Bitter Recap: A New Report Released On Human Rights Violations In Egypt

Justice Human Rights Organization –an independent rights organization- has released a report titled: “Bitter Recap” to document human rights violations in Egypt throughout the last 3 years, from (July 2013-July 2016)

The report was released to clarify the rights situation in Egypt and its effects on the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Egyptian citizen.

“It talks in brief about the most prominent – not all – violations occurring in Egypt,” said the JHR report.

It also said, “Because of the magnitude of the violations, in quantitative and Qualitative terms, which happened on daily basis in Egypt from the ruling regime in Egypt now, we couldn’t document all that is happening in Egypt, the report didn’t even speak of ” Sinai “; the isolated area, where the entry of both journalists and civil society organizations is not permitted.”

It added that July 3, 2013, is a turning date in the Egyptian life on the political, economic and social spectrum and especially human rights. The ruling regime has used all its powers in committing human rights violations which were recorded as the most horrible abuses that have happened in Egypt’s modern history.

“Egypt’s violations are globally ranked the first in terms of enforced disappearances, torture, military trials, medical negligence, and extrajudicial killings, and executions,” said JHE report.

The report added, “Three years have passed, and Egypt’s situation is getting worse, because of the regime’s policy in administrating the country, against the Egyptians in general, and its opponents in particular.”

The report continued, “This naturally led to the collapse of managing the economic and social files, rights, public and private freedoms violations, trials that lack fair trial standards, political instability, the rise in security instability rates, corruption, poverty and high prices, as well as issuing several laws infringing the Egyptian constitution and international conventions which were approved by the members of the Egyptian parliament, without any legal or rights debate, or even social participation.”

Enforced Disappearance

Dozens of complaints are filed at JHR on a daily basis, reporting the exposure of Egyptian citizens to enforced disappearance by security men with a confirmation from their families that they could not reach the places of their detention.

Enforced disappearance has become a repeated phenomenon. Since July 2013, JHR has documented more than 2500 cases of enforced disappearance in Egypt by security institutions (including nearly 350 cases that have not appeared until now).

The JHR report said, “Citizens have been subjected to enforced disappearance and they were secretly held in detention without a legal warrant, they were also deprived of communicating their lawyers and their families for more than 90 days.”

“They were mainly accused of leading protests or committing crimes related to terrorism and they were also tortured, and other means of bad treatments by the Intelligence, police, and the national security officers to force them to confess to crimes that they didn’t commit.”

The report added that 1000 enforced disappearance cases were reported by rights organizations in the last quarter on 2015 and the beginning of 2016, which is a very high percentage compared to the last two years.

This ensured that enforced disappearance became a real phenomenon as it is used as a suppression tool by the ruling regime in Egypt to suppress its political opponents.

Moreover, many people who appeared later they don’t return back to their houses but they appear in front of the prosecution that refuses to record their abduction for months or torture details. Some enforced disappearance cases have suffered complete or partial paralyze or they suffer from physical performance disabilities as a result of torture during the abduction period.”

The Horror of Torture

“Torture has turned to a systematic method used by the security arms in Egypt under complete supervision from the specialized institutions. The Egyptian authorities do not care about the human rights declarations and treaties against torture; they also do not care about joining or ratifying these treaties to escape from the responsibility.”

Different studies showed that citizens are subjected to different kinds of physical and psychological tortures inside prisons and custody.

During the last three years, 400 people died because of torture or medical negligence in Egypt’s prisons and custody. According to Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, ”236 Egyptian citizens have been tortured inside prisons and custody during the first half of the year 2016.”

Crimes against Members of Parliament and University Professors

Egypt is one of the most dangerous places for MPs in the world, according to certified statistics. The report shed light on the price paid by the MPs for defending the basic human rights and the freedom of expression.

In addition, the International Parliamentary Union stressed the risks facing members of parliament in many countries, which include death, torture, and freedom of expression violation and arrest.

It added that the MPs in Egypt have faced massive violations when they called for stopping the suppression tools used by the regime against its opponents in particular and the Egyptian public in general. In this context, there are five persons who died among Egyptian MPs and 108 who are still detained (including the former head of the Egyptian Parliament Saad al-Katatni).”

“ There were violations against many MPs as arrest and detention, as well as other violations in prisons and custody, and unfair trials against many MPs that led to their imprisonment and even execution. Many MPs death cases were recorded in prisons and custody as a result of deliberate medical negligence,” according to JHR report.

The JHR recorded violations towards university intellectuals in Egyptian universities which included 13 deaths, 255 detainees, 12 death penalties, 9 life sentences, and 59 persons were fired from their jobs and 131 administratively punished.

