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updated: 2/12/2011 10:24 AM

Egypt's revolt met with wide support, censorship

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  • Palestinians celebrate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, in Gaza City, Saturday.

      Palestinians celebrate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, in Gaza City, Saturday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LONDON -- From London to Gaza City to Seoul, the world was savoring the spectacular fall of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, with demonstrators rallying in the thousands Saturday in cities across the world. But other authoritarian regimes weren't celebrating -- and some are trying to censor the news.

In China, where the ruling Communist Party ruthlessly stamps out dissent, terse media reports downplayed the large-scale pro-democracy protests in Egypt that forced Mubarak from power and instead emphasized the country's disorder and lawlessness.

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In oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, where coup leader Teodoro Obiang has held sway since 1979, state-controlled media was ordered to stop reporting about Egypt altogether, according to African news site afrol.com.

Nearly everywhere else, newspapers congratulated Egypt's revolution, with many headlines carrying the word: "Finally."

The headlines were matched with an outpouring of international support, with rallies in Britain, South Korea and the Palestinian territories, among other places.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd congratulated Egyptians on what he called a clear and courageous protest movement.

"My view is that the people of this most ancient civilization truly deserve a most modern of democracies," Rudd told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Japan and South Korea issued statements noting Mubarak's resignation, while India -- which with Egypt was one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War -- said it welcomed Mubarak's decision to step down "in deference to the wishes of the people of Egypt."

In Indonesia and the Philippines, two countries whose own "people power" revolts toppled long-ruling dictators, the praise was more fulsome, although there were words of warning too.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, son of the late President Corazon Aquino -- the country's democracy icon who was swept to power in a revolt that toppled the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos -- welcomed the "relatively peaceful resolution" of the political crisis in Egypt, saying it showed that "aspirations for a more free and fair society are universal."

The country's left-wing alliance Bayan, which fought Marcos and has remained a critic of succeeding regimes, expressed hope that "the great unity and determination of the Egyptian people inspire others worldwide in their fight against tyranny."

"The importance of people power has once again been affirmed," said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes. "What comes after people power however, is another difficult challenge, as we Filipinos well know."

Indonesians -- who chased longtime Washington ally Gen. Suharto from power in 1998 -- largely echoed the sentiment.

"Congrats Egyptians," Luthfi Assyaukanie, leader of Indonesia's Liberal Islamic Network, wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter. "I know how you feel today. I had the same feeling 13 years ago. The real struggle has just begun."

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