Weekly newsletter

Weekly newsletter from 25th September to 1th October

Libya

The idea of dialogue is dominating the Libyan political climate, especially after the relative success which led to a convergence of views in the city Bouznika in Morocco. It seems that new rounds of dialogue between the Rival Libyan factions may take place during October.

The Libyan dialogue: negotiations on the impact of controlling and lining up

The Libyan party in Tripoli faces divisions due to the direct negotiations with Libya’s eastern-based parliament in which the LNA commander, Khalifa Haftar, relies on. The Parliament in the capital considered that the Supreme Council of State recognized the legitimacy of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Tobruk, Aguia Saleh.

Aguila Saleh returned to the political scene, and became an important party in the Libyan negotiations. He met with Khalifa Haftar and the Egyptian President  at the beginning of the last week in Cairo. The dialogue of the three parties was concerning the reformation of the executive authority and the ways  to move towards a political agreement that would guarantee fair representation for all, especially in the three historical regions in Libya: Tripoli, Fezzan and Cyrenaica.

Also the meeting between the two parties  of Eastern Libya was an attempt by Cairo to settle disputes within this camp. Among the reasons that led to the misunderstanding were the unilateral negotiations between the Libyan military commander and US diplomats. As a result, the Libyan National Army decided to resume work in the oil production in the area which is under his control.

Reopening the oil ports caused widespread repercussions inside and outside Libya. It is considered an important step for Haftar, who is fighting to regain his position on the Libyan scene. Observers considered it as a step which is beyond Saleh’s mentality.

On the other hand, unlike the situation of the Tobruk Parliament, the Tripoli Parliament rejected Bouznika talks in Morocco and described them as unilateral and outside the international umbrella.  The parliament said in a statement, last Monday evening, that these talks are nothing while bearing the full responsibility  for the participants. It also stressed that the  talks’ outputs lack a legal basis. It indicated that it may not approve any outputs from any dialogue which is far from its authority and the international umbrella which do not establish a fair and comprehensive solution to all the country’s crises. The House of Representatives accused the  State’s Supreme Council of ignoring it in favor of Aguila Saleh and demanded a justification concerning ignoring them during this stage.

Meanwhile, a statement by the United Nations Mission concerning the situation in Libya was issued, indicating its concerns to ensure a positive preparation for the 5 + 5 Joint Military Committee meetings.

September 28 of 2020: The statement of the UNITED NATIONS SUPPORT MISSION IN LIBYA (UNSMIL) concerning SECURITY AND MILITARY DIRECT TALKS BETWEEN LIBYAN PARTIES IN HURGHADA

The aforementioned statement confirmed that the United Nations is the sponsor of the talks. It  refers to the security arrangements in the region that shall be determined in the next stage in the framework of the ongoing (5+5) Joint Military Commission talks, in addition to discussing the responsibilities and tasks of the Petroleum Facilities Guard. The participants concluded a number of recommendations that shall be presented later to the Joint Military Committee 5  + 5, which are as follows:

The Mission equally appreciates the efforts of both delegations and welcomes the outcomes reached during the discussion. UNSMIL hopes that this positive development will contribute to paving the way towards a final and lasting ceasefire agreement soon.

The situation in Libya remains fragile due to the difficult social and economic conditions that the Libyan people suffer from, besides the increasing conflicts among armed groups and the spread of organized crime and violence, which push Libyans to prevent the situation from getting worse. The field’s frontlines remain influential in Sirte as the military presence in this region means the ability to control the process of sharing oil revenues locally and internationally. It is clear that international interventions and the interests of the major powers have perpetuated the conflict from 2011 to 2014, and from 2014 to 2019, and the end of the battle for Tripoli, so that the arrangements remain under the previous balances. Hence, the Libyan parties should think in terms of the unity of the Libyan geography and its people.

On the humanitarian front, the “Alarm Phone”  which is a non-governmental organization concerned with monitoring migrant’s boats in the Mediterranean, revealed the death of a large number of migrants at sea.

