Human rights advocates tell European Union to stop giving Egypt a pass on its rampant ongoing abuses. Oct 10, 2020 CAIRO — Rights groups are alarmed about the execution of political detainees in Egypt.On Oct. 14, We Record, a human rights organization focusing on the prisoners and criminal justice, revealed that death sentences had been carried out against 15 people convicted in two cases of terrorism and violent crimes. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Human Rights in Egypt’s Relations with the World December 10, 2020 11:46 am For days before the visit of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to France, on the sixth of December, international media and observers geared up to press the French president Emmanuel Macron into discussing one main topic with the Egyptian president. Since 2017, authorities have blocked an estimated 600 news and political and human rights websites, as well as social media sites and secure communications apps, without judicial authorization. Military and civilian courts of appeal upheld at least 32 death sentences, raising the number on death row to 74, the majority of whom were charged with political violence. In January, French President Emmanuel Macron criticized human rights abuses in a Cairo press conference after meeting al-Sisi. Human rights activists may prefer the first approach, attributing the latest release of three EIPR NGO activists in Egypt to their global international campaign. In April and May, Egypt hosted the 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the African Union’s top rights body, in an oppressive atmosphere. Rouhani’s hasty speech and Fantasizing-dreaming, Recently sanctioned Iran Foundation, regime’s slush fund for terrorism, Ministers criticised for plans to create 500 new UK prison places for women, Cheshire cheesemaker says business left with £250,000 ‘Brexit hole’, Too early to say’: scientists unsure if UK Covid variant is more deadly, Child benefit: government urged to raise high income charge threshold. Nevertheless, no one could claim that Egypt is an ideal country wherein human rights principles are fully guaranteed and respected. The amendments also give the president the power to appoint the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the head and members of the Commissioners’ Authority, and Egypt’s public prosecutor, among other positions. For days before the visit of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to France, on the sixth of December, international media and observers geared up to press the French president Emmanuel Macron into discussing one main topic with the Egyptian president. This topic is not about the joint efforts of Egypt and France on regional crises, such as the tensions in Eastern Mediterranean and the endless troubles of the Middle East and North Africa. According to these, criticism of the president can be punished by fines or imprisonment. In March, Malak al-Kashef, a transgender woman, was arrested from her home and accused of “joining a terrorist group.” She spent four months in pretrial detention in a male prison where she was sexually harassed and abused before being provisionally released in July. 24 November 2020, 12:57 UTC The cruel and inhuman treatment meted out in prison against Gasser Abdel-Razek, Executive Director of Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) is outrageous and shows the Egyptian authorities’ determination to escalate this crackdown against human rights defenders, said Amnesty International. The essence of the problem lies in the poor choices the government makes in relation to the mechanisms used and individuals entrusted with handling this extremely complicated portfolio of advancing human rights. They place Egypt 143rd out of 167 nations on press freedoms. “I will not place conditions on our economic and defense cooperation with Egypt because of these issues (i.e., human rights),” responded President Macron to a journalist who asked him, during his press conference with President El-Sisi, on whether France could link economic and military investments in Egypt to conditions related to improving human rights situation. 09/11/2020 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On Wednesday, September 9, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on the trends of politics, economics, and human rights in Egypt. In January, two days before Christmas celebrations, a bomb outside a Coptic church in Nasr City killed a policeman. His body was found, very badly tortured, nine days later. ISIS militants also committed horrific violations, including kidnappings, torture, and killings of residents and detained security force members. Rather, it cuts off the discussion between us, and weakens one of our important allies in our war on terror and for the stability of the region, and it will not help in developing human right.”. In response to the same question, President El-Sisi noted that “the Egyptian state has been fighting an extremist Islamic organization that has been wreaking havoc in Egypt for over 90 years (in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood). Egypt censored gay-themed scenes from the film Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek. About 70 participants did not manage to get visas on time. Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson’s recent intervention on behalf of civil rights in Egypt is prompting a mixed response there, ranging from gratitude to anti-Semitism. Authorities keep thousands of prisoners in abysmal conditions, where overcrowding and insufficient medical care have been systematic and may have contributed to the deteriorating health and deaths of scores of detainees. Sinai Province militants have kidnapped, tortured, and extrajudicially executed civilians, routinely targeting those they perceive to be pro-government. Security forces led by the military continue to brutalize civilians in North Sinai in its conflict with Sinai Province, an armed group affiliated with the extremist group Islamic State (ISIS). President al-Sisi continued to warn against anti-government protests and gatherings. Reporters Without Borders2006 report indicates continued harassment and, in three cases, imprisonment, of journalists. The law also prohibits cooperating with foreign organizations or experts, or participating in any “political” activities or activities perceived to undermine “national security.”