Weekly newsletter

Weekly Newsletter from 03 to 12 august

Egypt

Regarding the news of the legislative authority, the elections for the second chamber “the Senate” is ended, as what the regime has prepared it since the end of 2019.  It is the first election for the Egyptian Senate after the approval of the 2019 Constitutional Amendments, which reinstated the Senate after it was abolished by the 2014 Constitution. According to the amendments, the Senate will consist of 300 members, one-third will be elected through electoral lists, the second third will be elected individually, and the last third will be directly chosen by the country’s president. According to the Senate law, one hundred Senate members will be elected by the absolute closed list system, and  one hundred Senate members will be elected as individual candidates in districts.

The elections of the second chamber in the legislature A title of the dominance of the Executive authority 

Only one list, the list of the ” Future of the Nation ” party together with other parties stands for the elections of the second 100 seats, which is loyal to Al-Sisi. And according to the law, 5% of the number of voters is sufficient. This enables the executive authority and the President Al-Sisi with more dominance over the political system and the institutions in Egypt during the coming period.

Despite the procedures of the regime in putting the appropriate framework to control the whole electoral process, it also worked to influence the electoral course directly. As a result of the weak voter turnout in various governorates, candidates intended to encourage voters by providing means of transportation to transport them to the electoral committees, and to urge them by using loudspeakers in various regions. Besides the attempts to mobilize the elderly, women and Copts to face low turnout, especially in the over populated grass-roots areas in the governorates of Greater Cairo. Also, with the rebroadcasting of footage that shows the presence of some citizens in front of the committees through the loyal satellite channels to the regime.

Meanwhile, unfortunate reports continue regarding the work of the judiciary. And as a result of the frequent verdicts against activists and opponents, especially the Public Prosecution’s keenness to continue its moral campaign, the German government commissioner for human rights expressed her rejection of the recent Egyptian judiciary verdicts against Mawaddah Al Adham and Hanin Hussam, who are known as Tik Tok girls. The Egyptian Judges’ Club stated, headed by Counselor Mohamed Abdel Mohsen, announced its rejection of the aforementioned statement through using a set of justifications that represent the official discourse.

This confirms the subordination of the Judiciary to the Regime and that will be more clear in the human rights Bulletin.

Alarming statistics concerning violence against women continue, as the National Council for Women announced that the Women’s Complaints Office had received 283 complaints throughout the days of A-Adha feast. Amal Abdel Moneim, Director of the Council’s Women’s Complaints Office, confirmed that complaints of sexual harassment, extortion and threats came in first place generally, as the office received 149 complaints from victims during previous periods and who wanted to file reports, while complaints of girls who were subjected to sexual harassment during the feast came in second place .

One of the cases that occupied the concern of the Egyptian public opinion recently is the announcement of the Public Prosecution for opening an investigation regarding the complaint filed by the National Council for Women about the sexual assault of some people on a girl inside the famous “Fairmont Nile City” hotel in Cairo in 2014.

According to a statement by the Public Prosecution, the investigation of the incident quickly opened after a complaint filed by the National Council for Women attached with the girl’s complaint to the Council and the testimonies of some people with their information about the incident. And the Egyptian Public Prosecution stated that it will allow what can be announced from the results of the investigations at the appropriate time, in order to .preserve proper and smooth investigations

Meanwhile, the human rights bulletin reviews the news of the imprisonment and its renewal through arresting tik-toks, opposition and activists . The appeal judge at the North Giza Court decided to renew the imprisonment of the accused, Mennat Allah Emad, nicknamed Renad Imad, for 45 days pending investigations, on charges of declaring herself on social media, “Tik Tok”, and providing indecent content and videos that include pornographic materials with the aim of practicing prostitution.

