August – Police violently disperse with sticks a sit-in in Tahrir Square on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, leaving several people injured.

3 August – The trial of Mubarak begins. The former president, wheeled into a courtroom cage on a bed, pleads not guilty to charges of killing protesters and abuse of power.

18 August – An Egyptian army officer and two security personnel are killed during an Israeli raid on militants along the Egyptian-Israeli border, sparking public anger against the Zionist state.

9 September – Angry following the killing of several Egyptian army officers and security personnel on the Egyptian-Israeli border, protesters storm the Israeli embassy building in Giza, sending hundreds of documents out of the window of the building and into the streets below.

Israel embassy
Israel embassy (photo: Mai Shaheen)

30 September – Muslim extremists burn down the 71-year-old Mar Girgis Church in Merinab village near the city of Edfu, located in the southern Aswan governorate of Egypt.

5 October – Military police violently disperse hundreds of angry Coptic demonstrators who were attempting to stage a sit-in outside the state TV premises (Maspero) in protest against the attack on the Mar Girgis Church.

9 October – At least 25 Coptic Christians are killed following clashes with the army in front of Maspero in one of the bloodiest days since Mubarak left office.

Egyptian Christians
Egyptian Christians clash with soldiers and riot police during a protest against an attack on a church in southern Egypt, in Cairo October 9, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

18 November – Hundreds of thousands protest in Tahrir Square and in other cities, demanding that the army swiftly hand over power. Islamists, protesting against controversial "supra-constitutional principles", dominate the demonstrations.

19 November – Hundreds are injured as the army bombards a small group of protesters with tear gas. Violence escalates in the next few days in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, one of the streets leading to Tahrir Square, leaving more than 40 dead.

21 November – The cabinet, led by under-fire Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, submits its resignation in the wake of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes.

22 November – Egypt’s de facto ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, promises that the army will hand over power to an elected president before the end of June 2012.

25 November – Tens of thousands flock to Tahrir Square in the “Friday of Martyrs,” voicing the same demand that Egypt’s ruling SCAF step down.

25 November – Kamal El-Ganzouri, who served as prime minister under Mubarak from 1996 to 1999, is named as the new interim premier following the departure of Sharaf.

28 November – The first stage of Egypt’s three-phase People Assembly (lower house) elections begins.

parliamentary elections
People stand in line outside a polling station as they wait to cast their votes during parliamentary elections in Cairo November 28, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

16 December – An army crackdown on protesters who were staging a sit-in in front of the Cabinet headquarters near Qasr El-Aini Street, Downtown Cairo, sparks fresh violence that leaves 17 dead.

23 December – Tens of thousands protest in Tahrir Square against the latest army crackdown on demonstrators, holding aloft banners of a woman who was partially stripped and dragged by soldiers.

14 January – Nobel Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei abruptly announces his withdrawal from the upcoming presidential elections, saying that “the old regime has not fallen yet.”

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