Stop the demonstrations, blockade the press, and arrests

Stop the demonstrations, blockade the press, and arrests
Stop the demonstrations, blockade the press, and arrests
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Cairo – “Al-Quds Al-Arabi”: Many steps have been taken by the Egyptian authorities since 2013, to prevent any possibility of a recurrence of what happened on January 25, 2011, which is the revolution that the head of power in Egypt has been accustomed to over the past years. It caused the ruin of the country.
The first goal of the authority was to prevent any demonstrations or gatherings that might lead to a recurrence of the event or encourage Egyptians to take to the streets, so it issued one law after another that criminalizes demonstrations and sets difficult conditions for obtaining permission for it.

Laws restricting freedoms

After the Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown from power in 2013, the authorities did not wait long. During the transitional period, interim President Adly Mansour issued, in November 2013, a law to organize peaceful meetings and demonstrations, requiring organizers of demonstrations to inform the authorities at least three working days before its date, and the Minister of Interior may decide to ban the demonstration if it constitutes a “threat to security.”
The law stipulates a “gradual use of force, starting from verbal warnings to firing rubber bullets, passing through water cannons, batons, and tear gas.”
After Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi came to power in 2004, he issued a republican decree amending some provisions of the Demonstration Law.
The presidential decree stipulated that the text of Article 10 of Law 107 of 2013 regulating the right to public meetings, processions, and peaceful demonstrations be replaced with the new text, to the effect that: “The Minister of Interior or the competent security director has the right, before the date set for the start of the meeting, procession, or demonstration, and based on information Serious or evidence of the existence of a threat to security and peace, submitting a request to the judge of temporary matters in the competent court of first instance to cancel or postpone the public meeting, procession or demonstration, or move it to another place or change its course.
The judge has the right to “issue a reasoned decision immediately after submitting the application to him, provided that the administrative authority that submitted the notification is notified immediately upon its issuance, and the concerned parties may appeal against the decision in accordance with the rules established by the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law.”
Accordingly, the new amendment abolished the right of the security forces to prevent the demonstration, giving this right to the judge of temporary matters and after submitting an official note from the Minister of Interior or the Director of Security.

Anti-terrorism law

In 2015, Sisi issued the Anti-Terrorism Law, a law that human rights organizations considered “a new blow to the constitution, destroying the state of law, and establishing the undeclared state of emergency that it perpetuates under the pretext of protecting society and national unity and preventing the promotion of ideas advocating violence.”
The law allowed the President of the Republic or his authorized representative to “take any measures” under the pretext of “maintaining security and public order” in the event of the occurrence of what might be considered a terrorist threat, including what is related to the curfew, which includes devoting an undeclared state of emergency, It is not protected by constitutional guarantees, and even gives him the right to declare a disguised state of emergency under the name of “the dangers of terrorist crimes or environmental disasters” for a period not exceeding 6 months, which may be renewed for other periods after the approval of the majority of Parliament.

Threat and terror

The organizations considered that the law represents “a threat and terrorism to political groups, parties, civil society organizations, and the media more than it represents a threat to violent extremism groups, and it reinforces the closure of the public sphere in Egypt, which will only benefit those extremist groups from growth and expansion, and what increases the matter What is worse is the complete absence of effective oversight of those in charge of implementing the law in light of the complete collapse of the justice system.
The law also, according to the organizations, “an alarming expansion in the criminalization circle, using inaccurate definitions, or adding unspecified acts as in the second paragraph of Article Two, which criminalizes every behavior committed to achieve the terrorist purpose.” That purpose, which according to the law includes “damaging the environment” and occupying Public or private property, seizing it or causing damage to it, and then the charge of terrorism can be attached to those who demonstrate in front of government buildings or companies or sit in them or on the public road. “National Unity” is so general that it can be interpreted according to whoever has the authority to interpret it, in a variety of ways.
Human rights organizations estimate the number of detainees in Egypt at 60,000, at a time when the Egyptian authorities deny the existence of detainees and say that the detainees are accused of criminal cases.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Muhammad Anwar Sadat, head of the Reform and Development Party, called on Sisi to issue a general amnesty for all prisoners of opinion and expression and those imprisoned in cases of peaceful demonstration, so that it becomes the true national project for the year 2023. He said: “We have all seen the echo and impact of the release of industrialist Safwan Thabet. And his son is in the financial and business community and the popular welcome, and I think we will see the greatest impact in the event of a general amnesty.
He added, “History has not forgotten what Mandela said that if we want to win the future, we must not hold the past accountable and punish it, and if we do that, we will lose both, and that he respects everyone’s right to their visions for the future of their homeland.”

