Weekly newsletter

Weekly Bulletin from 11th to 17th of September

Egypt

Parliamentary elections in Egypt or the Regime’s elections?

The National Election Authority (NEA), headed by Counselor Lashen Ibrahim, and deputy president of the Court of Cassation, declared in its Resolution No. 53 of 2020 regarding the procedural schedule for the parliament’s elections, that the files for candidacy for the elections shall be accepted and revised during the period from 17-26 September. 

محكمة النقض المصرية
Egyptian Court of Cassation

Egypt had held the Senate elections last August, which witnessed a weak turnout and that indicates a great electoral reluctance in the coming Parliament’s elections. The pro-regime Nation’s Future Party won one third of the seats in the first round, while the President has the right to appoint one third of the members.

 A hashtag: No for Construction Violations Reconciliation Law and we don’t have money (#Non_Conciliation_Manash_fluus), spreads in Egypt due to the effects of the law. It reflects the gap between the Egyptian’s reality and the State’s policies which are based on corruption and nepotism.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister stated during a press conference at the headquarters of the Cabinet, that the Construction Violations Reconciliation Law  is not a punitive action … but it serves the citizens who have invested in the establishment of real estate.

Madboly emphasised that Egypt’s governors were directed to take into account the social dimension and review the initial estimates of the committees … a subsequent reduction in the value of the reconciliation required in the governorates from : 

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the value of the reconciliation

and

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Also, according to the Prime Minister, the payment of reconciliation dues by allowing citizens to pay in equal quarterly instalments, not exceeding a period of three years without interest, with the aim of reducing random construction. The official statements have a set of justifications of the improvised policies before the crisis, which was created by the existing ruling system, while the citizen bears its consequences alone.

 The Human Rights Newsletter in Egypt: The No Rights Newsletter : 

Security forces arrested the youtubers Ahmed Hassan and his wife Zeinab, after terrifying their daughter and published the videos on their official channel on youtube, and a report of the incident was released. Based on the permission of the prosecution, the National Council For Childhood & Motherhood submitted a report against Ahmed Hassan and his wife for exploiting their daughter in publishing videos.

Ahmed Hassan ,his wife Zeinab and their daughter

Meanwhile, the Southern Giza office of the public prosecutor ordered, on Sunday, 09/13/2020, the imprisonment of 4 police secretaries, and the release of another police officer accused in the same case on EGP 5,000 bail pending investigations, in the case of murdering  Eslam Al-Ostraly  in Al-Manib. The prosecution said in a statement that it had been notified by police that fight erupted when two parties, one group of four people, and one group of two, engaged in a brawl using stones and bladed weapons, which led to the man’s death in  Al-Madbah street, Al-Mounib district in Southern Giza. The mother and sister of the victim accused the police officers who arrested the victim in the quarrel of murdering him. This case is followed up  especially in light of the rampant phenomenon of impunity in Egypt

Islam Al-Kahli, who is a journalist in Darb website, was arrested on the 9th of September while covering the death of a young man in Al-Monib district. He was taken to an unknown place until he appeared in the State Security Prosecution on the 10th of September 2020, and he was investigated in Case No. 855 of 2020 by the state security. Islam was accused of joining a terrorist group while knowing  its goals, publishing false news and statements. The prosecution decided to imprison him for 10 days pending the case.

Islam Al-Kahli

Meanwhile, the list of judicial rulings based on ready-made charges for all continues, in the absence of conditions for a fair and impartial trial. The Terrorism Criminal Court sentenced an employee of the Survey Directorate in Sharkia governorate for 3 years, on charges of joining the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group and possessing incitement pamphlets against the state and its institutions in the Minya al-Qamh district.

Egypt’s Court of Cassation, in a final ruling that could not be appealed,  upheld  a three-year imprisonment sentence and a fine of : 

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Pounds against Safwat El-Sherif, who served as information Minister and the former Speaker of the Shura Council, for making illicit gains.

