مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)
I) The policies and legislations related to the democratic transition in Tunisia :
Policies and legislations are presented here within the two components of the structural and legislative framework and within a special axis for the social policy on the occasion of the spread of the covid epidemic.
The two sections cooperate to confirm the institutionalization of military rule and the spread of oppression, which exploits every opportunity to root its presence in the lives of citizens at all level
1. The legislative and structural framework :
The upper hand in Egypt is for the president of the republic while the authorities remain subordinate to him in a poorly directed play for a lost legitimacy.
This would be clear by introducing the three authorities and the balances among them.
a-The legislative authority:
The Egyptian regime has focused during the past period on increasing its control over the legislative authority by reviewing the legislative framework since 2019.
During the summer of 2020, the regime worked on the implementation of the domination project with legal and institutional tools.
On the 10th of June of 2020, the Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Parliament completed the draft law which was submitted by Dr. Abdel Hadi Al-Qasabi, the head of the Egypt Support Coalition ( which is loyal to the regime) and more than 60 representatives, regarding amending some provisions of the Law No.45 of 2014 regarding Regulating the Exercise of Political Rights, Parliament Law No. 46 of 2014, and Law No. 198 of 2017 regarding the National Elections Authority.
The following is a review of the most important amendments:
The following is a review of the most important amendments:
The aforementioned amendments are highly sensitive as they come together during the scheduled election year, starting in September 2020.
This direction towards amending the legal framework for parliamentary and presidential elections started from the beginning of the fifth and final periodic session of the Egyptian Parliament, and this is considered a clear direction towards framing and controlling political life, especially as it witnesses the regime’s control over all its pillars.
All these laws were approved on the 7th and 17th of June of 2020.
By reviewing the election results for the Senate, the results of these amendments could be examined:
The chansellor Lasheen Ibrahim, the deputy head of the Court of Cassation and the head of the National Elections Authority, declared the call for the voters to vote inside and outside Egypt in the elections of the Senate, and the schedule of the electoral process which includes the openning of receiving applications for candidacy from the 11th of July to the 18th of July of 2020.
The applications for candicacy for the elections of the Senate were received for a period of 8 days in 27 courts all over the republic, including submitting the results of the medical checkups.In preparation for these elections, 16 political parties headed by the pro-regime “the Nation’s Future” party, which has a parliamentary majority in the Parliament, agreed initially to run in the Senate elections, with a unified national electoral list throughout the Republic. And it agreed to coordinate in the governorates at the level of individual seats. His list of accord included 3 new parties, namely the Freedom Party, the Free Egyptians party and the Conference party. As the list currently includes, in addition to the Nation’s Future Party , the Wafd Party, the Republican people, Al-Ghad, the Tagamoa, Justice, Reform and Development, the Egyptian Democratic, the Will of a Generation, Protectors of the Homeland, Modern Egypt, the National Movement In addition to the Youth Party Coordination.
It is reported that the head of the Nation’s Future Party is the former President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Counselor Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Razek.
He is known for his supporting decisions for the Egyptian regime. So he may be appointed later as the Speaker of one of the two campers of the Legislative authority
The elections of the second chamber of the legislature A title of the domination of the Executive Authority
The political arena in Egypt is formed according to the desires of the regime and its supporters, making it impossible for the voices of the opposition to make balance in the institution that represents the Egyptian people ( the Parliament).
Moreover, the opposition avoids entering into formal elections that sought to legitimize the regime.
One of the elements of confirmation of the formation of the political arena according to the desires of the regime could be seen in the reactions of the parties, even those who are loyal to the regime as some them decided by agreement to withdraw from the unified list. And the opposition parties and independents decided to boycott the Senate elections as a great part of them oppose the formation of a Second chamber in the legislative branch.
It is noted that it is a chamber with very limited powers compared to the previous Shura Councils.It is reported that in the aforementioned party alliance, it submitted a list alone to compete for the elected seats with the absolute closed list system.According to the law, a 5% vote is sufficient for it.As for the other third in which the candidates compete in the single-election system, all the candidates belong to pro-regime parties or are independent.Regarding the remaining third which is appointed by the President of the Republic, Abdel Fattah Al-Poli, the direction is to reproduce the experience of the Shura Council during the era of President Hosni Mubarak.
Members are chosen on the basis of political loyalty to the regime.
Names and personalities are chosen from among the heads of media institutions, syndicates, universities, institutes and public institutions as a reward for the services they provide to the system.
In Egypt, amendments to the electoral law are a direct cause of controlling the results.
In July 2020, the Parliament, by a two-thirds majority of the members, approved the amendments which were submitted by the Egypt Support Coalition, which included that the Parliament consists of 568 members in a general election by a secret ballot. And the seats for women are allocated for no less than 25% of the total seats. And A number of seats are allocated for each of the Christian citizens, workers and farmers, and a representation for youth, people with disabilities and Egyptians who live abroad According to the amendments, the President of the Republic may appoint a number of members in the Parliament, not more than 5%, and the Parliament has become 284 seats by the individual system, and 284 seats in the absolute closed lists, and parties and independents are entitled to run in each of them..
