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The third report to monitor and follow-up - the Egyptian government's progress in implementing the 2014 UPR recommendations

The third monitoring report 

The extent of the Egyptian government's progress in implementing the 2014 UPR recommendations

February - July 2017

 

Issued by

Egyptian Civil Society Organizations Alliance for the Universal Periodic Review

 

Under a project

The Universal Periodic Review as a Tool to Improve Public Policies during the Transition

(Funded by the European Union)

   

 

  

 

 

“This release was implemented with the help of the European Union. The content of this publication is the responsibility of the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights and can in no way be considered a reflection of the vision of the European Union.


 

Preamble

In November 2014, the Arab Republic of Egypt underwent a universal periodic review, whereby it submitted 300 recommendations to the Egyptian government during the interactive dialogue session, and in March 2015 during the report approval session, the Egyptian government partially and fully accepted 247 recommendations. The coalition submitted two previous reports to monitor and follow up on Egypt's commitment to implementing the recommendations it accepted. In whole and in part (voluntary pledges), it is the third that covers the period from February 2017 to June 2017 (6 months).

The Egyptian arena witnessed during the aforementioned period the parliament’s continuation of the second session, which concluded at the beginning of July. This period also witnessed extremely difficult economic pressures following the implementation of the Egyptian government’s financial reform program through a package of economic measures, the most important of which is the liberalization of the exchange rate and the partial lifting of subsidies on fuel prices. This led to a significant rise in the prices of basic commodities within the framework of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which left social tensions noticeable.

Egypt also faced during the same period the threat of terrorism, which is one of the most important challenges to respecting human rights within the framework of a global wave of the terrorist tide supported by regimes and governments in the region, most notably the Qatari regime, which has become official and public accusations directed by the countries affected by the Qatari government's support for organizations and groups that practice Violence, murder and intimidation.

 

methodology

The Civil Society Organizations Coalition for the Universal Periodic Review monitored and followed up on the Egyptian government's commitment to implementing the UPR recommendations it accepted in March 2015, from February 2017 to July 2017, as the monitoring process relied on highlighting the following information: -

1-                Issues related to the recommendations (25 topics), as well as the number of recommendations emanating from each case

2-                The constitutional framework relevant to each issue.

3-                Legal developments.

4-                Gaps in the legal and institutional system.

5-                The most important statistics and facts related to the issues subject to the recommendations.

The report relied on its information on the outputs of the legislative process, decisions, procedures and official government statements, as well as the submissions and subsidiary reports that were received from members of the Civil Society Organizations Coalition for the Universal Periodic Review, where a committee emanating from the coalition reviewed the information, classified and analyzed it in preparation for editing the current report. .


 

·                    Strengthening counterterrorism efforts

The Egyptian government has submitted 6 recommendations related to strengthening its efforts to combat terrorism, and the Egyptian government has accepted all of these recommendations:

The Egyptian constitution stipulates in Article 237, “The state is committed to confront terrorism, in all its forms and forms, and to trace its sources of financing, according to a specific timetable, as it is a threat to the homeland and citizens, while ensuring public rights and freedoms. The law shall regulate the provisions and procedures for combating terrorism and fair compensation for damages resulting from it and because of it.

On August 14, 2015, Law No. 94 of 2015 on combating terrorism was issued, which included a definition of the terrorist group, terrorist action and terrorist financing, and defined criminal and misdemeanor court departments to hear cases. The law also stipulated the protection of those who implement this law from the army and the police from Any legal consequences if they use force while implementing this law. The law also fines anyone who broadcasts or publishes "unreal" information about attacks or military operations in violation of the official narrative from the official authorities. This law is considered one of the most important laws adopted by the Egyptian government in light of its fight against terrorism, despite some criticisms directed at the law. In light of considering some of its articles restricting the rights and freedoms in the country.

During the period covered by the report, Egypt witnessed a continuation of terrorist operations that targeted the armed forces, police and Coptic church institutions, operations that claimed the lives of innocent civilians, policemen and the army, and perhaps the most prominent of these incidents are: -

         April 1, 2017, a policeman was killed and 12 others were wounded in a bombing in front of a training center for the police forces in the city of Tanta, and three civilians were wounded, and a militant group calling itself the Revolutionary Brigade claimed responsibility for this attack in an account on Twitter.

         April 9, 2017 bombings of St. Morcos Church in Alexandria and St. George Church in Tanta. Two bombings were targeted, respectively, in the churches of Saint Gerges in the city of Tanta and Mar Markus in the city of Alexandria, respectively. The bombing coincided with the arrival of Christians to Sunday prayers and the Palm Sunday celebration, and the (ISIS) organization adopted the bombing of the two churches. The St. George Church was targeting shortly before ten o'clock in the morning, and the explosion of a high-explosive device resulted in the death of 29 people and wounding of 76. While the suicide bombing of St. Mark's church, which occurred around 12 noon and resulted in the explosion of 17 people, injured 48.

Following the bombings, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called the National Defense Council to convene on the same day of the accident and directed Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to move to the site of the accident and submit direct reports to him on the consequences of the incident, and the Egyptian Attorney General, Nabil Ahmed Sadiq, tasked a team from the Supreme State Security Prosecution to move to the site of the accident. To initiate an investigation and to quickly take the necessary legal measures regarding the accident. In light of the incident, the Minister of Interior, Majdi Abdel Ghaffar, issued a decision to dismiss the director of the province's security, Major General Hussam al-Din Khalifa. At the end of the day, during his official speech on the evening of the accident, President Al-Sisi announced the declaration of a state of emergency in the country for a period of three months, and also announced the parliament’s request to pass a law to form a national council to combat terrorism and extremism, and called on religious institutions to play their role in developing and improving religious discourse with the aim of spreading the culture of peace and tolerance.

         A double attack targeted a security checkpoint in the city of Al-Arish, killing 13 policemen and a civilian and wounding others, when a car bombed with a garbage collection targeted a security checkpoint in Al-Arish, North Sinai. Whereas, at about seven in the morning local time, violent gunfire was heard, followed by a powerful explosion, and then violent clashes occurred between the ambush forces and the attackers, which lasted for about 45 minutes.

         May 26, 2017 Minya governorate witnessed a treacherous terrorist incident that killed 29 civilians, including children, and 24 others were wounded, including a large number of serious injuries, in a shooting attack that took place on Christians in Minya Governorate, southern Egypt, and the attack was carried out by unidentified gunmen traveling in three four-wheel drive cars who shot "Randomly" towards the victims.

         On July 7, 2017, the most violent terrorist incident occurred in the period covered by the report, when gunmen in Sinai attacked the 103rd Thunderbolt Brigade, with car bombs and Greenov weapons, and they attacked the ambush from several sides, which resulted in the killing and wounding of 26 soldiers and the killing of 40 Takfiris. The attack took place with car bombs, and was followed by an attack with medium and light weapons and RPGs, targeting the remaining members of the security post, which is located in the village of Al-Barath, 30 km south of Rafah. The "Sinai Province" group, affiliated with ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Despite the approval of a number of legislative amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law and the issuance of anti-terrorism laws with regard to terrorist entities and combating terrorism, they have not yet borne fruit, nor have they found their way on the ground. Laws are not the only means to eliminate terrorism despite their importance, but there are other means that must To be alongside legislation to achieve the desired goal, which is the elimination of terrorism and the sources of its support. Among the most important of these means is to prevent extremist religious speech and control the sources of external funds.

On July 26, the President of the Republic issued Republican Decree No. 355 of 2017 to establish the National Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism, under his presidency, the decision comes three months after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced the formation of the Supreme National Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism to confront extremism and terrorism in Egypt. Al-Sisi's announcement in his speech to the Egyptian people came after the meeting of the National Defense Council, which came after the bombings of two churches in the city of Tanta and the governorate of Alexandria on April 9, which resulted in dozens of casualties and injuries, coinciding with the start of the celebration of Christians in Egypt on a palm tree. The Council is concerned with approving a comprehensive national strategy to confront terrorism and extremism internally and externally, and coordinating with religious institutions and security agencies to enable moderate religious discourse, spread concepts of correct religion in the face of all forms of extremist discourse, develop plans to provide job opportunities in areas of extremism, and study the provisions of legislation related to confronting terrorism internally and externally. And proposing to amend the existing legislation, to face the deficiencies in procedures in order to achieve completed justice, and to upgrade the system of coordination and cooperation between all security and political agencies with the international community, especially the neighboring countries, and to seek to establish a special regional entity between Egypt and the Arab countries to coordinate with the agencies concerned with combating terrorism and organized crime .

The Council is responsible for coordinating Arab positions on terrorism issues, approving the necessary plans to inform the international community about the reality of the terrorist organization and the role of states, organizations and movements supporting terrorism against the Egyptian state, and working to take the necessary legal measures against the agencies and states that support terrorism against the Egyptian state, and defining the axes for the required development in the curricula. In support of the principle of citizenship, acceptance of others, rejection of violence and extremism, following up the implementation of measures to preserve the funds of terrorist entities and terrorists, and monitoring financial transfers of terrorist elements and organizations; Drying up the sources of financing extremism and terrorism.