September number: 190

The policies of the countries of the European Union remain accused of the cases of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The aforementioned organization accused them of colluding with the Libyan Coast Guard to force them to return to the country, not to save them. The “Alarm Phone” organization, in a report published on its website on Monday, monitored a marked increase in migrant drowning accidents in the central Mediterranean sea, off the Libyan coast. It noted that hundreds of people were on boats  trying to reach Europe and facing difficulties in sailing. It confirmed that the humanitarian rescue ship “Alan Kurdi” rescued some of them, while most of the rest were returned to Libya.

The survivors  told the non-governmental organization that, “They saw their friends or relatives drowning in the water without being able to help them”. The report recorded the drowning of more than 190 immigrants in less than a month, which the organization was able to count through the testimonies from the survivors. The humanitarian organization accused the “violent border policy” which is funded by Europe,  of these tragedies, as well as the confiscation of humanitarian rescue boats and preventing the Moonbird aircraft from taking off to monitor the search and rescue area and to report boats at sea.

It added in its report that the European countries “established the Libyan Coast Guard with the aim of forcing people to return to Libya, not to save them”. In this context, it highlighted several experiences with the Libyan Coast Guard, when they were at the territorial waters near the borders of Europe, and did not intervene directly when needed. Even merchant ships that receive distress calls from migrant boats, are asked not to intervene and to wait for the Libyan Coast Guard boats to arrive, which shall of course return them to Libya.

Tunisia

Tunisian public opinion and corruption

0 %
support the supervisory role of the media
0 %
of the public opinion believe that the level of corruption has greatly increased or somewhat over the past year
0 %
think that the government's performance in combating corruption is very bad or somewhat bad
0 %
want the media to investigate corruption and the mistakes of the government
0 %
strongly want the supervisory role of the media

Ethics in Parliament: the ethics of medicine and the economy without Real ethics

Concerning parliamentary work, the Finance, Planning and Development Committee continued during an evening session on Monday, September 28, 2020 to discuss the draft law which is related to revitalizing the economy, integrating the parallel sector and combating tax evasion. The committee discussed the opinion of the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia concerning procedures provided for which are especially related to the settlement of  the exchange’s violations as a result of the meeting that preceded this session at the headquarters of the Central Bank among representatives of the committee’s office as its head and secretary, and representatives of the bank.

The head of the committee and its secretary conveyed the opinion of the governor of the Central Bank about the articles on which the vote was postponed during its morning session. The governor stated that it is not possible currently to take action to grant Tunisians abroad the possibility to open accounts in foreign currency due to a number of problems, the most important of which is the reduction in the tourism sector revenues from the currency and the decrease in phosphate revenues.

In the same context, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Iyadh Elloumi, suggested that the discussion of the draft law to revitalize the economy, integrate the parallel sector and combat tax evasion would be completed within the next two days.

Elloumi announced the dropping of the ninth article which allows the entry of smugglers’ money to the real system due to its contradiction with the law on preventing money laundering. He added that the governor of the Central Bank addressed a letter  to the committee warning it of the possibility of Tunisia’s return to the blacklist if such a procedure was passed.

The strategy for revitalizing the economy appears fragmented as long as the corruption continues and the strategy of combating it is absent. It would have been better to revitalize the economy by reducing bureaucracy and eliminating corruption, rather than discussing integrating smugglers’ funds into the formal economy. In fact, smuggling and the black market were a social and economic option which were a natural result of a marginalized group who did not find a place in the national economy.

As for the draft Basic Law No. 41 of 2019, which is related to patients ‘rights and medical liability, the President of the Tunisian Association of Insurance Law, Mr Abdellatif Mamoghli, confirmed that their choice to hold an urgent conference is a response to reject the draft Basic Law No. 41 of 2019, which is related to patients’ rights and medical responsibility, especially due to several contradictions and ambiguity.

He explained that there is a contradiction between the Parliament’s Health Committee and the Supreme Judicial Council, which considered the draft of this law includes procedures and principles that contradict with the principle of equality in the law and the international law.

It seems necessary to learn from the period of the spread of the epidemic which raised serious medical and ethical questions to the medical and paramedical personnel. It also allowed the determination of the state’s ethical and legal responsibility which could not provide the minimum number of possibilities which put the responsibility in the hands of the doctor towards the patient.

The recent statements of President Kais Saeied caused considerable controversy, as he, during his supervision of the National Security Council, spoke about the recent crime that shook public opinion, in which a girl was killed and her body was found

days later.