The closed list system faces huge objections from legal jurists because it includes the dedication of the votes of the electorate and imposes the will of political parties on the citizens as they vote on the entire list, which is considered the same as the appointment rather than election. Usually, the democratic countries resort to the open list system in which each list gets a number of seats which are equal to the number of votes it gets.
The electoral laws and the distribution of electoral districts are coming together to make parliamentary seats in the hands of the loyal parties to the executive authority. It is not enough that the closed list (the pro-regime Egypt Support Coalition List) obtains 50% of the parliament, which guarantees that it will pass most of the laws that are required to be passed. Winning individual seats is almost exclusive to the same trend.
Despite the efforts made, the elections witnessed a weak turnout of voters to cast their votes in the various governorates. Candidates intrigued the voters by providing means of transportation to transport them to the committees, and urged them to go through loudspeakers in various regions, while the attempts to mobilize the elderly, women and Copts were clearly evident in Confronting the low turnout, especially in popular and densely populated areas in the governorates of Greater Cairo, with the rebroadcast of satellite channels loyal to the regime footage that shows the presence of some citizens at the doors of the committees.
Activists have reported cases of voting by receiving money.
The election results came as expected, as the regime’s lists and loyalists controlled the Senate seats.
The National Elections Authority declared the results of the elections of the Senate officially:
b-The Executive Authority:
The regime in Egypt continues to extend its domination over the pillars of the state, as it seeks to ensure and confirm its legal and institutional presence through the military establishment, and behind it the President of the Republic.In this regard, the Parliament approved, in its plenary session, amendments to 6 laws on the armed forces.
And the most important of them are:
At the top of the list of amendments are those ones which are related to draft Law No. 55 of 1968 regarding the popular defense organizations by adding two new articles, the first of them is No. 5 bis, which stipulates that each governorate should have a military advisor and a sufficient number of assistants whose appointment and conditions for their employment are determined by a decision from the Minister of Defense. The second, number 5 bis (A), stipulates specifying the terms of reference for the governorate’s military counselor.
Regarding the militarization of the regime, the military counselor would actually be the governor, within a country in which the division between civilian and military jobs has become a reality and clear, in favor of the latter.
These laws are a confirmation of the military regime’s tendency to further restrict society, activists and opponents, by extending the hand of the executive authority headed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, through various mechanisms and institutions.
The regime was not satisfied with subjugating the judiciary, but it was reviewing all institutions affiliated with the executive authority, under the leadership of Sisi, to give it more opportunities to strike at its opponents.It was stated in Law No. 165 of 2020 amending the aforementioned law, and in Article Two thereof, there are a set of powers of the military advisor in the governorate.
And it is the following:
The second article also stipulated that the military advisor, in order to carry out his duties, do the following:
The rest of the amendments are no less dangerous than the aforementioned.
Under which the law relating to the National Security Council was amended. That later is held by a call from the president of the republic in cases in which the state, its civilization, the preservation of its constitution, the country’s security and territorial integrity, the republican system, the basic foundations of society and its national unity are at imminent risk.
In order to take urgent measures and mechanisms to confront this, according to Article Four.
The assessment remains in the hands of the President of the Republic, and he enjoys the full powers at this level.
The decisions issued by the Council are self-enforceable and binding on all and all state authorities.
The above is related to the amendment of the law establishing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, whereby the law allows according to the new amendment of the President of the Republic and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to include members of the Council “as needed.”
The Executive Authority: Between the Military and its culture towards the more militarization of the state and individuals
The aforementioned law relating to the powers of the military advisor in the governorates allowed the advisor to coordinate with educational authorities at the governorate level to implement the military education curriculum in accordance with the rules specified by the Ministry of Defense.
The latter thus becomes a reference for values and materials to be included in educational programs.
The previous semi-annual report of the Center for Supporting Democratic Transition and Human Rights referred to Sisi’s speech and his directing to the Ministry of Information to “form the Egyptian personality and defend values.”
This has been strengthened by the Ministry of Defense recently.
This represents a clear program for the further militarization of the state and society.
It is the reason behind the amendment of the Military Education Law.
2. Institutionalizing the military rule A special subject: The social policy between the covid crisis and its aftermath :
The health crisis has called urgent questions about social policy in Egypt and its political, economic and human rights dimensions.
Such as the failure of social policy in Egypt on the occasion of the health emergency is evidence of the absence of any alternative conception of the social contract based on the rooting of democracy and human rights in the state and society, so that the systems of political hegemony and other systems intertwined with them economically, socially, culturally and in the media … As a result, the absence of transparency, corruption and profit interest The suppression of workers in all sectors and the separation of the law from the reality of the people.