It should also be noted here that the Egyptian security forces were able to carry out a large number of preemptive strikes, which led to the arrest of many terrorist cells that had been active during the recent period, which had a major role in reducing the rate of terrorist operations during the period covered by the report compared to those The period from previous years, as the security forces have succeeded, during the past few months, in seizing a large number of weapons and explosives stores that have spread throughout the republic.

On the other hand, the economic blockade imposed by the security services and control authorities on terrorist cells had a major role in reducing the rate of operations of these cells and their internal cracking, by seizing the funds of a large number of exchange companies in various governorates, as well as controlling a number of other cells that were It collects foreign currencies and circulates them on the black market, and uses the profits of that trade to finance terrorist operations.

The Arab boycott of Qatar also had an important role in reducing terrorist operations by announcing a list bearing the names of 59 personalities and 12 Qatari entities, and including them on terrorist lists, which is a serious and influential step in the way to confront terrorism, which has led to the undermining of Qatari support for terrorism by those entities and persons. The advertisers are on the Arab list, which forced the Qatari state to sign a memorandum of understanding in combating terrorist financing with the United States of America, as a result of pressure and repeated demands over the past years by the Qatari authorities by the four countries and their partners to stop their support for terrorism.

 

·                    Promote child and family rights

The Egyptian government received 7 recommendations related to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child and the family, and the Egyptian government accepted them all.

The constitution stipulates in Article 10 that “the family is the basis of society, its foundation is religion, morals and patriotism, and the state is keen on its cohesion and stability and the consolidation of its values”.

Article 80 states, "The state is committed to caring for and protecting the child from all forms of violence, abuse, ill-treatment, and sexual and commercial exploitation."

During the period following Egypt's approval of the recommendations, the Prime Minister issued a decision to amend some provisions of the executive regulationsChild Law, Resolution No. 178 of 2016 included amending a number of articles in the executive regulations issued in 2010, allowing the delivery of children to alternative families wishing to foster them starting from the age of 3 months instead of two years, and broadening the base of alternative families that may sponsor children of unknown parentage by raising the age Spouses wanting to sponsor sixty years instead of 55 years, and the conditions that must be met in these families have been amended in a way that guarantees the child growing up in a family that is socially, financially, healthy and psychologically able. The child foster care system has also been abolished.

Also during the same period, a decision was issued to establish the Childhood and Motherhood Welfare Fund headed by the Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood in August 2016, and the Ministry of Social Solidarity launched a national project that addresses the phenomenon of street children in July 2016.

In April 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court issued a fair judgment for the child, after stigmatizing the children of common-law marriage and his father’s refusal to register it, it became his mother’s right to obtain a birth certificate for him, based on the customary marriage contract, and the court’s ruling came after she overlooked the lineage cases from common-law marriage, to More than 15 thousand cases annually, according to a number of social researches, and what distinguishes the ruling of the Administrative Court is the obligation of the state to register the child with the Civil Status Authority without considering the circumstances of the father’s relationship with the mother or his denial of the paternity of the child, which is considered a step on the right path to protect the child, even if it is Temporarily until proven lineage.

On May 23, 2017, the Arab Council for Childhood and Development held a conference at its headquarters in Cairo to establish the Media Observatory for the Rights of the Arab Child, to be a mechanism for monitoring, following up and analyzing what is published on child rights, with a view to improving Arab media performance towards issues of upbringing and child rights in cooperation and coordination with the media and other institutions Developmental.

A report issued by the Egyptian Foundation for the Advancement of Childhood Affairs in June 2017 revealed the violations that children were subjected to in Egypt during the month of May, which amounted to 270 violations, according to the report, and these violations ranged from murder, kidnapping, rape, drowning, and others.

The period covered by the report also saw the Council’s Manpower Committee approve articles on child labor in the draft labor law, which included the right to train children from the age of 13 years and employ them from the age of 15 years.

The committee also approved the prohibition of child labor before they reach fifteen years of age, however they may be trained when they reach thirteen years of age, in a way that does not hinder them from continuing education, and every employer who employs a child under the age of sixteen is obligated to give him a card proving that he is training or working for him and affixed to it The child's picture, approved by the competent administrative authority and stamped with its seal.

In the same context, the Parliament's Manpower Committee approved an article affirming that the provisions of the Child Law should be the approved system for child labor, and the new draft labor law prohibited the employment of children for more than 6 hours per day, and stipulated that the working hours be interrupted by one or more periods to eat and rest that does not decrease A total of one hour, and this period or periods is specified so that the child does not work for more than four continuous hours, and it is prohibited for the child to work overtime or work on weekly rest days and official holidays, and in all cases it is prohibited to work for the child between the hours of seven in the evening and seven in the morning.

Despite this, there is still an urgent need for greater legislative and procedural reforms to overcome the phenomena of child exploitation and besiege the phenomenon of street children, as well as to overcome the problem of child labor in dangerous work, which requires amending child laws, and the speedy issuance of the new labor law, care homes, and tightening penalties. For those who violate children's rights.

 

·                    Supporting people with disabilities

The Egyptian government received 9 recommendations related to supporting the rights of persons with disabilities, and the Egyptian government accepted 8 recommendations completely, and took note of only one recommendation.

The Egyptian constitution stipulated in several of its articles the necessity to support persons with disabilities and work to protect their rights and ensure non-discrimination against them in relation to public rights and freedoms in the context of the constitution’s safeguarding of public rights and freedoms (Articles 53, 54, 55), and the constitution stipulated in its Article 81 on That “the state is committed to guaranteeing the health, economic, social, cultural, entertainment, sports and educational rights of persons with disabilities and dwarves, and to provide them with job opportunities, with a percentage of them allocated to them, and to create public facilities and the surrounding environment, and their exercise of all political rights, and their integration with other citizens, in fulfillment of the principles of Equality, justice and equal opportunity.

The President of the Republic announced that 2018 will be the year of people with special needs. This announcement came at the third youth conference held in Ismailia Governorate In April 2017

Concurrent with the issuance of the report, and despite the discussion of the Egyptian Parliament of a specialized law for people with disabilities, it has not yet been issued and it is scheduled to be discussed again at the beginning of the third session of Parliament, after the Ministry of Finance's reservations regarding the draft law for the disabled, which it sent to the Solidarity Committee and rejected by the committee, especially if The Ministry reserves the right to exempt the employer from a tax rate if more than 5 1T1T is appointed, and the person with disabilities has the right to combine the pension and salary and exempt the disabled from customs on tax and tax exemption for the disabled in investment projects.

The period covered by the report also witnessed the refusal of some colleges at Helwan and Ain Shams universities to allow students with disabilities and those with high school diplomas to enter some of its departments in clear violation of the constitution, and contradicting the decisions of the Supreme Council of Universities regarding allowing all colleges to enroll students with disabilities in them, and against the state's tendency to support the rights of Persons with disabilities.

The period covered by the report also witnessed a state of anger for people with mobility disabilities, due to the Minister of Social Solidarity's decision to suspend the pension granted to persons with disabilities who owns an equipped car, as this decision is inconsistent with Egypt's commitment to the International Convention for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities and the Provision of Social Protection for them on the one hand. With the constitutional articles too.

One of the positive aspects this year begins the study at the College of Sciences for People with Disabilities and Rehabilitation, after the Prime Minister’s Decree No. 98 of 2017 was issued, to establish it so that the college works on preparing and graduating a behavior modification and rehabilitation specialist specializing in a specific category of disability, and it is also working on preparing and graduating A specialized teacher for a specific category of disability and inclusion, according to the seven sections it includes: intellectual disability, hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical disability, autism disorder, language and communication disorders, and learning difficulties.

Despite the foregoing, persons with disabilities are not able to obtain the basic rights and freedoms that persons without disabilities can obtain, and this deprivation extends to the denial of education, work, health, transportation, information, housing, sports and entertainment, and the situation worsens for women with disabilities. Those who suffer from marginalization in the social, economic and cultural aspects of society and the effects are multiplier, more severe and excluded compared to women without disability, especially because of their exposure to various forms of violence such as sexual violence, difficulty in finding equal work opportunities, and challenges related to marriage and reproductive health.

 

·                    Combating violence against women

The Egyptian government received 28 recommendations related to combating violence against women. The Egyptian government accepted 25 recommendations fully, and 3 recommendations partially accepted.

