In the year of the pandemic, as the World Health Organization called it last March, when millions lose their jobs and their basic living, the government chooses to cut spending on food subsidies. Despite the exhaustion of the health system, headed by doctors and nurses in government hospitals, the government chose to complete its neglect of the constitutional minimum spending on health.
The following points attempt to draw a picture of the labor market in Egypt, and point out its key shortcomings and imbalances, which are exacerbated with the crisis of Covid-19. The crisis, at the same time, opens a door for discussion and redress for some of these imbalances. The Egyptian law allows any employer to fire his employees, without any compensation or pension. When a worker gets sick, and he is the provider for his family, he often does not have health insurance that guarantees his treatment.
Once again the prison administration failed to transfer Patrick Zaki citing a force majeure event. Patrick was scheduled for a detention renewal session on Sunday June 28 that was meant to take place for the first time before a Criminal Court panel from a counter-terrorism circuit, which sits at the Tora Subofficers Training Institute. But once again we saw a repeat of what has become the norm over the last three months, following the April 28 decision by the head of the Cairo Appellate Court to resume detention renewal sessions without the presence of defendants in criminal cases
EIPR calls on the Egyptian authorities not to exempt detention facilities and prisons from measures taken to reduce crowding and limit the spread of the virus, including police vehicles used to transfer people arrested for violating curfew and closure measures. When enforcing these legal measures, the authorities should always consider their primary objective—protecting lives and minimizing gatherings and density.
We want to take this chance to reaffirm that there are many more people in remand and pre-trial detention that the Prosecution should release for their own protection as well as the protection of the whole society, consistent with the other measures taken in response to the Covid19 crisis.
The EIPR is monitoring actions by the government and Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to mitigate the economic and social impact of preventive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. We are assessing such action in light of the protection of citizens’ lives, health, and income and the imperative not to endanger workers’ health and lives for the sake of running the economy at full capacity.