The Corona crisis was the dominant and main controller in the state’s policies, whether on the side of the direct medical confrontation with the epidemic, or at the level of economic and social policies and legislative development, or even at the security level.
a-At the level of the economic policies :
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced that the Ministry of Finance has allocated 100 billion pounds to finance the comprehensive plan to confront the epidemic, while reducing the price of natural gas for the industry at 4.5 dollars, electricity by 10 piasters, and providing one billion pounds to support exports and 10%. The measures also included raising administrative reservations on troubled companies. And reducing interest rates by 3%, postponing credit entitlements for medium, small and micro companies by 6 months, and reducing profit taxes by 50% to become 5%. Also, the initiatives of the Central Bank included, including real estate financing for average income by 50 billion pounds for a period of 20 years with a decreasing return of 8%. And the initiative of defaulting legal persons working in the tourism sector, with postponing the dues of companies in the sector. It also included the initiative of 100 billion pounds to finance the industrial sector, with instructions to set the percentage of personal consumer loans at 50% instead of 35% of total income, and the initiative of non-obligated customers from Individuals.
Despite the permanent government statements that the Egyptian economy is achieving growth in 2020 despite the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, the question of “Where did the 100 billion people go” is dominant in all economic discussions.
Some numbers and data reveal the lack of transparency in the Egyptian economic decision and its implementation policies regarding grants and loans received by Egypt.
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s decision to disburse the “presidential grant”:
In contrast to the above, no real measures have been taken to support the economically affected groups by the epidemic.
Especially since many doctors’ complaints to the Doctors Syndicate and hospital administrations are not available in sufficient numbers of protective equipment, especially high protection masks or medical tools to treat patients.
Also, after two months of announcing the allocation of the 100 billion to face the crisis, Egypt obtained the approval of the International Monetary Fund to lend $ 2.8 billion to reaffirm the reality of the great economic crisis afflicting the country. This comes after a responsible source revealed to the “Economy Plus” website , That Egypt is currently seeking to obtain external financing of more than $ 9 billion from the International Monetary Fund and other institutions, in addition to the $ 2.8 billion it received recently, and the official said that Egypt is seeking more than $ 5 billion from the International Monetary Fund, according to Additional support and support agreement, and $ 4 billion from other institutions.
The Official Fallacy About Pandemic Finances: The direct escape from the responsibility
The expert and financial analyst, Mohamed Kharaga considered that the main reason behind this loan is the decline in foreign exchange reserves in the Central Bank of Egypt, explaining that the Corona pandemic in Egypt does not require allocating this loan to confront it, so the Egyptian government, for example, did not spend more to buy new beds for patients, or import Protective masks or medical supplies, and it did not even compensate the unemployed that is worthy of the high cost of living that Egypt suffers from, even before Corona.The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance confirmed that 60 billion pounds of the 100 allocated by the President of the Republic have been spent to confront the Corona pandemic. . The Minister of Health also stated previously that 5.1 billion pounds have been spent on additional allocations for health, 5 billion pounds for the Ministry of Supply to provide goods and strategic needs, 10 billion pounds for contractors and suppliers, and 10 billion pounds for tourism and aviation.“.
The economic expert “Mamdouh Al-Wali” has a different vision, as he sees that what has been disbursed from it so far is almost limited to the Ministry of Health only, and that the numbers that were disbursed from this amount are related to supplies. Exports. These are amounts owed years ago, “he said.
And that what we have seen recently is merely granting subsidies from the emergency fund at the Ministry of Manpower that are less than 100 million pounds, previously deducted from the wages of the beneficiaries for the benefit of the fund, which means, in total, little of this amount allocated to Corona.
At the level of labor rights :
In its report, the Trade Union Services House monitored the economic and social implications of the outbreak of the Coronavirus on Egyptian workers.
That businessmen have taken a number of arbitrary decisions and measures that have killed workers and stormed their jobs, including collective dismissal and layoffs of workers in some companies, or refraining from paying or reducing salaries while forcing workers to work for the same specified number of hours, ignoring any precautionary measures or measures. It was declared by the World Health Organization since the pandemic began, and the Egyptian government has confirmed it in accordance with international labor standards and Egyptian labor law.Doctors are considered more vulnerable to infection, and despite this, the suffering of the medical professions sector has doubled in light of the weak capabilities, the lack of allocations that the sector receives, and the lack of adequate protection for the transmission and spread of infection.The report dealt with the conditions of workers in the informal sector, which comes according to the estimates of the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, with about 5.6 million workers in Egypt, of whom about 277 thousand work daily, and 233 thousand are seasonal workers inside government facilities, in addition to these numbers 609 thousand seasonal workers. And 3.7 million intermittent workers in the private sector.According to the report, workers in the informal sector faced many challenges as a result of the decisions issued to close entertainment, tourism and markets to street vendors, as well as the eternal problem of domestic workers that escalated with the onset of the pandemic as most Egyptian families gave up their work for fear of transmission, that of course. Free of charge, confirming for the millionth time, the precariousness of their legal and social conditions.As the health and social security systems cover with their services the groups working in the formal sector alone, disregarding the protection of this sector, not only during crises and epidemics, but in general even before the crisis, at the same time Ministerial Resolution No. 776 of 2020 was issued within a number of decisions announced by the state To form a committee to collect data on workers affected by the economic repercussions left by the virus, but the effects of a state of turmoil, in light of the inability to record their data, and the lack of clarity of who is addressed and not addressed by this decision.