The Egyptian constitution stipulates in its Article No. 11 that “The state is obligated to protect women against all forms of violence, and guarantees empowering women to reconcile family duties with work requirements. It is also committed to providing care and protection for motherhood, childhood, breadwinning women, the elderly, and women most in need. ”

 The National Agency for Mobilization and Statistics issued a report explaining the continuation of violence against women and an escalation during the period covered by the report

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics conducted a study on the phenomenon of practicing violence against women. In its statistical study, the agency dealt with a number of indicators and figures on the practice of violence against women, especially by the husband, in addition to her exposure to circumcision. According to what the device dealt with, the 10 most important figures about practicing violence against Egyptian women were as follows: -

1-           90% women were circumcised.

2-           42.5% women experience violence from their husbands.

3-           37% Of all women subjected to violence from husbands, are illiterate.

4-           35.1% of women subjected to physical violence. And 47.51 TP1T were subjected to psychological violence.

5-           14.5% women experience sexual violence.

6-           86% of violent women suffer from psychological problems.

7-           1.49 billion pounds is the value of losses incurred by women and families in a year as a result of violence.

8-           831 million pounds is a direct cost of the violence.

9-           662 million pounds is an indirect, "moral" cost to women.

10-      4.1% of women in the 18-19 age group are subject to forced marriage.

The previous results indicate the continued lack of awareness and knowledge of bodies and institutions, such as the complaints office of the National Council for Women, which can help women solve their problems and combat existing violence against them, in addition to the limited number of guest houses for battered women that are established by the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

It is also evident from these results the absence of interest in the positive and effective role of the various media, which should prepare programs and drama series in general that opposes violence against women and try to establish principles of negotiation, discussion and persuasion among family members instead of practicing physical or psychological violence against women.

Also, the state must rehabilitate those in charge of teaching religious curricula in various educational institutions and the role of preachers and preachers in mosques and churches and raise their scientific and cultural level so that they can incorporate issues of violence in all their lectures to stop the misconception of religion in relation to the punishment of women, which often leads to serious consequences that affect the family and society, In addition to educating parents about proper parenting methods and avoiding excessive cruelty or excessive pampering that creates in children the desire for revenge and violence.

 

·        Fair trial guarantees

The Egyptian government received 19 recommendations related to fair trial guarantees, of which 12 were accepted in full, 5 in part, and only two were taken note of.

The Egyptian constitution provides, in its articles 96, 97, and 98 good guarantees for the right to a fair and fair trial, and the current Criminal Procedure Law sets guarantees for a fair trial, but it does not allow for an acceleration of litigation to reach a prompt justice, despite the current calls to amend the law and initiatives from ministries Concerned to submit proposals for the required amendments, but there is a strong fear that these amendments will come at the expense of fair trial guarantees.

After the termination of the second session, the Egyptian Parliament announced a few days ago that a new law had been submitted by a number of deputies that includes the largest amendments to the Criminal Procedures Law that was drawn up in 1950, and the statements of the Chairman of Parliament's Legislative Committee indicated the introduction of a new system of travel bans and listing orders Stay tuned. The statements also stated that the new law includes an increase in the minimum period of pretrial detention from 15 days to three months pending investigation before referring the accused to trial, which means that the accused do not appear before the court and their whereabouts are not known before the expiration of this period.

Also, statements issued by the Parliament's Legislative Committee indicate that the law will impose a wall of complete secrecy on terrorism cases, as it will prohibit publishing the names of judges and all the personalities contributing to the case from police officers, members of the armed forces and witnesses to ensure their complete safety, and media broadcasts will be prohibited absolutely in Cases of terrorism, the prohibition of publishing trial facts and the ban on entry of relatives of the accused, and strong evidence will be sufficient to obtain judicial orders that violate the privacy of citizens and monitor all their communications, which impedes the concept of human rights in Egypt.

The period covered by the report also witnessed a major problem between the judicial bodies in Egypt and the legislative and executive authority due to the issuance of the Judicial Authority Law, which changed the system of appointing heads of the Court of Cassation, the State Council and the State Cases Authority, as it granted the President of the Republic the power to choose from among three candidates for each position after it was previously He appoints whoever is nominated by the judges themselves. Although the custom was stable to nominate the oldest judges for each of the three bodies, the recent amendments are neither secondary nor formal, because they made the president's decision a selection tool after it was an appointment tool, which symbolically and effectively detracts from the independence of the judiciary.

It is true that the seniority criterion does not necessarily mean competence, but it represents a protection for the executive authority not to invade the judiciary by giving it the right to choose the heads of judicial bodies, and that what is required is to discuss other criteria, besides seniority, for choosing the heads of judicial bodies, which have nothing to do with the choices of the executive authority.

The period covered by the report also saw the President of the Republic declare a state of emergency in the country, the decree is partial, 7 of 2017 following the bombings of the Tanta and Alexandria churches starting from April 10, 2017 for a period of 3 months in accordance with Article 154 of the Constitution, which gave the right to the President of the Republic to declare a state of emergency after taking an opinion The Council of Ministers must present this declaration to the House of Representatives within the following seven days to decide what it sees in its regard, and the majority of the Council members must approve the declaration of emergency for a specified period not exceeding three months, and it may not be extended except for another similar period after the approval of two-thirds of the members of the Council, which has already been done The Council also approved Presidential Decree No. 289 of 2017, extending the state of emergency throughout the country for a period of 3 months.

Although there have been no complaints that constitute a violation of human rights so far according to the declared state of emergency, it is feared that any of those rights will be violated under the pretext of applying the state of emergency or using the articles of the emergency law to abuse innocent citizens.

 

 

·                    Protect the peaceful assembly

It submitted 15 recommendations to the Egyptian government related to protecting the right to peaceful assembly. It accepted 4 recommendations in part, and 5 in total, and took note of 6 recommendations.

The constitution stipulates in Article 73 that “Citizens have the right to organize public meetings, processions and demonstrations, and all forms of peaceful protests, without carrying weapons of any kind, with notification in the manner organized by law. The right to a peaceful private meeting is guaranteed, without the need for prior notice, and security personnel may not attend, observe, or eavesdrop on it.

And after the Constitutional Court recognized the unconstitutionality of Article 10 of Law No. 107 of 2013, known as the Demonstration Law, which authorized the Minister of Interior or the competent security director to issue a reasoned decision preventing the public meeting, procession, or demonstration, or postponing it, moving it to another place, or changing its course. In May 2017, President Al-Sisi approved the amendment of some of its provisions and the text of the decision, after its approval by the Egyptian Parliament, to replace the text of Article 10 of Law 107 of 2013 by organizing the right to public meetings, processions and peaceful demonstrations to the new text, which is that the Minister of Interior has the right or The competent security director and before the date set for the start of the meeting, procession, or demonstration, and based on serious information or evidence of the existence of threats to security and peace, submit a request to the judge of temporary matters in the competent court of first instance to cancel or postpone the public meeting, procession, or demonstration, or move it to another place or Change course. The law guarantees that the judge has the right to issue a reasoned decision immediately upon submitting the request to him, provided that the administrative authority submitting the notification is informed upon its issuance, and those concerned may appeal the decision in accordance with the rules established in the Civil and Commercial Procedure Law. The new amendment came to abolish the security right to prevent the demonstration, granting this right to the judge of temporary matters and after submitting an official memorandum from the Minister of Interior or the Director of Security.

During the period covered by the report, the Egyptian arena witnessed numerous incidents of preventing demonstrations, arresting participants in them, and prosecuting them for the crime of demonstrating without a permit, the punishment of which came in Article 19 of the Demonstration Law No. 107 of 2013, which states that it is punishable by imprisonment for a period of two years and not exceeding 5 years and a fine 50 thousand to 200 thousand anyone who violates the ban stipulated in this law.

The law was also used against fans of football teams on charges of establishing a group in contravention of the provisions of the law (Ultras), publicly and verbally propagating this group, possessing fireworks through the medium without obtaining a license, incitement to demonstrate on the anniversary of the Port Said massacre, and possessing publications that incite against the Ministry of Interior and the ruling regime

Despite its amendment, the law regulating demonstrations still faces objections from political forces and human rights groups, as they demand to amend other articles that amend Articles 12 and 13 concerned with the progression used in the event of dispersal and dispersal of participants in a public meeting, procession or demonstration, so that the use of batons is replaced by the use of warning shots. And in addition to the use of sound or smoke bombs in the first stage stipulated in Article (12), which is in the event that the participants in a public meeting, processions, or demonstration do not respond to warnings to leave.

As for the use of batons, it is added to Article 13 before the use of rubber and non-rubber cartridge bullets, as the first method in the second stage stipulated in Article (13), which is in the case of the inefficiency of the means set forth in Article 12, in dispersing and dispersing participants in the public meeting or The procession or demonstration, or their acts of violence, sabotage, or destruction of public or private property, or encroachment on persons or forces.

Also amending the penalties for violating this Law 107 of 2013 known as the Demonstration Law, which is the most controversial point ever, and the most controversial point between political, human rights and societal entities so that they are reduced to imprisonment instead of imprisonment, and also by setting a maximum fine of no more than 50 thousand pounds or The value of what is destroyed in the event that one of the demonstrators destroys something.

