‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات sisi. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات sisi. إظهار كافة الرسائل

9/18/2017

Egyptian expat acts as ‘political pundit’ from his New York sandwich shop

Hold the Egg Sandwich: Egyptian TV Is Calling


Egyptian expat in sandwich  acts as ‘political pundit’ from his  New York 
 sandwich shop
;) Form bathroom
and he get 5000$ every time he show in TV




Hatem El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, where he appears on Egyptian television news programs from a converted back-room studio.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times


Every other day or so, Hatem El-Gamasy connects to a news audience nearly halfway around the world, delivering hot takes on American politics, live from New York, but on Egyptian television.

When the broadcast ends, he slips out his earpieces, opens the door of his makeshift studio and returns to his day job.
“You want ketchup on that?” he said to a customer on a recent morning. “Extra ketchup as usual?”
Mr. El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, a place known for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, and its gracious, friendly owner. But few of his customers — and likely, none of his viewers in Egypt — know that the man making egg sandwiches and small talk behind the counter is the same one who appears on popular Egyptian television news programs, holding forth on subjects from immigration policy to North Korea.

From left: Mr. El-Gamasy showing a YouTube video of one of his on-air appearances; his studio, where a suit jacket hangs, is a converted back room; a screenshot of a four-panel interview on CBC Extra News.CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times, eXtra news
He had written op-ed pieces over the years, mostly as a hobby. But the article predicting Mr. Trump’s victory caught the attention of someone at the Egyptian state broadcaster, Nile TV, who was looking to interview an Egyptian-American about the election.
The interview went well; Mr. El-Gamasy’s phone began ringing with more requests, each one expanding his journalistic reputation in a country that has been known to detain reporters.
“He’s very polished and he knows about political life and political news in America,” Muhammad El-Muhammady, a producer for ONtvLIVE, said in an interview from his office in Cairo. “He can talk about a variety of political topics,” he said, from the president’s posts on Twitter to hurricanes, and he is deeply prepared for every broadcast.
“If I said I need something specific, he will say, ‘No, wait, I have to verify this,’” Mr. El-Muhammady added. “If he doesn’t know, he says so.”
Continue reading the main story



Photo
Mr. El-Gamasy’s bodega has earned a reputation for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, friendly service and stimulating conversations. CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times
A former English teacher from the Monufia province in Northern Egypt, Mr. El-Gamasy moved to Brooklyn in 1999 to study teaching English as a second language at St. John’s University. To support himself, he took a job at a deli counter in an Associated Supermarket in Lower Manhattan.
He was working there in 2003 when a woman, a psychotherapist from Chicago who was to return home that month, walked in and asked for a sandwich.
“Extra vegetables,” he recalled. They went for pizza next door. “I knew if I was going to have one more pizza with her, we would be married,” he said.
They had more pizza: Lynette Green and Mr. El-Gamasy have been married for 13 years. They have two children, Faizah, 12, and Omar, 8.



Photo
Mr. El-Gamasy, who also writes op-ed pieces for Egyptian news organizations, often researches his subject matter from a table in the back of his bodega. CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times

He bought the deli in Queens about four years ago, and amid the bricks of cheese and cold cuts, Mr. El-Gamasy found something of a vantage point into the American psyche.
During the run-up to the presidential election, his back-and-forth with Ridgewood’s newest arrivals — “my hipsters,” he said — helped hone his understanding of millennial disenchantment with politics, their rancor around the Democratic Party’s treatment of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and their disgust that their middle-class parents outside of New York planned to vote for Trump.
“Most of the customers, they vent to the bodega owner,” he said. “And actually, I listen.”


On a recent morning, a pair of customers stood beside a shelf of ramen packets for an hour, heatedly discussing politics. One customer, Kelvin Gerold, paid for his coffee, and headed out, leaving behind a conversation about entrenched misogyny, only to return a few minutes later to add another thought for Mr. El-Gamasy, known to his customers as Timmy.
“I don’t think he is undermined by the fact that he makes sandwiches,” said Mr. Gerold, 41, a computer network engineer. “Think of all the people you meet in your corner store; you meet people from every single walk of life and every single political opinion, range and spectrum.”
Continue reading the main story




