Tag Archives: Egypt

Egypt News | Vietnamese Visitors

Vietnamese tourists killed in bomb attack in Egypt

  • Three tourists and their Egyptian guide were killed by a roadside bomb blast near the Giza pyramids, which left an additional 10 injured.
  • The tourists had been on their way to a light and sound show at the pyramids.
  • The attack was the first fatal one involving foreign tourists in more than a year, with Egypt’s tourism sector having begun to mount a comeback following years of political turmoil.

Read

Bomb kills three Vietnamese tourists, Egyptian guide near pyramids: officials” (Reuters | December 2018)

Bomb in Egypt Strikes Bus Full of Vietnamese Tourists, Killing 4” (The New York Times | December 2018)

Deadly roadside bomb strikes tourist bus” (CNN | December 2018)

Egypt News | LGBT

Egypt expands crackdown on LGBT community
  • Dozens of LGBT Egyptians have been arrested , including raids on cafés and detentions following a concert by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila (fronted by a gay man).
  • As citizens continue to be subjected to invasive medical examinations and entrapment via social media and mobile apps, Egypt’s media regulatory body issued a statement condemning homosexuality as a “sickness” and barring the presence or representation of gay people in the media.
  • In addition to political and law enforcement assaults, LGBT Egyptians have recently been the targets of cultural campaigns by the media and conservative religious and academic leaders.
Read

Brutal crackdown has gay and transgender Egyptians asking: Is it time to leave?” (The Los Angeles Times | October 2017)

Egypt’s latest crackdown on gays creates fear in LGBT community” (USA Today | October 2017)

Unofficial Translation of Statement by Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation” (Human Rights Watch | October 2017)

Egypt News | Activists & Dissidents

New NGO law severely curtails capabilities of rights organizations and charities in Egypt
  • President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified a law limiting NGO work to developmental and social work activities and subjecting them to government regulation, with violators facing to up to five years of jail time.
  • NGOs will have one year to come into compliance with the law or be dissolved.
  • Human rights organizations accused the government of attempting to quell dissent, with officials long having accused NGOs of taking foreign money to destabilize national security.
Read

Egypt issues controversial NGO law, cracking down on dissent” (Reuters | May 2017)

The Latest: Egypt’s president ratifies law restricting NGOs” (The Associated Press via ABC News | May 2017)

Egypt’s NGO law aims to ‘erase civil society’” (Al Jazeera | May 2017)

(Image Credit: via Reuters)

Egypt News | Coptic Christians

More than two dozen Coptic Christians killed in attack in Egypt
  • Gunmen killed at least 29 and wounded two dozen more in Minya Province while they were en route to a monastery in central Egypt.
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility, the latest in a series of attacks by the fundamentalist group on the religious minority that has left more than 100 dead since December 2016.
  • Thousands mourned the dead at the Church of the Sacred Family in the village of Dayr Jarnous before beginning a defiant march expressing outrage and calling for retribution.
Read

Grief, rage in Egyptian church after Copts attacked by gunmen” (Reuters | May 2017)

Gunmen in Egypt Force Coptic Christian Pilgrims From Buses and Kill 28” (The New York Times | May 2017)

Egypt Coptic Christians: IS claims attack” (BBC News | May 2017)

(Image Credit: Amr Nabil/Associated Press, via The New York Times)

Egypt News | Christians

At least three dozen killed in church bombings in Egypt
  • At least 25 were killed and 78 injured at St. George’s Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, while a second targeted St. Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Pope in Alexandra, killing at least 11 and wounding 35.
  • The bombings, claimed by the Islamic State, came during Palm Sunday observances, a week before Easter and ahead of a planned visit by Pope Francis.
  • The attacks are the latest in a series committed by fundamentalist Islamic militants, with the Islamic State having shifted its strategy in Egypt to targeting the country’s Coptic Christian minority.
Read

