Human rights in Egypt was a topic tackled by writers in different newspapers and perspectives on Monday in light of mounting narratives aimed at facing violence and extremism.
Lawyer and former TV host Khaled Abou Bakr wrote about the International Youth Forum held this week in Sharm El-Sheikh in the local pro-state private Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper. Abou Bakr’s main argument was to defend the costly event against poor education and health sectors of the country.
The entire piece was dedicated to praising the forum and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi by placing human rights in the centre of the argument: the event calls on the world’s responsibility towards protecting humanity from terrorism and will attract foreign investment and tourism which will generate job opportunities.
Similarly, journalist and anchor Emad El-Din Adeeb said he “liked” Al-Sisi’s speech about the human rights, particularly “the right to resisting terrorism,” which the president said was “a new right he added” during a speech at the forum.
In a short op-ed in the private Al-Watan newspaper, Adeeb argued that the recent Texas attack proved once more that terrorism hits everywhere, that it is the first challenge facing humanity in the next 100 years and that killing, explosion and torture happen despite that Islam strongly rejected harming others.
Meanwhile on human rights, two pieces featured in the private Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper on Tuesday.
On one hand, Mohamed Aboul Ghar, former president of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party wrote in Al-Masry Al-Youm criticizing how local authorities deal with Copts right to pray.
Recently, Copts in Minya have reported difficulties in being able to pray, including a statement by Bishop Makarios in October claiming that places for worship have been closed in Minya after sectarian threats. Aboul Ghar called for the end of customary reconciliation and seriousness of law reinforcement to face extremists.
Meanwhile, female activist and Founder and Director of the Appropriate Communication Techniques (ACT) shed light on a continuing case of gender discrimination related to the appointment of women in judiciary positions at the State Council.
As the council is to issue a verdict Saturday regarding the lawsuit filed by a woman who was denied applying to a position, Kamel recounted the historical background of what she described as
“arbitrary exclusion of women,” explaining that male dominance always argued that women won’t be fit for the job of judges because f their domestic duties.
“It is not possible that in 2017, labelled as the year of women’ that they only represent 0.5 percent of judges due to masculine reasons that contradict the principle of equal citizenship between men and women guaranteed in the constitution.
On the issue of terrorism, ex-jihadist and former leader in Gama’a Islamiyaa Nageh Ibrahim tackled Al-Qaeda’s influence in North Africa, in light of Al-Wahat shoot-out which killed over a dozen of police officers. Ibrahim’s analysis previously established a link between the little-known group “Ansar Al-Islam” which claimed the shoot-out and “Al-Mourabitoun” group, saying both belong to Al-Qaeda.
Ibrahim raised the question of whether there was a rise of Al-Qaeda influence after the shrinking of the Islamic State group, arguing that it has organised groups which have developed martial skills and professional military planning. According to him, Hisham Al-Ashamwy, the dismissed military officer believed to have been involved Al-Wahat, an opposer of IS, founded the Egyptian branch of the Al-Mourabitoun led by Al-Qaeda’s Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
On an economic level, two experts commented on the decline of Egypt in the international ranking from place 122 to 128 according to World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018 issued last week.
In Al-Shorouk, Ziad Bahaa El-Din, former chairman of the General Authority for Investment, said that the Ministry of Investment is not the only entity responsible for such depressing results, adding that although important, the report isn’t the most indicative of the investment environment in Egypt.
For his part, Abdul Moneim Saeed, current member of the National Council to Combat Terrorism, that Egypt’s retreat has been ongoing since 2011. Saeed linked the investment circumstances to a broader political view which he argued should focus on decentralization and inclusiveness of the local communities who shall benefit benefit from investment project.