The political and human rights groups in Egypt are also calling for a clear definition of the conditions under which some individuals detained under the cover of the Protest Law are tried, especially since the law is full of broad terms through which the right to peaceful assembly can be regulated, such as affecting the disruption of production, advocating for it, public order or disrupting interests Citizens, harming them, exposing them to danger, preventing them from exercising their rights and work, affecting the course of justice, public facilities, or cutting off roads or transportation, which are broad terms that must be specified in the executive regulations of the law.

 

·                    Minority rights protection

Two recommendations were submitted to the Egyptian government regarding the need to protect the rights of minorities and work to guarantee them, and the government partially accepted them.

The Egyptian constitution stipulated in Article Three that “the principles of Egyptian laws, both Christians and Jews, are the main source of legislation regulating their personal status, their religious affairs, and the selection of their spiritual leaders”.

Article 64 states, “Freedom of belief is absolute. The freedom to practice religious rituals and establish places of worship for people of heavenly religions is a right regulated by law.

The reporting period witnessed the targeting of Copts in Sinai by extremist organizations there. Where more than 120 Christian families living in the city of El-Arish have fled to the Evangelical Church in Ismailia and a number of governorates of the Republic, fearing for their lives and their families, after they received direct threatening messages via their mobile phones warning them to stay in the city and demanding that they leave North Sinai. Especially since the gunmen killed 7 Christians from El-Arish.

The period covered by the report also witnessed the targeting of Egyptian churches, on April 9, 2017, when the bombings of St. Morcos Church in Alexandria and the St. George Church in Tanta occurred. And that is in two successive bombings. As the bombing coincided, Christians flocked to Sunday prayers and the Palm Sunday celebration, and the (ISIS) organization adopted the bombing of the two churches. The St. George Church was targeting shortly before ten o'clock in the morning, and the explosion of a high-explosive device resulted in the death of 29 people and wounding of 76. While the suicide bombing of St. Mark's church, which occurred around 12 noon and resulted in the explosion of 17 people, injured 48.

In May 2017, terrorism also targeted a bus carrying a group of Christians, killing 29 civilians, including children, and wounding 24 others, through a shooting attack that took place on Christians in the Minya Governorate in southern Egypt, and the attack was carried out by unidentified gunmen traveling in three four-wheel drive cars who shot. Randomly ”towards the victims.

This leads us to say that there is a takfirist ideology rooted in the curricula of these terrorist groups against the Christians of Egypt because of their support for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the Egyptian armed forces and police in confronting the birds of darkness on the one hand, and on the other hand, targeting Christians on purely religious grounds is still the result of fatwas of dozens of Salafist sheikhs. From the prohibition of congratulating them on holidays, to the fatwas of paying the tribute, to the fatwas of explicit expiation, which means that some religious currents continue to use strict religious discourse that incites hatred and exposes non-affiliates to problems related to the right to physical integrity

In contrast to Christians, some citizens suffer from restrictions on their freedom to express their religious belief, including the arrest of two people in the Taiba Center district in Luxor, for inviting people to the Baha'i religion and spreading extremist ideology in July 2017.

Also, in May 2017, the Department of Political Parties at the Supreme Administrative Court issued a ruling rejecting the appeal filed by Shiite activist Ahmed Rasim al-Nafees, to cancel the party affairs committee’s objection to establishing a new party under the name of "Hizb ut-Tahrir."

 

·                    Protect freedom of expression

The Egyptian government presented 11 recommendations related to the protection of freedom of expression, as the Egyptian government accepted one recommendation in part, and 7 recommendations for total acceptance, and only 3 recommendations were taken into consideration.

The Egyptian constitution stipulates in its articles 65, 67, 70 and 71 to guarantee the forms of freedom of opinion and expression, literary and artistic creativity, freedom of the press, freedom of the media, and the prohibition of imposing censorship on newspapers and the media.

Freedom of opinion and expression in Egypt is subject to the restrictions of Law No. 92 of 2016, with the aim of institutionalizing the press and the media, which is filled with serious legal loopholes that restrict freedom of expression, perhaps the most important of which is paragraph “and” of Article 98 of the Penal Code, which relates to the punishment for contempt of religion, as well as The provisions of some other laws are considered a restriction of freedom of opinion and accept to be interpreted or used to diminish the rights of newspapers and the media, including Article 35 of the Anti-Terrorism Law No. 94 of 2015 which states: “A fine not less than two hundred thousand pounds and not more than five hundred thousand pounds shall be imposed on whoever deliberately, by any means, publishes, broadcasts, exhibits or promotes false news or data about terrorist acts that occurred inside the country, or for Operations related to combating it in contravention of the official data issued by the Ministry of Defense, all without prejudice to the disciplinary penalties prescribed. In all cases, the court may decide to prevent the convict from practicing the profession for a period not exceeding one year, if the crime is a breach of the principles of his profession.

And at the level of organizing the media union, Prime Minister Decision No. 573 of 2017 to form a temporary committee to undertake the procedures for establishing the Media Syndicate, in accordance with the provisions of the Media Syndicate Law. The President of the Republic had issued the Media Syndicate Law No. 93 of 2016, after it was approved by Parliament, and the law was published in the Official Gazette on January 3, 2017. Thus, the debate about workers in the field of media is approaching an end, after many decades of calls for their inclusion in the Syndicate of Journalists (which rejected the order) More than once), and as a result, it turned into calls for the establishment of an independent union for workers in the media field. The formation of the committee came without disclosing the criteria for selecting the members of the committee and its chairman, with direct selection by the prime minister, and without nominations from the members of the profession and those working in it. The formation also had a governmental character, with eight members compared to three workers in the private channels.

The first quarter of 2017 witnessed the issuance of the appeal ruling in the case in which the former head of the Syndicate of Journalists Yahya Qalash, former member of the Syndicate Council Khaled Al-Balshi, and the former representative of the Syndicate and its current board member Jamal Abdel-Rahim, issued the appeal ruling in the case. Degree, and imprisonment for a year for all defendants with a stay of execution for a period of three years. This is under the pretext of accusations related to harboring wanted persons to justice and publishing false news about the incident of storming the Journalists Syndicate.

On the other hand, the plenary session of Parliament, on 28 February 2017, witnessed a severe attack against the Al-Ahram Foundation and its Chairman by Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Al, against the backdrop of the crisis that arose between Parliament and Al-Ahram Foundation regarding the dismissal of MP Muhammad Anwar Sadat.

Egypt also witnessed an incident, the first of its kind, when the Speaker of Parliament, in his capacity, filed a complaint against the editor-in-chief of Al Maqal newspaper, Ibrahim Issa, but the Cairo Appeals Prosecution released Easa, on March 5, 2017, after investigating the report in which the Speaker of Parliament accused him of insulting Council and its President. This came against the backdrop of the debate that took place within the plenary session of Parliament in response to the issue of Al Maqal newspaper issued on February 28, 2017, whose front page bore some of the phrases that the parliament members saw as insulting and insulting to the parliament.

Also, during the same period, a large number of news websites and channels faced blocking by the Egyptian government, claiming that it advocates and incites terrorism and hatred and threatens Egyptian national security.

The blocking comes based on a report published by Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, on May 25, issued by a sovereign body presenting the experiences of blocking websites in Arab and foreign countries, with the aim of justifying the blocking in Egypt, considering that state censorship of social media networks is a legitimate right, while there is no mention in the report of any Among the provisions of the constitution and Egyptian law, as justification for the legality of the blocking decision, the report also presents the reasons for blocking websites in countries around the world and limits them to the following: terrorism, prostitution, illegal immigration, money laundering.

This move came as part of the war Egypt is waging against extremism and its supporters, and as these media outlets “provide organizations, states and terrorist groups with a platform for propaganda and promotion and an umbrella for terrorist ideas.” The move to close these media outlets came from legal grounds, as it is the right of any state within its powers Sovereignty to close the media outlets that destabilize security and undermine their stability. Although the state has the right to block these sites, it would have been better if the blocking decisions were in the form of legal provisions issued against these sites, especially since there are a number of sites that were blocked in Egypt, which are news and media sites opposing some of the policies of the ruling regime in Egypt, and they were blocked without justification.

 

·                    Promote youth rights

I presented to the Egyptian government 7 recommendations related to promoting youth rights, as all of them accepted by the Egyptian government. The Egyptian constitution, in Article 82, states that “the state guarantees the care of youth and adolescents, and works to discover their talents, develop their cultural, scientific, psychological, physical and creative capabilities, and encourage them to collective and volunteer work. And enabling them to participate in public life. ”Articles 180 and 244 include allocating a quota for young people to represent them in the elected representative and local councils.

During the period covered by the report, two national youth conferences were held under the auspices of the President of the Republic. Discussions in these conferences were characterized by a high ceiling of freedom and resulted in good decisions regarding amnesty for some young people imprisoned in relation to cases related to the protest law, as well as some other decisions related to economic rights And social services for youth, especially with the removal of fuel subsidies.