. An army spokesman acknowledged some child detentions, justifying them as part of the army’s counterterrorism operations. Minorities such as Baha`is and nonbelievers face discriminatory obstacles in obtaining IDs and vital documents, such as marriage and death certificates. Even, it is not about the challenges facing the world, these days, such as fighting terrorism and the health and economic consequences of the Coronavirus. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and several UN experts have repeatedly condemned abuses in Egypt. For the foreseeable future, human rights issues shall remain a daunting issue in Egypt’s relations with the world. Since 2014, Human Rights Watch has documented 20 extrajudicial killings of residents by government forces. With a state of emergency and long curfew hours imposed uninterruptedly in Sinai since late 2014, restrictions on movement, also justified under the rhetoric of counterterrorism, led to severe shortages of food and other essential items for months during 2018. Human Rights Watch documented several indiscriminate and possibly unlawful air and ground attacks by security forces. In August, President al-Sisi approved a new law that maintains most of the drastic restrictions imposed on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to France in December. It is not fair to label the Egyptian state as an authoritarian regime because we are fighting extremism.”. Over 160 activists or perceived dissidents were arrested or prosecuted by authorities for voicing criticism before the constitutional referendum in April. Rather, the pressing topic that preoccupied the Egyptian-French summit was the status of human rights in Egypt. In February, nine UN experts condemned the “arbitrary executions” of nine of those executed “on the basis of evidence allegedly obtained under torture,”  following “what appears to be seriously flawed trials.”. Small groups of protesters gather in central Cairo shouting anti-government slogans in Cairo, Egypt September 21, 2019. However, the real obstacle which is preventing Egypt from making tangible progress on the civil and political rights agenda, is not the lack of will or lack of sincerity by the political leadership. Dec. 3, 2020 at 10:34 p.m. UTC CAIRO — Three Egyptian human rights activists were released from detention Thursday after a wave of international condemnation against the … In a September meeting with al-Sisi, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson chose to highlight economic ties but made no mention of the mass arrests that preceded the meeting. These demolitions are carried out without any judicial oversight or independent recourse mechanism. header2 Key Developments in 2019 Constitutional amendments that were adopted in a tightly controlled referendum in April further concentrated power in the hands of President Sisi and authorized him to remain in office until 2030. The parliament described the European Parliament’s decision as "politicized and unbalanced". Egyptian authorities have not released statistics on civilian casualties, and often included civilians in militant death counts, making it difficult to ascertain what proportion of civilians make up these figures. [58] During the COVID-19 pandemic , the healthcare workers in Egypt denounced the government's handling of the crisis. In December 2018, an Egyptian criminal court acquitted all 43 defendants in the retrial of the 2011 foreign organizations case in which they had been sentenced to between 1 and 5 years in prison. In June, authorities arrested and searched the homes of scores of activists and accused them of joining, aiding, or funding a “terrorist” group. In November, two United Nations experts said that such conditions “may have directly led” to his death and “may be placing the health and lives of thousands more prisoners at severe risk.” Authorities did not conduct any independent investigation into his death. Egypt arrests human rights group's staff in 'chilling escalation' Published 18 November 2020 Egypt sex attacks fuel 'feminist revolution' Published 26 October 2020 Egypt … Human rights groups also stated that tens of thousands of people in Egypt were crammed into overcrowded and unsanitary prisons. One of these activists, lawyer Gamal Eid, was physically attacked in October by armed men in circumstances that indicated government involvement. US President Donald Trump met with al-Sisi on three separate occasions in 2019: in the White House in April, on the sidelines of the G7 summit in August in France, and at the UN General Assembly in September. A law criminalizing domestic violence did not gain traction in parliament, and Christians still face discrimination and obstacles when it comes to building new churches. Authorities unfairly banned 83 defendants in the case from travel and froze their assets. Two female participants were sexually assaulted by registration officials in Sharm al-Sheikh, and others reported physical surveillance. Authorities prosecuted and banned from leaving the country leading women’s rights activists, including Mozn Hassan, head of Nazra for Feminist Studies and Azza Soliman, head of the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance. However, France remained one of the main suppliers of weapons and surveillance technology to Egypt. Will Erdogan retreat on the S-400 missile deal? November 20, 2020 at 9:51 p.m. UTC CAIRO — At the start of this week, Egyptian security agents arrested the office manager of one of the country's leading human rights … Security forces used torture and enforced disappearances systematically against dissidents from all backgrounds. EIPR is one of the few remaining human rights organisations in Egypt. Between January 2014 and June 2018, 3,076 alleged militants and 1,266 military and police members were killed in Sinai hostilities. Human Rights Watch also documented 50 cases of arbitrary arrests, of whom 39 were likely forcibly disappeared; at least 14 have been missing for three or four years. Despite the delay on reforming civil and political rights, Egypt witnessed a leap on improving economic, social, and cultural rights, thanks to new legislative amendments and national projects targeting improving health, housing, and security conditions, as well as protecting freedom of religion. Those detained and disappeared are usually held in one of three main army bases in North Sinai: Camp al-Zohor in Sheikh Zuwayed, Battalion 101 Base in al-Arish, and al-Galaa Military Base in the neighboring Ismailya governorate. Egypt was on this list 5 times in the last 15 years and was removed only briefly in 2018. The Press Law, Publications Law, and the penal code regulate and govern the press. 