Egypt

أعربت المبادرة المصرية للحقوق الشخصية اليوم عن صدمتها إزاء قرار محكمة جنح مصر الجديدة باستمرار حبس يارا سلام، مسؤول ملف العدالة الانتقالية بالمبادرة المصرية و22 آخرين في القضية المرتبطة بمظاهرة سلمية خرجت يوم السبت الماضي 21 يونيو في حي مصر الجديدة وتعرضت للتفريق على يد قوات شرطة ساعدها أشخاص يرتدون ملابس مدنية.

Executive summary
 
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This paper is about the struggle to combat gender-based violence in public space in Egypt through the sustained collective action of vigilante groups who organically formed to respond to the increasing encroachment on women in public space from 2011 onwards. The study examines the emergence of a distinct form of collective action (informal youth-led activism aimed at addressing sexual violence in public space) at a very distinct historical juncture in the country’s history: the phase after the ousting of President Mubarak in February 2011 through what became known as the 25th of January Revolution and up to the ousting of President Morsi in what became controversially known as the 30th of June Revolution of 2013.

Summary
 
To read the full paper, please download the pdf. 
 
This paper examines the nature of the political struggle over the status, role and identity of women in Egypt in between the two revolutions (January 2011 and June 2013). It presents a situational analysis of the various actors, relations and agendas that have both informed the backlash against women’s rights and the mass movements of resistance. It acknowledges that while women’s rights have historically suffered as a consequence of a hostile political will of the ruling authority and parts of political and civil society that are inimical to expanding women’s rights (and sometimes mobilise around revoking what already exists), women’s rights faced new threats after January 2011 because of the political settlement between the Supreme Council for Armed Forces and the Muslim Brotherhood. The threats to women’s rights worsened under President Morsi’s regime and while they were not the prime reason why women mobilised in the largest numbers ever to oust the president in June 2013, encroachments on their freedoms was a catalysing factor.

After Egypt increased the legal age for marriage to 18 years in 2008, policy makers expected to see a decline in the number of early marriages. But, according to new research presented at a seminar at The American University of Cairo this week, the country must overcome significant economic, social, and cultural barriers before child marriage becomes a thing of the past.

In an unprecedented statement, over forty senior academics including more than a dozen former presidents of the most important professional association for scholars of the Arab and larger Muslim world, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), have signed a letter to US President Obama and Secretary State John Kerry calling for the Administration to demand the immediate release of blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah and other political detainees in Egypt, for Egyptian officials to suspend the protest law of 2013 and end the repression of free speech rights guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution and international law, and end the regime of violence, including torture and extra judicial execution, that still governs Egypt after the electoral victory of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as President. Even as Iraq is engulfed by violence and Syria continues its brutal civil war, these scholars and officials, with literally centuries of experience in Egypt and the broader region between them, warn that growing political violence in Egypt epitomized by the recent reimprisonment of Alaa Abdel Fattah and ongoing rights abuses, risks permanently destabilizing Egypt, and with it, the region more broadly. They call upon the Obama administration to suspend non-humanitarian military, security, political, and economic cooperation with Egypt until the government heeds these demands.

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Via Egypt Solidarity 

Join the international campaign against Egypt’s repressive protest law and to free the thousands of detainees seized by the military regime.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights is shocked by today's decision by the Heliopolis Misdemeanor Court to keep the organization's transitional justice officer, Yara Sallam, and 22 others behind bars, while their trial on charges of breaching the draconian protest law and other accusations including damaging property and displaying force continues. The charges relate to a peaceful protest on 21 June in the neighborhood of Heliopolis, which was forcibly dispersed by security forces aided by unknown assailants in civilian dress. 

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa is deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of human rights defenders in Egypt, including Sanaa Seif, Hanan Mustafa Mohamed, Salwa Mihriz, Samar Ibrahim, Rania El-Sheikh, Nahid Sherif, Fikreya Mohamed and Yara Sallam, a winner of the human rights defenders’ award for North Africa in October 2013.

On 21 June 2014, nine women human rights defenders were arrested for protesting peacefully against the Protest and Public Assembly Law in Heliopolis, Cairo, after being dispersed by the police using tear gas and bird shots. 

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