Egypt

I have to admit it's always hard to ever approach homosexuality here in Egypt. Homosexual people (or behavior) here is usually seen as one of three views: deviant people who deserve to be punished or even executed; sick people who need medical attention; or normal people only with a different sexual orientation (hardly ever adopted or expressed, even by gays themselves).

I hesitated to write about the upcoming account of events, but I felt it's too disturbing to ignore. The story goes as follows:

A young boy, Kareem (16 year old) was walking by in downtown area, Cairo. He was followed by four guys who were shouting insults to the young boy calling him a faggot. The boy just ignored their insults and kept going, the thing that seemed to provoke them, so they chased him until they caught him and started slapping and beating him violently (they were older and much stronger). It's not very clear why they decided to be that violent and abusive; although it seems to be basically driven by homophobia as Kareem's appearance looked “different”. Kareem screamed and ran towards police informers nearby but they didn’t bother to help the boy.

Suzanne Mubarak, first lady of Egypt, is a woman who treats criticisms of her country with a generous dose of scepticism. Take sexual harassment, a phenomenon that has indisputably been on the rise in recent years. It's an issue in which Suzanne Mubarak, as head of the government's National Council for Women, might be assumed to take at least a passing interest. "Egyptian men always respect Egyptian women," she informed a pan-Arab television station back in 2008, a few weeks after a series of sexual assaults marred a major public holiday. "Maybe one, two or even 10 incidents occurred. Egypt is home to 80 million people. We can't talk of a phenomenon. Maybe a few scatterbrained youths are behind this crime."

فتحت انتخابات الرئاسة الافتراضية التي أجراها شباب جماعة الإخوان لتشكيل حكومة إسلامية كنموذج لكيفية إدارة الدولة في ظل حكومة إسلامية مدنية باب الجدل من جديد حول فكرة ترشح المرأة للرئاسة، بعد أن رفضت إدارة «منتدي شباب الإخوان» الذي أدار العملية الانتخابية طلب مجموعة من فتيات المنتدى بالترشح علي منصب الرئيس.وأعلنت إدارة الموقع تمسكها بالرأي الفقهي الذي تتبناه الجماعة بعدم جواز تولي المرأة رئاسة الجمهورية

The Women and Memory Forum has recently published the first book of its new series of Readers on Gender in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Arabic language. The book is titled Reader on Gender and Political Science, edited by Mervat Hatem and translated by Shohart El-Alem. 

The controversial mock presidential elections held by the youth of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to form an Islamic government that works as a model of administrating the state under a civil Islamic government. The elections became controversial when the idea was raise to nominate a woman for the presidency. Moreover, the administration of the "Muslim Brotherhood's Youth Forum," which was responsible for running the elections, refused the request of the forum's Muslim Sisters’ group to be nominated to the presidency. The website's administration declared its insistence to adhering to Islamic law, which states that women are not allowed to be nominated as presidents of a state.

بينما انتظرنا وانتظر الرأي العام المصري نتائج دراسة مجلس الدولة حول تعيين النساء في القضاء، اجتمع المجلس الخاص برئاسته الجديدة ليصدر قرارًا جديدًا بالإعلان عن قبول التعيين في وظيفة مندوبين مساعدين من خريجي كليات الحقوق والشريعة دفعة 2008-2009، أى نفس الدفعة التى سبق الإعلان فى العام الماضى عن فتح باب التعيين لخريجيها وخريجاتها، وهو ما يعد تراجعا عن كل الإجراءات التى تمت تنفيذا لإعلان المجلس رقم 2 لسنة 2009 بقبول التعيين فى وظيفة مندوبين مساعدين من خريجى وخريجات كليات الحقوق والشريعة عن نفس الدفعة 2008-2009

إن الإعلان الجديد يمثل تراجعًا واضحًا على عدة مستويات:

ECWR was shocked when it received the decision of the State Council, Egypt’s Administrative Court, to defer the appointment of female judges, although consensus of the Special Council was reached, allowing women to be appointed to judicial positions. The State Council attributed reason for the delay in approving the appointment of female judges to regulation problems, including a lack of safe and secure places for women to stay when presiding over a trial and a lack of nurseries for their children.

On June 6, a pair of police officers entered an Alexandria Internet cafe and began asking for the identification documents of everyone present. When 28-year-old Khaled Said objected to being searched without a warrant, the officers began to attack him, beating his head against a table and kicking him in the chest. They tied his hands behind his back and dragged him to a nearby building where they continued to smash his head, first against an iron door and then against the building's marble steps. Witnesses heard Khaled begging them to stop, screaming "I'm going to die," to which the officers responded: "You're going to die anyway." The officers dragged Said into their police car and drove him away, only to return several minutes later to leave his lifeless corpse in the street.

The year 2009 has highlighted the recurring situations confronting defenders in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. These situations are closely linked to the nature of their activities but they are also related to broad political trends at the national and international levels. It is in this context that the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) increased its responsibilities and provided assistance to 36 defenders in 2009.

La Fondation euro-méditerranéenne de soutien aux défenseurs des droits de l’Homme (FEMDH) qui a pour objectif de soutenir les défenseurs dans les pays du sud de la méditerranée publie aujourd’hui son rapport annuel 2009. Le rapport met l’accent sur les actions entreprises par la FEMDH au cours de l’année 2009.

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