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Tag Archives: Egypt

Our lives are not conditional: On Sarah Hegazy and estrangement

In the hours and days after her death, I kept returning to that picture of Sarah Hegazy which first surfaced in 2017 after she was arrested: A young woman beaming against the backdrop of Cairo’s polluted skies and bright concert lights. She was raised above the crowds, possibly on someone’s shoulders, her arms held high. The rainbow flag she was clutching fell across her back, like a cape.

The look of joy on her face haunted me. Her lightness. Apparently unburdened by the weight of her being. Carelessly draping the flag around her shoulders. The picture was not one of defiance, but of easy presence. In a single, flippant moment, she had let her guard down, and allowed herself to be peaceful in her own skin. Maybe even proud. Against the backdrop of an endless crowd, there was only her, and a moment of intimacy with the camera. She looked free. That is why the photograph was so threatening to her tormentors. Because it captured a fleeting suggestion that happiness and freedom at home might be possible for people like us. 

https://madamasr.com/en/2020/06/23/opinion/u/our-lives-are-not-conditional-on-sarah-hegazy-and-estrangement/

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2020 in Africa

 

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Without evidence or trial: Remand detention is authorities’ tool of choice to imprison political opponents

At a recent detention renewal hearing on January 22, software developer and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah addressed the State Security Prosecution and questioned the reasons for his imprisonment.

“In my isolation from reading material and world news, I try to answer this question: Why am I in detention? The only explanation I can come up with is that the security apparatus has a certain conception, a conception built on history and on continuous defamation campaigns after the revolution,” he said. “I am imprisoned as a preventative measure because of a state of political crisis and a fear that I will engage with it. It’s clear that I am in prison because of previous positions I have taken.”

https://madamasr.com/en/2020/02/07/feature/politics/without-evidence-or-trial-remand-detention-is-authorities-tool-of-choice-to-imprison-political-opponents/

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2020 in Africa

 

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Egypt upholds detention of researcher Patrick George Zaki

A court in Egypt has rejected a researcher’s appeal to be released from detention, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), in a case that has sparked alarm among human rights groups.

Patrick George Zaki, who has been on leave from EIPR since last August to pursue studies in Italy, was arrested on February 7 after he landed in Cairo’s international airport for a visit to see his family.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/egypt-upholds-detention-researcher-patrick-george-zaki-200215165208767.html

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2020 in Africa

 

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Meet the controversial actor and businessman standing up against Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Mohamed Ali infuriates Field Marshal President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt. His waspish, cruel, outrageously funny, solemnly pedantic videos and social media messages transmitted from his self-exile in Spain, mocking the man who overthrew Egypt’s first elected president, even brought demonstrators back on to the streets of Cairo in September. But the 45-year-old actor and businessman admits to me, after much false modesty, that he would like to play Sisi – if only for just one day.

And if his description of the president – corrupt and corrupting, leading a nepotistic clan of army officers – is anything like the truth, then I have a suspicion that Sisi might like to play Ali for a day too: for the iconoclast who chain-smokes his way through his video rants, demanding back pay for the massive army palace he claims to have constructed for Sisi, might be a satisfying role for a man who claims not only to be uncorrupted by power but to have saved Egypt from Islamist “terror”. Sisi calls all of Ali’s allegations “lies”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/abdel-fattah-alsisi-egypt-mohamed-ali-morsi-cairo-a9233976.html

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2019 in Africa

 

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Curtains for Sisi? How Mohamed Ali upstaged Egypt’s greatest showman

If Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had chosen an alternative career, it should surely have been the stage.

His was a sympathetic voice from military intelligence assuring both liberals and Islamists in Tahrir Square in January 2011 that the army was on their side.

For the late President Mohamed Morsi, Sisi played the religiously observant, younger general.

Sisi, the saviour?

His were the trembling hands and theatrical show of nerves, waiting in the wings in a side room of the presidential palace, while his bosses – then Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and Sami Anan – were being sacked as head of the army and chief of staff.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/sisis-final-act-arab-spring-and-running

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2019 in Africa

 

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Trump’s hissy-fit over Darroch will blow a chill wind across Britain’s embassies in the Middle East

Just for a moment, let’s forget poor old Kim Darroch. Let’s jump a couple of days in front of this news story. Let me tell you how his utter humiliation and sacrifice at the hands of Trump – and with the connivance of the man who will probably be the next British prime minister – will affect the Middle East.

Let’s go first to Riyadh where, just off Al Khawabi street, stands the British embassy, wherein labours Simon Collis, our man in Saudi Arabia. He’s previously served in Bahrain, Tunis, Amman, Dubai, Qatar, Damascus and Baghdad. In other words, he’s an old Arab hand. He’s also a Muslim convert and the first British ambassador to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.

