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7 December, 2017
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The Democratic Path in Egypt During November 2017

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

Lawyers for Democracy Initiative

The Democratic Path in Egypt During November 2017

Before we begin

The Democratic Path report is a monthly report issued by The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information through “Lawyers for Democracy” initiative, which was launched by ANHRI in 2014 to monitor the democratic path in Egypt. Besides the monthly reports, ANHRI has released annual reports on the democratic path in 2014, 2015 & 2016, which are available at the “Reports” section on ANHRI’s website through the following link:

http://goo.gl/mSo6hc

Prologue:

The phenomenon of crackdown against anyone who publicly dared to reveal his intentions to run for the upcoming presidential elections, which is scheduled for mid-2018, is the most striking and influential phenomenon observed in the democratic path in November, as it shows the extent of the inability of the authorities to accept any political competition, even from those who were its allies such as Ahmed Shafiq.

During this month various protest events continued, especially those organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, the NASL, the social and labor protests. 36 events were organized, including 22 for the Muslim Brotherhood and 11 social protests.

Human rights defenders continued to be targeted by trials and imprisonment renewal hearings.

With regard to restrictions on freedom of expression and media freedoms, this month there was a marked increase compared to October, as Lawyers for Democracy initiative observed 19 various violations.

As for the military trials, which have decreased compared to the past months, 48 civilians were brought to one military trial.

While the terrorist attacks continued, the most prominent of which was the bombing of al-Rawda mosque, which resulted in the killing and wounding of 437 civilians. The mass death sentences also continued, as 6 death sentences were handed down to 38 defendants.

Here are the details of the situation of the democratic path in November, with numbers, percentages and details:

First: Protest Events

During this month, the various powers organized 36 protest events, as follows:

  • MB & NASL 22 protest events
  • Social & Labor protests 11 protest events
  • Students protest events : 2
  • Pro-regime protests: 1 protest event

The following chart shows the percentage of protest events according to the organizing powers

6 protest events were attacked by the security forces, while 30 went unattacked.

The following chart shows the percentage of security attacks on the protest events

MB & NASL Protest Events

During November there were 22 different protest events for the MB & NASL, out of which 4 events were attacked by the security forces and 18 went without security interventions.

The most salient demands of the MB & NASL:

  • Protesting against the poor prison conditions, and demanding the closure of “al-Aqrab” (Scorpio) prison.
  • Protesting against the rising prices and the worsening economic conditions

The following chart shows the percentage of security attacks on the MB & NASL protest events

Labor and Social protest events:

During November there were 11 various social and labor protests, out of which 2 were attacked by the security forces, while 9 events went without interference from the security forces.

The most salient demands of the social and labor protests:

  • Nubians protested against not implementing the constitution and returning them to their lands, and the death of Gamal Sorour, one of the detainees, in prison.
  • Protesting against arbitrary dismissal
  • Protesting the closure of North Gaz factory.
  • Protesting against the non-disbursement of incentives in Delta Company for Spinning and Weaving

The following chart shows the percentage of security attacks on the protest events

Students protest events :

During November, students or their families organized 2 protest events, none of which were attacked by the security forces.

The most salient demands of the students’ protests:

  • Protesting against the rise of tuition fees
  • Sinai’s students staged a protest against terrorism and to show solidarity with the victims of al-Rawda mosque.

Pro-regime protests :

  • During November, some street vendors organized a campaign in Ramses Square to demand President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for a second term. The participants shouted some slogans in favor and it went unattacked.

Second: Trials

In November, the Egyptian judiciary reviewed 37 ongoing trials, issued 9 convictions, 4 acquittals and death sentences against 38 defendants.

1 – Ongoing Trials:

The 37 ongoing trials are as follows:

  • 27 MB & NASL Trials.
  • 4 Civil and Democratic Powers Trials.
  • 5 Mubarak regime trials.
  • While the military judiciary presided over 1 military trial for civilians.