Likewise, local elections that will ensure a large representation of youth have not been held so far despite the passage of seven years since the dissolution of local councils, and the passage of three and a half years since the approval of the Egyptian constitution, which will not happen until the presidential elections take place next year as a result of the failure to pass the law establishing the authority. The national elections and also that the Local Administration Law did not come to light despite the announcement by the Parliament's Local Administration Committee that it will be completed.

 In addition to the emergence of other problems related to the inability of young people to access opportunities to finance projects and sponsor their economic initiatives as a result of poor economic and financial policies adopted in this regard, in light of the state’s inability to appoint young graduates in the state’s administrative apparatus because it suffers from excess employment for this, which necessitates the establishment of projects The infinitesimally small group through a complete system of these projects that have their mechanisms and their own financing through the establishment of a supreme council for micro-industries consisting of experts in economics, administration, businessmen and a group of young people with the participation of industrial chambers, chambers of commerce and representatives of the relevant ministries, and its role is to present feasibility studies for micro-projects It also provides its own financing, and youth is only concerned with work.

In this context, the Central Bank launched a comprehensive program, followed by the issuance of 4 sets of new controls, which would encourage banks and oblige them to expand financing small and micro enterprises at a decreasing interest rate of 5 %, meaning that the real interest rate does not exceed 2.5 % only, with the aim of encouraging banks to adopt Pumping more money and loans into financing the small, medium and micro enterprises sector.

However, a large number of young people were reluctant to participate in this initiative for several reasons, the most important of which are the unfair conditions of banks, including the bank’s conditions for the project’s sales to reach 2 million pounds annually, which is very difficult.

 

·                    Promote women's rights

It presented 39 recommendations to the Egyptian government related to the promotion of women's rights. The government accepted 35 of them completely, 3 partially accepted, and took note of only one recommendation.

The Egyptian constitution included several articles that promote women's rights and equality with men, such as Article 11, which guarantees equality between women and men in all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and Article 180, which guarantees fair representation of women in local councils.

During the period covered by the report, a grant agreement was signed to promote women's rights in Egypt funded by the European Union in the amount of 10 million euros for the benefit of the National Population Council and signed by Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, and Christian Danielson, Director General of Neighborhood Negotiations and the Enlargement of the European Union. This is within the framework of the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Women 2030, with the aim of contributing to the empowerment of women economically, politically and legally, and supporting women to access justice in all fields through four axes represented in the social, political, economic and protection axis as well as the cultural and legislative axis. The strategy for promoting women's rights 2030 is The first strategy that aligns with the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The period covered by the report also witnessed the appointment of the first woman to the post of governor, as Mrs. Nadia Abdo assumed the post of governor of Beheira last February. She was also the first woman in the Arab world to head the management of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Company in Alexandria.

The reporting period also witnessed the appointment of Mrs. Nevin Jameh as CEO of the MSME Development Authority for a renewable two-year term.

The period covered by the report also witnessed the appointment of “Lubna Hilal” as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, who is also the vice president of the Egyptian Banking Institute, the official training arm of the Central Bank of Egypt.

The period covered by the report also witnessed an increase in the number of female judges in Egypt, reaching 66, and the appointment of 4 deputy governors. Counselor Rashid Fathallah also took over the presidency of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, and Rachida is the third woman to occupy this position in the history of the Commission.

The period covered by the report also witnessed the holding of the Egypt Can Balta Marbouta conference under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, in which 31 Egyptian women scientists abroad participated to present their success experiences abroad to benefit from them in achieving sustainable development. Indeed, the conference came out with several recommendations in more than one field and is ongoing. Work to implement it, which would ensure continuity of communication with Egyptians abroad and work to link the second and third generations to their country.

In spite of the successes achieved during the period covered by the report in the field of promoting women's rights, the percentage of women’s representation in political, executive and judicial positions is still very limited, and there are only 4 women ministers out of a total of 34 ministers, in addition to the very weak percentage of female workers among the incumbents. Leadership and supervision in government institutions.

 

·                    Against torture

I submitted 11 recommendations to the Egyptian government against torture, which were accepted by all of the Egyptian government. Article 52 of the constitution states that “torture, in all its forms and forms, is a crime that is not subject to the statute of limitations.”

The rate of torture cases in Egypt has decreased compared to the period leading up to the January 25 and June 30 revolutions, and the occurrence of torture cases has become mere individual incidents that occur from time to time and are investigated. Torture is no longer used as widely as before the revolution, despite the small number of these cases. During the period covered by the report, cases were witnessed, the most prominent of which are: -

·        February 2017, Muhammad Abdul Qadir Abdul Nabi accused the police forces of torturing his son. The father of the victim demanded an autopsy of his son’s body to explain the true cause of death, adding that he had seen signs of head injuries and blue bruises on the face and neck from the effects of torture.

·        In March 2017, the young Sayed Hussein, who was residing in Al-Haram, was killed as a result of torture. The investigations confirmed that the victim was killed as a result of being beaten and tortured, and traces of bruises and abrasions were found in various parts of his body after an illegal detention for 15 days, against the background of his accusation of murder and theft His grandmother, according to preliminary investigations conducted by the prosecution. In the same context, the Public Prosecution office in southern Giza ordered the detention of 3 officers in the Haram Police Department, for 4 days, pending investigations, in connection with their involvement in the torture of the young man to death.

·        In May 2017, the Fifth District Criminal Court released a police chief accused of participating in the torture and killing of Magdy McCain, Caro’s driver, last November, and he was the last to be released from the ten accused police officers, nine secretaries and an officer.

In the same context, the two judges, Assem Abdul-Jabbar and Hisham Raouf, were referred to the Disciplinary Board and the authority to investigate their work on the completion of a draft law against torture.

Until the release of this report, the wide discrepancy between the concept of the crime of torture in the texts of international conventions and Egyptian legislation continues. Despite the Egyptian government's ratification of the convention and the need to amend national legislation in a way that does not contradict the International Convention against Torture, it is what is required by Article 126 of the Penal Code that criminalizes Torture only in the case of targeting the extraction of confessions, as well as legal protection for victims of torture, the victims of torture crimes when they resort to the judiciary face legislative obstacles, the most important of which is the failure to initiate a criminal case against the public servant before the Public Prosecution, and therefore legislation must be issued that recognizes the right of the civil prosecutor to directly prosecute before Criminal Court for crimes of assaults on personal freedom or crimes of torture, and the abolition of Law 121 of 1956 amending Article 63 of the Criminal Procedure Law, which limits the right to file a public action against police officers, public officials, and those of similar status to public prosecutors.

 

·                    anti-Corruption

I submitted to the Egyptian government 7 recommendations related to combating corruption, and they all accepted them. The Egyptian constitution, in Article 218, states that “the state is committed to combating corruption, and the law determines the relevant regulatory bodies and agencies for this. The competent regulatory bodies and agencies are obligated to coordinate with each other in combating corruption, promoting the values of integrity and transparency, in order to ensure the proper performance of the public office, preserving public funds, and developing and following up the implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy in partnership with other relevant bodies and agencies, in the manner organized by law.

Although there is strong political discourse related to combating corruption, and there are great efforts made by the Egyptian Administrative Control Authority in controlling incidents of corruption and bringing perpetrators to justice, and the efforts made by the state during the period covered by the report in the field of combating corruption, the most prominent of which were: -

The President of the Administrative Control Authority signed a letter of intent for cooperation in the field of governance and corruption prevention, with the United Nations Development Program, with the aim of developing a framework for cooperation between the Administrative Control Authority and the United Nations Development Program in the field of combating corruption

The Ministry of Social Solidarity held a conference to discuss and approve the executive plan for civil work organizations to combat corruption, which comes in implementation of the anti-corruption strategy 2014-2018, and to approve new methods and methods of how to educate citizens about the dangers of corruption and ways to apply this on the ground.

However, there are human rights organizations active in the field of combating corruption that have criticized their exclusion from participating in the conference and accused the ministry of not being serious in discussing the issue, and this unjustified exclusion comes despite the fact that these organizations are the Egyptian civil entities most interested in the anti-corruption issue.

Administrative control also intensified campaigns to control corruption cases, the most prominent of which was during the period covered by the report, the administrative control launched monitoring and inspection campaigns on more than 92 consumer complexes and 83 grocery stores to reveal merchants' exploitation of the economic crisis, the floating of the pound and the rise in the price of the dollar in raising prices for citizens. As well as the raiding of more than 75 fuel stations nationwide, which also revealed the presence of violations in some stations and the failure of some of them to safety standards and storing materials in preparation for selling them on the black market, and with regard to silos and wheat shuns, a campaign was launched on 36 silos, and the authority has controlled more From 42 bribery and embezzlement cases, worth 105 million pounds.

