The closure of the public sphere in Egypt, which has been ongoing since July 30, 2013, reached a serious level of restrictions and violations of freedoms and civil and political rights. This closure has reached its peak in dealing with all those who announced their candidacy for the presidential elections scheduled for March 2018.
In addition to forcing Ahmed Shafik to maintain a low profile and give up his candidacy and sentencing Colonel Ahmed Konsoua to 6 years in prison in a military trial after announcing his intention to run for election in a speech on social media, the Egyptian National Elections Commission ruled out the name of former army joint chief of staff Sami Annan from the voter base who was invited for interrogations before being arrested.
The authorities banned any publication on his case, which was followed after one day by the withdrawal of Khalid Ali, the last potential candidate for the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections of 2018 at a press conference, during which he explained the difficulty of completing the race under the circumstances associated with that process, which are all associated with lack of transparency and bias and the total closure of the public sphere. This was followed by inviting an unknown politician as a presidential candidate to complete the simulated theatrical form of the electoral process.
Accordingly, a group of democratic parties in Egypt launched the initiative of the “Civil Democratic Movement”, which includes parties and prominent political figures, in which they called for boycotting what they called the “farce” of the elections and trying to propose alternatives to get Egypt out of the current crises.
However and by continuing to close the public sphere, a lawyer, known for his loyalty to the Egyptian regime, filed a complaint to the Attorney General against those who participated in the movement’s conference claiming that they incite to the overthrow of the regime and jeopardizing Egypt’s economy and national security by holding a press conference in order to raise public opinion, incitement against the state, offending its institutions at home and abroad, spread the spirit of skepticism, frustration and strife among the people and between them and the state institutions as well as to carry out a deliberate campaign of distortion to harm Egypt’s security national economy and to destabilize the security and stability of the country and that is for the purpose of overthrowing the regime in the country and to overthrow the state forever.
Attorney General Nabil Sadik instantly forwarded the complaint of the attorney named Mohammed Hamed Salem No 1494 for 2018 to the public prosecutor of the Northern Giza Prosecution Office, in order to take the necessary action and investigate the members of the conference, namely: Khaled Daoud, Chairman of “ ADDOSTOUR” Party, Yahya Hussein Abdelhedi, Mohammed Sami the chairman of “EL-KARAMA” party, Hamadin Abd El-Aty Abd El-Maksoud also known as Hamadin Sabbahi, Daoud Abd Esalam a cinematic director, Farid Zahran the chairman of the “Egyptian Democratic Party”,Ahmed Fawzi the former secretary general of the “Egyptian Social Democratic Party”, Medhat Ezahed the chairman of the “ Democratic Alliance” party, Ahmed Elbarai the former minister of solidarity, Amrou Helmi the former health minister, George Isaak, Ahmed Darraj, and AbdelAlim Daoud.
At the same time we also note the complete disregard of the Attorney General and the Public Prosecution for several other complaints submitted by other opposition parties against persons or parties that are loyal to the regime.
This is something that the current Egyptian regime continues to do as he uses this type of anonymous reports to settle political calculations just like what happened recently with the lawyer Khaled Ali, who had announced his intention to run in the presidential elections (before announcing his withdrawal later), as a lawyer filed a similar complaint against him that led to a verdict of 3 months of prison.
DAAM Center points out that this course represents more repression of peaceful change movements, and carries a strong message to all democratic groups not to allow anyone to participate in Egyptian political life without fully subscribing to the current regime, that does not accept any form of peaceful opposition which paves the way for extremist groups to attract more elements that could not find any freedom in democratic ways.
DAAM Center expresses its deep concern over the executive authority use of the right to litigate in its political conflicts to suppress its opponents and over the return of such political calculations cases.
DAAM center emphasizes the need for the current Egyptian political regime to review the method of dealing with its official opposition, especially since all their calls and demands whether for guarantees for a correct electoral process or even by calling for boycotting the elections are calls that carry a political point of views that are protected by the Constitution, the law and the international conventions and treaties ratified by previous Egyptian governments, and that dealing with those calls and demands by a purely security logic cannot continue.
DAAM Center pays tribute to the position of the Egyptian civil democratic movement, which is still fighting its battle to improve the situation in Egypt despite the continuous repressive security measures that have come to repeatedly threaten them with imprisonment.
DAAM Center values all the efforts of individuals in the continued attempt to stand in front of the one vision and one opinion regime, knowing that there is no way for a democracy without putting forward many visions and point of views and there is no way for a change without fighting the various battles, even if it carries the dangers of prosecution, detention and defamation practiced by the current regime, its supporters and its followers.