The following chart illustrates the percentage of ongoing trials

Most Highlighted MB & NASL Trials:

  • The cases known in the media as: (Breaking into prisons, Dispersal of al-Nahda sit-in, Dispersal of Rabaa sit-in, Al-Azhar University cell, Breaking into Kerdasa police station, Al-Bahr Al-Aazam incidents, Breaking into Atfih police station, The Guidance Office incidents, Violence incidents in Alexandria)

Most Highlighted Mubarak’s Regime Figures Trials:

  • The cases known in the media as: (The trial of Sami Mehran for graft and exploitation of power, the trial of Ahdi Fadel on charges of profiting, Al-Ahram gifts, the trial of Ismail Serageldin on charges of graft and exploitation of influence, manipulation of the stock exchange)

Most Highlighted Civil and Democratic powers trials:

  • The cases known in the media as: (The tambourines detainees, the oppressed of downtown, the cabinet of ministers incidents)

Military trials for civilians:

  • In October the military judiciary reviewed 1 trial of 48 civilians.

2 – Judiciary Rulings:

In November there were 9 convictions, 4 acquittals and here are the details:

Rulings of Conviction:

In November the Egyptian judiciary issued 9 rulings of conviction as follows:

 

  • 5 convictions of MB & NASL
  • 1 conviction of the civil and democratic powers
  • 3 convictions in military trials for civilians.

 

The following chart shows the percentage of rulings of conviction

Acquittals:

In November the Egyptian judiciary issued 4 acquittals as follows:

 

  • 1 for MB & NASL
  • 1 for Civil and Democratic Powers
  • 1 for Mubarak regime
  • 1 in military trials for civilians.
  • Death Sentences:

During November 6 death sentences were handed down against 38 defendants

The following table provides more details:

Number of issued sentences Number of defendants sentenced to death pending referral to the Mufti Sentences confirmed after referral to the Mufti Total
Civil 4 5 7 12
Military 2 11 15 26
Total 6 16 22 38

 

Third: Acts of Violence & Terroist Events:

In November there were 3 terrorist operations carried out in the various cities, and 19 counter-terrorism operations. Here are the details:

 

  • Terrorist attacks

 

In November there were 34 terrorist attacks, in 2 of which the explosives went off, while 1 was diffused, resulting in 128 wounded and 308 dead.

The following chart illustrates the percentage of terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism efforts

The following table shows the number of those killed and wounded.

Civilians Security forces Perpetrators of terrorist operations Total
Killed 308 0 0 308
Wounded 128 0 0 128
Total 436 0 0 436

 

 

  • Counter-terrorism operations

 

During November there were 19 pre-emptive security attacks dubbed as combating terrorism, targeting areas that were described by the security forces as terrorist hubs, which resulted in 58 killed, 7 wounded and the arrest of 196.

The following table shows the number of those killed and wounded.

Security forces Targets Total
Killed 3 55 58
Wounded 0 7 7
Total 3 62 65

 

Fourth: Crackdown on freedom of expression & media freedoms

During November there were 19 violations against freedom of expression & media freedoms

The following table provides more details:

Arrest & Detention 1
Prevention from Covering 6
Persecution Investigations or Ongoing Trials 8
Suspension from work 2
Judiciary Rulings 2
Total 19

The percentage of attacks against freedom of expression and media freedoms

 

Fifth : Attacks against Human Rights Defenders

 