Bombings at Egyptian Coptic churches kill 36, injure more than 100” (Reuters | April 2017)

ISIS Claims 2 Deadly Explosions at Egyptian Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday” (The New York Times | April 2017)

Egypt: Isis claims responsibility for Coptic church bombings” (The Guardian | April 2017)

(Image Credit: Khaled Elfiqi/European Pressphoto Agency, via The New York Times)

Egypt News | Christians

Hundreds of Christians flee as Islamic State violence increases in Egypt
  • Dozens of families and more than 200 students fled the province of North Sinai as the Islamic State warned of more attacks against Christians in the country.
  • Seven Christians have been killed over the last month in the provincial capital Arish, where the Islamic State is making an insurgent push.
  • Militants circulated “death lists” online, forcing Christians to choose between flight or death.
Read

(Image Credit: Ahmed Aboulenein/Reuters)

Global Event | Christmas

Christmas for the Vulnerable Christians of the World


Source: Al Jazeera YouTube

One of the most important days in the Christian holiday canon, Christmas is celebrated by the devout, the lapsed, and the unbelieving alike as a time of gift-giving, decorating, and shared cheer. However, many of the worlds Christians, minorities in their communities, continue to face persecution as religious-extremist, nationalist, and other reactionary forces gain footholds around the world. From Indonesia to Egypt, religiously diverse societies have experienced increased sectarian tensions as parallel forces—anti-Christian sentiment and Islamophobia—have disrupted what was once stable co-existence. This roundup takes a look at recent developments in the plight faced by some of the most vulnerable Christians around the world. Continue reading Global Event | Christmas

Egypt News | Christians

IS claims responsibility on Cairo church bombing that left dozens dead
  • The attack on St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral killed at least 25 people and injured nearly 50, most of them women, in Egypt’s deadliest mass killing driven by sectarian conflict since 2011.
  • The cathedral was the seat of the Egyptian Orthodox Church and a prominent symbol for Egyptian Copts, who comprise around 10% of the country’s population and who have been subject to systemic discrimination.
  • Following the attack, the Islamic State threatened to escalate its “war on polytheism,” leading members of the Christian community and government officials to suspect more large-scale attacks are on the way.

Read more:
ISIS Claims Responsibility for Egypt Church Bombing and Warns of More to Come” (The New York Times)
Blast at Egyptian Coptic cathedral kills at least 25” (The Washington Post)
23 killed in explosion inside church attached to Cairo’s Coptic cathedral” (Al-Ahram)

(Image Credit: Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, via The New York Times)

Egypt News | Critics, Advocates & Journalists

Travel bans trap Egyptian activists in “giant prison”
  • Two prominent human rights advocates—Aida Seif al-Dawla and Azza Soliman—recently discovered they were barred from traveling in and out of Egypt as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi continues targeting civil society and human rights organizations.
  • Human rights monitors report that 217 people have been subject to travel bans between 2014 and 2016, 115 of whom are critics of the Sisi-led government.
  • Activists and journalists reported being met with deferral or radio silence when inquiring about the cause or origin of their bans, with the government denying a crackdown.

Read more:
Egypt is giant prison, activists banned from travel say” (Reuters)
Egypt imposes travel bans on human rights activists” (The Financial Times)
A Top Egyptian Human Rights Activist Banned From Travel” (AP via The New York Times)

Egypt News | Political Critics

Egyptian government limiting movement rights of critics
  • Nearly 500 journalists, activists, and advocates have been deported from Egypt since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s inauguration in 2013 for having criticized the government, according to one civil rights group.
  • Critics of Sisi, the judiciary, and other government powers have been subjected to travel restrictions, limiting their movement in and out of the country.
  • Those subject to travel bans often don’t find out about their status until at airports, with the requirement of a judicial order only infrequently being met.

