Weekly newsletter

The Weekly Bulletin from 21 to 27 August 2020

Tunisia

The most significant title for the political life during the previous week was the negotiation of forming the government. Despite the differences among the designated Head of Government and parties at the beginning, especially that the parties’ discourse focused on  excluding and marginalizing them by Mechichi, the hypothesis of voting of confidence to the government remains possible and significant. This information was confirmed after the designated Head of Government announced the formation of the government, half an hour before the end of the constitutional deadline at midnight of last Monday 24/08/2020.

El-Mechichi’s government:  Before midnight of the last day of the constitutional deadline, among parties and the President of the republic?

The announced list of Ministers includes the following names:

 Governance system: A caretaker government ,and another under formation and Party's failure in light of the constitution of 2014

In this regard, Ousama al-Khoulaifi, head of the Heart of Tunisia party bloc in Parliament, announced the party’s intention to vote of confidence to the new government for several reasons, including the party’s keenness on the departure of Ilyes Al-Fakhfakh the head of the “caretaker” government.

 Also, he stated several other reasons in which parties’ visions and justifications intersect. On the other hand, Ennahda movement chose to dilute its situation without final determination after the meeting of its Choura Council on Tuesday the 25th of August 2020, which seems related to conflicted balances with its views. Ennahda movement does not easily accept several transformations in the Tunisian Political scene, which made it depending on a balance that gave a greater position to the Presidency of the Republic. This matter led many figures of Ennahda state that the new government is the second government of the President.

Several other parties tend to vote of confidence to the government, especially with facing the unknown in case of not granting confidence. As constitutionally, all choices become on the hands of the President. The latter has the estimated power especially that the constitution did not set deadlines for the dissolution of the Assembly. This means the continuation of the work of the former government for a long period which is the government that has deep disagreements with the parties of the ruling system, as they all tended to withdraw its political support in favor of pressure, maneuver and positioning

The new government: The session of granting confidence on the 1st of September

Meanwhile, the political game of not governing continues with the Head of caretaker government’s decision to dismiss the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Chawki al-Tabib, in his last cabinet meeting before announcing the formation of the new government. The reason for that dismissal decision was a grave mistake without any explanations that are requested by the Tunisian public opinion and those who follow the public affair in general. The dismissal decree was issued in the Official Gazette with the appointment of Imad Boukhriss as the new head of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

the decision is a typical case of an apparent, obvious and blatant deviation in power, where a caretaker authority was exploited concerning a public interest with the aim of achieving ambiguous goals.
Ahmed Swab
administrative judge

Among the responses to the dismissal, the administrative judge, Ahmed Swab, said the following: On the substance of the decree level, Swab stressed that the decision is a typical case of an apparent, obvious and blatant deviation in power, where a caretaker authority was exploited concerning a public interest with the aim of achieving ambiguous goals. This reflects the existence of a real problem showing the governance crisis in Tunisia among the legal and constitutional frameworks (that guarantee rights and freedoms and the public interest) and the narrow interests of the political policies that most of the parties are keen to be an obvious example of its bad and harmful character.

On the sidelines of Coronavirus which is the main danger now, protesters demonstrated in the municipality of El Hamma from  Gabes governorate against the strategy of confronting the pandemic, which is attacking the region strongly, and is spreading gradually in the rest of the country. The Mayor of the Municipality of Al Hamma stated the following: “The inhabitants of Al Hamma got fed up with the accumulated catastrophic situation in the hospital due to the absence of the director, medical and paramedical and administrative frameworks and the lack of logistical equipments in addition to the overwhelming chaos in the hospital, stressing that the situation in Al Hamma is disastrous  and no longer tolerable.”  Protests continued throughout these days, while the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights stated that the coming period shall witness repeated social protests as long as the government decided to raise the price of dairy products and milk with an increase of 11% recently. 

Meanwhile, within the human rights bulletin, the debate on the demand for equality in inheritance continued after the President of the Republic returned to express his position about it.

According to the statement of the President of the Republic, Kais Saied, the issue of inheritance is: “an indisputable issue as the Quranic text is obvious and does not accept interpretation and because the Islamic system of inheritance is not based on formal equality but rather on justice and fairness”. In the same context, he stressed that the State “has no religion”. This is considered by the Feminist movement in Tunisia as an inaccurate and vague situation. The Association of Democratic Women stated that the President chose to be in line with reactionary positions, which are anti-women thinking on the Constitution, its requirements and its practice remains totally far from thinking on the idea of the constitution and the date of its inculcation in the modern political history, as discussing it shifts to other competitive value systems that contradicts the Universal

Thinking about justice and fairness also deviates from its concept within law and ways to address the issue of inequality, which are also linked to the available opportunities to the citizen and his conditions. The main principle that should prevail is that every citizen, regardless of the gender, enjoys the same rights and freedoms as others.human rights system.