  • On Monday, November 27, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the imprisonment of activist Sara Hegazy for another 15 days pending case No. 916 of 2017 Supreme State Security, on the charge of promoting homosexuality, and raising the rainbow flag during the concert of Mashrou’ Leila in the fifth settlement.
  • On Sunday, October 12, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of activist Ahmed Alaa for another 15 days pending investigation into the case known in the media as the “Rainbow flag” case, against the backdrop of charges of joining an unlawful group and spreading the ideas and beliefs of this group.
  • On November 8, 2017, the Court of Cassation, decided to accept the appeal filed by Alaa Abdel Fattah against the ruling in the case known in the media as the Shoura Council case in form, and in the subject decided to amend the sentence changing the prison conditions to five years followed by another five years of strict probation, abolishing the rigorous prison sentence and refusing the appeal regarding any other requests.
  •  On Wednesday, November 8, Dokki Misdemeanors Court, convened at North Giza Court postponed the appeal filed by lawyer and human rights defender Khalid Ali against his one year prison sentence on charges of committing an obscene act in public, to January 3, 2018, to fulfill the defense’s requests and released him.
  •  On Saturday, November 4, activist Gamal Sorour, one of those who got arrested against the backdrop of a demonstration by the Nubian activists demanding the right of return of the Nubian people to their land has died. Sorour, 47, was one of 25 activists who were accused in the case known to the media as “The tambourine detainees”. On Monday, November 13, the case was referred to the misdemeanors court. The preliminary hearing was scheduled for November 15 hearing session.
  •  On Thursday, November 2, Alexandria Criminal Court accepted the Public Prosecutor’s appeal against the release of activist Nael Hassan and others in the case of Alexandria activists, revoking the release decision and renewing their detention for 45 days pending investigations.
  • On Tuesday, November 28, the Administrative Court decided to refer lawsuit no. 63216 for the year 58, filed by a number of human rights defenders to stop the implementation of the decision to extend the mandate of the investigating judge in case no. 173 of 2011 investigative judges, known in the media as the civil society organizations case, to the State Commissioners to prepare its report about the case.
  • On Monday, November 27, the second chamber of the State Council Administrative Court, presided over by Counselor Sami Abdul Hamid, Vice-President of the State Council, decided to stop the lawsuit No. 44354 of 71 (judiciary), filed by a lawyer demanding the revocation of the Egyptian nationality of human rights activist Aya Hegazy, who also holds the American nationality, for one month.
  • On 26 November, the second chamber of the Administrative Court, presided over by Counselor Sami Abdel Hamid, decided to set the lawsuit demanding the withdrawal of the license and closure of Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, run by Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, for adjudication on 25 February. The lawsuit No. 10437 for the year 69 (judiciary), was lodged against Saad Eddin Ibrahim in his capacity.
  • On 22 November, The Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the imprisonment of Ibrahim Metwally for 15 days pending investigations into charges of establishing the Association of the Families of the Disappeared and communicating with international bodies to promote lies and rumors about enforced disappearance in Egypt.
  • On 20 November, The Appeals Chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court, presided over by Counselor Saeed Al-Qusair, set the hearing of 18 December to pronounce the verdict in the appeal filed by Counselor Hisham Genina, the former head of the Central Auditing Authority, in which he demands the suspension and cancellation of the ruling issued by the administrative court, rejecting the lawsuit to invalidate the decision of his dismissal from office to eliminate the requirement of interest, and argues the unconstitutionality of the law known as “cases of exemption of heads and members of regulatory bodies.”

 

 

Sixth: Important milestones in the situation of the democratic path during November “The crackdown on presidential candidates”:

The crackdown against presidential candidates was the most prominent incident in November, which demonstrates the clear will and determination of the authorities to close the climate of democracy and to hold presidential elections without any competition, as well as removing any potential contender against President Abdel-Fattah Sisi out of the way. In addition to the ongoing harassment for months of candidate Khalid Ali, there were two other cases of crackdown against those who dared to announce their intention to run for the presidential elections this month:

 

  • The case of former prime minister Ahmed Shafik

 

On November 29, 2017, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq announced in a statement from the UAE his intention to run for the presidential elections in Egypt. However, after a few hours he appeared in a video aired on Al-Jazeera, confirming that he was surprised to find out that he was banned from traveling by the Emirati authorities for unknown reasons. Later in the beginning of December, the authorities at the UAE deported him to Cairo, he was taken to an unknown location, which is what his lawyer and his family confirmed, yet he later appeared in a phone call confirming that he was free and unrestricted, he also announced during the phone call that he has not made a final decision to run in the upcoming presidential elections.

 

 

  • The case of Colonel Ahmed Konsowa

 

On November 29, 2017, Colonel Ahmed Abdel Ghaffar Hassan Konsowa announced in a video on social networking websites his intention to run for the upcoming presidential elections. However, a few hours after the video was broadcast, he was summoned from the prosecutor’s office for investigation before the Military Prosecution. The military prosecution decided to detain him for 15 days pending investigation and he was placed in a military prison.

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Note: This report relies on the cases documented by ANHRI and does not necessarily include all the incidents that took place during this month.

To view previous Democratic Path reports

To view “Obscure & Stalled” The Democratic Path in Egypt 2014 Report:

To view “One Step Back, Two Steps Further Back” The Democratic Path in Egypt 2015 Report:

To view “Closed Until Further Notice” The Democratic Path in Egypt 2016 Report:

 

 

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