At the level of medical equipments:
The total number of hospitals dealing with the Coronavirus crisis has reached 340 hospitals nationwide, after adding 320 triage and isolation hospitals nationwide, including 35,152 internal beds, 2,218 ventilators, and 3,539 intensive care beds, as well as raising the prices of medical services provided in Private hospitals have many criticisms because of their high, especially after a number of hospitals refused to apply the prices set by the Ministry of Health and Population for these services, and the Ministry of Health had announced the costs of treating Coronavirus in internal rooms and intensive care in private hospitals, in early June, June 2020, as it determined the cost of a patient. In an internal isolation room 1500-3000 pounds per day between 95 to 190 dollars, and the cost of the patient in intensive care is between 7500 – 10,000 pounds, with a ventilator between 480 to 640 dollars, and without a respirator, it ranges between 5-7 thousand pounds per day between 320 to 445 dollars, and on June 3, Dr. Khaled Samir, a member of the board of directors of the Healthcare Providers Chamber of the Federation of Industries, said that private sector hospitals reject these prices, stressing that most of these hospitals see that providing care service Coronavirus patients are expensive
The crisis challenges medical ethics especially its duty and responsibility regarding the life of citizens. It has been evident that the regime escapes from its responsibility by criticizing doctors on many occasions, despite the fact that it is directly responsible for the unavailability of medical tools and equipment to perform the task of saving lives.
d-At the level of enacting laws:
The Egyptian Parliament has amended some provisions of the Emergency Law, which was issued by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi after it was approved by the House of Representatives on April 22, 2020, and the amendment included two articles on 18 points facing the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic, including disbursing financial support for those affected, and establishing hospitals Field, and the initial military investigation only into violations of the law, and for the first time the cause of health conditions has been added to the Emergency Law.The amendments include the security forces or the army to implement the orders of the President of the country or his representative, and have the capacity of a judicial seizure, provided that the Military Prosecution has the right to preliminary investigation only into any violations, provided that the Public Prosecution has jurisdiction over the final disposal of the investigation.
It also includes suspension of studies or work, partial or full postponement of the payment of electricity, gas and water service fees, or installments of dues to the state, restricting public meetings and permissible to restrict private meetings, and obligating those coming from abroad to submit to quarantine procedures.The laws are just a continuation of the repressive policy of the regime as the health quarantine joined the system of the emergency law. To consolidate a security approach which is separated from any social and economic approach that has the right dimension. These amendments released the security and military hand without supervision or accountants, which explains the increase and continued repression during the monitoring period.
At the level of the security control :
With the beginnings of the spread of the epidemic in Egypt, human rights campaigns came out calling for a reduction in the overcrowding in prisons, because of the danger that this posed to the detainees there, especially in light of the presence of tens of thousands of pretrial detainees for political issues, but these demands were faced by the Egyptian authorities with more arrest campaigns against the participants. While Egyptian and international human rights organizations, political parties, and international bodies are calling for a reduction in the overcrowding in prisons and the release of some categories of prisoners, security authorities in Egypt arrested dozens of people from their homes during campaigns in separate governorates, and most of them were hidden for varying periods before They appeared before the State Security Prosecution on charges of joining a terrorist group, misusing social media, and spreading false news.They are the same charges that have also been brought against a number of activists, journalists and lawyers recently, due to posts on their personal accounts about the Coronavirus.These intense prosecutions also coincided with violent campaigns on foreign media outlets to prevent any news about the new Corona epidemic and its spread in Egypt other than official accounts from circulating.
On March 17, the Egyptian authorities decided to close the British Guardian newspaper’s office in Egypt and withdraw its accreditation, after the newspaper published a report questioning the official numbers of people infected with the Coronavirus, and the Egyptian authorities insisted on deporting the newspaper’s correspondent in Egypt.
This is in addition to another warning directed at the correspondent of the American New York Times in Egypt, stressing the need to refer to “the official sources in the news that are broadcast on Egypt and adhere to professional rules”.
On the other hand, the Medical Syndicate addressed the Attorney General, Counselor Hamada Al-Sawy.
Concerning the doctors who were arrested after publishing their opinions related to the Corona pandemic, as complaints related to this matter were received by the Syndicate and the Syndicate demanded that they be released quickly until the investigations with them are completed.
And the presence of a representative of the union during the investigations as it is its inherent right.
Those ones who were targeted by the authorities have protested against unsafe working conditions, lack of personal protective equipment, insufficient infection control training, limited screening of health care workers, and lack of access to essential health care.
The development of policies and legislations related to human rights:
The situation of human rights in Egypt is a crisis by all accounts. All authorities are involved in violating it, as part of a systematic policy that exploited the spread of the virus as a stick in the hand of the regime to postpone public debate about the crisis of democracy and the crisis of the economy and society.
The regime also deliberately placed activists in the Egyptian civil society at risk of health by pushing them into overcrowded prisons and forbidding the entry of medicines and sterilizers.
Many international and local organizations called for an end to the regime’s slow and deliberate death policy.
However, the latter continued its practices that are in conflict with the constitution and human rights principles.
1 ) The virus is a weapon in the hands of the regime: The quarantine and three years of emergency in Egypt :
With the start of the spread of the epidemic in Egypt, the authorities put a set of procedures under the title of the health need. The first measure was the option of a comprehensive quarantine.