Photo
“Most of the customers, they vent to the bodega owner,” Mr. El-Gamasy said. “And actually, I listen.”CreditMark Abramson for The New York Times
Plus, he said, “The bacon, egg and cheese is ridiculous.”
On Thursday morning, Mr. El-Gamasy’s phone rang. A producer from ONtvLIVE, which positions itself as a politically independent Egyptian television network, wanted to know if Mr. El-Gamasy was available. The quick transformation into Clark Kent began: Mr. El-Gamasy removed the clear plastic deli gloves, the flat cap he uses to keep his hair back over the griddle, and the apron that protects his dress shirts from fryer splatter. On went his suit jacket and earpieces; he ran past the house bodega cat, curled on a garbage bag, and into his back-room studio.
“Sometimes I’ll be busy with an order with my customer, then I will have to jump. It’s — ‘One. Two. You’re live.’” he said, imitating the booming voice of a newscaster. “It’s, ‘Mr. Gamasy, are we going to war in North Korea?’” (The shoot that day was ultimately postponed.)
Mr. El-Gamasy decorated the walls of the converted room with maps of the United States, lending an academic-like backdrop to his televised appearances.
When news producers have asked what he does for a living, Mr. El-Gamasy has been evasive. (Last week, when a television network sent a camera crew to interview him on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, he met them at the bodega, but did not mention it was his. “I asked them if they wanted to stop for a sandwich,” he said. “I said, ‘I know the guy.’”)
Mr. El-Muhammady, the news producer from Egypt, said he did not know that Mr. El-Gamasy owned a bodega, and did not care. “The quality of the work is more important than the appearance of the person or the company,” he said.
As for the back-room bodega studio, he added, “Good for him that he prepared something that looks nice.”

Next week, Mr. El-Gamasy said he will report from the United Nations General Assembly for several stations in Egypt. He sees his role as part translator of the American people to his homeland, and part good-will ambassador for a country where he feels more at home than where he was born. “With Mr. Trump as president, I feel compelled to explain America more to the Middle East,” he said.
“Over here, the sky is the limit,” Mr. El-Gamasy said. “And I’m living proof of it.”




9/08/2017

مصر: وباء التعذيب قد يشكل جريمة ضد الإنسانية Egypt: Torture Epidemic May Be Crime Against Humanity

Egypt : Torture Epidemic May Be Crime Against Humanity.


Beatings, Electric Shocks, Stress Positions Routinely Used Against Dissidents

Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s regular police and National Security officers routinely torture political detainees with techniques including beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and sometimes rape, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.
Widespread and systematic torture by the security forces probably amounts to a crime against humanity, according to the 63-page report, “‘We Do Unreasonable Things Here’: Torture and National Security in al-Sisi’s Egypt.” Prosecutors typically ignore complaints from detainees about ill-treatment and sometimes threaten them with torture, creating an environment of almost total impunity, Human Rights Watch said.

 “President al-Sisi has effectively given police and National Security officers a green light to use torture whenever they please,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Impunity for the systematic use of torture has left citizens with no hope for justice.”
The report documents how security forces, particularly officers of the Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency, use torture to force suspects to confess or divulge information, or to punish them. Allegations of torture have been widespread since then-Defense Minister al-Sisi ousted former President Mohamed Morsy in 2013, beginning a widespread crackdown on basic rights. Torture has long been endemic in Egypt’s law enforcement system, and rampant abuses by security forces helped spark the nationwide revolt in 2011 that unseated longtime leader Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 19 former detainees and the family of a 20th detainee who were tortured between 2014 and 2016, as well as Egyptian defense and human rights lawyers. Human Rights Watch also reviewed dozens of reports about torture produced by Egyptian human rights groups and media outlets. The techniques of torture documented by Human Rights Watch have been practiced in police stations and National Security offices throughout the country, using nearly identical methods, for many years.

 Under international law, torture is a crime of universal jurisdiction that can be prosecuted in any country. States are required to arrest and investigate anyone on their territory credibly suspected of involvement in torture and to prosecute them or extradite them to face justice.
Since the 2013 military coup, Egyptian authorities have arrested or charged probably at least 60,000 people, forcibly disappeared hundreds for months at a time, handed down preliminary death sentences to hundreds more, tried thousands of civilians in military courts, and created at least 19 new prisons or jails to hold this influx. The primary target of this repression has been the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition movement.
Human Rights Watch found that the Interior Ministry has developed an assembly line of serious abuse to collect information about suspected dissidents and prepare often fabricated cases against them. This begins at the point of arbitrary arrest, progresses to torture and interrogation during periods of enforced disappearance, and concludes with presentation before prosecutors, who often pressure suspects to confirm their confessions and almost never investigate abuses.
The former detainees said that torture sessions begin with security officers using electric shocks on a blindfolded, stripped, and handcuffed suspect while slapping and punching him or beating him with sticks and metal bars. If the suspect fails to give the officers the answers they want, the officers increase the power and duration of the electric shocks and almost always shock the suspect’s genitals.
Officers then employ two types of stress positions to inflict severe pain on suspects, the detainees said. In one, they hang suspects above the floor with their arms raised backwards behind them, an unnatural position that causes excruciating pain in the back and shoulders and sometimes dislocates their shoulders. In a second, called the “chicken” or “grill,” officers place suspects’ knees and arms on opposite sides of a bar so that the bar lies between the crook of their elbows and the back of their knees and tie their hands together above their shins. When the officers lift the bar and suspend the suspects in the air, like a chicken on a spit, they suffer excruciating pain in shoulders, knees, and arms.