 

The re-imprisonment cycle continues in Egypt  after the State Security Prosecution re-imprisoned Muhammad al-Qassas, vice president of the “Strong Egypt” party, for a third case after he was released two days ago. As the Criminal Court, last Wednesday, decided to release Al-Qassas in Case No. 1781 of 2019 under the Supreme State Security. And although the prosecution did not appeal the decision, everyone was surprised that Muhammad Al-Qassas went to the State Security Prosecution and was listed in the case No. 786 of 2020 on the same charges that he was accused of in Case No. 1781 of 2019, from which he was released by a decision of the Criminal Court on  Wednesday the 5th of August.  This is considered the 3rd case of Muhammad Al-Qassas with the same previous charges, and the second re-imprisonment decision on a new case after his release after more than 30 months in pretrial detention.

In parallel, the defense of the political activist Sana Saif was surprised yesterday that the Supreme State Security Prosecution charged two new charges against her in the case that she is in custody, and these 2 charges are  “Insulting Police Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Al-Nashar while performing his job, and insulting the same person by publishing words that insulted his honor ,” according to lawyer Khaled Ali.

The aforementioned prosecution renewed the detention for 15 days against Abd al-Rahman Moka in Case No. 558 of 2020, the journalist and researcher Shaima Sami pending Case No. 535 of 2020, and the journalist Haitham Mahjoub pending Case No. 586 of 2020. The defendants face a ready list under charges of “belonging to a terrorist group, financing that group, and spreading false news.” The detention was renewed without the attendance of the defendants from their detention or their lawyers.

It also renewed the detention of doctors Alaa Shaban Hamida, Muhammad Moataz Al-Fawal, Hani Bakr Hamida, and Ahmed Sabra for 15 days  pending investigation in Case No. 558 of 2020, under the accusations of “joining a group established in contravention of the law, publishing fake news and misusing the social media », as that happened in regard to publishing news and criticisms concerning the spread of Coronavirus. And the decision for Alaa, Al-Fawal, and Sabra was issued without their presence from their prison. The judgements were issued in conjunction with the continuity of the death cases among the  medical personnel who faced the pandemic in Egypt. It is reported that victims of doctors facing Coronavirus have reached 145, according to the page of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate .

This happens while the numbers of injuries have increased again in Egypt, where the Ministry of Health and Population announced the return of 21 isolation hospitals for work.
Thus, it is a back on the epidemiological situation in Egypt

Libya

The most prominent headline in Libya during this period remains the possibility of the return of the armed conflict again, especially in the places in the central region of Libya, specifically in the city of Sirte. and that raises a question about the return  possibility of the political path under the severe political disputes among the two parties and the critical international interventions in the Libyan issue.

This is addressed especially after the recent moves made by Washington The American embassy in Tripoli announced that Ambassador Richard Norland made two phone calls, on Friday 7th of August, with each of the Libyan Prime Minister, Fayez Al-Sarraj, and his Interior Minister, Fathi Ali Bashagha The embassy explained that Norland’s call with Sarraj was in order to have a briefing on the efforts to reach a final formula for a solution in Libya that would enhance a permanent ceasefire, increase transparency in the economic institutions, and move the political  process under United Nations auspices..

 At the same time, the US ambassador, Richard Norland, expressed his support for “the aspirations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh, and all responsible Libyan officials, for achieving a Libyan solution to end the conflict and ensure a stable and prosperous future for the Libyan people.” This happened during a meeting between Norland and Saleh in Cairo, after the American ambassador traveled after the recent discussions concerning Libya between President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, as well as between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Egyptian Sameh Shoukry, to consult with senior Egyptian officials about steps to achieve a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal of foreign and mercenary forces, and to support the political dialogue directed by the United Nations.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that the goal of the efforts in Libya should be to restore the state and its sovereignty. The Russian Foreign Minister’s statement was during the German Foreign Minister’s visit to the Russian Federation. This communication is considered a way to link the efforts of Russia and the  European Union in the Libyan conflict, with the return of the American role, which has recently lost its effectiveness. And It is a role that takes into consideration, the Russian and Turkish role, and its transformations.