Among its consequences is the prevention of visits to prisons, which has created a general ambiguity about the status of prisoners and the danger they face in light of severely overcrowded prisons.
The quarantine also coincided with the declaration of a state of emergency for the 12th time since 2017, so that Egypt would bypass the three-year period of emergency.
The emergency is originally an exceptional situation, but the principle is that it was added to the stone as a means and justification for violating human rights. We cannot fail to recall that the security character is dominant in the Egyptian state’s policy, which means more repression.
a – Repressing the political freedoms and rights while acquitting the criminals :
One of the first results of this blatant security approach was the inclusion of leaders from the civilian movement known for their legitimate political activities on terrorist lists, namely Ziad Al-Alimi and Rami Shaath.
Which is considered a blow to the political process and intimidation of the opposition.
Among the implications of the listing of the accused persons in the terrorist lists in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 8 of 2015 regarding the regulation of terrorist entities:
Among the political activists whose imprisonment has been renewed is Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh, head of the Strong Egypt Party, for a period of 45 days pending investigations in Case No. 440 of 2018, the restriction of Supreme State Security.
The repressive authorities revealed their true face more after the Court of Cassation ruled in a final final ruling, to reduce the felony ruling issued to punish the officer accused of killing the political activist Shaima Al-Sabbagh from 10 years imprisonment to 7 years imprisonment, in the event that dates back to January 24, 2015 in celebrations The fourth anniversary of the January 25 revolution. The same court also ruled a final ruling and now upholds the innocence of the former Minister of Interior, Major General Habib Al-Adly, and a fine of 500 pounds, in the case known in the media as “corruption of the Ministry of Interior.”
By September and the first anniversary of the demonstrations of the same month of 2019, the regime had returned to launch a massive campaign of arrests, and despite the security blockade and the continuous crackdown, demonstrators took to the streets in several governorates, and the security forces confronted them severely and with a special force in Suez, Alexandria and Cairo.
And after that, security campaigns to arrest young people and demonstrators in the hundreds, in parallel with the popular movement in the streets of Egypt, the virtual space moved to support it.
The trend supporting the demonstrations was led by a number of hashtags:
Down with the rule of the military, and the hashtag # Leave_O_Sissi_The people_want_the overthrow of the regime #The revolution has started, and a few more hashtags.
The September movement regained the slogans and ceiling of the revolution, and the limited numbers in the streets, however, foretells the possibility of larger movements in the future.
b- Banning Visits and Medical Negligence:
To face the official blackout on the epidemiological situation in general, especially in prisons, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, in charge of journalist and activist Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak, filed a lawsuit before the Administrative Court to demand that the Ministry of Interior represented in the Prisons Authority sector be required to allow families of Hassan Al-Banna to enter health supplies and hygiene tools such as disinfectants Alcoholic masks, gloves and gloves that contribute to the prevention of Coronavirus infection (Covid-19).
In addition to informing his family about all the information and preventive measures taken by the Prisons Authority and the Ministry of Interior to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus infection inside prisons, while enabling him and his family to communicate by any means, instead of weekly family visits.
The consideration of the case was postponed several times by the administrative judiciary for months, which indicates the regime’s policy in dealing with cases of prisoners of conscience in Egypt.
Medical negligence in Egypt is considered one of the regime’s weapons in order to suppress and eliminate opponents and activists of the civil movement.The matter has compounded under the weight of the spread of the covid-19 virus.The authorities prevent visits and persist in refusing to enable prisoners’ families to have any alternative that reassures families of the fate of their children.Alaa Abdel-Fattah’s mother, Dr. Leila Soueif, continued her sit-in for a long time in front of Tora high-security prison.Until the end of April, the family tried to enter supplies to prevent the virus, in addition to requesting a letter from him in his handwriting 8 times, but the authorities were refusing to do so.
Alaa’s family’s move was justified in order not to meet the fate of the dissident journalist Mohamed Mounir in July.The arrest of Mohamed Mounir is a scene of intimidation and exaggerated violence, as a special raid force was sent to the journalist’s home.Then he was imprisoned despite the dangers posed by the spread of the Coronavirus.
Which really happened, as Mohamed Mounir contracted the virus, only to die a few days after his release.Munir was arrested after criticizing the cover of Rose Al-Youssef magazine, and commenting on him in his intervention on Al-Jazeera Mubasher, to be
He appeared in a video on social media, calling for his transfer to treatment of the virus.The Journalists Syndicate intervened in this direction to confirm his infection with the virus, and he would later die in stone.By August 2020, there were more and more reports of 14 deaths in prisons due to the Coronavirus.Activists and local organizations reported, in addition to letters leaked from inside prisons, the deterioration of the conditions in the prisons, which are already overcrowded.
Although dozens of prisoners and detainees – at least – showed mild to severe symptoms of “Covid-19” disease caused by the virus, medical care in prisons was insufficient, with an almost complete absence of laboratory testing for the virus and medical scans to detect symptoms.
c-The policy of blackout regarding Coronavirus, stopping the communication with prisoners under the pretext of the comprehensive quarantine :
The blackout policy on the health situation in prisons was one of the regime’s tools to create a black room of death threatening public right prisoners, but especially Egyptian civil movement activists.