Tunisian President Kais Saied stressed the need for “security personnel to double their efforts in combating crime”.  He said, “There are those who demand the death penalty, but I would like to be frank, as for some countries that have abolished this punishment, they implement the sentence without pronouncing it … when they want to get rid of a person, and even whole peoples are assassinated without the execution.” He put it.

He continued, “ The debate is prolonged on this issue, Whoever unlawfully kills a person will be punished with death, of course, all circumstances are provided for him to defend himself, but if it is proven that he committed the killing of a soul, I do not think that the solution is not to carry out the death penalty, as some claim. Every community has its choices, we have ours and the text is there”.

He added, “The pardon is for those who deserve it and not for those who incriminate twice, and in this case it appears that the murderer killed in the past and enjoyed a previous pardon”. The president also criticized the slow procedures of corruption cases that reach 10 years.

The Representative of the Democratic Current Party, Hichem Ajbouni, confirmed that the party’s National Council will meet on October 4 to elect a new secretary general for the party, after the resignation of the Secretary General and former Minister Mohamed Abbou.

On Tuesday, September 29, 2020, President Kais Saeied met at the Carthage Palace,  with the Minister of Justice Mohamed Boucetta. The meeting was concerning the performance of the judiciary. The meeting represented an opportunity in which the president affirmed his constant desire for achieving equality among all people, because justice may not be achieved unless all litigants are equal in the courts, regardless of their position.

Protocols of “awareness”, “commitment” and a weak state

Under the worsening health crisis in the country, the only option left is the obligation to take precautionary measures  and a health protocol. The Syndicate Bureau of the Judicial Services Officials in the Court of First Instance in Tunisia, the Syndicate Bureau  of the Judicial Services Officials in the Ministry of Justice and the Courts of Commentary and Appeal in Tunisia, decided to suspend work until the supervisory authority issues a work memorandum concerning that, due to the frequent registration of confirmed cases of Covid virus for a number of officials and judges in the Court of First Instance in Tunisia and the Court of Appeal.

News of the epidemic’s epicenters is spreading all over the country. On the other hand, the measures of confrontation are limited to local intervention in certain areas which don’t cover the whole country, as in the case in the governorates of Jendouba, Nile, Mahdia, and Tataouine, and others.

The courts were also affected by the epidemic and the risk of its spread, as after recording 8 confirmed cases of infection with the virus, the clerks of the court boycotted work since Friday, September 25, due to the absence of the health protocol in the courts, which was confirmed by the head of the National Syndicate of the Judicial Services Officials who demanded the application of the health protocol and the organization of work inside the court.

In the same context, the Supreme Judicial Council confirmed in a memorandum which was issued on Monday, September 28, 2020, the absence of the application of the health protocol in courts and judicial institutions, the unavailability of means of protection such as the temperature measuring instrument and disinfectants and sanitizers, and the lack of respect for social distancing. The Council considered that this caused the emergence of infections inside these bodies.

The Council approved a set of exceptional procedures and measures in litigation, including allocating one entrance for the litigants in the courts’ headquarters and preventing anyone from entering the courts without wearing a mask.

It was also decided not to accept litigants in the sessions of civil, administrative and financial cases. While the sessions concerning the elections before the Court of Auditors are restricted to the presence of someone who represents the concerned electoral list.

Under this crisis, the situation is getting worse, as pharmacies face problems and financial difficulties that prevent pharmacies from supplying some medicines. This is due to technical problems and financial difficulties which are away from the responsibilities of the Tunisian Central Pharmacy, according to the Director General of the Central Pharmacy, Bashir Al-Irmani, on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Kais Saeied, confirmed during the meeting of the National Security Council which was held on Monday, September 28, 2020, the possibility of returning to quarantine if necessary. He also confirmed the right of the governors to impose regional quarantine measures if required.

As for returning to school, questions are still raised about the continuation of studies under the Corona crisis, especially in case of the suspension of the study for a certain period in schools after registering some cases of infection, what shall the scenario be after that?

The Ministry of Education confirmed that in this case the lessons shall be online, and the Director General of Studies at the Ministry of Education confirmed that the Ministry is working on establishing a digital system for distance education. 