Among the most prominent crimes that the control was able to control was the arrest of 6 of those involved in the attempt to smuggle 30 tons of subsidized medicines through the port of Ain Sokhna in Suez, inside a container for the export of household appliances, including officials in pharmaceutical companies, and the Director of Procurement at the Ministry of Planning was arrested after he had charged 1.3 million EGP as a bribe from one of the companies supplying computers, electronic equipment and cables to the Ministry of Planning, in return for leaking information on competing companies' offers and facilitating the disbursement of financial extracts, whose value exceeds 100 million pounds.

Within the framework of international efforts to combat corruption, Egypt signed the African Union Convention for Preventing and Combating Corruption, adopted in Maputo on June 11, 2003, in January 2017, while Parliament ratified the agreement in July 2017, and it is known that Egypt has been refusing to join this convention since 2003, which is This indicates that Egypt is pressing ahead with the fight against corruption seriously.

This agreement includes provisions for the legislative procedures necessary for criminalization, combating corruption and related crimes in the field of public service, means of obtaining information, judicial jurisdiction, minimum guarantees for a fair trial, extradition and confiscation of proceeds, and means related to corruption, banking secrecy, cooperation, mutual legal assistance, international cooperation, and a follow-up mechanism.

However, these efforts still require other, greater steps to eradicate the phenomenon of rampant corruption in Egypt, and perhaps the most important of these steps is to invite civil society to play its role according to the anti-corruption strategy, as well as the speedy issuance of the law on the protection of whistleblowers and witnesses in corruption cases as well as the law on information circulation, and finally The media must practice its role in combating corruption through awareness-raising programs about the danger of the phenomenon, encouraging those who report corruption incidents, or shedding light on the efforts made to eliminate corruption in Egypt.

 

·                    Accede to and adhere to international human rights treaties and withdraw reservations

I submitted to the Egyptian government 10 recommendations related to acceding to treaties, abiding by them, and withdrawing reservations. Six recommendations were accepted entirely, and it took note of 4 recommendations. The Egyptian constitution in its Article No. 93 states that the state abides by the international conventions, covenants and international human rights covenants that Egypt ratifies. It has the force of law after its publication in accordance with the established conditions.

The period covered by the report did not witness any steps towards the ratification of the optional protocols of some international conventions to which Egypt acceded, and Egypt's reservations on some articles of the agreements remain the same before it was subject to the universal periodic review in November 2014, in addition to the fact that there are some laws that violate Some international obligations and some provisions of the constitution, such as articles criminalizing torture in the penal code, union laws, the law regulating private work, and the protest law.

 

 

·                    Promote human rights-of-law enforcement practices

The Egyptian government has submitted 10 recommendations related to strengthening the practices of respecting human rights in law enforcement agencies, and all of them have been accepted by the government. Article No. 206 of the Egyptian constitution stipulates that “the police are a regular civil body, in the service of the people and their loyalty to them, and guarantees citizens peace and security, and ensures the protection of Public order and public morals, and it shall abide by the duties imposed on it by the constitution and the law, and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. The state guarantees that members of the police authority perform their duties, and the law organizes guarantees that guarantee this.Article 51 states: “Dignity is the right of every human being, and it is not permissible to violate it, and the state is obligated to respect and protect it..

The period covered by the report witnessed the Ministry of Interior signing a cooperation protocol between the Interior and the National Council for Disability Affairs with the aim of exchanging brochures, publications and manuals related to educating people with disabilities, exchanging data and information on the problems facing people with disabilities, and benefiting from all services and aspects of care provided to them by the ministry. Continuous training and education, holding training courses, meetings and educational lectures to educate policemen on the rights of people with disabilities, and to implement the provisions of the constitution, international agreements and laws related to their rights.

The police force also organized exceptional training courses for officers working in the field of human rights and police service bodies, to raise awareness of the basic principles of the sign language alphabet, and to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing, in order to facilitate their interaction with the various police authorities.

During the period covered by the report, judicial procedures continued against some officers in cases of killing and torturing citizens, the most prominent of which were: -

         On February 7, 2017, the Cairo Criminal Court decided to accept the appeal submitted by “Karim Magdy”, assistant to the Amiriya investigation, and the first accused in the incident of torturing Magdy Makin, on a 45-day imprisonment order, and his release on bail of 5,000 pounds.

         On May 10, 2017, the Fifth Cairo Criminal Department released a police chief accused of participating in the torture and killing of Magdy McCain, Caro’s driver, last November, and he was the last of the ten accused police officers to be released, nine secretaries and an officer.

         On June 19, 2017, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced the officer accused of killing the activist Shaima Al-Sabbagh, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, to 10 years in prison, and the civil case was referred to the competent court.

         On July 13, the hearing of the third retrial session of the National Security officers accused of torturing lawyer Karim Hamdy at the Matariya Police Department was postponed, which led to his death ... and that was due to the September 21 session as the defense requested the previous decision and alerted the defendants to attend while their release continues. The Court of Cassation had decided to revoke the prison sentence of two National Security officers for 5 years in the case of torture and death of lawyer Karim Hamdy in the Matariya Police Station, and to re-try them before another department of the Criminal Court.

  However, the practices that have been listed in previous axes related to incidents of torture in which police officers are accused, as well as cases of violent dealing with demonstrators, contradict the essence of these legal amendments, and require the aforementioned committee to adopt a clear vision and procedures to limit these practices and ensure that they are not repeated.

 

·                    Strengthening national institutions in the areas of democracy and human rights

I presented to the government two recommendations in this regard and they were accepted by all the Egyptian government. The Egyptian constitution states in Article 214 that “the law defines independent national councils, including the National Council for Human Rights, the National Council for Women, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities. How each of them is formed, its competencies, and guarantees of independence and impartiality of its members, and it has the right to inform public authorities about any violation related to the field of her job. These councils have legal personality, technical, financial and administrative independence, and their opinion is taken in draft laws, regulations related to them, and their field of work.

The period covered by the report witnessed the amendment of the National Council for Human Rights Law, which was disappointing. The law loses its independence and impartiality and is considered against international conventions and will reduce its global level. Also, the article regarding the possibility of dismissing members of the National Council for Human Rights by a decision of the House of Representatives, there is no explanation for reasons This chapter, and so that this amendment allows Parliament to punish a member of the Council for his opinion, to dismiss the membership of the National Council for Human Rights.

The new law also requires members of the National Council for Human Rights to submit a financial disclosure report, and suspends grants and imposes restrictions on them, the most prominent of which is the requirement that two-thirds of the members of Parliament agree to the grants.

Likewise, the National Election Commission has not yet been established and the law regulating its work has been issued, despite its discussion and approval in Parliament, but it was not finally issued until the issuance of this report.

 

·                    Ensure the right to access drinking water and sanitation services

I made one recommendation to the Egyptian government in this regard, and the government has already accepted it. The Egyptian constitution does not contain explicit articles regarding the right of citizens to obtain drinking water and sanitation services, but this right is implicitly guaranteed in Articles 18 related to the right to health care, 78 related to guaranteeing the right. In housing and facing the problem of slums.

During the period covered by the report, efforts are being made to expand the coverage of sanitation networks, and despite the announcement of the discussion of the first law to regulate the drinking water and sanitation sector in Egypt about a year ago, it has not yet been issued or its materials have been published to the public for community dialogue, Despite this, a large number of Egyptian citizens still do not have access to safe sanitation services, and a greater number of rural areas do not have sanitation networks, and there are frequent complaints about the quality and contamination of drinking water. In all governorates of Egypt.

 

·                    Cooperating with international mechanisms to protect human rights

Egypt has submitted 15 recommendations related to cooperation with international mechanisms for the protection of human rights. The Egyptian government accepted 7 of them, partially accepted one recommendation and took note of 7 recommendations.

During the period covered by the report, Egypt did not submit any reports to any of the human rights treaty bodies, but cooperation with the special rapporteurs is still not at the required level, and no steps have been taken so far in the matter of establishing a headquarters for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Egypt.

Regarding the institutional level, there is no permanent body concerned with communicating with international mechanisms for the protection of human rights, and the coalition has demanded the establishment of a permanent national committee whose task is to follow up all recommendations and prepare all reports for human rights protection mechanisms, but until now there is only a non-permanent committee concerned with the review. The committee is not keen to inform the public opinion of the results of its work and the periodicity of its meetings, and there is no clear mechanism for this committee to communicate with the forces of civil society.

 

·                    Combating human trafficking and illegal immigration

Twelve recommendations were submitted to Egypt in the context of the issue of combating illegal immigration and human trafficking, as all of the Egyptian government accepted them. “Article 89 of the constitution states that all forms of slavery, slavery, oppression and forced exploitation of people, the sex trade, and other forms of human trafficking are prohibited. Article 60 prohibits trafficking in human organs.