Security officers hold detainees in these stress positions for hours at a time and continue to beat, electrocute, and interrogate them.

 “Khaled,” a 29-year-old accountant, told Human Rights Watch that in January 2015, National Security officers in Alexandria arrested him and took him to the city’s Interior Ministry headquarters. They told him to admit to participating in arson attacks on police cars the previous year. When Khaled denied knowing anything about the attacks, an officer stripped off his clothing and began shocking him with electrified wires. The torture and interrogations, involving severe electric shocks and stress positions, continued for nearly six days, during which Khaled was allowed no contact with relatives or lawyers. Officers forced him to read a prepared confession, which they filmed, stating he had burned police cars on the orders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After 10 days, a team of prosecutors questioned Khaled and fellow detainees. When Khaled told one prosecutor that he had been tortured, the prosecutor replied it was none of his business and ordered Khaled to restate the videotaped confession, or else he would send him back to be tortured again.
“You’re at their mercy, ‘Whatever we say, you’re gonna do.’ They electrocuted me in my head, testicles, under my armpits. They used to heat water and throw it on you. Every time I lose consciousness, they would throw it on me,” Khaled recalled.
Egypt’s history of torture stretches back more than three decades, and Human Rights Watch first recorded the practices documented in this report as early as 1992. Egypt is also the only country to be the subject of two public inquiries by the United Nations Committee against Torture, which wrote in June 2017 that that the facts gathered by the committee “lead to the inescapable conclusion that torture is a systematic practice in Egypt.”
Since the military unseated former president Morsy in 2013, the authorities have reconstituted and expanded the repressive instruments that defined Mubarak’s rule. The regularity of torture and the impunity for its practice since 2013 has created a climate in which those who are abused see no chance to hold their abusers to account and often do not bother even filing complaints to prosecutors.
Between July 2013 and December 2016, prosecutors officially investigated at least 40 torture cases, a fraction of the hundreds of allegations made, yet Human Rights Watch found only six cases in which prosecutors won guilty verdicts against Interior Ministry officers. All these verdicts remain on appeal and only one involved the National Security Agency.
Al-Sisi should direct the Justice Ministry to create an independent special prosecutor empowered to inspect detention sites, investigate and prosecute abuse by the security services, and publish a record of action taken, Human Rights Watch said. Failing a serious effort by the Sisi administration to confront the torture epidemic, UN member states should investigate and prosecute Egyptian officials accused of committing, ordering, or assisting torture.

“Past impunity for torture caused great harm to hundreds of Egyptians and laid the conditions for the 2011 revolt,” Stork said. “Allowing the security services to commit this heinous crime across the country invites another cycle of unrest.”


مصر: وباء التعذيب قد يشكل جريمة ضد الإنسانية

المعارضون يخضعون روتينيا للضرب، الصعق بالكهرباء، والتعليق

7/01/2017

Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $25bn for tiran and sanafir Red Sea islands

Saudi Arabia paid Egypt $25bn for  tiran and sanafir Red Sea islands 

An Israeli report claimed that Saudi Arabia has paid Egypt $25 billion to give up the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

The Jewish Policy Centre claimed that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has received the money in the form of aid over the past few years.
“Sisi ratified the treaty after Egypt’s legislative and constitutional committee held three closed meetings earlier this month. The secretiveness of the meetings drew criticism from other unnamed parliamentarians, arguing that the committee was colluding against the will of Egyptians. The whole parliament approved the agreement on June 14,” the report said.
The report accuses Al-Sisi of “selling” Egypt to Saudi Arabia, which supported Cairo with aid totalling over $25 billion in the recent years.
An Egyptian lawmaker who voted against the agreement said “the people did not elect us so that we give up their land,”
Meanwhile, former presidential candidate, Khalid Ali has filed a lawsuit before the Administrative Court to halt the implementation of the agreement.