Meanwhile, on the field level, the commander of the Security and Protection Operations Room, in Sirte and Al-Jufra, the Brigadier General Ibrahim Bayt Al-Mal, announced that The Government of National Accord forces are ready to defend any attack by Haftar’s forces.

The field commander of the Government of National Accord said in a televised statement that they respect the ceasefire, but at the same time they are ready for any attack. And the commander of operations room in Sirte and Al-Jufra operations stressed that “the Accord forces maintain their positions and are ready to defend any attack,” indicating that reinforcements reach his forces constantly. And the Brigadier General Ibrahim Bayt Al-Mal stated that they continue monitoring the movements of Haftar’s forces, in addition to the supplies that are sent daily by aircrafts to Al-Qardabiya airport in Sirte according to him.

In the human rights bulletin, more than 100 Libyan journalists, human rights defenders and civil activists have condemned the sentence of the photojournalist, Ismail Abu Zaribah, to 15 years in prison by a military court in Benghazi, according to human rights organizations . These organizations emphasized that the party that issued the judgement contradicts with the international standards. This means the invalidity of imprisonment and trial procedures for violating the recognized legal procedures. It is mentioned also according to the Libyan law that there is no military trials for civilians

The epidemiological situation is exceptional in Libya after the increase in numbers again, while suffering from a difficult economic and social situation affecting the Libyans.

Tunisia

Tunisia witnessed the resignation of the government and the assignment of another Head of Government to form a new one. Meanwhile, the partisan political scene changed, among the opposition and the ruling parties, in which the Presidency of the Republic played a balanced and influential role in framing the details of the political game through the constitution and the law. Among the details of this scene is the attempt to withdraw confidence from the Speaker of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People.

The recent circumstance reflected the political polarization and the fragility of parties that are capable of building the political life in Tunisia. While the Ennahda movement remains a consistent element in the governance and its balance, the rest of the parties remain far from creating a balanced structure of the scene that guarantees stability and communication.

The confidence withdrawal list against Rachid Al-Ghannouchi, fell during the voting session on Thursday, the 30th of July 2020, according to what was stated by the Second Deputy Speaker of  the Parliament, Tarik Al-Fatiti.

Rachid Al-Ghannouchi

After being appointed by the President of the Republic to form the government,  Hicham El Mechichi confirmed in a statement to the Tunis Africa News Agency regarding the consultations of the upcoming government formation, as that the consultations are still in progress. El Mechichi also stated that the negotiation process has witnessed a general perception and discussions for the next stage with important components of Tunisia such as national organizations, individuals, economic, social and academic competencies.

The Political-Partisan field in Tunisia : A crisis within a greater crisis

El Mechichi is aware of the stakes facing his expected government, which, according to his opinion, requires a government of national competencies which is far from political parties. This is in line with President Kais Said’s approach and perception, while contradicting the situations of the five major parties. The latter include the parties of “Ennahda”, “Heart of Tunisia”, “Dignity Coalition”, “People’s Movement”, and “Democratic” which all announced their adherence to a “national political unity” government that takes into consideration the representation percentage of the parties in the parliament, according to the results of the 2019 elections. According to the number of seats in the House of Representatives, these parties are able to disrupt the confidence session. Thus, all possibilities are on the table concerning the political scene, especially that the Ennahda movement has the highest number of seats, which faces an oppositional political momentum that pushes to isolate it. While the smaller parties are interested in preserving their political presence associated with the electoral balance far from stability, the tendency of  the Tunisian public opinion is to criticize and reject it as part of the Tunisian crisis.

In this regard, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Current Party, Mohamed Abbou,during his meeting with Hisham El Mechichi, in the hospitality palace in Carthage, stressed the necessity of “not minimizing the parties” and not generalizing despite the presence of many corrupt parties “ whose right place shall be in courts not in authority”,  according to him.