Prisons” Are Graves

The conditions in the Egyptian prisons are generally terrifying in terms of prisoners’ human rights violations that occurred without any accountability or responsibility. Almost all Egyptian prisons contain serious contraventions that violate the international laws, covenants, and conventions”.

The report said, “Egypt has more than (forty prisons besides 382 detention headquarters in police stations), as well as secret prisons in the central security camps and the security teams that follow the Interior Ministry, and inside the headquarters related to the Defense’s military. During the last three years, the government has officially approved the construction of new prisons, despite the economic crises experienced by Egypt. ”

“Since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian prisons have been stacked with large numbers of opponents, where hundreds have died as a result of torture or medical negligence, reaching (495 dead) inside prisons, custody, and detention headquarters.”

JHR said, “The most important violations that occur in Egyptian prisons are malnutrition, overcrowding, lack of medical care in prisons, and the unavailability of specialist doctors inside prisons, and the intransigence during the visit, and torture, which reaches horrible stages sometimes.”

Transferring Civilians to Military Trials

The JHR has recorded the transfer of at least 7500 civilians including (men, women, students, university professors and others) to military trials. Since the issuance of the Decree Law 136 of 2014, was issued that expanded the power of the military justice authorities, and it also dealt with the public properties as military installations ( under its authority)and not because of crimes that might affect the armed forces.

Crimes against the Egyptian Women

JHR has recorded the violations against a number of women who have been subjected to enforced disappearance and detention. Taking  into consideration dozens of enforced disappearance cases which were deleted due to monitoring difficulties as well as the death cases of women with unknown identity especially from North Sinai at al-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid.

“Since 2013, woman arrest has become a regular issue, and the violations against women have diversified to include extrajudicial killings in streets and universities (95 women and girls), random arrests (49 until now), fabricated charges, humiliating treatment inside prisons, police stations in all Egypt’s governorates, as well as enforced disappearances that have not appeared till now (10 cases).

JHR report also added that the judicial institution has participated with the executive institution in the violations against the Egyptian women. In fact, the Egyptian courts carry out trials that lack the fair trial’s standards. As a result, the Egyptian judiciary has witnessed unprecedented unfair accusations and court rulings that violate all treaties and conventions which were ratified by Egypt to support women’s economic, political and social rights.

Violations against President Morsi

JHR has documented, “Several violations against President Mohamed Morsi, including violations of the constitution, international treaties, and conventions. The first violation was the military coup against the people’s will that elected him and democracy.  Disabling the provisions of the Constitution and laws as well as preventing the state institutions and public authorities from exercising their work and changing the regime by force, which is punishable under the law of Egypt’s Penal Code, in its articles 86 (repeated), 87,92”

It continued, “Second, Morsi was abducted together with his presidential team and they were prevented from communicating their families or lawyers, (arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearance process), especially that the abduction process was recognized and written by the investigating judge in the case papers. In addition to the phone call leaks that have confirmed through technical reports the occurrence of the abduction. ”

It added, “Third, his trials on political issues have resulted in death penalties and life sentences. The defense lawyers have stated that the court did not respond to many crucial demands that prove the unreliability of many incidents.”

“Fourth, his family has been banned from visiting him for three years ago.  The Public Prosecution as well the prison administration refuse to allow his family to visit him.”

Violations Against Children

“Even the children have not been excluded from violations from June 2013 until now, as they were subjected to arrest, torture, sexual abuse in custody, death sentences, and others were sentenced to periods in prison, in an explicit violation of the Child Law, the Egyptian Constitution, and international treaties. The children also suffered from routine human rights violations by holding them in custody for long periods of time. They were also subjected to physical and psychological abuse, as well as to preventing them from communicating with their lawyers, their families or the outside world.”

The JHR documented the arrest of 1200 children, 420 who are still in custody up to now, as well as the death of a number of children in various events that reached 102 children. In addition, the number of torture cases reached 850, and the number of sexual violence cases reached 28 for children.

The JHR also noted that the Egyptian courts referred the papers of 1814 Egyptian citizens to the Grand Mufti to give his opinion, in preparation for their execution. The Egyptian courts have issued final judgments regarding the execution of 757 citizens that still can be appealed to the Court of Cassation. However, 7 citizens have been executed until now.
Since the military coup in 2013 that completes its third year on June 30, Egypt has turned into a huge prison were men, adults, women, girls, and children were not excluded from human rights violations and abuses. Throughout the three years, the military regime has not accomplished any achievement economically, politically or socially. However, the only record that was filled by the military regime was the human rights record which has become full of disappeared victims, prisoners, and dead citizens. In fact, this is a bitter recap for a bitter reality.