6/21/2017

How Egypt and Saudi are serving Israel by transferring Sanafir and Tiran

How Egypt and Saudi are serving Israel by transferring Sanafir and Tiran

in 1967, Egypt announced a blocked the Straits of Tiran to cut Israel's access to international waters; it was then that Israel started the Six Day War.
The small islands of Sanafir and Tiran are located between Egypt and Saudi Arabia at the top of the Red Sea and they are considered to be strategically important because of their proximity to ports in Jordan and Israel.
Barely a month before Israel launched the Six Day War against Arab countries, Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt announced a blockade of Israel’s access to the Red Sea (international waters) via the Straits of Tiran, which Israel considered as an act of war. As a result, less than a month later, Israel launched a surprise strike which began the Six-Day War. From that time on, the two strategic islands, Sanafir and Tiran are placed under the authority of Egypt.
Two weeks ago, Cairo agreed to hand control over the two islands — Tiran and Sanafir — to Riyadh in exchange for the creation of a $16-billion investment fund.
This announcement was made after secret negotiations in which Israel was involved due to the limitation clauses of the peace treaty at Camp David in 1979. In other words, the transfer of the two islands to Saudi Arabia helps Israel more control over the strategic straits of Tiran and circumvent the Camp David limitations in this regard, as Saudi has already given solid assurances in this regard.
“There is an agreement and commitments that Egypt accepted related to these islands, and the kingdom is committed to these,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Egyptian television in an interview two weeks ago.
He was apparently referring to the military annex of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, which ensured Israel’s “freedom of navigation through the strait of Tiran”
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon later said that Saudi Arabia gave written
assurances over Freedom of passage in Tiran straits.
   
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/egypt-lawmakers-approve-island-transfer-saudi-arabia-170614142446099.html
Saudi Arabia has also promised not to use the islands for military purposes, the Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported.
According to documents from a military source, Tiran Island will be used as the headquarter of a joint operation between Tel Aviv and Riyadh in the Red Sea.
In 2015, a number of Saudi Arabia officers also attended in a training course at the naval base Polonium in the port of Haifa, the military source disclosed.
This proves that Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are involved in a new era of geo-strategic and diplomatic relations which may be considered as a major event in tripartite relations.
Egypt therefore has just shifted the sovereignty of the two inhabited islands of the Red Sea, Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. The islands are south of Suez and between the two countries.
Indeed, north of the Gulf of Aqaba is the city and Israeli port of Eilat. The transfer of the two islands is of major strategic importance to the Zionist entity considering that the closure of the Strait of Tiran would mean a major crisis for Israel and will most likely lead to a regional war .
Israel has good relations with Egypt since the Camp David peace accords between the two countries who share security interests, including the fight against the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.
As for Saudi Arabia, Egypt remains a strategic ally, in particular regarding the issue that Riyadh has serious tensions with Iran, and also with respect to the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
The transfer of these two islands to Riyadh, also shows an increasingly strong connections between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Although the two countries still lack formal links, and while Saudi Arabia does not recognize the existence of the Zionist criminal entity, the Israeli-Saudi dialogue has been an open secret for several years in the geopolitical world. Indeed, senior officials from both countries met in public on several occasions.
We are witnessing the reconfiguration of regional relations with the emergence of an alliance, Saudi Arabia – Egypt – Israel, whose main objective is very clear: to counter the growing power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the spearhead of the anti-Zionist resistance.
It is sad to see the apathy of the Muslim world which faces the treachery of its leaders, joining the axis of oppression besides collaborating with the Israeli criminal state.
On Tuesday 13th of June, dozens of Egyptian journalists protested against the agreement in central Cairo before being dispersed by the police.
The announcement of the agreement in April 2016 had sparked rare protests in the country despite a heavy handed crackdown on demonstrations.
Generations of Egyptians had grown up learning in school that the two islands belonged to their country and that soldiers had died defending them during wars with Israel.

4/26/2017

Egypt: Video of extrajudicial executions offers glimpse of hidden abuses by military in North Sinai

video Appears to Show Egyptian Soldiers Killing 

Unarmed Men in Sinai




Warning - Item Video shows Egyptian soldiers executing prisoners in Sinai might contain content that is not suitable for all ages.