Despite the promulgation of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Law 82 of 2016, the phenomenon of illegal immigration was prominent during the period covered by the report, as Egypt is a major station for gangs smuggling illegal immigrants, as dilapidated fishing boats leave Damietta or Alexandria ports with migrants on board towards Italy or Greece .

Egypt also joined the campaign “aware migrant- “Spread the word .. save a life” launched by Italy and implemented by the Italian Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, with the aim of saving and educating others about the dangers of illegal immigration.

Despite Egyptian attempts to stop illegal immigration operations, whether at the level of security coordination to arrest immigration brokers or by preventing the sailing of boats or through the awareness programs carried out by the Coordinating Committee to Combat Illegal Immigration by holding continuous conferences in the governorates, especially those that witness operations The migration is continuously. The youth paid their lives for these illegal travel operations. Perhaps the most prominent incident was the discovery of Egyptian corpses in the eastern Libyan desert of Egyptians who were trying to sneak Liba across the desert with the aim of traveling to Italy, in addition to the arrest of a large number of them before they left in the territorial waters or Before sailing by the coast guard.

 

·                    Promote human rights education programs

It presented 11 recommendations to Egypt in the context of the issue of promoting human rights education, as the Egyptian government fully accepted 10 recommendations and took note of only one recommendation. Article 24 of the constitution stipulates that “universities shall work to teach human rights.”

At the time of preparing the report, no human rights curriculum had been approved for the different educational stages, and there were no national plans that took an institutional and sustainable nature related to human rights education.

 

 

 

·                    Promote the right to social security

Three recommendations were submitted to Egypt related to the right to social security and were accepted by the Egyptian government. The Egyptian constitution states in Article 8 that “society is based on social solidarity. The state is committed to achieving social justice and providing means of social solidarity, in a way that guarantees a decent life for all citizens, in the manner organized by law.

During the period covered by the report, several positive amendments were made regarding the Takaful and Karama program, to provide conditional cash support to families and individuals. ”The Takaful and Karama program is one of the most prominent achievements of social security despite the continued weakness of the pension value. In the Takaful program, the family entitled to support received an amount of 325 pounds. For pupils between 60-100 extra pounds, depending on the educational stage, and the value was recently raised to 425 for the family and the student allowance was increased to 80-140 Egyptian pounds. As for the Karama program, it is an individual entitlement, for the elderly over 65 years old, and the handicapped who are unable to work. The individual amounted to 350 pounds, and recently the pension was raised to 450 pounds with an increase of 100 pounds. It is also permissible to combine the two programs for some individuals in accordance with the provisions of the law, and it is worth noting that this program targets the poorest families in need of cash support.

On the other hand, the beneficiaries of the benefits and security pensions are still much less than the actual recipients of them from the zero or low-income groups.

As a result of the nature of the financial reforms that the Egyptian state is currently undertaking, on top of which is the floatation of the local currency, it is estimated that the number of Egyptian families living below the poverty line has increased, and it is estimated that they have reached half of the total number of Egyptian families. that The estimated value of security pensions is very weak compared to the severe inflation witnessed by the Egyptian market in recent months.

 

·                    Respect for religious tolerance and cultural diversity

Egypt has presented 11 recommendations related to the respect and encouragement of dialogue initiatives and religious tolerance, and the Egyptian government has accepted them all. The Egyptian constitution includes multiple articles that establish the idea of citizenship and equality between citizens regardless of their religion, but it does not include specific articles that reinforce the state’s role in integrating the values of dialogue and religious tolerance and encouraging Relevant initiatives, although official political discourse repeatedly emphasizes these issues.

During the period covered by the report, Al-Azhar issued a document to renew the religious discourse, and the document indirectly addressed the issue of educational curricula and the need to review them, but it did not separate the Al-Azhar educational curricula from the rest of the educational curricula in the rest of the government, even international and private schools. The document specifically stipulated the need to reduce the severity of the disconnect between the divergent educational methods in religious institutes and civil schools and foreign education, each of which brings out a very different mind, and the distances between them must be bridged and gradually integrated into an integrated and homogeneous system, which does not cancel its multiplicity as much as it guarantees a degree of consistency between them and harmony. Among its basic components.

The document also stressed the need to rehabilitate imams, preachers and preachers in mosques so that they are periodically trained to comprehend the data of rational moderate religious thought, keep away from extremism, exaggeration and intolerance, and broaden their perceptions by dialogue with sociologists, economists, literature, art and culture, to digest the outcome of civilization development and purify their discourse from myths. And ideas dangerous to the security and safety of society, and urging them to continue scientific research in the civilizational history of Islam, preserving the requirements of coexistence and the spirit of citizenship and its necessary values, while taking care of their material conditions, and enabling them to resist the temptations of extremist groups.

With every terrorist incident that occurs in Egypt, the various media outlets deal with discussions about the necessity of renewing the religious and enlightening discourse, and at other times it is dealt with by decision-making circles as a buffer against extremism, but we have not yet witnessed practical steps in supporting and activating this ideological trend.

Usually, all competent official institutions are satisfied each time with affirming the moderation of all religions, and absolving them of the actions of extremists, especially Islam, but these institutions have not attempted to actually play their effective role on the ground.

In the second half of July, the President of the Republic issued a republican decree to establish the National Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism with the aim of approving a comprehensive national strategy to confront terrorism and extremism internally and externally, and to approve the policies, plans and programs of all concerned state agencies in a manner that defines their role and obliges them to take measures to complete coordination with them according to specific timetables. And follow up the implementation of this strategy. The Council will also work to coordinate with religious institutions and security agencies to enable moderate moderate religious discourse and spread the concepts of correct religion in society in the face of all forms of extremism, and the council was formed from a group of government agencies and a number of public figures in various fields such as art, media, culture and others.

 

·                    Promote corporate social responsibility

Egypt has received 4 recommendations in the context of this issue and has accepted them all. "Article 36 of the Constitution stipulates that the state shall stimulate the private sector to fulfill its social responsibility in serving the national economy and society."

Despite the issuance of Law 72 of 2017, which approved in Article 15 of it the role of companies in social responsibility, as the article stipulates that “the investor, in order to achieve the goals of comprehensive and sustainable development, shall allocate a percentage of his annual profits to be used in establishing a community development system, outside his investment project, through his participation in All or some of the following areas:

1- Take the necessary measures to protect and improve the environment.

2- Providing services or programs in the fields of health, social or cultural care, or in any other development field.

3- Supporting technical education or funding research, studies and awareness campaigns aimed at developing and improving production, in agreement with a university or scientific research institution

4- Training and scientific research

The amounts that the investor spends in one of the fields stipulated in the previous paragraph, not exceeding the percentage (10%) of his net annual profits of costs and expenses shall be deductible according to the provisions of Article (23) (Clause 8) of the Income Tax Law promulgated by Law No. 91 of 2005 .

The Competent Minister, in coordination with the concerned ministries, may create a list of the best investment projects that carry out societal development activities, whether geographically, sectorally, or otherwise, and announce it to the public opinion.

In all cases, it is prohibited to use projects, programs, or services provided under the social responsibility system to achieve political, partisan, or religious purposes or that involve discrimination between citizens.

The executive regulations of the law indicate the necessary controls and other rules for implementing the social responsibility system.

In spite of the law’s approval, one of the obstacles that companies assume their responsibility towards society is the failure to pass laws that allow the transparent announcement of various government policies that allow providing information, improving government systems in various bodies and departments, and encouraging partnership between the public and private sectors to carry out their social responsibility towards various stakeholders through incentives. The necessary benefits and privileges of government tenders for a specified period and linking them to achieving specific social goals.

In this context, Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a round table to discuss improving legislation and procedures to advance corporate social responsibility, and the table hosted a group of parliamentarians, government officials, representatives of civil society organizations, media professionals and experts concerned with the issue, The meeting discussed a set of recommendations that could be entered into the internal regulations of the new investment and civil society laws, in addition to some proposed amendments to the tax law. The most important recommendations raised by the round table were the necessity of involving civil society organizations and bodies active in the field of social responsibility in drafting the executive regulations of the law Investment, establishing an institutional unit in the Ministry of Investment to educate investors and society about social responsibility, monitoring and issuing reports, building the capabilities of employees working on the social responsibility file and educating the investor in turn through development plans in the governorates, setting a package of procedural and supervisory rules for the investor, coordination between civil society forces working on The issue also came out with an important recommendation, which is to create a database that includes local needs, which is updated annually at the governorate level.

 

·                    Ensuring the right to economic development

Egypt has submitted 11 recommendations in this regard and they have all accepted them. Article 236 of the constitution stipulates that “the state shall guarantee the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive economic and urban development plan for border and deprived areas, including Upper Egypt, Sinai, Matrouh and the Nuba regions.” Article 238 states the objectives of the tax system that Centered on achieving economic development.