This explains the Egyptian regime’s endeavor to control information about the spread of the epidemic in Egypt, by preventing press investigations and pursuing what contradicts the numbers it publishes.
The Egyptian authorities cancelled the accreditation of the British-German journalist Ruth Michaelson after publishing a report on the number of coronavirus infections.
Regarding the reason for its “deportation,” Michaelson says that the “Egyptian regime” is politicizing the problem because it is “afraid of undermining the stability of its rule.”
It should be noted that the approach adopted by the Egyptian authorities, although it has the legal basis in the authority of the Ministry of Interior to deport unwanted foreigners, is part of the media suppression policy pursued by the Egyptian regime, and an emphasis on its image that it maintains as a one-vote system.Prisoners suffer from the same blackout policy inside prisons as well, especially since every blackout is a serious and dangerous threat to his life in overcrowded and inhuman prisons.
Dr Leila Soueif has been in a sit-in in front of Tora prison, in the third week of June / June 2020, awaiting a letter from her son, 3 months after the visit was banned and 3 weeks after his last speech. During the sit-in, Dr.
Layla was harassed to keep her away from the prison perimeter before her two sons, Mona and Sanaa Seif, joined her, under one slogan (we want an answer from Alaa). To severe beating and wounds.While the family was in the Public Prosecutor’s office, to report the assault incident while the family was in the process of demanding details about Alaa Abdel Fattah inside the prison.
Sanaa was kidnapped in front of the Public Prosecutor’s office after her identity was verified and placed on a microbus by plainclothes officers.Then she appeared before the State Security Prosecution, which ordered her imprisonment for 15 days pending investigation on charges of spreading false news and joining a terrorist organization.
d- The dedication of prisons for the opposition Breaching the law and singing about defending “the values of Egyptian society”:
One of the paradoxes of the system is its keenness to fill the prisons with dissidents, while releasing common-law prisoners in the thousands.
The revolving doors policy plays a pivotal role in this systematic policy of repression, as it extends the imprisonment of activists even after exceeding the two-year period stipulated by law as a maximum preventive detention. Originally, it was a very long period that became a basic punishment by the system to imprison anyone who violates it. Meanwhile, the regime continued to support moral judiciary decisions that do not contain any interpretations capable of distinguishing between individual and public freedoms and rights and between order, morals and public morals.The system of repression is considered a hybrid and combined between moral discourse and legal deterrence that violates procedures and laws, with a simple security hand without accountability or deterrence.This requires, at the same time, a policy of blackout and control over information channels that express a necessary basis for freedom of expression, criticism and entry into the public space. It is reported that the Egyptian Ministry of Interior decided, on the occasion of the Sinai Liberation Day, to release 4,011 prisoners with a presidential pardon and conditional release.
According to the ministry’s statement, the decision came in an implementation of the President’s decision regarding the release of pardon for the remainder of the sentence for some of the convicts, who had fulfilled the conditions of pardon on the occasion of the celebration of Sinai Liberation Day 2020, but it is noticeable that there are no convicts in cases of a political nature in the There has been an ongoing campaign to release prisoners and remand prisoners from prisons in light of the Corona crisis and the danger it poses to detainees.
The President of the Republic also issued a presidential decree pardoning 3,157 convicted prisoners, including Presidential Decree No. (232 of 2020) pardoning the original punishment and what remains of it, the name of the former officer Mohsen Munir al-Sukkari, convicted in the case of the killing of the Lebanese artist Suzan Tamim.
In 2012, the Court of Cassation had ruled that businessman Hisham Talaat Mustafa was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for complicity in murder and incitement, and Mohsen al-Sukkari, a former state security officer, was sentenced to life imprisonment, on charges of premeditated murder, and 3 years imprisonment for possession of a weapon without a license. And in the case that took place in 2008. For the second time in a row, the pardon decision did not include any of those convicted in cases of political background.
The regime also proceeded to arrest and renew the imprisonment of activists.
Perhaps the most prominent of them are:
Meanwhile, the repressive regime established itself as the guardian of the values of Egyptian society, the Egyptian personality, and the formation and upbringing of the Egyptian family.This was referred to by the previous semi-annual report of the Center for Supporting Democratic Transition, noting that it is a policy in the process of being consecrated, and will increase further under the framework of institutionalizing military rule in the conscience and individual and collective awareness and in institutions and structures.Whenever repression increases, he seeks legitimacy in religion and morals.However, the most dangerous aspect is its adherence to a military educational policy that is gradually becoming entrenched in the educational system.This is what was mentioned above in the amendments to the Military Education Law and the powers of the military advisor in the provinces.
Among the most important rulings that were issued during the monitoring period, we could explain the following::
e- Freedom of the press:
It is not strange to continue striking freedom of the press during the period of the epidemic, as is the case in the past. However, the nature of the suppression of press freedom during this period had a double authoritarian dimension as it exploits the fear of the epidemic through a “epidemic policy”. Official sources are considered the most accurate and not subject to criticism. In everything related to the state’s plan to confront the health emergency.
