The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
“Lawyers for Democracy” initiative
Before we begin,
The democratic path is a report that the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is launching every three months – quarterly – in 2018.
ANHRI used to publish it monthly in previous years through the “Lawyers for Democracy” initiative launched by ANHRI in 2014, to monitor the democratic process in Egypt.
In addition to the monthly reports issued to monitor the state of democracy, ANHRI issued annual reports to monitor the democratic path in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 which can be accessed through the section “ Reports and studies” on ANHRI’s website by clicking on the following link:
This is the first quarterly report issued by ANHRI during 2018. The first quarter of the year witnessed the first presidential elections after the current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power. The elections lacked prominent candidates due to the lack of an appropriate democratic climate, which led the election to be held in the absence of real competitiveness. And it ended up being between the current president and a candidate who had submitted his papers last minute before the deadline, and resulted that the current president won with 97% of the votes.
Violations of media freedom were not stopped. Twenty-one violations were recorded during the first quarter, the most salient of which were the investigations by the prosecution, which recorded 18 investigations during the reporting period.
Violations against human rights defenders also continued, which reached the point of assault, as the attack by unknown individuals against the Judge Hisham Geniena.
Here are details of the state of the democratic process during the first quarter of 2018, in numbers, percentages and details:
First: protest events
During the first quarter of the year, the various forces organized 144 different events, and their distribution was as follows:
- Social and labor protests: 66.
- The Muslim Brotherhood and the Coalition to Support Legitimacy: 54.
- Student protests: 18.
- Pro-regime: 6.
- While the civil democratic forces did not organize any events during the first quarter of 2018
In the following diagram, the distribution of protest events is shown in percentage according to organizers:
January witnessed the biggest number of protests in this quarter with 54 events; detailed as follows:
Out of these events; 13 were attacked by security forces, 122 went on without attacks, and 10 cases were negotiated.
In the following diagram, the percentages of attacks on protest activities are shown:
Labor and social protests:
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed the organization of 66 different social and labor protests; 3 of which were attacked by the security forces, 53 passed without interference, and 10 were resolved after negotiations with their organizers.
The most important demands brought by the social and labor protests:
- The workers of the General Union of Egyptian Syndicates protested the delay in paying their social allowances and the cost of living bonuses.
- The demands by the workers of the Egyptian Company for Environmental Services to get the end of the project rewards.
- Protest over delayed payment of salaries and financial dues.
- Workers protest the National Cement Company in Helwan on the decision of the administration to stop work in the factories for high fuel prices.
- A number of workers protested against the lack of installation in their jobs.
Activities of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL):
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Alliance to Support Legitimacy 54 different protests, including 5 that were attacked by the security forces, while 49 passed without security intervention.
The most important demands raised by Muslim Brotherhood and the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy:
- Commemoration of the January25th Revolution.
- Protest against the policy of the security authorities in Sinai.
- Demanding the release of detainees and improving prison conditions.
- Demanding the fall of what they called the rule of the military.
- Demanding the unification of the ranks of the opposition.
- Demanding the closure of Scorpion prison “Aqrab”.
- Protest over high prices.
The following figure illustrates the percentage of attacks on the activities of the MB & NASL
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed 18 protests organized by students or their parents. Security forces have not attacked any of them.
- Protest against poor quality of educational services.
- Protest against the decision of the coordination system issued by the Ministry of Higher Education.
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed the organization of 6 events in Cairo and the governorates, all with the aim of assembling the powers of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to participate in the elections or support him in the elections.
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed 97 trial cases in front of the Egyptian Judiciary. Of these there were 26 rulings of conviction, 11 acquittals, and death sentences against 38 defendants.
The distribution of the 97 ongoing trials is as follows:
- 56 trials for the MB & NASL.
- 11 trials of the civil and democratic powers.
- 6 trials for members of Mubarak’s regime.
- 4 trials for members of the post June 30th
- 7 trials in other cases related to public affairs.
- The military judiciary considered 13 trials for civilians.
The following figure illustrates the percentages of the current trial:
The most prominent trials of the MB and NASL:
The cases known in the media as;
- Storming the eastern border
- Atfih Violence
- The Popular Resistance Committee in Kerdassa
- Espionage with Hamas
- Guidance Office incidents
- Storming Nasr City-I Police Station
- Al-Azhar University unit
- Al-Fath mosque violence incidents
- Al-Bahr Al-A’zam incidents
- Helwan Brigades
The most important trials of Mubarak regime figures:
The cases known in the media as;
- Steel licenses
- Safwat al-Sherif’s illicit gains
- Mohamed Ahdi Fadhli and others on charges of graft
- Mubarak’s appeal and his sons to support administrative detention for 61 million pounds of his property.
The most important trials of civil rights defenders are:
- The cases known in the media as;
- The Tambourine detainees
- The Cabinet of Ministers incidents
- The Dar El-Salam youth case
- The Syndicate of Journalists Syndicate to protest the Tiran and Sanafir Agreement
- The scandal detainees.
- The trial of the human rights lawyer Mohammad Ramadan on charges of insulting the President.
The most prominent trials of members of the regime after June 30th:
The cases known in the media as;
- Torture of lawyer Karim Magdy to death
- Torture of Afrotto to death
- Trial of 42 police officers on charges of demonstrating
Military trials of civilians:
In the first quarter of 2018, the military judiciary handled 13 trials for civilians.
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed the issuance of 26 convictions, 11 acquittals and two death penalties, and details are as follows:
During the first quarter, the Egyptian judiciary issued 26 convictions, distributed as follows:
- 19 Ruling against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy.