On Saturday 12/09/2020, the Port Said Criminal Court sentenced Muhammad Badi, the  supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Al-Beltagy, Safwat Hijazi, and

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Others to life imprisonment.
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Defendants for strict imprisonment for 3 years.
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Defendants for 6 months.

and the abatement of criminal proceedings for one defendant due to his death in their retrial in the case known in the media as “storming the Arab section.”

At the beginning of the week, the Public Prosecution decided, in the series of tik tok cases, to refer Hadeer Al-Hadi to the criminal court under charges of assaulting the values ​​of society and violating public morals by publishing videos that violate public decency and contain pornographic materials, after the investigations that took place with her.

The human rights lawyer, Mahinour El-Masry was put in custody for 45 days pending investigations in case no.488 of 2019 of the state security as well as the human rights lawyer, Mohamed Ramadan was put in custody for 45 days pending investigations in case no.16576 of 2018 in Al-Montazah Ak-Awal, under charges of joining a terrorist group which is known as  “the case of yellow jackets”.

 The Anniversary of the 20th of September protests:  every popular movement frightens the regime

On the anniversary of the demonstrations of the 20th of September, intensive security deployment started in Egypt amid calls for demonstrations launched by the “Muhammad Ali Secrets” page to demonstrate on September 20 on the first anniversary of the 2019 demonstrations, which the contractor Muhammad Ali in spain called for. The previous call ended with the arrest of hundreds, and a large number of them are still imprisoned until this moment. On the other hand, counter calls were launched for refusing to demonstrate on the same day.

Despite the government’s denials, a number of sources confirmed that the police forces had closed a number of cafes without giving any reason. Many users on social media published yesterday the news of closing cafes by the security forces in several cities. There are speculations of the regime’s fear from any potential celebrations for the coronation of Al-Ahly club, that would turn into demonstrations, amid a state of security alert, and with calls to demonstrate on the first anniversary of the the 20th of September demonstrations.

On the other hand, security forces started to deploy in the centre of Cairo, as armored vehicles and central security vehicles were stationed in Tahrir Square, Talaat Harb Square, and others.

Regarding Corona developments, Dr. Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population, announced the Ministry of Health’s plan to confront the infection of Coronavirus  in schools with the start of the new school year. The plan may include precautionary and preventive measures to protect from the spread of “Covid-19” among students. The Minister of Health and Population said, during the press conference held Now at the headquarters of the Princess Fatima Academy for Continuing Medical Education, that the plan includes good ventilation of the classrooms, leaving spaces among students, continuing to wash hands, maintaining the disinfection of surfaces and leaving crowded places.

The Ministry of Health and Population called on Egyptians to apply as volunteers to conduct the pioneering global clinical trials of the third phase of the inactive vaccine to combat the emerging coronavirus. The number of victims of the pandemic among doctors reached 168 martyrs, according to the official page of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate.

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according to the official page of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate.

Tunisia

The political life in Tunisia is not in progress. Meetings and statements which followed the start of the new government’s activity and the Tunisian public opinion continues to show dissatisfaction with the performance of the parties. The political barometer of September has revealed new/old figures about its attitudes and confidence in the existing figures:

The attitudes of the Tunisian public opinion reflect their lack of confidence and disquit of the future. The shifts of the political and party alignment and balances are still the causes of the crisis itself.

Rashid Ghannouchi / Tunisian President kais Said

Politics and Governance difficulties: Can the change take place with the same figures and institutions?

The Dignity Coalition and the Heart of Tunisia political parties are in power, while the Constitutional freedom party and the Democratic bloc are in the opposition. So there is a need to appoint the head of the financial committee according to the Constitution. It is expected that Hichem Al-Ajbouni who is a representative of the Democratic Current will replace the representative of the Heart of Tunisia party, Ayyed Al-Loumi. The representative of the National Reform Bloc, Nasreen Al-Ammari, resigned from the Movement Machrouu Tounes, to be the third resignation known to the movement after MPs Hsouna Al-Nassfi and Souhaib El-Watthan.