“unify class”

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And the President of the country called, “again, for a real step towards gathering the word, uniting the ranks, reunifying, healing the wounds and lining up, so that we fold the past with all its transgressions, tragedies and mistakes, and erase our differences and fortify our Egyptian home from within with more rights and responsible freedoms and acceptance of difference and establish an environment and societal culture that addresses crises.” from its roots without treating its symptoms only.”
He continued, “Repression, marginalization, and one voice have never succeeded in facing crises, as history has taught us. These are the characteristics of a strong and tolerant leader in a stable country looking forward to a promising future.” Preventing demonstrations by laws was not enough for the authority, so it decided to blockade the press and the media, and issued a law regulating the press and media in 2018, which was the law that the press group in Egypt objected to, and considered it “gagging mouths and preventing pens from writing except with the authority’s permission.”
Article 19 of the law stipulates that the Supreme Council for Media Regulation be granted oversight powers that are inconsistent with its role, and stipulates that “the press, media outlet, or website is prohibited from publishing or broadcasting false news or what calls for or incites violation of the law or violence.” Or hatred, or involves discrimination between citizens, or calls for racism, or fanaticism, or includes defamation of individuals’ honor, or insults or defamation of them, or disrespect for divine religions or religious beliefs.
And the provisions of this article shall be committed to: “Every personal website, personal electronic blog, or personal electronic account with a number of followers of five thousand followers or more. Suspension or blocking of the website, blog or account referred to by his decision.
Amr Badr, a former member of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, told Al-Quds Al-Arabi that there are several scenes indicating the state of the Egyptian press and journalists during the past years.
He added: The Egyptian press has been shackled in recent years, and the most prominent scene was the issuance of Law 180 of 2018, which is the law that legitimized the procedures for closing and blocking newspapers and false fines, and the use of rubber expressions to affect all journalists, and the law did not specify a disciplined definition for such expressions that the law uses as racism or Discrimination or insult to religion.
He added: Another scene is the journalists who have been imprisoned over the past years.

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Two of the detainees

And he indicated that the journalists who have been imprisoned are divided into two categories, the first are those who have been subjected to pretrial detention for long periods, and the second group are those who were brought before the Public Prosecution Office in publication cases and were issued release decisions on a large financial bail against them, and there are dozens of them, which is one of the forms of restrictions on the press.
Another scene that Badr referred to, saying: The past years witnessed the nationalization of all satellite channels, websites and newspapers in favor of official authorities in the state who imposed a single discourse, which made us see the unified headline in Egyptian newspapers as if it had been distributed to newspapers.
He concluded: All this contradicts the line and goals of the January Revolution, and we hope that such situations will change in the future.
Human rights organizations estimate the number of websites that have been blocked in Egypt by about 600 since May 2017, including media, political and human rights platforms, and assert that blocking them is a violation of users’ right to knowledge and freedom of expression.
These and other laws shackled “freedom”, which is one of the three slogans raised by the Egyptians in their revolution and chanted in their throats in the squares: “Live in freedom, social justice.”

live

Living in Egypt means bread, and it is a term used by Egyptians to express work. The Egyptian, while going to his work, says, “I am going to eat bread,” and they express human relations with it. The Egyptian says, “We have bread and salt.” In the squares, Egyptians raised their voices demanding livelihood, expressing the pain of the poor. People’s right to food and job opportunities.
After 12 years of the January 2011 revolution, the Egyptians groaned from difficult economic conditions, which witnessed unprecedented waves of rising commodity prices, especially food, driven by the economic policies adopted by the Egyptian authority during the previous years, which relied on borrowing, selling state assets, and liberalizing the exchange rate. .
The Egyptian pound began the journey of collapse in 2015, with the Central Bank of Egypt issuing the first decision to float the pound, so that the pound continued its downward journey at the beginning of the new year, with the central bank moving to a more flexible exchange system, under the terms of a financial support package from the International Monetary Fund. The price of the dollar, according to the latest update of the Central Bank, recorded 29.74 pounds for purchase, and 29.84 pounds for sale.
The Egyptians had to reduce their food consumption during the year 2022, according to a study by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics last November.
The study came before the recent wave of price increases that followed the third floatation of the Egyptian pound, in conjunction with the agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a new $3 billion loan.
She explained that the Egyptians’ consumption of meat decreased by 93.3%, and their consumption of poultry decreased by 93.1%, and the percentage of fish consumption decreased to reach 92.5%, in addition to the decrease in the percentage of eggs and oils consumption to reach 70%.
And she confirmed that the Egyptians’ consumption of rice decreased by 70%, compared to an increase in the consumption of bread by 103%, and also the consumption of legumes increased by 1.1% compared to their consumption before the crisis.

Fortifying decisions

The Egyptian authorities fortified their economic decisions by issuing the 2014 immunization law on government contracts, nearly 9 years after it was challenged.
The law, which was issued during the transitional period after the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood during the reign of interim President Adly Mansour, stipulates that the right to appeal against government contracts is limited to the parties to the contract only and the direct stakeholders. Thus, it protects contracts and agreements concluded by the government during the past years, such as contracts for the sale of companies and the privatization of economic sectors, from challenge.
And with the beginning of the new year, the Constitutional Court, the highest judicial authority in Egypt, issued a ruling in which it said that it had approved “a constitutional principle that there must be a state of necessity calling for the issuance of Decree Law No. It violates the provisions of the constitution.”

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