By Staff of Egypt Solidarity – Leading Egyptian trade unionists have launched an open letter calling on the global labour movement to mobilise solidarity for the Alexandria Shipyard workers, as the military court postponed the verdict in their trial for a second time until 18 September. The workers will face another month in horrific detention conditions without knowing whether they will face a jail term for organising to improve their pay and conditions at work.
By Abdullah Al-Arian for MEE – Had it been allowed to continue, last Thursday would have seen Mohamed Morsi’s four-year term as president of a post-authoritarian Egypt draw to a close. Instead, last week marked the third anniversary of Morsi’s forced removal by a military coup that has reimposed a perpetual dictatorship upon 90 million citizens. The calamity of Egypt continues to unfold daily, with mounting human rights abuses, stifling of dissent, widespread corruption, economic crisis, and the consolidation of power in the hands of a new authoritarian ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
By Staff of The New Arab – Labour activist Kamal al-Fayoumi has lost none of his swagger since being fired from the sprawling Egyptian textile plant where he worked for three decades and was known as an agitator. Striding through a gritty industrial town in the Nile Delta, he proudly points to workers’ clubs, cooperative grocery stores, cinemas, a pool and a hospital – all of which have seen better days – and brushes off threats from management and the police.
By Ayah Aman for AL-Monitor – CAIRO — On May 1, just two days before World Press Freedom day, Egyptian police raided the Press Syndicate in Cairo and randomly detained a number of journalists as they were working. This measure against media workers represents a dangerous escalation in the security services’ campaign targeting journalists in a country that the Committee to Protect Journalists describes as “among the world’s worst jailers of journalists.”
By Staff of Daily News Egypt – Families of imprisoned journalists began an open ended sit-in at the Press Syndicate headquarters on Sunday, according to an announcement on the Facebook page representing the coalition of families. At least 42 journalists are currently in detention, according to the latest Press Syndicate figures, whereas the coalition estimates the number to be around 90 journalists. The families chose Sunday in particular as the start date for the sit-in as it will coincide with a syndicate ceremony celebrating its 75th anniversary.
By Peter Cork for In Defense of Marxism – It is no coincidence that Regeni disappeared on the evening of January 25th, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. An official of the Egyptian government initially made the disgraceful suggestion that he died in a road traffic accident. A witness later told Italian police that they had seen him being stopped by plain-clothes security officers not far from his Cairo home. Now the Egyptian police claim that they have recovered Regeni’s rucksack from the apartment of a member of the gang who murdered him after stealing his money and belongings.
By Staff of The New Arab – Mohammed Yousry Ali, an engineering student, was kidnapped by police while he was heading to see friends, reported Egypt’s Human Rights Monitor, a group set up to act as a watchdog for violations of rights. Ali’s family have made numerous complaints with the Attorney General and other relevant authorities, but have seemingly been ignored, and Egyptian authorities have refused to declare his whereabouts. The family said that since his abduction, they have faced “psychological hell” as they wait for news about their son.
By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy – This week we passed the five-year anniversary of Tahrir Square but do we even know – or care – what’s happening there now, and do we see the parallels with what’s going on right here? Occupy.com speaks with an Egyptian activist who sets the record straight on the past and the present. Next up, it’s the week to stand strong on the frontlines against corporate takeover. And finally, this low life scum is not something you can see, taste or have probably even heard of – but it’s poisoning more than half our country and here’s what you can do about it. But first, allow me to not be polite, but poetic.
By Abdullah Elfakharany for Middle East Eye – I was naïve – at least in the first days after I was arrested. I thought that the world would rise up to defend me, my colleagues and the freedom of the press, which was nurtured in Egypt after the 25 January Revolution in 2011. I thought all those press and human rights organisations, as well as opinion leaders who preach day and night about freedom of opinion and expression as essential values and principles, would do their best to stand in the face of flagrant violations against journalists in Egypt.
By Omar Robert Hamilton for The Guardian – I didn’t take my camera out with me the night Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. I stood in Tahrir Square among tens of thousands of Egyptians and told myself I would enjoy the moment, I would not divide myself from the night’s magical reality with a lens. I had filmed up until then because it was my job, because history must be recorded, because an image can change the world, because everyone had to contribute somehow to the revolution. But that night the camera stayed at home. History had happened, the world was changing before our eyes.
By Staff of Aljazeera – Anti-government protesters defied a security crackdown and took to the streets as Egypt marked the fifth anniversary on Monday of the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians demonstrated against the military-led government in Alexandria’s Al-Qaed Ibrahim Square, which was the site of 2011 protests, as well as in Nasr City and Shubra district in the capital, Cairo. Two Egyptians were shot dead by police in an alleged “exchange of gunfire” in Cairo’s October 6 district. Security forces also used gas bombs to disperse protesters in Cairo’s eastern al-Matareya district as well as in Kafr Sheikh.
By Students Islamic Organisation of India for Bay Area Antifada, New Delhi: A protest was held on Wednesday against the visit of Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Around two hundred people from different parts of the city gathered at Jantar Mantar near the Parliament House to protest against General el-Sisi who overthrew his country’s first democratically elected government of president Mohammad Morsi through a military coup in 2013. General el-Sisi is in Delhi to attend India-Africa Forum Summit. The protesters were holding placards with various slogans like ‘Failed Egypt Economy No Help to India,’ ‘Go Back Sisi, Not Welcome at India’. The protest demonstration was jointly organized by All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Association for Protection of Civil Rights and Students Islamic Organisation of India.
By Sarah El-Deeb in Business Insider – After a series of stunning militant attacks, Egypt’s government is pushing through a controversial new anti-terrorism draft bill that would set up special terrorism courts, shorten the appeals process, give police greater powers of arrest and imprison journalists who report information on attacks that differs from the official government line. The draft raised concerns that officials are taking advantage of heightened public shock at last week’s audacious attacks to effectively enshrine into law the notorious special emergency laws which were in place for decades until they were lifted following the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Rather than reviewing security policies since the attacks, officials have largely been focusing blame on the media for allegedly demoralizing troops and on the slowness of the courts.
By Samantha Libby in Committee To Protect Journalists – “Photography is not just a hobby for me. It is an actual way of life. It’s not just how you hold a camera and snap a picture. It’s the way that you see life and everything around you.” So reads a letter written by Mahmoud Abou Zeid, an Egyptian freelance photojournalist also known as “Shawkan,” to mark his 600th day behind bars. In the letter, which was published on Monday, Shawkan describes the physical and psychological toll that prison has taken on him, but maintains that he simply wants to be free to practice photojournalism: “My passion is photography, but I am paying the price for my passion with my life. Without it, a part of me is missing.”