Read more:
Egypt’s Latest Tactic Against Critics: Block Their Movements, or Deport Them” (The New York Times)
Human rights lawyer Amin barred from traveling to Beirut” (Daily News Egypt)
Egypt: Travel Ban on Women’s Rights Leader” (Human Rights Watch, June 2016)

Citations: Black in North Africa

Citations
Black in North Africa

Like the color it purports to name, the social label black absorbs, integrates, and obscures distinct but interrelated phenomena: a skin tone of context-dependent shade, a racial classification from bygone times, an ethnic designation, a class marker, an immigration status, an ancestry, a cultural heritage, and an index of historical wrongs still fresh in memory. Black has often served as shorthand for of African descent, but perhaps nowhere most complicates that substitution than a region on the continent itself: North Africa. Continue reading Citations: Black in North Africa

May Day || Global

Global May Day 2016

One of the few truly global holidays, International Workers’ Day (May Day) is both a worldwide celebration of the working classes as well as a day to draw attention to ongoing insecurities workers around the world face. May Day has historically had a twofold purpose: a day for workers to voice their concerns over contentious labor policies and for governments to reaffirm their commitments to workers’ rights and just labor practices. At times little more than public relations campaigns and at others violent clashes between governments and workers, global May Day events have highlighted the diverse relationships between labor, employers, and government around the world. Here are the highlights of May Day 2016 in more than 30 countries:


Asia Pacific

Bike rallies were held in Pune as Indian PM Narendra Modi saluted workers on Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, a public holiday. Pakistan‘s major labor unions convened in Lahore to speak out against poor working conditions, violations of international labor conventions, and ongoing privatization in the country. As Bangladeshi officials addressed labor relations and welfare reforms amidst a day of union-organized programming, in Kathmandu, Nepali workers marched while awaiting the ratification of the Labour Act, which guarantees greater social security for workers. Across the Indian Ocean, Australian union leader singled out penalty rate protection and tax reform as major Labour Day issues, with the date of the holiday having been a point of contention as well.

Throughout East Asia, workers rallied to draw attention to labor conditions and call for reforms, from ending contractualization in the Philippines to protecting job security in South KoreaHong Kong saw thousands take to the streets to demand fair and standardized working hours along with a universal pension program. In Malaysia, PM Najib Razak took the day to announce an increase in the national minimum wage and an insurance scheme proposal.

Europe & Eurasia

In cities across France, tens of thousands marched in protest against proposed labor reforms that would loosen the country’s controversial employment and job security policies. Jeremy Corbyn became the first U.K. Labour party  leader to attend a May Day rally in a half-century when he spoke to a crowd of thousands in London, reaffirming solidarity against anti-immigrant sentiment and addressing anti-Semitism accusations that have plagued his party recently. Spain saw thousands across its cities gather, many protesting ongoing austerity measures. An estimated 800,000 gathered in Rome‘s San Giovanni Square, with this year’s event dedicated to slain Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Some 2,000 convened in rain-soaked Zagreb to hear labor leaders protest the increased retirement age and ongoing poverty in Croatia. Moscow hosted a mass demonstration in the city’s Red Square estimated in size from the tens of thousands to 100,000, while thousands gathered in Istanbul’s Bakirköy district under a heavy police presence in the wake of urban suicide attacks and ongoing violence across Turkey.

The Americas

From New York to Los Angeles, demonstrations in the U.S. highlighted widening economic inequality in the country and an election season marred by racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic sentiment. While most protests took place without incident, a peaceful march turned violent in Seattle, leading to five injured officers and nine arrests. A similar outbreak in Montreal led to one injury and 10 arrests.

In Latin America, Brazil‘s embattled president and Workers’ Party leader Dilma Roussef rallied alongside hundreds of thousands across the country as her impeachment proceedings continue and workers fear the inauguration of her center-right vice president. Cuba‘s May Day parade continued the national tradition of expressing support for the Castro regime rather than directly celebrating labor or expressing concerns over labor conditions. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macro backed employers and touted labor proposals that had spurred mass demonstrations only days before. Elsewhere in the region, minimum wage increases were announced in Venezuela and Bolivia and a march took place in Santiago as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a review of her labor reforms after the Supreme Court rejected a key provision granting exclusive negotiating rights to unions.