In the same context, Ahmed Mutibaa, the head of the local committee for confronting disasters in Nabeul, confirmed the closure of a children’s club in the Sidi Ashour neighborhood, after the club director was tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Mutibaa said that the decision to close the club was issued yesterday,  and it is a temporary closure until the sterilization of the shop is completed and samples are collected for laboratory analysis from the supervising staff and from 39 students.

And in order to limit the spread of this epidemic, the Ministry of Health has taken a set of new measures, including the publication of a new list of laboratories which are dedicated to conducting Corona analyzes.

The Human Rights Newsletter  in Tunisia: The human rights approach in a society charged  with violence

Meanwhile, news of sectoral strikes continues, as more than 60,000 sailors protested across 41 fishing ports on Wednesday,  the 30th of September, denouncing the neglect of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fishing of their demands which are related to organizing the sector.  And these protests are expected to happen again in the near future.

Meanwhile, reports of violence and crimes are also frequent in Tunisia, especially after the incident of  the murder and rape that shook Tunisian public opinion.

This crime revived the controversy over whether or not the death penalty should be approved and applied. The League for Human Rights confirmed that the death penalty does not prevent and deter the spread of crime. Meanwhile, President Kais Saeied’s situation on the death penalty raised a mass criticism from the Tunisian public opinion, as he ignored the state’s moral and political commitment to abolish the death penalty after a long period of stopping its application practically.

It is also reported that the representative of the Dignity Coalition in the parliament, Ahmed Mohy, was attacked with a sword at dawn on Monday, September 28, during going to the mosque to perform the dawn prayer. The two suspects were arrested in Bizerte, and it is expected to be a robbery by force.

As for issues of terrorism and religious extremism, the security units of the Guidance Squad in the National Security Zone in Seliana together with a Regional Brigade of National Security and the National Security Center in Bourada, on Monday, September 28, 2020, after receiving information concerning an individual in the Bourada region who carrys out suspicious activities (training in a mountain on Combat arts with a knife) , were able to raid on his home in coordination with the Public Prosecution and arrest him and his cell phone and 2 computers were seized, and after the examination , they discovered his relationship to some suspected sites of religious extremism.

Security work: the human rights approach is still far from “Republican Security”

A young man with autism has been arrested after he was accused of stealing a motorbike. The Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights has demanded his release. The League said in a statement on Monday, September 28, that his suspension could cause psychosomatic complications.. The statement also stated that the defendant denied the charges against him during his investigation, considering that this is alone an evidence of innocence that does not rise to doubt, based on what psychologists say. As a result, he was released on the evening of Tuesday, September 29.

Due to the weak position of the human rights approach in the work of institutions and the behavior of citizens, economic and social rights remain marginalized. As Yusra Fraws, president of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, considered that economic and social issues remained marginalized despite the passage of 10 years since the revolution of freedom and dignity, and  succession of Governments.

During a symposium of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, in partnership with the Arab NGO Network for Development, under the title “A National Dialogue on Economic Policies: For a Possible Other Tunisia“, Fraws explained that the marginalization of economic and social rights is due to the continuity of the policies of the regime of  Zain Al-Abidine Ben Ali, which is based on the exclusion of the poor and marginalized groups, and the State’s social role was reduced.

Public Space without ethics

Meanwhile, one of the representatives raised the controversy of the public opinion concerning the  parliament which represents the Tunisian People, after his immoral statements that were far from any commitment and respect for the values of the common public space. MP Faisal al-Tebbini published a post on Facebook, insulting the lawyer and human rights activist Bushra Bel Hadj Hamida. As a result, 22 lawyers raised a lawsuit against him for insulting and inciting the spread of violence against women.

Egypt

On the political level, Egypt has been living since  the 20th of September of 2020, in the anniversary of the September 2019 demonstrations. Despite the security blockade and the ongoing repression, the demonstrators went to demonstrate in the streets in several governorates, and the security forces confronted them severely especially in Suez, Alexandria and Cairo. Thereafter, security campaigns arrested youth and hundreds of demonstrators.

September: A date in the memory of the people and demonstrations in the streets of Egypt

The regime’s reaction to the memory of the demonstrations reflects its fear of any possible mobility. Therefore, he closed cafes in the downtown of Cairo, put thousands of hidden cameras to monitor the streets, and reduced the working hours on September 20, in order to let employees return to their homes early  and so that the police could confront easily away from the crowd.