It is also a double cover for hitting human rights under the pretext of confronting terrorism
The Supreme Media Council: Praising the repression against press
Press websites and electronic press came at the forefront of repression during the monitoring period, within numbers confirming that the number of blocked sites in Egypt exceeded 600 sites. The blocking is considered unconstitutional, but the system devoted some legal tools to it through the issuance of a law to combat cyber-technology crimes in 2018.
The Supreme Council for Media Regulation headed by Makram Muhammad Ahmed had decided to block the website of Al-Shura newspaper for 6 months, for publishing statements that were not made by the Minister of Health and offensive to pharmacists and for arousing concern among readers by doubting the medical system in general and facing the Corona crisis in particular and for its use of inappropriate words and phrases According to the merits of the decision.
It also continued to target the Darb website, which is considered one of the outlets for information about the situation in Egypt, far from the mouths of the regime.
And “Darb” is the third website blocked for journalist Khaled Al-Balshi, as two websites headed by his editor were previously blocked; The “Al Bedaya” website in June 2017, and the “Kateb” website, which was blocked only 9 hours after its launch in June / June 2018, is one of the initiatives of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, whose website was blocked in August 2017.
Its decision No. 16 of 2020 regarding what was published in Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper and its website about Sinai under the pseudonym “Newton.” The council decided to oblige the newspaper and its website to publish and broadcast a clear and explicit apology to the public for the violations it committed, within three days. And obligating it to remove the violating content from the website, and the council obligated the newspaper to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, and block the section in which the violating material was published and broadcast in the newspaper and the website for a period of three months.
As is the case with the Al-Naba newspaper website, which was fined 50 thousand pounds on May 21, 2020.
During the last week of July 2020, a group of Egyptian police officers stormed the headquarters of the website “Al-Minassa” and searched the computers of the journalists working on the site, and they arrested the website’s editor-in-chief (Nora Younes). When the site’s lawyer went to the Maadi Department The incident was initially denied by the department, then it was acknowledged several hours later and informed them that Noura will be brought to the Public Prosecution early in the morning.
Later, on Thursday evening, June 26, 2020, the Maadi Prosecution decided to release the journalist, Noura Younis, on a bail of 10 thousand pounds pending investigations in Case No. 9455 of 2020.
To counter publishing under pseudonyms that was the choice for journalists to face harassment and repression, the Supreme Council for Media issued a decision that press institutions, newspapers and websites must not publish or broadcast any press materials under pseudonyms except after submitting a request to the Supreme Council for Media Regulation that includes the period of use of the pseudonym and the purpose of its use. And the data of his user, and in all cases, the materials referred to may not be published or broadcast except after obtaining written approval from the Supreme Council for Media Regulation to use the pseudonym.
It is a ridiculous decision because it confirms the regime’s fear and at the same time its desire to ensure its dominance and its suppression of journalism.
In the same direction, the Council has proven that it monitors journalistic content and seeks to control and direct it within the framework of the regime’s policies, as it decided to stop broadcasting the Pulse of Life program shown on Al-Mehwar satellite channel, in any media, electronic or digital, on a permanent basis, while obliging the channel to pay an amount One hundred thousand Egyptian pounds.
The council stated, in a statement, that the program committed violations by presenting unqualified personalities, and used expressions that stir public opinion, exacerbate problems in some villages, and cause panic and disturb public peace, and it was broadcast without obt
The Blogger and translator Marwa Arafa and translator Kholoud Saeed were subjected to enforced disappearance due to their journalistic work.This was done through arrests without permission from the prosecution office and the deliberate blackout around their destination for various periods.The same is the case with the journalist Haitham Hassan, who appeared in the State Security Prosecution and was interrogated in connection with Case No. 586 of 2020, which decided to imprison him for 15 days.Journalist Shaima Sami joined the list of attacks on journalists after her arrest from her home in Alexandria on May 21, 2020.The Maadi Prosecution decided to release Lina Atallah, editor-in-chief of “Mada Masr”, on a bail of two thousand pounds pending the investigation of case No. 8009 of 2020 misdemeanor of Maadi after she was charged with “photographing a military facility”, to return again to the Maadi Police Station to complete the evacuation procedures Al-Sabeel, hours after her arrest, at noon on May 17, 2020, outside the walls of the Tora Prisons Complex, where she was interviewing Laila Soueif, the mother of imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah.The recycling policy during the first half of May included journalists Mustafa Al-Aasar, Moataz and Danan.
After the Public Prosecution decided to release them with the guarantee of their place of residence, pending investigations into the accusations against them in Case No. 441 High State Security Enforcement, it “rounded” them by filing the same accusations pending a new case No. 1898 of 2019 restricting State Security and ordering their imprisonment for 15 days on Pending investigations.All journalists face these practices with flimsy pretexts related to the participation of a terrorist group in achieving its goals, misu
All of the above is happening in light of the Syndicate of Journalists turning into a trumpet for the regime to impose moral guardianship under the pretext of defending the values of Egyptian society while its statements about past violations are absent.
f-The right to strike and work: A capitalist priority and security tools:
During the quarantine period, Egypt witnessed several workers’ strikes due to the deterioration of the economic situation and the resort of employers to dismiss workers.The security authorities cooperated with them in order to strike the labor movement.