By clicking on CONTINUE you confirm that you are 18 years and over.
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 A video has emerged that appears to show members of the Egyptian military shooting unarmed detainees to death at point-blank range in the Sinai Peninsula and staging the killings to look as if they had happened in combat.
The leaked video, which was posted on social media on Thursday, could undercut claims made by the Egyptian Army in December that the men were suspected terrorists who died in a fight with the military.
The video was released the same day that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met in Egypt with its president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to discuss improving their countries’ military relationship. It also comes after human rights groups accused the Egyptian military of killing up to 10 men in January in a staged counterterrorism raid in Sinai.
The three-minute video, which was released through a channel associated with the 




Muslim Brotherhood, appears to depict part of a raid that the Egyptian Army highlighted in a Facebook post on Dec. 6, 2016. That post included photos of three bloody men in a grassy area with rifles next to them. The post said they had been killed in a military raid on a terrorist base and an explosives storehouse.
Eight people were killed and four others were arrested, the military said on Facebook in December, as Egyptian armed forces “continued to tighten their security grip” in the Sinai Peninsula, where the country has waged a yearslong battle.
But the video shows no firefight and starts with soldiers mingling next to an armored truck in a sandy field scattered with bodies next to shrubs and grassy patches. But it does show the killing of at least three people. In one case, a soldier casually holds a rifle over a man on the ground and shoots him in the head. In another, soldiers escort a blindfolded man into the field, place him on his knees and shoot him multiple times in the head and upper body.
The pro-state Egyptian news site Youm7 called the video a fabrication carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in the country, and said the people in the video did not have Egyptian accents. An Egyptian military spokesman did not respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

 one point in the video, a man off camera tells a soldier in Arabic to shoot the captured men in a variety of places. “Don’t just do the head, O.K.? Don’t just do the head,” the person said.
In addition to the three men seen killed, the video shows two men lying on the ground who were apparently in the Facebook post. The same men included in the Facebook post in December were apparently also shown in a military video shared on YouTube in November for an operation that claimed to have killed eight terrorists “during clashes.”
Sarah Leah Whitson, the executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, which released a report about the January killings, said the group was investigating the latest video.
“We have not yet verified the video, and are working on it,” Ms. Whitson said in an email. “But it accords closely with our findings about other summary executions in Sinai and Cairo.”
Mokhtar Awad, a militancy expert at George Washington University, said the video was unlikely to be widely discussed on Egyptian news media because of emergency laws enacted by Mr. Sisi last week after suicide attacks by the Islamic State on two Christians churches on Palm Sunday.
“The worst thing I’ve seen before is of soldiers beating a guy,” Mr. Awad said. “We’ve never seen video from Sinai or elsewhere showing an Egyptian serviceman killing someone in cold blood.”
Together with the accusations of extrajudicial executions in Sinai in January, Mr. Awad said, it suggested “a growing level of impunity” in parts of the Egyptian military, particularly in Sinai where local emergency laws have been in place for years.
“It is a significant problem, and something that needs to be seriously addressed,” he said. “Otherwise things could head in a very problematic direction, of this somehow becoming a new normal.”


11/28/2016

Conscription army in Egypt فيلم العساكر .. حكايات التجنيد الإجباري في مصر

 Conscription army in Egypt
فيلم العساكر .. حكايات التجنيد الإجباري في مصر





4/20/2016

السيسى اللى هيقتل اى حد من المتظاهرين مش هيتحاكم



السيسى اللى هيقتل اى حد من المتظاهرين مش هيتحاكم

  المواطن المصرى مالهوش دية 




____________________________________________










qr code

2/12/2016

Freedom In Egypt Report


TREND ARROW: 

Egypt received a downward trend arrow due to the complete marginalization of the opposition, state surveillance of electronic communications, public exhortations to report critics of the government to the authorities, and the mass trials and unjustified imprisonment of members of the Muslim Brotherhood.



OVERVIEW: 

The military effectively controlled Egypt at the beginning of 2014, with no elected president or legislature in place following the June 2013 coup against then president Mohamed Morsi. In January, the interim government heavily promoted a new constitution to replace one adopted under Morsi. Authorities prevented organized campaigning against the new charter, which passed a referendum that month amid low voter turnout.

A presidential election was held May 26 to 28 following a brief and tightly managed campaign period. Former army field marshal and defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won a lopsided victory, credited with more than 95 percent of the vote. Observers noted major flaws in the process, however, and the sole opposition candidate, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabbahi, publicly questioned the official results.

