The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Lawyers for Democracy Initiative
The Democratic Path in Egypt During January 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:
Towards the end of 2016, ANHRI released the annual report of “Lawyers for Democracy” initiative on the democratic path in Egypt throughout the year: “Closed Until Further Notice” due to the ongoing decline in the situation of democracy, and the lack in taking any steps forward in the democratic path. The protests continued, and there was a noticeable increase in targeting them. There was also an increase in military trials for civilians. The campaign targeting HRDs and opinion holders in general became wider.
This is the first monthly report in 2017, which documents the democratic path throughout the month. During this month, which coincides with the sixth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, 133 protests were organized and 39 collective death sentences were issued.
The military trials of civilians did not stop, 52 defendants appeared before military tribunals in 4 trials, out of the 44 trials that took place during this month.
The severe crackdown on freedom of expression and media freedoms has continued, with 16 violations this month.
While 6 terrorist operations were carried out, as opposed to 2 preemptive attacks by the security forces.
The campaign against human rights defenders continued, as the assets of 2 HRDs were frozen and another HRD was banned from traveling.
The details of the democratic path during January 2017 are as follows:
First: Protest Events
During this month, the various powers organized 133 protest events, as follows:
- MB & NASL 118 protest events
- Social & Labor protests 8 protest events
- Students protest events : 3 protest events
- Civil and Democratic Powers 2 protest events
- Pro-Regime Protests: 2 protest events
The following chart shows the percentage of protest events according to the organizing powers
41 protest events were attacked by the security forces, whil 92 went unattacked.
The following chart shows the percentage of security attacks on the protest events
MB & NASL Protest Events
In January the MB & NASL organized 118 protest events, out of which 37 were attacked by the security forces and 81 went unattacked.
The most salient demands of the MB & NASL:
- Marking the anniversary of January 25 Revolution and demanding adhering to its demands.
- Overthrowing what they call the military coup.
- Protesting the maritime border demarcation agreement signed by the president with Saudi Arabia.
- Calling for the trial of president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The following chart shows the percentage of security attacks on the MB & NASL protest events
Labor and Social protest events:
Lawyers for Democracy has observed 8 social protest events organized in January, out of which 6 went unattacked and 2 were attacked by the security forces.
The most salient demands of the social and labor protests:
- Demanidng higher wages & the implementation of the minimum wage.
- Some of the workers at Mansoura Trading Agencies Group were protesting their contract termination.
- Calling for a raise in the high cost of living bonus.
- Masters and PhD holders demanding being appointed at the state administrative apparatus..
- Pensioners calling for a 20% seniority bonus due to the rise in prices.
The following table shows the percentage of attacks against social & labor protests
In January, the students organized 3 protest events, which all went unattacked and without any security intervention.
The most salient demands of the students protests:
- Talaat Harb secondary school students were protesting the expulsion of a number of them due to exceeding the maximum absence period.
- Secondary school students organized a protest against the number of questions in the examination system.
- Smart village students protesting the rise in tution fees.
Civil & Democratic Powers protest events:
In January the civil and democratic powers organized 2 protest events, which were both attacked by the security forces.
The most salient demands of the civil & democratic powers protests:
- Protesting the maritime border demarcation agreement signed by the president with Saudi Arabia.
In January there were 2 pro-regime protests, which did not face any intervention by the security forces, both coincided with the anniversary of the January revolution and to celebrate the police day.
In January, the Egyptian judiciary reviewed 44 ongoing trials regarding public issues, in which there were 10 convictions, 2 acquittals, and death sentences against 39 defendants.
The 44 ongoing trials are as follows:
- 29 MB & NASL Trials
- 6 Mubarak regime trials.
- 4 Civil and Democratic Powers Trials
- 1 Pro Post-June 30 regime
- While the military judiciary presided over 4 military trials for civilians.
The following chart illustrates the percentage of ongoing trials
Most Highlighted MB &NASL Trials:
- The cases known in the media as (Egypt’s Soldiers, al-Warrak cell, Helwan brigades, Rabaa operations room, breaking into Aftih police station, Maspero 2nd incidents, Suhag violence incidents, Ansar al-Sharia, breaking into Matay police station, dispersal of al-Nahda sit-in Dar el-Salam violence incidents, American embassy 2nd incidents, breaking into October police station, Helwan Microbus cell, Damietta cell, Wagdy Ghoneim cell, dipersal of Rabaa sit-in, Kerdasa massacre, al-Adwa incidents, and the murder of journalist Mayada Ashraf).