In parallel with the above mentioned, the hurtful news concerning irregular immigration appeared as in the beginning of the week, the National Guard Forces recovered the body of one of the two missing immigrants after their boat sank which carried 18 persons on the death journey to escape from death!  The news of the illegal immigration boats continues due to the shameful silence which reveals the deep violations in the right of human being and their dignity

Libya

It seems that the impact of the crisis on Libya has released the reason voice to the conflicted parties. The calls for ceasing fire were raised to overcome the crisis that exhausted Libyans resulting in their protests despite threats. The combatants reached the fact that ruling without Libyans is not possible.

The political and economic ambitions of foreign parties and their allies inside Libya missed investing in the Libyan Public Revolution in order to build a unified Libya as State and People. Despite the current crisis, the new revolts in Tripoli seem an opportunity to correct the compass of the path and restore the fate of the Libyan people. Although International intervention resulted in resolving the choice of overthrowing the old regime, it did not participate in building an alternative regime, especially that NATO aircrafts were accompanied by the strategies of the major powers for domination and influence. The choice of the Libyan people was dominated at the time, but the rising voices in Tripoli under the impact of poverty, marginalization and forgetfulness is considered an important opportunity to invest a possible momentum to pave the way to a new  legitimacy in Libya.

On Friday, August 21  2020, the special representative of the General Secretary of the United Nations, Stephanie Williams, welcomed  the two decisions on a ceasefire which were issued in two statements by Fayez Al-Sarraj, the President of the Presidential Council and Aquiela Saleh, the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Eastern Libya. 

Fayez Al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord ordered all military forces to immediate ceasefire and the whole fighting operations in the whole Libyan territories. Aquiela Saleh confirmed that the agreement on an immediate ceasefire in all territories in Libya cuts the way against any foreign military interventions reaching to deporting mercenaries. Saleh added that oil production will be resumed and freezing its revenues in an external account of the Libyan Bank.

The Special and Deputy Representative of the Secretary of the United Nations confirmed that these resolutions would accelerate the implementation of the agreements of the Joint  Military Committee (5+5) by starting with deporting all foreign forces and mercenaries who exist in Libya. Williams called for the immediate implementation of the two parties to break the blockade oil production and export, and the implementation of the financial guidelines which were mentioned in the two statements. This matter proves the validity especially that the Libyan people confront a severe crisis as its fortunes are under the control of the parties of conflict which is still using and used it previously as a political pressure and a tactic in battles.

On the other hand, The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi welcomed the agreement. The League of Arab Countries has also welcomed the decision as well as  the Italian, Russian and American diplomacies.

At the grass-roots level, thousands of residents of the Libyan capital, Tripoli went out to streets organizing protests demanding improving their life conditions. Protesters accused the Government of National Accord (GNA) of exacerbating their conditions, and they blamed the government for the responsibility of power and water cut and the lack of cash flow in banks. Protesters shouted slogans calling the Government of National Accord to resign and  for those responsible who were described as corrupt officials to be held accountable. These demands resulted from the renewed demonstrations for the third day in Tripoli and other Libyan cities.

The shooting and kidnapping of protesters continue in the suburbs in the center of Tripoli by cars, some of it carry the logos of the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord and others, the Chief of Staff, and by infiltrators among the protesters. This was monitored through different sources.

Thousands of demonstrators protested in Tripoli, to denounce the continued presence of Syrian mercenaries and terrorists funded by the Central Bank of Libya as were recruited under the Presidential Council and the the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in camps South and West of Tripoli. The armed men of the Libyan Government of National Accord opened fire on the demonstrators in the center of the capital, Tripoli, using anti-aircraft guns, and followed them with automatic machine guns to the Martyrs Square.

Several videos showed the GNA’s armed men shooting anti-corruption demonstrators with anti-aircraft guns and chasing them with machine guns to the center of Martyrs Square, despite the demonstrators raising the white flag as a sign of peacefulness.

The demonstrators entered the Martyrs’ square in the center of Tripoli coming from several suburbs of the city, such as Zawiyat Al Dahmani, holding banners and shouting slogans like “it’s our right to buy it with dollars” , and “no new ship can be built by old wood”. “Leave”, and “people demand the downfall of the regime”, and other chants against corruption and the corrupt.

As a result of the demonstrations, the President of the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al Sarraj declared his intention to  undertake a cabinet reshuffle especially with regards to service ministries, caring not to choose  those to whom suspicions of corruption are related and he called the judicial institutions and the Office of the Attorney General to take firm measures against every public employee suspected of corruption. Moreover, he called for holding general elections next March, and expressed his acceptance of any agreement even before holding the elections..

Meanwhile, on August 25 2020, the members of the Assembly of Representatives gathered in Tripoli elected a new Presidency  which resulted in the winning of

MP Hammouda Siyala as President

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votes

MP Amer Omran, as First Deputy

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votes

MP Hassan Farjani Salem, as Rapporteur

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votes

MP Fatima Abdul Salam Al-Suwai

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votes

68 Representatives of the Assembly attended the election session while 13 Representatives were absent.

Egypt

It seems that Parliamentary and governmental work have become a luxury in Egypt, as its news are procedural and cause lack of interest because the Regime reduces it while simplifying the policy of repression, imprisonment and prosecution of citizens and civil society activists. The mechanism of the Regime’s systematic work consists in producing authoritarianism through judiciary rulings and the work of its institutions.  The State Security Prosecution plays a pivotal role at this level. Despite monitoring and collecting news and following it up from various sources, its frequency has resulted in exceeding the volume of the weekly newsletter concerning the development of policies and legislation for democratic transition and human rights.