The government harshly restricted dissent and assembly by activists from across the political spectrum during the year. The media were also targeted, with authorities harassing and sometimes jailing journalists who reported on political opposition of any kind.
An armed insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula continued to grow. In October, authorities began demolishing hundreds of homes along the border with the Gaza Strip in an effort to halt the flow of weapons and militants through the area.
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POLITICAL RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES: 
 
Political Rights: 8 / 40 (−1) [Key]
A. Electoral Process: 2 / 12 (+1)
In July 2013, following massive protests calling for the resignation of elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the armed forces overthrew Morsi, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the upper house of Parliament. The military installed a nominally civilian interim government, but remained heavily involved in the political system. The courts had already dissolved the FJP-dominated lower house in 2012.




A new constitution was passed in a referendum on January 14 and 15, 2014, after a campaign period in which authorities effectively banned all expression of opposition to the charter. According to official results, the constitution received 98.1 percent of the vote, amid 38.6 percent turnout. The referendum was held in a tense atmosphere, with more than 350,000 security personnel deployed throughout the country, sporadically clashing with Islamists and other government opponents. Most Islamist groups boycotted the vote, arguing that the process was an illegitimate product of the 2013 coup.
The new constitution nominally improved protections for women’s rights, freedom of expression, and other civil liberties. However, these rights were not enforced in practice, and the charter suffered from significant flaws, including an expansion of police and military autonomy and a provision allowing military trials of civilians.
A presidential election was held in May after an uneventful 20-day campaign period. Sisi and Sabbahi were the only two candidates; a third dropped out just before the registration deadline, claiming he had received a divine signal that Sisi would win. Very low turnout on the first two days of voting prompted authorities to extend the process to a third day. Reports of other electoral irregularities included the use of state resources to support Sisi’s candidacy, voter intimidation by government workers and Sisi supporters, and arrests or assaults of poll monitors. The Sabbahi campaign withdrew its monitors in response to such violations. Sisi officially received more than 95 percent of the vote amid nearly 48 percent turnout, though Sabbahi and others questioned those figures, and no independent verification of the results was available. Sisi was sworn in on June 8. Under the new constitution, he could serve up to two four-year terms.
The constitution called for the election of a unicameral Parliament, but no such elections were held during 2014. With no legislature in place, the executive branch ruled by decree throughout the year. A June decree on parliamentary elections, coupled with a December measure on electoral districts, assigned 420 of the 567 seats to nonpartisan independent candidates, 120 to party lists, and 27 to presidential appointees. The arrangement was widely believed to disadvantage opposition parties and favor local power brokers with ties to the government.

B. Political Pluralism and Participation: 4 / 16 (−2)
Since the 2013 coup, the military has dominated the political system, and all opposition forces have been thoroughly marginalized. Large numbers of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters, including nearly all of the organization’s senior leadership and Morsi himself, were arrested at the time of the coup or in the subsequent months, and an estimated 16,000 people were behind bars for political reasons as of mid-2014. Authorities declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December 2013, which allowed them to charge anyone participating in a pro-Morsi demonstration with terrorism and laid a foundation for the complete political isolation of the Islamist opposition. The new constitution banned parties based on religion.
The government has also pursued non-Islamist critics, including prominent political scientists Emad Shahin, who was accused of espionage, and Amr Hamzawy, who was charged with insulting the judiciary, both in early 2014. Alaa Abdel Fattah, perhaps Egypt’s best-known secular activist, was in detention at year’s end, awaiting retrial and a possible sentence of 15 years in prison for violating a highly restrictive law on public protests. In another severe blow to liberal political activism, a court in April banned the April 6 movement, one of the prodemocracy groups that catalyzed the January 2011 uprising against longtime authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak.
The military leadership publicly endorsed Sisi’s presidential candidacy, calling it a “mandate and an obligation” to the masses. The interim president—whose own authority rested on a military decree—promoted Sisi to the rank of field marshal in January. Sisi resigned from the army when he formally announced his election bid, but he reportedly used military resources to fund his campaign and maintained a close relationship with the armed forces after taking office. The new constitution increased the military’s independence from civilian oversight, including through the selection of the defense minister, who must be a military officer.