But right now, Collis is going to be thinking very carefully when he reports back to the Foreign Office about the Kingdom upon which he must report fully, fairly and truthfully for his government. For all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten his reputation if The Leaker gets his hands on the diplomatic bag from Riyadh.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/kim-darroch-donald-trump-boris-saudi-middle-east-embassy-ambassador-a9000456.html

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Europe, Middle East

 

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Morsi’s death marks the demise of Egyptian democracy too

Mohamed Morsi’s death was utterly predictable, truly outrageous and, in my view, arguably a case of murder.

To me, when you die in a dictator’s prison – even if you are not Egypt’s only elected president – then you are, in some sense, murdered. It doesn’t matter if it’s the solitary confinement, the lack of medical treatment or the isolation. It is of no relevance that the court is unfair, the charges frivolous, the sentence mortifying. A prisoner residing in such circumstances awaits death every day, unless the gates open, which they were never going to do for President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt.

I use his official title because a president overthrown in a military coup remains an elected president. Just as the man who staged the coup must now also be called President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. The first title represents honour. The second title represents reality.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/morsi-death-egypt-sisi-democracy-a8963861.html

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Africa

 

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The West is silent over the death of former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi

Ye Gods, how brave was our response to the outrageous death-in-a-cage of Mohamed Morsi. It is perhaps a little tiresome to repeat all the words of regret and mourning, of revulsion and horror, of eardrum-busting condemnation pouring forth about the death of Egypt’s only elected president in his Cairo courtroom this week. From Downing Street and from the White House, from the German Chancellery to the Elysee – and let us not forget the Berlaymont – our statesmen and women did us proud. Wearying it would be indeed to dwell upon their remorse and protests at Morsi’s death.

For it was absolutely non-existent: zilch; silence; not a mutter; not a bird’s twitter – or a mad president’s Twitter, for that matter – or even the most casual, offhand word of regret. Those who claim to represent us were mute, speechless, as sound-proofed as Morsi was in his courtroom cage and as silent as he is now in his Cairo grave.

It was as if Morsi never lived, as if his few months in power never existed – which is pretty much what Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, his nemesis and ex-gaoler, wants the history books to say.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/morsi-death-egypt-al-sisi-middle-east-arab-democracy-donald-trump-a8967141.html

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Africa

 

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La lenta esecuzione di Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi è stato il primo presidente democraticamente eletto dell’Egitto post rivoluzione. La sua presidenza, cominciata nel 2012, è durata poco più di un anno, interrotta dal golpe militare orchestrato dall’attuale presidente Abdel Fattah al Sisi nel giugno del 2013. Morsi è stato accusato di spionaggio per l’Iran, il Qatar e Hamas, di insulto all’autorità giudiziaria, nonché di organizzazione di attacchi terroristici. Dopo sette anni di prigione in stretto isolamento per 23 ore al giorno, è morto la sera del 17 giugno in tribunale. Aveva 67 anni, era diabetico e non ha mai avuto cure adeguate. In sette anni ha potuto ricevere solo quattro visite dai familiari.

Nel 2017 un articolo di Peter Oborne sul Middle East Eye intitolato “Morsi potrebbe morire in una prigione egiziana” avvertiva: “L’ex presidente sviene frequentemente ed è entrato due volte in coma. La sua salute è seriamente deteriorata e mi dicono che ci sono tutte le ragioni di temere per la sua vita. La settimana scorsa la sua famiglia ha potuto visitarlo per la prima volta dopo quattro anni e sono rimasti scioccati da quello che hanno visto – come dovremmo esserlo tutti”.

https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/catherine-cornet/2019/06/18/morte-mohamed-morsi

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2019 in Africa

 

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Mohammad Morsi in life and death mirrors wider Arab agonies

The death of former elected President Mohammad Morsi of Egypt should be seen as perhaps the single most iconic moment of modern Arab political history. For he represented everything that is good and bad about political authority and governance in the past century of Arab statehood. Yet his legacy will only be fully clarified in the decades ahead when the fate of the ongoing Arab uprisings also becomes clear.

Not surprisingly, it is in Egypt that his life and death capture the main lines of the modern Arab political struggles for stable statehood and citizenship. Three, in particular, stand out from 1952 until today, and they continue to shape the trajectories of power, the sources of political legitimacy, and the fate of entire societies. These are the rule of the armed forces, the opposition of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, and the counter-revolutionary onslaught of conservative Arab monarchies against democratically-elected governments after the 2011 overthrow of the former Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak.

http://beirut-today.com/2019/06/18/mohammad-morsi/

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2019 in Africa

 

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