The regime doesn’t understand that the security policy is not sufficient to contain the popular anger which has multiple reasons, starting with social and economic pressure, domination over institutions and authorities, falsification of the will of the people and the concentration of Media in the president’s hands  which were the reasons of the downfall of his predecessors.

In parallel with the popular mobility  in the streets of Egypt, virtual space on social media supported it. The trend supporting the demonstrations was led by a number of hashtags:

“ the downfall of the military’s rule” 

“#Leave_It_Sisi”

 “# People_wants_the overthrow of the regime”

“# Revolution_started” and a few other hashtags. The demonstrations of September used the slogans of the revolution and its top demands. Despite the limited numbers of demonstrators in the streets, it shall be greater demonstrations in the future. Although the September protests  were due to the call of the businessman Mohamed  Ali, the demonstrations of the Egyptian people were for the above-mentioned reasons. Mohamed Ali is unable to lead  the momentum and aspirations of the people, so that the movement is based on the will of the Egyptian people.

An old regime and an ongoing popular movement

In a speech by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the official speech returned to use his usual unconvincing arguments for Egyptian public opinion. On Sunday, the 27th of September2020, El-Sisi warned of plans to spread chaos and destabilize the country, calling on citizens to be aware of the dangers of what is being schemed against Egypt. He pointed out that stability is an essential condition for economic development, and that the events of February 2011 were a reason for delaying several development projects. Once again, the regime ignores that the popular movement demands political and human rights development together with other aspects of development. This speech was during the inauguration of the hydrogen cracking complex for petroleum in Mostorod in Al Qalyubia Governorate.

The system of repression: Exonerating criminals and incrimination of activists

Usually, the authorities avoid engaging in crimes that shake public opinion, but the latter has a different opinion, especially with regard to harassment crimes. However, when the regime intervenes, it turns the balance in favor of the criminals. This is the case in the Fairmont  hotel crime, where the victims were defamed, pursued, and even arrested pending investigation.

In Egypt, the news of rape and harassment is frequent. These crimes became common and usual in daily life in Egypt. It is reported that the security services in Cairo arrested a teacher who is accused of harassing a student in a closed room in Al-Khalifa neighborhood, after a video was published on the social media website, and it was examined so the identity of the accused was identified and he was arrested. This raises a serious question about violence against children and women in Egypt, as it is not possible to develop and support a system of rights under violence that permeates all details of life.

Egypt Human Rights Newsletter: Another counting of Human Rights Violations

During the past week, the consequences of the 20th of September protests continued. Activists reported that 5 persons were killed by security forces’ bullets, 3 persons in Al-Ayyat and 2 persons in Blida, in northern Egypt. Others published the names of the dead in Al-Ayat: “Sami Wajdi Sayed Bashir (27 years), Rida Muhammad Hamid Abu Imam (23 years), Muhammad Nasser Hamdi Ismail.

Security operations also resulted in the arbitrary arrest of more than 4,000 citizens, some of them are still in pretrial detention until now, under fabricated charges that relied only on fake investigations of the National Security Agency.

The Egyptian Floyd / Owais Alrawy

The details of the incident of shooting Owais AlRawi in Luxor by a police officer: The published story says that a security force raided a house to arrest one of those who participated in the demonstrations that broke out in the popular neighborhoods and Egyptian villages in recent days. His father asked the officer about the reason for his son’s arrest, and a quarrel took place in which the officer slapped the father on his face, so his son did not control himself, and slapped the officer. As a result, the police officer shot the son and killed him amid the shock of the people.

The foregoing is considered part of the daily repression.  Concerning the case of the Hope Cell, the Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Counselor Mohamed Al-Saeed Al-Sherbini, decided to postpone the renewal of the imprisonment of Ziad Al-Alimi and 13 others from the “Hope Cell”, to the 10th of October. And it is reported that the Terrorism Fifth Circuit that was held in Tora Court Complex, headed by the aforementioned advisor, and the membership of counselors Essam Abu Al-Ela and Gharib Ezzat, decided to put Ziad Al-Alimi and 12 others from the The Hope Cell on terror lists for a period of 5 years.

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

Last update : 01/10/2020 - 15:00

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