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C. Functioning of Government: 2 / 12
Corruption is pervasive at all levels of government. Egypt was ranked 94 out of 175 countries and territories in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. Official mechanisms for investigating and punishing corrupt behavior remain very weak, and the major revelations and prosecutions that emerged after Mubarak’s ouster in 2011 have faltered since the 2013 coup. Mubarak himself was sentenced to three years in prison for embezzlement in May 2014, and his two sons received four years each. However, appeals were pending at year’s end, and a number of other charges against the men were dropped in November.
As with its predecessors, the Sisi administration offered very little transparency regarding government operations and budget making. The military is notoriously opaque with respect to its own extensive business interests across several sectors of the Egyptian economy.
There was a civil society consultation process for the new constitution, though civic and opposition groups did not have a significant impact on the final document, and the drafting committee itself was not representative of the general population.

Civil Liberties: 18 / 60 (−4)
D. Freedom of Expression and Belief: 5 / 16 (−1)
Military authorities shut down virtually all Islamist and opposition media outlets following the 2013 coup and pressured others if they carried any critical coverage of the new government. As a result, state media and most surviving private outlets are openly pro-military and pro-Sisi.
Official censorship and self-censorship remained widespread in 2014. In October, the government seized an entire press run of Egypt’s largest private newspaper, Al-Masry al-Youm, because it included a sensitive interview with a former intelligence officer. Security forces later detained the paper’s editor in chief and a reporter to question them about their investigation of fraud in the 2012 presidential election. Separately, political comedian Bassem Youssef suspended his satirical television show in June, citing extensive pressure to refrain from criticizing the government; the show had already moved to a Dubai-based broadcaster after an Egyptian station pulled it in late 2013.
The government has conducted an ongoing offensive against Qatar’s Al-Jazeera television network, which is considered sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood. In late June 2014, a court sentenced three Al-Jazeera journalists to at least seven years in prison each on charges of conspiring with the Brotherhood to publish false news. The convictions followed a farcical trial in which prosecutors presented no credible evidence of the alleged crimes. An appeal was pending at year’s end. Arrests of other journalists on dubious charges continued during 2014, and media workers had increasing difficulty accessing or reporting on the Sinai.
Islam is the state religion, and most Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. Coptic Christians form a substantial minority, and there are very small numbers of Jews, Shiite Muslims, and Baha’is. The 2014 constitution made the right to freedom of religion “absolute” and was well received by religious minorities, though little has changed in practice since the document’s adoption. Some Morsi supporters considered the Coptic community to be partly responsible for his overthrow and attacked Copts and their property in retaliation. Only an estimated 10 percent of the dozens of churches and businesses damaged in such attacks in 2013 had been rebuilt by late 2014.
Anyone whose appearance or dress suggests adherence to a conservative form of Islam continues to be at risk of arrest or harassment. An atmosphere of insecurity and repression prevailed throughout 2014, with the government dictating weekly sermon themes at mosques and closely monitoring political speech at religious institutions. Authorities also stepped up pressure on perceived atheists, enforcing laws against blasphemy and raiding supposed gathering places for atheists in November and December.
Academic freedom has suffered since the 2013 coup. Despite a ban on political activity, universities have been a center of antigovernment demonstrations and the target of a government crackdown. Sisi appoints university presidents and has empowered university officials to expel and further marginalize antigovernment students. Hundreds of students were arrested for demonstrating against the government over the course of 2014.
Private discussion has become more guarded in the face of vigilantism and increased monitoring of social media for opposition-oriented content. Media personalities have called on the public to inform on anyone they suspect of undermining the state, and some arrests have been reported stemming from overheard conversations in public places.

E. Associational and Organizational Rights: 4 / 12
Freedoms of assembly and association are tightly restricted. A November 2013 decree gave police great leeway to ban and forcibly disperse gatherings of 10 or more people. The law also prohibits all protests at places of worship and requires protest organizers to inform police at least three days in advance. Protests against the government continued throughout 2014, but they often ended in violent clashes with police and local residents, and police repeatedly used excessive force. On the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising in January, authorities responded to secularist and Islamist demonstrations with tear gas and live ammunition, resulting in at least 49 deaths and more than 1,000 arrests.
The 2002 Law on Associations grants the government sweeping powers over nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the ability to shut down the groups, confiscate their funding, and block nominations to their governing boards. Individuals working with unregistered groups face prison terms for engaging in “unauthorized activities.” The government has in the past permitted NGOs to operate without registration, enforcing the law when it becomes politically expedient. Under a decree issued in September 2014, members of NGOs that use foreign funding to commit acts that “harm the national interest” face life imprisonment and fines of nearly $70,000. If an offender is a public servant or committed the violation for the purposes of terrorism, he or she could face the death penalty.
Strikes played a significant role in the 2011 uprising, and workers subsequently formed an independent union federation, ending the long-standing monopoly of the state-allied federation. The labor movement was dampened somewhat after Morsi’s ouster, as authorities clamped down on strikes and accused those involved of sympathizing with the Muslim Brotherhood. Strikes began to increase again in early 2014, particularly around demands for the nationwide expansion of a new minimum wage that had been granted to some public-sector workers. Authorities responded with raids, arrests, and intimidation.

