Former minister denied prison visits for 4 years, example of Sisi’s human rights abuse

Wife of former Egyptian Supply Minister Bassem Odeh complains that the security forces have denied her husband the right to prison visits for four years

On this day in 2016, the family of the former Egyptian Minister of Supply was allowed to visit him, where he has been denied prison visits since that time.

The Egyptian security services arrested Odeh on Tuesday 28 January 2014 near the Al-Beheira governorate.

Odeh has been described as Egypt’s best Minister of Supply in recent history due to his great efforts to develop the Ministry, efforts that have been felt by all Egyptians, forcing even his opponents to testify to his efficiency.

This is so because he succeeded in resolving several severe crises that remained unresolvable for many years that saw the succession of a number of governments. Foremost among these crises was the crisis of the cooking gas bottles and the bread loaf crisis. This is despite the fact that he was in office for no more than six months.

The young smart face minister won the hearts of the Egyptians and set an example as to how the youth of the January revolution could be empowered. His ministry was considered the one ministry that is closest to the needs and daily concerns of the poor.

Oudeh took charge of the Ministry of Supplies in January 2013. His time in the ministry was characterized by a strong interaction with the masses. He also succeeded in standing up to rampant corruption within his ministry and provided innovative solutions to some of the problems facing him.

Oudeh managed to resolve the crisis of the bread loaf and raised its quality to an unprecedented standard. Within less than two months he was able to rid this sector of corruption although the Egyptians suffered from the bread crisis for many years. He also resolved the crisis of diesel and raised Egypt’s wheat production to levels not attained for many decades so much so that as far as this strategic crop is concerned the country was nearing self-sufficiency.

Several nicknames were given to Oudeh, including “The Minister of the Poor”, “The Minister of the People” and “The Minister of the Destitute” because of his espousal of their causes and because of feeling for their suffering. Even some of the staunchest opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood could not but acknowledge that he was the best minister in Hisham Qandil’s cabinet.

Oudeh  was born in Al-Manufiah Governorate on 16 March 1970 to a middle class family. His father worked as a director in one of the education departments. He is married and has four children.

Sisi terrorizing opponents

Sisi’s regime is terrorizing its opponents, with a record rise in number of executions in Egypt, after carrying out 53 executions only during last month, against 43 executions carried out on an annual basis in 2018 and 2019.

The Al-Akhbar Lebanese newspaper has published a new report on implementation of death sentences in Egypt during the recent period.

The report said that the regime has been expanding – in an unprecedented way – its implementation of death sentences over the past period, where the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has documented this issue, monitoring the implementation of 53 executions during the past month (October) alone.

In 2018, the Egyptian regime carried out only 43 executions, a number close to that number which was carried out in 2019; but October 2020 was the month of executions par excellence.

It is customary for the Ministry of Interior to announce the death sentences it carries out in brief statements, but this custom has almost completely stopped for months, while the implementation of about ten death sentences is monitored every month since the beginning of this year.

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper says that “such executions are carried out only with the approval of the President of the Republic after his ratification of the execution of the punishment.”

There are hundreds – now – inside prisons awaiting either execution of the sentence after all levels of litigation have been exhausted, or a presidential pardon that is not usually issued against those sentenced to death except in limited cases.

According to a rights statistics, 34 defendants were executed last month in criminal cases, while the rest were in cases of a political nature.