Sayed Al-Ferjani, a member of the Ennahda Shura Movement, stated that the Shura council had concluded the adherence of Ennahda Movement to a political government. The Deputy Chairman of Ennahda Movement, Ali Al-Areed, confirmed that the Shura Council calls the designated Prime Minister to form a political government that has a wide political and parliamentary support. According to Al-Areed, the Ennahda Shura council adheres to a government formed from party personalities with competence, experience, and far from all suspicions.

 As for the Tunisian Constitutional Free Party, after insisting on its decisive position to not enter a government with the presence of Ennahda movement which is the usual discourse of the party targeting to “score points” in the “Brotherhood-Bourguiba” polarization, it returned to attend the consultations after the meeting of the party chairperson with Al-Mechichi.

Meanwhile, indicators of  corruption system continue to be present through various issues and  the news of its spread in Tunisia. Its latest news is what was announced by Vivan company after submitting a complaint to the state prosecutor general of the Court of First Instance in Tunisia, against the head of the National Anti-Corruption Commission Chawki Al-Tabib and its Secretary General in charges of fraud, forgery, disclosure of research secrets and impersonation. It is known that Vivan company is responsible for the conflict of interest issue of the resigned Head of Government Elyes El Fakhfakh.

Bulletin of human rights in Tunisia: Rights and freedoms in texts while wills are absent in the face of old politics and deep-rooted security violence 

The political scene in Tunisia is moving, while the consecration of individual and public rights and freedoms is facing old and renewed problems.

 

After the arrest of journalist and writer Taoufik Ben Brik, the summer Criminal department of the Tunisian Court of Appeal decided to release him on the 4th of August after confirming his conviction and assisting him with mitigating circumstances in accordance with the text of Article 53 of the penal code.

Tarik Al-Harakati

The foregoing is related to the Judicial sentences that enshrine a punitive policy in expressing freedom, but it is inseparable from the security culture based on violence and covering it. Tarik Al-Harakati, chairperson of the Young Lawyers Association, confirmed the disappearance of lawyer Nisreen Karnah’s medical file in the hospital of Ben Arous which testifies the severe burns she had following the violence she endured inside the Security Center in Morouj V.

Al-Harakati confirmed that the case file reached the Central Division of the National Guard in Aouina, is missing the medical file, and by reviewing the hospital, its officials confirmed that “the medical file does not exist.” The spokesperson indicated that they sent Adly Eshhad to investigate the disappearance of the file from the hospital.

Lawyer Nisreen Karnah has confirmed that she faced severe violence by the head of the National Security Center in Al-Morouj 5 and his assistant, inside the aforementioned center’s headquarters. The Public Prosecutor of the Court of First Instance in Ben Arous has authorized the agents of the Central Division of the National Guard in Aouina to report the necessary research in the case. She was going to practice her work in defending her client.

 Women’s day: A discourse which is far from completing the historical, legal and revolutionary achievement

Celebrations are frequent on this annual occasion, and in parallel with it the old problems associated with enhancing women’s rights in the state’s public policy in all its aspects. Between security and politics, women are present mainly as victims or an excluded party. This made the Tunisian public opinion focused on the meantime on the news of the first lady on the occasion of the judicial movement that was announced on Wednesday the 12th of August 2020. This represents a dimension  of the revolutionary transformation in the country in conjunction with Women’s Day.

The  President of the Republic, Kais Said, today, Thursday, issued a special pardon for a number of female prisoners. According to this presidential order, 73 female prisoners have been granted a special pardon, which leads to the release of 23 of them, while the rest enjoy a reduction in the sentence imposed.

The foregoing raises many problems regarding enhancing human rights in general in a structured concerning creating a wide margin under the political, economic, social and cultural crises, and these levels are significantly untouched by the revolutionary transformation. The woman remains rural who is marginalized in an economic system that she does not benefit from despite playing an important role. While others face other obstacles, even by changing the space in which she acts.

With regard to the latest developments in the spread of the virus in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya :

Last Update : 13/08/2020 - 10:00

Egypt :

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Libya :

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Tunisia :

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