Most Highlighted Mubarak’s Regime Figures Trials:
- The cases known in the media as “Steel licenses trial of Ahmed Ezz, the trial of Habib el-Adly and 12 of his aids for financial corruption, trial of Zuhair Garana for seizure of public funds, manipulation of the stock market, trial of Ahmed al-Maghraby for graft and seizure of public money, and the trial of Hussein Salem for money laundering.”
Most Highlighted Civil & Democratic Powers Trials:
- The cases known in the media as (The trial of novelist Ahmed Nagy for violating the public decency, Belady foundation case, Ultras White Knights case, and cabinet incidents case).
Most Highlighted Post-June 30 regime trials:
- The trial of the former Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Nasr Allam over charges of bribe and wasting public money.
Military trials for civilians:
In January the military judiciary reviewed 4 trials of 52 civilians.
In January there were 10 convictions, 2 acquittals and here are the details:
- Rulings of Conviction:
In January the Egyptian judiciary issued 10 rulings of conviction as follows:
- 5 convictions against MB & NASL
- 4 military sentences against civilians.
- 1 convictions against Post-June 30 regime
The following chart shows the percentage of rulings of conviction
In January there were 2 acquittals in military trials for civilians.
- Death Sentences:
In January there were 3 death sentences against 39 defendants, and here are the details:
- Giza Criminal Court convened at the Police Cadets Institute ordered the referral of 2 defendants to the mufti in the case known in the media as “al-Waraq cell.”
- Giza Criminal Court convened at the Police Academy ordered the referral of 2 defendants to the mufti in the case known in the media as “American embassy 2nd incidents.”
- The Military Court convened at Hikestep sentenced 35 defendants to death and 54 to life imprisonment in case No. 246/2015, the case of breaking into al-Tameya police station.
The following table shows the death sentences and the number of defendants:
|The judiciary||Number of defendants sentenced to death||Sentences Pending Referral to the Mufti||Sentences That were Confirmed After Referral to the Mufti|
Third: Acts of Violence & Terroist Events:
In January there were 6 terrorist operations carried out in the various cities, and only 2 counter-terrorism operations. Here are the details:
- Terrorist attacks
In January, 6 terrorist operations were carried out, and the explosives went off in all of them, wounding 10 and kliiling 42 members of the security forces.
The following table shows the number of those killed and wounded.
In January, the Egyptian authorities carried out 2 counter-terrorism operations targeting 2 areas, described as terrorism hubs by the security bodies, the operations resulted in the killing of 19 from those targeted by the operations and the killing of 10 from the security bodies.
Fourth: Crackdown on freedom of expression & media freedoms
In January there were 16 violations against freedom of xxpression and press freedom.
The following table illustrates the number of violations
Attacks against Human Rights Defenders
In January, there were 3 attacks against HRDs:
- On January 11, Cairo Criminal Court convened at Abbasiya Court decided to freeze the assets of Mozn Hassan, the director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, upon a request by the investigating judge presiding over case No. 173 of 2011, AKA “Civil Society Organizations” case.
- On January 16, Cairo Criminal Court convened at Abbasiya Court decided to freeze the assets of Mohammed Zaree, head of the Arab Organization for Penal Reform, upon a request by the investigating judge presiding over case No. 173 of 2011, AKA “Civil Society Organizations” case.
- On 26 January, Cairo International Airport security banned human rights lawyer Negad el-Borai from traveling to Jordan, he was informed that the travel ban was based on a decision by the investigating judge presiding over case No. 173 of 2011, AKA “Civil Society Organizations” case.
Sixth: Administrative judiciary & urgent matters rulings In January, there were 2 administrative judiciary & urgent matters rulings related to the waiver of Tiran & Sanafir islands case:
- In the 1 January hearing, Cairo Appellant Court for urgent matters ruled to suspend the Administrative Justice rule invaliding the demarcation of the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
- In the 1 January hearing, the Supreme Administrative Court convened at the State Council, ruled in the case known in the media as “Tiran and Sanafir” to reject the appeal submitted by the Egyptian government over the invalidity of the signing of the demarcation of the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, “and the court confirmed the Egyptian sovereignty over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir”
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 “Closed Until Further Notice” The Democratic Path in Egypt 2016 report:  This report does not necessarily include all the incidents that took place during this month, it is rather based on the events monitored and documented by “Lawyers for Democracy” team.