During the period covered by the report, the Egyptian parliament approved the law of the economic and social development plan for the year 2016/2017 by adopting the general objectives of the framework of the economic and social development plan for the year 2016/2017 by increasing the total resources valued at current market prices to reach 3875.3 billion pounds, and increasing the gross domestic product in terms of value. At current market prices, to reach 3244.8 billion pounds, with a real growth rate (measured by constant prices) of 5.2%.

The plan also approved allocating soft loans amounting to 150 million pounds, 120 million pounds of which are for popular housing, at affordable interest rates not exceeding 6%.

In spite of the foregoing, the Egyptian economy during the period covered by the report was suffering from a wave of significant increase in inflation rates, which negatively affected the standard of living of citizens. A few days ago, the Central Bank of Egypt raised the main interest rates on deposit and lending by 200 points, bringing the total interest rate hike to 700 basis points in less than nine months.

The period covered by the report also witnessed the Egyptian government raising the prices of fuel and natural gas by rates up to 42%. It also announced an increase in household electricity consumption segments, in a move aimed at eliminating subsidies on fuels and energy by 2022, in accordance with plans agreed upon with international financing institutions to restructure the Egyptian economy.

The Egyptian economy suffers from low growth and investment rates, high rates of poverty and unemployment, and a decline in the purchasing power of the national currency, which led to an increase in the inflation rate during the first half of this year by about 31%, which threatens a new wave of the middle class falling to the poor class, which means a decline in the The size of the general purchasing power of individuals and the increase in market recession rates.

 

·                    Improving the work environment for civil organizations

Egypt provided 20 recommendations in the context of the issue of improving the private work environment. The Egyptian government partially accepted 6 recommendations, 12 recommendations were fully accepted, and two recommendations were taken into consideration.

The Egyptian Constitution stipulates in Article 75 that “Citizens have the right to form associations and civil institutions on a democratic basis, and they shall have legal personality upon notification. It exercises its activities freely, and administrative bodies may not interfere in their affairs, dissolve them, or dissolve their boards of directors or their boards of trustees except by a court ruling. It is prohibited to establish or maintain civil societies or institutions whose system or activity is secret or of a military or quasi-military character, all in the manner organized by law.

Despite this, the period covered by the report witnessed the completion of the approval of a new law for civil work, No. 70 of 2017, as a substitute for Law 84 of 2002, although Law 84 is considered restrictive and detracts from the rights of civil organizations and contradicts the essence of the constitutional text and recommendations of the universal periodic review. Parliament took the initiative to pass a flawed civil work law in December 2016, despite the pressure of NGOs and the effort made by the Egyptian Civil Society Organizations Coalition for the periodic review Al-Shamil urged the President of the Republic to ask Parliament to reconsider the law according to the constitutional authority granted to the President to object to the laws, but in the end the President issued the law as it is without any amendment.

The law includes restrictions on the establishment of new associations, penalties of imprisonment, fines, and legal accountability for civil work and its workers. Where the law stipulates penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and fines that may reach one million Egyptian pounds, for anyone who violates it, and the law prohibits any association or institution from conducting any study or any survey without the permission of the state, and the results of these studies and surveys cannot be published without permission. From the state as well, and according to the law, foreign NGOs wishing to work in Egypt must pay fees of 300,000 EGP

The new law also placed many obstacles to the work of associations, including that the cost of publicizing an association became 10 thousand pounds, after the form for declaring it was 100 pounds. Although the law was issued more than two months ago, the executive regulations of the law were not issued until the publication of this report.

That period also witnessed the parliament's approval of a law regarding amendments to the formation of the National Council for Human Rights of 25 members, other than the president and the vice president, with a term of office set at 4 years instead of 3 years in the existing law, with an emphasis on not permitting any of them to be appointed to the council for more than two consecutive terms.

The bill also stipulates that the House of Representatives begins the procedures for forming the National Council for Human Rights at least sixty days before the end of its term, in light of the nominations of the National Councils, the Supreme Council of Universities, the Supreme Council for Culture, Professional Unions and other bodies, and the General Committee of the House of Representatives nominates candidates for membership of the Council Taking into account the appropriate representation of the groups of society, provided that the House of Representatives selects the president and deputy of the National Council for Human Rights and the members with the approval of the majority of its members.

The same period also witnessed severe restrictions on the right of organizations to receive funding in order to implement their development interventions, in addition to the prosecution of a number of activists on charges of receiving illegal funding against the background of the case known in the media as the issue of foreign funding.

 

·                    Ensuring the right to health and education

Egypt has submitted 5 recommendations in the context of this issue and it has all accepted them, and there are a number of constitutional articles that affirm the need to safeguard the right to education and health, including Article 18 which states that every citizen has the right to health and to integrated health care in accordance with quality standards, and obliges the state to allocate a percentage Of government spending for health of not less than 3 % of gross national product, gradually increasing until it meets global rates, and also obligates it to establish a comprehensive health insurance system for all Egyptians that covers all diseases, and Article 19 states that education is a right for every citizen, and the state commits to allocating a percentage Of government spending for education of not less than 4% of GNP, Article 20 obliges the state to encourage and develop technical and technical education and vocational training, and Article 21 obliges the state to allocate a percentage of government spending for university education not less than 2% of GNP.

The period covered by the report witnessed Parliament's approval to increase the penalty for facilitating fraud for workers inside the committees or other individuals outside them, to reach 7 years in prison and 200,000 pounds for a fine or one of them. Also, the penalty for electronic cheating has been raised for students, as I have been deprived of exams for two years.

The Ministry of Education has also implemented the boklet system, which is the system based on merging the question paper with the answer sheet, as the questions will be distributed on the entire answer sheet with different question models among students, which makes it difficult to provide any opportunity to leak exams.

Education in Egypt is still suffering from a high number of students in "density" classes, which weakens the ability to teach and a good understanding of the pupil, and this is followed by an extraordinary effort by the teacher, not to convey information, for this is a luxury that is less present. But to control students and prevent many disputes between them and settle disputes.

This leads to a decline in their educational level, due to the weakness of the school's capabilities, as it accommodates more than the number of prepared classes, and the lack of sufficient educational facilities for all of this number,

Although the state has appointed 30 thousand new teachers during the past years, schools still suffer from a deficit and a lack of teachers, which leads them to a temporary contract to fill the deficit of teachers, which puts the teacher under pressure to increase work and quotas, and make him fall under a heavy burden. Also, the educational process in Egypt is still suffering from a lack of activity teachers, but these activities must be present on paper and not in practice, which leads to the presence of classes without teachers such as music, mathematics and computer.

With regard to health, the government has not yet issued a comprehensive health insurance law for citizens despite the expiration of two full sessions, which indicates that the health crisis in Egypt is one of the many problems that the service sector suffers from in Egypt, such as the problem of education, housing, population, and supplies ... etc. But what distinguishes this problem is that it has a great human dimension, which raises the sympathy of healthy people towards patients, regardless of their level of wealth, and of course sympathy increases towards patients in the lower and middle classes.

Therefore, looking at the system as a whole is the easiest way to solve the health crisis in Egypt, especially since some bodies and institutions have established private hospitals, such as hospitals belonging to ministries and bodies such as the police, the army, endowments and intelligence services, so the confusion has increased, but everyone only talks about the Ministry of Health assuming responsibility, despite the lack of Its mandate over hospitals, ministries and agencies. What made matters worse was the limited wages of doctors and nurses, which made some of them run all day between shifts in the public and private hospitals and ministries in one day.

Amidst these complex problems of low wages for doctors and their assistants, including nurses, administrators, and cleaners, the issue of health insurance for treating Egyptian citizens comes as one of the major health crises in Egypt, as it is followed in most countries of the world that health insurance is a compulsory system of solidarity, meaning that all An individual is supposed to participate in it as long as he holds the nationality of his country, and the participation is a percentage of the contributor's income, which makes the rich pay more than the poor.

And because of the absence of the law so far, we find that the major problems facing the improvement of the health insurance system in Egypt are that there are about 20 million people below the poverty line, and these are in dire need for the state to fully afford their treatment, in light of the escape of the rich to private health insurance despite the high price Due to the high rates of quality of service provided in private insurance, which affects the contributions of the rich to the poor in the government system, this is reflected in the poor quality of services provided in public sector hospitals.

Despite the great achievement the government has achieved in eliminating the hepatitis C virus, the rates of other endemic diseases and cancers are very high, and the government services provided by the state through its hospitals are characterized by a very low level of quality.

 

More than 300 types of medicines have also disappeared from pharmacies, most notably heart medicines and liver sugar. This comes at a time when the Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry Association issued its decision No. 499 to increase the prices of 1,000 types of medicine, needed by the simple citizen, and the price of which enters the pockets of major traders and investors in the sector The shortage of some medicines, due to the import of raw materials for them from abroad, which caused a shortage of stocks, due to the lack of sufficient liquidity for import after the high price of the dollar and the companies ’request to raise the price of medicines.

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