Another Week of messing with ' the revolving doors' by the State Security Prosecution

The Human Rights Newsletter in Egypt: The names and characters of the oppressed prisoners are absent under the cases' numbers

Pending case No.488 of 2019 listed by the Supreme State Security, the imprisonment is renewed for the following names for 45 days by the 1st  terrorism circuit at Cairo Criminal Court

In addition, the Cairo Criminal Court decided, pending investigations in Case No. 1739 of 2019 listed by the investigation of the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) to renew the imprisonment of:

How does suppression kill hope? After releasing prisoners, they are suppressed by the precautionary measures

The aforementioned rulings killed the false glimpse of hope after the rulings of the Cairo Criminal Court  decided a series of releases with precautionary measures for each of:

Among the reasons of losing hope in change is the increase of supression through  tightening sentences as the 5th Terrorism Circuit of the Cairo Criminal Court held in Tura, sentenced in Absentia for 15 years against Bahey El-Din Hassan, the Director General of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies under charges of “broadcasting and disseminating false news, incitement to violence against State and insulting the judiciary.”

The Minya Criminal Court also sentenced in Absentia with life imprisonment against Deputy supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Ezzat, and 7 others in the case known in the media as the Sharainah cell in Samalout district, north of Minya governorate.

Repression in Egypt: A system of imprisonment for individuals, ideas and identities

On the side of the legislative work , the State Council  had expressed reservations with regard to reviewing the draft law “Organizing  Egypt’s Dar Al Ifta” and referred to it by the House of Representatives on 7/29/2020, stressing that after the draft was reviewed by the Legislation Department in its successive sessions until August 15, 2020, it was clear that aforementioned draft law violates the Egyptian Constitution, and that it obviously contradicts Article 7 of the Constitution and Law No. 103 of 1961 regarding the reorganization of Al-Azhar and its bodies. This draft law is part of the regime’s approach. President Sisi has repeatedly expressed his desire to “rebuild the Egyptian character.” The regime interferes in the details of identity, individual and collective consciousness through practices of moral control and exploitation of religion enhancing that by an attempt to control all religious institutions and their discourse.

Among the evidence of the regime’s corruption is the corruption of the governance system and the corruption of its officials at all levels of administration and organization. The Administrative Control Authority arrested both the head of the Old Cairo suburb and one of the garbage collection contractors who works in the suburb under the accusations of  the first one for receiving  400 thousand pounds as a bribe from the second who collected  that amount  from the garbage contractors contracting with the suburb in exchange for the head of the neighborhood to breach the duties of his job by not canceling the contracts of the contractors and enabling them to pay their late financial benefits to the suburb.

When legitimacy  is lost due to the corruption of the system, thus the paradox is that the regime  imposes it and punishes citizens for not giving legitimacy to the authority

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of the National Election Authority (NEA), headed by Counselor Ibrahim Lashin, Vice President of the Court of Cassation, decided to refer all voters who did not cast ballots in the first round of the Senate elections, to the Public Prosecution Office. It is noted that the number of voters who did not cast ballots in the elections is nearly 54 million eligible citizens, who will be fined according to Article 57 of Law 45/2014 on Exercising Political Rights and its amendments that punish the voter who fails to cast his/her vote with a fine not exceeding EGP 500..

The Egyptian regime imposes a financial fine on every citizen who does not grant it the legitimacy of its authority, while at the same time it does not grant them the most basic rights, even those rights affirmed by  the judiciary. The First Circuit of the Administrative Judiciary Court issued a judicial ruling, accepting a citizen’s case and stopping the implementation of the Ministry of Interior’s decision to prevent a visit from her son, and obligating the Ministry to provide the necessary medical care for him by offering a medical examination  to discover his medical condition specifically, to perform the necessary surgery for him and to provide treatment for his condition.

According to the court’s decision, which reminds the regime in its simplest obligations within the framework of the law and the constitution:

All these points are mentioned by the law and the constitution of 2014, but the Egyptian Regime always ignores them.

On the level of syndicate and association work, Diaa Rashwan, Chairman of the Syndicate of Journalists, stressed that the syndicate council announces its complete rejection and absolute condemnation of the crimes of harassment and sexual assault that occurred in Egypt and were published recently, against any Egyptian woman or any woman  who is not Egyptian generaly , and   against any colleague Journalist in particular. Egypt is not without this chronic phenomenon and it is a widespread one in light of the absence of a comprehensive and active strategy for the official authorities.

Meanwhile, the bleeding death continues to strike  the front line soldiers in confronting the pandemic in Egypt, as the numbers of victims among doctors  who resist Corona virus  has reached 153 martyrs, according to the page of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate .

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

Last Update : 28/08/2020 - 10:00

Egypt :

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Libya :

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recovery cases
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Tunisia :

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