Several workers have been arrested under the same flimsy and ready-made arguments that are directed at Egyptian civil society activists.
The authorities stop striking workers who were protesting against their dismissal or cuts to their wages.
Businessmen have deliberately reduced the salaries in order to push workers to leave work and agree to go out to early retirement to liquidate the company, lay off workers, and evade the payment of the end of service reward as stipulated by law.
The same is the case with the 300 employees of the Setcore spinning company in Borg El Arab city in Alexandria, a number of whom resorted to hunger strikes.
One of them was taken to the hospital, according to the Center for Trade Union Services.The situation of workers in the medical sector is no different from others, as the authorities have arrested many doctors for publishing their opinions related to the Corona pandemic.
Whether it is related to revealing the health status or related to working conditions and the danger faced by workers in the health sector, the Doctors Syndicate addressed the Public Prosecutor, Counselor, Hamada El-Sawy, regarding the doctors who were arrested, and the Syndicate demanded that they be released quickly until the investigation ends with them and the presence of a representative of the union during the investigations as it is a genuine right. to her.In a review of the security violence, the security forces imposed tight security measures around the headquarters of the Doctors Syndicate, and prevented doctors from entering it, to prevent a press conference on June 27, 2020, which was scheduled to respond to the statements of the Prime Minister in which he attacked the doctors..On the other hand, the medical professional unions in Egypt decided to limit the number of their victims during the fight against the Corona virus under the slogan “magnify your martyr”, in the wake of the statements of the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, in which he accused some doctors of “failing” to perform their work, which led to an increase Coronavirus infections, and the high death rate.
It is an irresponsible speech in which the state places responsibility on the shoulders of medical personnel.
The Medical Syndicate officially protested the statements of the Egyptian Prime Minister, who said that “the irregularity of some doctors was a reason for the increase in the number of deaths, and the Syndicate demanded that the Prime Minister apologize and retract these statements in order to prevent sedition.On a related side, the General Syndicate of Physicians addressed, on June 30, 2020, Counselor Hamada Al-Sawy, the Public Prosecutor, regarding the arrest of Dr. Muhammad Moataz Mandour al-Fawal – a member of the Eastern Medical Syndicate Council.
Who was arrested in connection with Case No. 558 of 2020, against the background of responding to the statements of the Prime Minister that aroused groups of doctors, noting that the executive regulations of Law No. 45 of 1969 issued by Resolution No. 235 of 1974 were stipulated in Article No. 62 Paragraph (B) However, a member may not be held accountable because of his union activity.
The Syndicate continued its claims later in July regarding doctors Ahmed Safwat Ibrahim Ali, a member of the Cairo Medical Syndicate Board, Alaa Shaaban Hamida, Ahmed Sabra, and Hani Bakr Ali Kahil.
- It is necessary to raise the hand of the regime represented by the President of the Republic from the rest of the authorities.
This requires that it not exploit the institutions of the executive authority such as the Ministry of Defense and Interior, the National Security Council, the army and intelligence, and the exploitation of appointments in official institutions and bodies such as the Supreme Council for the Media and the Human Rights Council as a form of bargaining and privileges for the loyalists of the regime
- To stop issuing the state of emergency that has become a principle, which was originally an exception.
- Abandoning the military advisor’s plan in the provinces that threatens to further militarize the regime, while returning to the path of strengthening the elected local authority to reinforce decentralization that brings power closer to the citizen.
- To stop targeting the opposition through a systematic policy supervised by the ministries of interior, defense and armed forces
- The regime must return to consolidate the civilian rule instead of mobilizing central and decentralized institutions and bodies with military leadership
- The prison system should be reformed as it has become a black room of slow death
The legislative authority should work to restore its independence instead of the MPs and parties joining a loyalty system that exploits the voice and will of the Egyptian people.
This requires a review of laws that have become a tool of exploitation and control over the legislative authority:
- Provisions of Law No. 45 of 2014 Regulating the Exercise of Political Rights, and Parliament Law No. 46 of 2014
- Law No. 198 of 2017 regarding the National Elections Commission.
- Law No. 232 of 1959 regarding conditions of service and promotion for officers of the armed forces
- Law No. 4 of 1968 on command and control over the affairs of defense of the state and the armed forces
- Law No. 20 of 2014 establishing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
- Law No. 46 of 1973 on Military Education in the secondary and higher education stages
- Law No. 55 of 1968 regarding popular defense organizations
- It has become obligatory to review the civil work law, which has become a tool of condemnation of political and associative work, rather than a tool of organization
- It is necessary to release the Egyptian civil society activists, who suffer from a constant rotation policy that has left most of them imprisoned
- The Egyptian regime should promote freedom of the press within the framework of establishing freedom of expression rather than pursuing a policy of blackout that threatens citizens or citizens subject to freedom-depriving rulings.
Practically, the printed and digital journalism face a serious threat
- It is necessary to reconsolidate the Syndicate work, enhance the social and economic rights and the right to strike
- Consolidating the right to access to information in terms of the ability to evaluate the public policies in the ordinary time and in the time of crisis.
مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)