The Tunisian diplomatic scene has witnessed other transformations in turn, after a third dismissal/resignation of important and critical positions. The permanent representative of Tunisia to the United Nations, was dismissed after his statements which attacked the state’s institutions and symbols, and undermined the prestige of the state abroad, as he violated his duty to respect  the representatives of the Tunisian state and its institutions, according to the statement of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The foregoing is inseparable from all the criticism of Tunisian diplomacy during the era of President Kais Saied, which needs a serious and rapid review in the critical issues, especially the international arrangements for the Libyan file, which are in a rapid progress.

On another level, the Free Constitutional Party continues its political show, after the party led a protest march towards the Kasbah on Saturday 19 September 2020 against terrorism and money laundering to demand a meeting with Head of Government Hichem El-Mechichi to present a document which contains proposals to combat terrorism, organized crime and to reform the national economy.

Economic and social difficulties impose themselves on the agenda and discourse

The past week witnessed multiple meetings in the House of Representatives and the Presidency of the Republic, which focused on economic and social issues during the preparation of the budget law for 2021. This budget is expected to witness a greater increase in expenditures, with the delay to identify the features, the public financial indicators and the financial situation of the country, due to the changes in politics.

In light of the current epidemiological situation, and with the  coexistence with Coronavirus and imposing health protocols to prevent it, returning to school is the focus of Tunisian public opinion.

The lack of resources and poor adherence to health rules  were indicators that caused fear and disquit on the contrary to the political policy. This file remains reviewed due to the possible shifts. Its economic effects are still continuing which show the prediction of social protests and sectoral strikes in the future.

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64 of educational institutions lack water

Meanwhile, the state lacks a management of crisis plan as it depends on the policies of firefighters and temporary solutions, such as the recent initiative of the President, despite its positive echo. President Kais Saied, announced during his visit to the  El Batah primary school in the delegation of Fernana (Jendouba governorate), which became named after the student “The Martyr Maha Al-Kadhkadhi,” that the Ministry of National Defense, specifically military engineering, would undertake the construction of a bridge so that pupils could safely cross the valley located near the school which witnessed the death of Maha.

There is no difference between the infrastructure of the Tunisian countryside and cities. The country witnesses many floods, which ended the life of a taxi driver and his corpse was found near Shaker Tower.

This damage affected some hospitals because of rainwater which seeped into sections of Al-Kassab Hospital in Manouba without any damage being recorded. This raises the question concerning the State’s strategy to face that critical reality, in order to overcome a social, economical crisis and other problems which are symptoms of the crisis.

Due to the deteriorating economic conditions and the increase in the unemployment rate in the country, attempts at irregular migration are increasing. This week, an irregular migration attempt was foiled and 51 passersby, including a baby, were stopped. The floating units of the Marine Guard in Mahdia, last Thursday, thwarted an irregular migration boat towards the Italian coasts from the coast of  Salakta. Fifty-one passers-by, including a baby and 3 women, one of them has the Moroccan nationality, and minors. They are currently being investigated in the Marine Guard area in Mahdia to find out the organizer of the smuggling operation and the boat was seized.

Tunisia remains a transit country for immigrants, in the absence of a domestic policy and due to the European policy that focuses on the security solution in dealing with that file which is increasingly complex.

This file contains massive violations of the rights of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

Libya

Negotiations have become the most prominent topic in Libya during the past period, for internal reasons and others related to the  international parties. 

Libya: Negotiations are under the effect of demonstrations and the international parties

It seems that the constant pressure of the crowds towards the reformation of the country, which suffers from war for more than two years, has begun to be achieved, especially in light of the complete collapse of all aspects of life in Libya.

On the one hand, the cases of Coronavirus have increased in a collapsed health system. On the other hand, divisions among politicians are accentuated, and the country is not far from war. Therefore, the crowds participate in mass demonstrations, to express their daily suffering in the East and West in a country which has the largest oil reserves in Africa. In the city of Benghazi (in Eastern Libya), dozens of people are protesting against power cuts and living conditions, while some of them burned tires, and closed some roads.