- 3 rulings in the cases of civil democratic forces
- 3 rulings in military trials for civilians
- While no judgment is issued against members of the Mubarak regime or the post-June 30 regime
The following illustration shows the distribution of the convictions in percentages:
During the first quarter, 11 acquittals were issued, distributed as follows::
- 5 of the Brotherhood and the alliance of support for legitimacy
- 3 of the civil democratic powers.
- 1 for members of the Mubarak regime
- 2 In military trials of civilians
The following illustration shows the distribution of the conviction in percentages:
During the first quarter of 2018, only 2 convictions pending execution were issued. They were for members of Muslim Brotherhood and the coalition for support of legitimacy.
During that first quarter, 8 death penalties were issued for 24 defendants, as follows:
|Number of issued sentences||Death Sentences pending the religious opinion of the Mufti||Death sentences confirmed after referral to the Mufti||Total convictions with death penalties|
Third Violence and Terrorism:
The first quarter of 2018 witnessed a total of 13 terrorist operations in different governorates and 12 counter-terrorism operations, detailed as follows:
13 terrorist attacks in the first quarter of the year, 8 of which exploded IEDs, while the security forces succeeded in diffusing 5 bombs. The operations resulted in 14 wounded and 7 killed.
The following table shows percentages in details:
The following table shows figures and distribution of injured and killed:
|Number of killed||2||4||1||7|
|Number of wounded||0||12||2||14|
- Counter-Terrorism Operations:
During the first quarter of the year there were 12 preemptive attacks by the security forces which targeted what the security forces described as terrorism hubs, resulting in the killing of 159, 2 wounded and 1880 others arrested.
The following figure explains the killed and wounded:
Fourth: Violation Against Freedom of Expression and Media Freedom :
The first quarter of the year witnessed 21 violations against freedom of expression and media freedom.
Detailed as follows:
|Ongoing trials & interrogations||18|
|Deportation from Egypt||1|
|Termination of work||1|
The following table details the media violations in percentages:
Fifth: Human Rights Defenders :
- On January 13th, the Court of Misdemeanors of Manshia, in its session held at the Alexandria Courts Complex, decided to accept the appeal filed by Mahinour El-Masri and Motassem Medhat for their two-year sentence issued by the Manshia Misdemeanors Court on charges of demonstrating without notice to protest the waiver of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, and decided to cancel the sentence of imprisonment that was issued by the court of first instance and upheld the acquittal.
- The Criminal Court of Alexandria decided, at its hearing on January 10th, to postpone the trial of human rights lawyer Mohammad Ramadan in the case known in the media as “insulting the President” and publishing false news on social media platform, Facebook, for the session of May 13, 2018, under the provisions of the Terrorism Law No. 94 of 2015.
- Giza Criminal Court, at a hearing held on January 2nd, at the Police Cadets Institute, decided to accept the appeal filed by Sarah Hijazi and Ahmed Alaa. The Supreme State Security Prosecution’s decision to renew their detention for investigations into the case known as “Rainbow Flag” and decided to cancel the decision and release them on bail of two thousand Egyptian pounds.
- Judge Hisham Genena, the former head of the Central Auditing Organization, was attacked by thugs whom he accused of trying to kidnap him while he was going to attend a session to challenge the decision to remove him from the organization in violation of the constitution because of his disclosure of the cost of corruption in Egypt.
- On December 30th, the judge of the New Cairo Court of Appeals decided to release the attackers to the Judge Hisham Genena, on bail of 500 pounds each, a decision that was supported after the Public Prosecution refused to appeal.
- At its hearing on January 23rd, at the State Council Administrative Court decided to refer the appeal filed by lawyer and human rights defender Gamal Eid on the travel ban to the Commission of Commissioners to prepare a report with the legal opinion.
- On Tuesday February 13th, a force from the first settlement police station arrested Hisham Genena, the former head of the Central Auditing Organization, from his home. He was then taken to the Military Prosecution and charged with publishing false news regarding the former Egyptian army chief of staff having documents condemning the current regime and the army.
- The Court of Cassation, held on Thursday February 1st in the High Court of Justice in central Cairo, set the appeal filed by the accused in the case known to the media as “the foreign funding case”, in which they were convicted earlier in the case due to be heard in April 2018.
- The Criminal Court of Minia decided on Monday March 19th to postpone the trial of 20 lawyers at the Magaghah Center in the case accusing them of insulting the judiciary and obstructing the work of the court.
Sixth: The Presidential Elections :
- The first quarter of 2018 witnessed numerous violations related to the presidential elections varied between smear campaigns against both presidential candidates, and went as far as the arrest of Colonel Ahmed Qansuh and his military trial and the arrest of Lieutenant General Sami Annan and interrogating him at the militarily prosecution. That was through the deportation of the Field Marshal Ahmed Shafiq from the United Arab Emirates followed by his disappearance for days before announcing his withdrawal from the presidential elections, and fabricating accusations against the lawyer Khalid Ali, who announced his withdrawal before the presidential race due to violations in the electoral process.
- The presidential elections were held between the current president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi and Mussa Mustafa Mussa, the unknown and unpopular engineer who submitted his candidacy papers before the applications deadline by five minutes.
- All that led to the fact that the elections did not witness any real competition and was described by observers as lacking turnout that the voting poll stations have not to witness voters in the course of the three days.
- But the National Electoral Commission announced the winning of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi after receiving 97% of the total valid votes, which amounted to about 22 million votes out of the 24 million who participated in the electoral process, according to the Committee.
Note: This report is based on the cases monitored by ANHRI and does not necessarily include all events in the month.
For the previous Democratic Path Report
For the Democratic Path Report 2014, “Obscure and stalled”
To view the Democratic Path Report in 2015 “One step back, two steps further back”
To view the Democratic Path Report in 2016 “Closed until further notice”