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Attacks on Mar Mina Church in Imbaba, Giza
Sarah Carr
8 May 2011
EIPR senior researcher Sarah Carr was in Imbaba last night and wrote the following account of the violent Muslim-Christian clashes that left at least 12 dead and over 200 injured.
The Mar Mina Church is located on Loqsor St, a long unmade road from that branch off the warren of small alleys that make up Imbaba.

Taxi drivers will not risk damaging their chassis here and instead Toctocs – motorised rickshaws – transport passengers over the bumps and potholes.

We arrived at around 11 p.m. and found a wall of people assembled around 100 metres away from the church, held back by three army armed personnel carriers and a row of riot police – armed with batons and tear gas but apparently doing nothing; the sound of gunfire rang out regularly from behind the cordon.

We spoke to a man, Amir Maurice Aziz, who said that he had witnessed events since they began at 4 p.m. He told us that an armed group of Salafis attacked the church “because they wanted the woman that converted to Christianity”.

“They say that the priests are holding the woman inside the church”, Aziz said.

All of the people spoke to said that the events began the same way; with a rumour that a woman,...
Healthy Discussions
Sarah Carr
29 March 2011
When I arrived (late) at the Doctors’ Syndicate general assembly on Friday it was in uproar.

Syndicate head Dr Hamdy El-Sayyed was conspicuously and predictably absent from the podium. After losing his seat in the 2010 parliamentary elections (a seat he held for three parliamentary terms) El-Sayyed was then subjected to the indignity of being booted out of his Syndicate headquarters office by doctors demanding that he step down.

El-Sayyed has been head of the Syndicate for four successive terms. Elections haven’t been held since the early 1990s. In 1995 amendments to the law resulted in the boards of several Syndicates including the Doctors’ Syndicate being “frozen”. The amendments were held unconstitutional in January of this year.

In the meantime doctors had over a decade of that spectral man staring out unblinkingly from behind his glasses and blocking any genuine attempt to improve doctors’ wages and conditions where it meant a confrontation with the National Democratic Party, of which he is a member.

In its basest form this took the form of legalistic obfuscation and subterfuge, as in March 2008 when doctors voted overwhelmingly for symbolic strike action in a heated general assembly. The vote was...
It’s Time to Review Our Foreign Policy
Nabil el-Araby
12 March 2011
Two weeks before he accepted the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the transitional government, Minister Nabil el-Araby wrote an article in the Al Shourouk daily newspaper outlining necessary changes that are needed for the foreign policy of a post-revolutionary Egypt. Below is an unofficial English translation of the article prepared by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. The original article (in Arabic) could be found here.

It’s time to review our foreign policy
Nabil el- Araby
Al Shorouk​, 19 February 2011

The white revolution led by the January 25 youth and supported by all segments of the Egyptian people was a defining historical moment and will always remain a beacon lighting the path for all peoples of the world.

The revolution holds many important lessons that will no doubt occupy political analysts in the halls of government and academia for years to come.

Now we are at the beginning of a new phase in which everyone hopes that Egypt will be blessed with good governance that achieves a sound democracy, respect for human rights and equality for all without discrimination. The mission now is to establish a modern, secular state in which the rule of law holds sway and...
Behind the Sun
Sarah Carr
8 March 2011
An Egyptian human rights worker takes a walk inside the abandoned State Security Investigations headquarters.

I used to love entering abandoned buildings as a kid, for the adventure and the thrill of finding belongings left behind, clues to the untold stories silenced by the walls. Yesterday I entered an abandoned building that contains a million stories, all of them of deceit, pain and power.

The Nasr City State Security Investigations (SSI) headquarters is a peculiar fortress-like building combining drab box like buildings with the sensuous curves of gun turrets and the circular building at its centre. A friend of mine who was kidnapped and detained there in 2009 says that while blindfolded he was repeatedly forced to walk round on a circular path. Maybe that was one of its uses. Exercise.

Protestors, watched by the army, entered the building around 6.30 p.m. The protest had begun at 4 p.m. A relatively large number of the protestors were men with beards and therefore fitted the profile of Nasr City State Security’s main clientele; individuals identified as “Islamist” and therefore legitimate targets by security officers. Emergency law powers allow state security officers to operate with virtual impunity, and the results of this policy entered the building yesterday, furious and defiant.

It was mayhem...
Egypt Revolution 2011 and Communications
Ramy Raoof
15 February 2011
Communications and online platforms have played very important role during the Egyptian Revolution between all entities and individuals.

The invitation to demonstration started online through Facebook events and Twitter using the hash-tag #Jan25, to demonstrate during the National Police Day 25 January 2011 mainly against corruption, unemployment and torture in Egypt. The invitation spread very widely among the Egyptian netizens and many political groups and parities adopted the invitation and it was spread offline.

Before January 25, the reasons for the demonstrations started to increase and develop quickly until it all was formulated under one umbrella: People Demand Removal of the Regime​.

Invitations to the demonstrations with time and locations spread widely using short message service (SMS) and emails. An online platform was also developed to compile chants by Egyptians to make it easier for people joining peaceful assemblies to use the slogans in different ways.

The Front to Defend Egypt Protesters (FDEP), network of more than 30 human rights organization and legal in Egypt to provide informative and legal aid to participants in peaceful...
What Mubarak Must Do Before He Resigns
Hossam Bahgat Soha Abdelaty
5 February 2011
As Egyptian citizens and human rights defenders, we have been on the streets here, including in Tahrir Square, since Jan. 25 to demand dignity and freedom for all Egyptians. There is nothing we want more than an immediate end to the Mubarak era, which has been marred by repression, abuse and injustice. We are heartened by the international community's shift from demanding "restraint" and "responsiveness" to echoing our call for Hosni Mubarak to step down and for an immediate transition toward democracy.

But for a real transition to democracy to begin, Mubarak must not resign until he has signed decrees that, under Egypt's constitution, only a president can issue. This is not simply a legal technicality; it is, as Nathan Brown recently blogged for, the only way out of our nation's political crisis.

Egypt's constitution stipulates that if the president resigns or his office becomes permanently "vacant," he must be replaced by the speaker of parliament or, in the absence of parliament, the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. In the event of the president's temporary inability to exercise his prerogatives, the vice president is to take over as the interim head of state. In both cases a new president must be elected within 60 days. Significantly, the constitution prohibits the interim...
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