F. Rule of Law: 2 / 16 (−2)
The Supreme Judicial Council, a supervisory body of senior judges, nominates most members of the judiciary. However, the Justice Ministry plays a key role in assignments and transfers, giving it undue influence over the courts. The judiciary was at the center of the political process following the 2013 coup. Supreme Constitutional Court chairman Adli Mansour served as interim president, and judges played a leading role in the drafting of the constitution. The new charter significantly enhances the judiciary’s autonomy, including by allowing each major judicial entity to receive its budget as a single line item and permitting the Supreme Constitutional Court to appoint its own chairman.
A number of criminal cases in 2014 featured severe violations of due process and demonstrated a high degree of politicization in the court system, which typically resulted in harsh punishments for perceived enemies of the government. Three deeply flawed mass trials in March, April, and December led to death sentences for 1,400 suspected Islamists, though most were later reduced to life in prison.
The new constitution allows for trials of civilians by military courts, which have traditionally been used to target government critics. Charges brought in military courts are often vague or fabricated, defendants are denied due process, and basic evidentiary standards are routinely disregarded.
Police brutality and impunity for abuses by security forces were catalysts for the 2011 uprising, but there has been no security-sector reform in the subsequent four years. Prison conditions are very poor; inmates are subject to torture, overcrowding, and a lack of sanitation and medical care. In December 2014 a local human rights group accused the police of holding hundreds of minors in harsh conditions after they were arrested for protesting and related offenses.
Egypt was under a state of emergency from 1981 until May 2012, and for three months following the 2013 coup. The Emergency Law grants the government extensive powers of surveillance and detention. In October 2014, after coordinated attacks by militants killed more than 30 soldiers, authorities declared a three-month state of emergency in large areas of the Sinai and instituted a nightly curfew. In November, the region’s most prominent militant faction, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, declared its loyalty to the Islamic State, the extremist group based in Syria and Iraq.
The authorities in 2014 appeared to step up enforcement of laws against “debauchery,” particularly targeting men perceived as gay. In an increasingly common occurrence, six men were sentenced to two years in prison in September after they were arrested in a raid on an apartment that the authorities claimed was a central location for same-sex sexual activity. Eight men arrested under the same charge that month, in connection with a video of a supposed same-sex wedding, received reduced sentences of one year in jail after being subjected to forced medical examinations to determine if they had engaged in sex with other men. A televised raid on a bathhouse in December resulted in debauchery charges against 26 men.

G. Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights: 7 / 16 (−1)
--> --> Freedom of movement and property rights were both severely affected by the government’s counterinsurgency efforts in the Sinai in 2014. In addition to the curfew and other travel restrictions, beginning in October the military summarily demolished hundreds of homes in the town of Rafah to create a secure buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip, displacing more than 1,000 families. Also during the year, a number of foreign scholars and activists were barred entry to the country.
Unlike Egypt’s past constitutions, which have limited women’s rights to those compatible with Islamic law, the 2014 constitution clearly affirms the equality of the sexes. However, this has not resulted in practical improvements for women. Some laws and traditional practices discriminate against women, job discrimination is common, and Muslim women are disadvantaged by personal status laws. Domestic violence is widespread. Spousal rape is not illegal, and the penal code allows for leniency in so-called honor killings. Other problems include forced marriages, human trafficking, and high rates of female genital mutilation or cutting.
Violence against women has surfaced in new ways since 2011, particularly as women have participated in demonstrations and faced increased levels of sexual violence in public. This includes sexual harassment on the street, and severe cases of group sexual assaults at public gatherings. A June 2014 decree criminalized sexual harassment, with prison terms of up to five years and fines of up to $7,000, but critics argued that the law was inadequate, citing a lack of protection for witnesses among its weak points. In July, seven men were sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder and other offenses in a series of group sexual assaults committed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. After a video circulated of one such assault, in which a crowd stripped and beat a woman on the night of Sisi’s inauguration, the government had vowed a stronger response to the attacks.

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