Demonstrations in Benghazi against corruption

For the same reasons, hundreds protested on the streets of Tripoli last month and their banners reflected their daily suffering from the shortage of electricity supplies this year, and the deterioration of the standard of living, while the infections of Coronavirus increased. Libyans suffer from the deterioration of electricity supplies due to the shortage of the needed fuel to operate power stations, but the lack of fuel is not the only reason. Fighting rival militias, the failure to maintain power stations, and the theft of electric cables led to an increase in the crisis.

According to Trading Economics website:

The essential necessities for Libyans: A pressure sheet and a war weapon

Armed groups have stopped power stations as part of the peer pressure that affects Libyan citizens. This was the reason for demonstrations all over Libya

The demonstrations which take place in Benghazi and witness violence in some regions among supporters of political figures, similar to what happened in Tripoli, are inseparable from what is happening in the political tracks.

The Libyan parties who met in Bouznika, Morocco, announced that they had reached a comprehensive agreement on the transparent and objective criteria and mechanisms for the sovereign positions. The US Embassy in Libya said, in a statement, that the commander of Eastern Libyan forces, Khalifa Haftar, pledged to end the blockade of oil installations that has continued for months.

It is observed that the American role has gradually escalated since February 2020, after the US ambassador’s tours in Libya and his meeting with a number of political figures. The United States led efforts to end the closure of oil installations, amid a greater diplomatic effort to enhance the ceasefire which was stipulated in the Cairo initiative last June, and to reach a political agreement between the two parties.

It is reported that the USA, Germany and the United Arab Emirates made pressure to open the oil fields, which is considered an important entry to restore balance among the Libyan parties and to ensure their return to the dialogue table. The US aspirations on changing the situation in Libya depend on the upcoming presidential elections.

The US President made several calls, and diplomacy moved to support the ceasefire and mobilize the countries in the region to push the Libyans into dialogue.

The US Embassy in Libya said in a statement that it was obvious that Haftar opened the oil ports. It welcomed at the same time what appears to be a sovereign Libyan agreement to enable the National Oil Corporation to resume its vital and non-political work. Ambassador Richard Norland in his exchanged letters with the Commander in Chief of the Army, Field Marshal Haftar, as well as recent discussions with a wide range of Libyan leaders,  stressed “The confidence of the United States in the National Oil Corporation and its support for a financial model that would form a reliable guarantee that oil and gas revenues shall be managed transparently, besides preserving them for the benefit of the Libyan people.”

According to the National Oil Corporation, Libya’s loss amounted in the 12th of September , 2020 due to the closure of the oil ports for nearly 240 days:

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millions dollars

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council extended the role of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya until  the 15th of September  2021, after introducing changes to the mission’s leadership structure for the first time since its establishment at the end of 2011. The Security Council Resolution No. 2542 of 2020, which was prepared by the United Kingdom, changed the structure of the leadership of the United Nations Mission in Libya. The term “Special envoy” replaced the term “Special representative”.

As a result of the street demonstrations in the East of the country during this week, the Libyan government in the East aimed to legalize its unrecognized presence, after it handed their resignation to the Speaker of Parliament, Aguila Saleh, the latter may present it to Parliament for consideration. Saleh held an emergency meeting in his office in the city of Al Qubbah, with Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani on Sunday 09/13/2020, to receive the demands of the street regarding the deterioration of services and living conditions for citizens, such as electricity cuts which represent the core risis.

Fayez Al-Sarraj also announced, in a televised speech, his desire to resign next October, and called on the “dialogue committee” which is responsible for appointing the new government, to accelerate forming the new government to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.”

This statement resulted from the recent tangible progress in the consultations which were held among the Libyan parties in Morocco and Switzerland, in order to settle the crisis down. The Libyan Supreme Council of the State (resulted from the Skhirat Agreement) and the Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk, announced at the conclusion of negotiations between them in Bouznika near the Moroccan capital Rabat, that they had reached an agreement on criteria and mechanisms for assuming sovereign positions in Libya.

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

Last update : 17/09/2020 - 15:00

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