Middle East & Africa

Police in Egypt blocked hundreds of workers from assembling in a Cairo office as labor leaders and international organizations called for the government to decriminalize independent union organization. In Israel, more than 5,000 youth marched in Tel Aviv, while a Palestinian trade union renewed its call for the establishment of a minimum wage and the dismantlement of the Gaza blockade. A government-sponsored event in Dubai reportedly drew nearly 200 workers, though labor practices in the UAE continue to draw international scrutiny.

South of the Sahara, events popped up across South Africa as politicians sought to address the country’s high unemployment rate and appeal to workers ahead of August elections. In Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari spoke to thousands of workers in Abuja, touting his anti-corruption campaign. A Mozambique labor leader addressed a crowd in Maputo about the debts of state-owned companies and the need for wage and workplace reform. As the decline of oil prices has created economic hardship throughout Angola, the country’s two labor unions marched to draw attention to deteriorating worker conditions and the need for infrastructure maintenance. Workers in Ghana protested the privatization of the management of the state-owned Electric Company of Ghana, while the government insisted the company was still run by the state. Meanwhile, Ethiopia sidestepped Sunday commemorations altogether by moving May Day to May 3, when labor leaders plan to highlight ongoing struggles to organize Ethiopian workers.

Egypt News | Foreign Intellectuals

Italian student found dead in Cairo after writing article critical of government
  • Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old graduate student at the University of Cambridge, was found dead alongside a road outside Cairo with cigarette burns and other signs of torture on his body.
  • Regeni had been conducting research on Egyptian labor rights and had written an article criticizing the Egyptian government’s anti-union stance and lack of press freedom for Il Manifesto, a left-wing newspaper in Rome,.
  • Italy summoned its Egyptian ambassador to discuss the situation, requesting a joint investigation to determine the cause of the student’s murder, which Egyptian authorities have ruled an accident.

Read more:
Italian student Giulio Regeni found dead in Cairo ‘with signs of torture’” (The Guardian)
Italian student Giulio Regeni’s body found in Egypt” (BBC)
Italian student killed in Egypt criticized Cairo govt. in articles” (Reuters)

(Image Credit: Twitter photo, via The Guardian)

Egypt News | Sudanese Refugees

More than a dozen Sudanese refugees killed by Egyptian security forces
  • At least 15 Sudanese refugees were killed and eight wounded attempting to enter Israel from the Sinai peninsula.
  • Egyptian officials first said the refugees were shot attempting to reach the southern border of Israel, but later revised their account to say they were caught in the crossfire between security forces and smugglers.
  • The incident is one of the most violent involving Sudanese refugees since 2005 and comes as the refugees face crackdowns by Egyptian police, exploitation and abuse by smugglers, and detention and deportation in Israel.

Read more:
Sudanese refugees shot dead on Egypt-Israel border” (Al Jazeera)
15 Sudanese Asylum Seekers Shot to Death by Egyptian Police While Trying to Cross to Israel” (AP via Haaretz)

Egypt News | Mexicans & Journalists

Egypt muzzles journalists during investigation of killing of Mexican tourists
  • Eight Mexican tourists and their Egyptian guides were killed by Egyptian security forces after allegedly being mistaken for insurgents.
  • International and domestic journalists have been banned from covering the investigation into the incident, leading to criticisms of a lack of transparency.
  • Human rights organizations have condemned Egypt’s military operations in the Western Sahara and Sinai Peninsula, arguing that civilian deaths have been endemic.

“Usually when there is such a ban on publication it has do with very tough cases where one could find evidence or embarrassing information about the involvement of some government high officials or military strongmen.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Mohamed El-Shahed/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, via The New York Times)