In late April, a small group of us from Egyptian NGOs and independent movements attended the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Forum on monitoring places of detention and the prevention of torture in Beirut. The forum brings together people from across the region representing independent NGOs and movements, as well as the national offices of ombudspersons, to exchange experiences and best-practice on monitoring prisons and other detention facilities, with the aim of improving conditions and preventing torture and other ill-treatment.
On behalf of Egyptian participants in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Forum on monitoring places of detention and the prevention of torture in Beirut between 23-27 April 2014 [ Hani Mostafa, al-Nadem; Taher Mukhtar, Tahrir Doctors; Reda Marii, EIPR, and Diana Eltahawy, EIPR]
When the Egyptian army's medical team announced it had invented two devices to detect and cure the viral infections HCV and HIV, it came under a fire of criticism from the scientific community.
The official announcement and subsequent statements by military spokespeople were fiercely ridiculed across social media platforms, but at the same time, others gave a standing ovation.
Amid the conflict currently underway in Egypt—between state authorities led by the military-backed government and the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies—another momentous battle is being waged over the country’s mosques and pulpits. Sermons, religious lessons, and charitable and development activities centered in mosques are an important sphere of influence for Islamist movements of various stripes.
The new draft constitution whose fate Egyptian voters will decide in a few days is a relatively better document than its short-lived predecessor, but is ultimately disappointing and less than what could have been realistically achieved to enhance the civil, political and economic rights of Egyptian citizens.
The document is underwhelming for human rights defenders, some of whom wrongly expected a vast improvement over the Muslim Brotherhood-driven 2012 constitution.
Did you know that according to current Egyptian laws, particularly the Code of Military Justice, the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces cannot be put to trial for any offence before any court, be it civilian or military?
While the success of a mega development project may simply be measured by its impact on the country’s economy as a whole, a myriad of experiences have shown that such projects may come at a very high cost for less powerful and rather marginalized communities who do not benefit from it and are often not properly compensated. In Sudan, local communities have suffered – and continue to suffer –from the construction of two hydropower dams: The Merowe High Dam in the Nile State and the Kajbar Dam in the Northern State.
Feminist solidarity is not absolute; we must choose our allies with care
Last week, people have been sharing news of Egypt ranking last in the quality of primary education according to the latest Global Competitiveness Report issued by World Economic Forum. Shocked Arabic and English newspaper commentators drew particular attention to the embarrassingly low score on education, while online social network users wondered whether this figure is really true and Egypt did really rank the lowest among countries listed in this report.
It’s the big fire.
On 28 January 2011 we watched the flames consume the NDP building, awaiting the announcement of a curfew as a mark of victory. When the army was deployed that night, it was the sign that Habib al-Adli’s state had been broken against the will of those who took to the streets and stayed there, for a day or a bit longer. That morning we saw everything: death, freedom, and the face of truth.