19 Dec 2020 The European Parliament has passed a resolution urging member states to consider imposing targeted restrictions against Egypt for its crackdown on human rights … Those arrested include well-known figures, such as political science professors Hazem Hosni and Hassan Nafaa, as well as journalist and politician Khaled Dawood and human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Baker. Christians, the largest religious minority in Egypt, continued to face systematic discrimination on societal and institutional levels. Under Sisi, Egypt has seen a widespread crackdown against human rights groups and independent media. The new NGO Law, which parliament passed in July and al-Sisi approved in August, prohibits NGOs from conducting field research, surveys, or opinion polls without government approval. The government failed to follow through on promises it had made to protect women and religious minorities. According to the Egyptian Front for Human Rights, as of June authorities executed at least 15 prisoners in three cases on political grounds. In Egypt, the executive director of the country’s leading human rights group has been arrested as part of an unprecedented crackdown on activists … Trump did not at any point publicly raise human rights concerns, instead praising al-Sisi’s  “fantastic job” in Egypt. “Over the years, Karim has supported many journalists who come to him for comment,” said Kelly. The police and National Security Agency routinely carry out systematic enforced disappearances and torture with impunity. Undoubtedly, this pragmatic response by President Macron frustrated a number of those who rely on stirring up the human rights issue whenever they desire to exert a political pressure on Egypt. The Supreme Council for Media Regulation, a government entity established pursuant to the abusive new 2018 media law to monitor and control media, issued in March and September two sets of by-laws that impose drastic restrictions and disproportionate penalties without judicial oversight for any media outlet, including websites and social media pages, that do not abide by the council’s rules. This is what Egypt needs to fix, as a first urgent and proper step, towards improving human rights conditions. Small groups of protesters gather in central Cairo shouting anti-government slogans in Cairo, Egypt September 21, 2019. The case, known as the “Hope Coalition” case, involves activists who were allegedly planning a new political coalition to contest the 2020 elections. Egypt’s 2016 discriminatory church-building law has achieved little in removing obstacles and sectarian violence around building churches. The amendments consolidate authoritarian rule, undermine the judiciary’s dwindling independence, and expand the military’s power to intervene in political life. THE LEVANT NEWS MEDIA INTERNATIONAL LTD © 2020-20212021. The human rights activists, from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), were arrested “within days” of a meeting with 13 foreign ambassadors and diplomats on 3 November, according to the UN human rights office (). Discriminatory laws continue to impede building and renovating non-Sunni Muslim houses of worship. “EIPR are the ones in the know, they are the only people taking testimonies and conducting proper research into abuses of human rights, whether of minorities or in the criminal justice system.” The army and pro-government militias carried out serious abuses, including demolishing homes and arbitrarily arresting, torturing, and extrajudicially executing residents. According to pro-government newspapers, of about 6,000 churches and service buildings that lack legal recognition, only 1,027 were given conditional permits as of July, three years after passage of the law. Dec 7, 2020 French President Emmanuel Macron said his country will continue selling arms to Egypt despite calls to curb weapons sales in light of the Egyptian government’s poor human rights record. As Karim Ennarah, the head of the criminal justice unit in one of Egypt’s leading human rights groups, spent his 37 th birthday on Monday behind bars, calls for his release, along with his detained colleagues, have intensified and gained momentum from sympathizers worldwide. Authorities continued to subject people accused of homosexual conduct to forced anal examinations, which are cruel and degrading and can rise to the level of torture. 12 Cumberland AvePark Royal, London NW10 7QL, Vereinigtes Königreich. Egypt continued to stall on a law that would tackle domestic violence. Human Rights Watch documented demolitions of at least 3,600 homes and commercial buildings by the army between January and May 2018 alone. In November, during the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Egypt received strong criticism and scores of recommendations from countries from every region. “The policy of dialogue is better than the policy of boycott, which harms our ability to fight terrorism and our work for regional stability. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. This council will supervise and be able to intervene in the judiciary’s affairs, including appointments and promotions. Egyptian authorities severely punish peaceful criticism against the government and routinely silence journalists, bloggers, and social media users. The Egyptian government in 2019 passed constitutional amendments that were approved in an unfair referendum in April. In January, a TV anchor was sentenced to one year in prison for interviewing a gay man on television. Cairo - 18 December 2020: Egypt's House of Representatives refused in a statement, Friday the European Parliament’s resolution on the human rights situation in Egypt. Shoukry made his statement during a meeting with the Technical Secretariat of the Permanent Supreme Committee of Human Rights. More news and political websites were blocked before the constitutional referendum in April. Former President Mohamed Morsy, whom the army forcibly removed in 2013, died on June 17 in a Cairo court room following six years of lack of medical care and near-absolute isolation in prison. Civilian and military courts sentenced hundreds of individuals to death in 2019, often in mass trials in cases that stem from alleged political violence or planned violence. Egypt was among the top three worst jailers of journalists in the world, with roughly 30 journalists behind bars, many charged with “spreading false news.”. 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