For seven years, Ahmed*, a kiosk owner selling cigarettes, snacks and soft drinks in Cairo’s working-class neighbourhood of Ain Shams, hung a picture of his son, Mohamed, on the front of his shop. In January 2011 while protesting, police shot and killed the young man in his twenties.

But earlier this month, Ahmed got a call from the local police station: he would need to replace his son’s photo with another banner, one that said he supported proposed constitutional amendments.

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