Commentary

Why Egypt Must Work Toward Abolishing the Death Penalty
Sherif Azer
09/19/2017

International rights groups this summer criticized death sentences issued by the Egyptian judiciary following what they called unfair trials, with convictions based on confessions obtained through torture. Since 2013, courts in Egypt have handed down hundreds of death sentences. On Monday, hundreds of defendants facing the death penalty in a mass trial were instead sentenced to jail. But despite the Egyptian judiciary’s current fad of sponsoring

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TIMEP Brief: Torture in Egyptian Detention Centers
TIMEP
09/15/2017

The use of torture in police and military prisons and detention centers has been thoroughly documented by rights groups in Egypt, despite government claims that the use of torture is rare. Since 2011, the number of cases seems to have increased, suggesting that the practice is becoming more systemic. Because of the sensitivity associated with such cases, exact figures are difficult to verify. However, between June 2014 and January 1, 2016, there

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U.S. Aid to Egypt Should Hinge on Rule of Law
Brad Youngblood
09/13/2017

The United States Department of State announced three weeks ago that it would withhold $95.7 million in aid from Egypt and delay a further $195 million because of the country’s lack of respect for human rights. This decision surprised analysts as much as it reportedly startled the Egyptian government. Recent statements by President Donald Trump, his senior advisor Jared Kushner, and others in the administration had given the impression that human

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Egypt’s Ban on Church Trips Sends Dangerous Message
Ishak Ibrahim
09/01/2017

Coptic monasteries and moulids, the celebrations of saints that bring hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors to holy sites across Egypt, are usually overflowing during the summer. But this year, they are almost empty, thanks to the decision made by Egyptian churches to cancel all church trips and conferences. The decision, made following security instructions issued in fear of Copts becoming the targets of even more terrorist attacks,

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Egypt Softens Tone in U.S. Relations
Dalia Rabie
08/30/2017

Prior to President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi’s first visit to the White House in April, it was reported that his United States counterpart, Donald Trump, sought to “reboot” the countries’ bilateral relations. It wasn’t long before Egypt’s media were hailing a new era in U.S.-Egypt ties, celebrating what was dubbed as a renewed historic partnership after a period of tense relations between the countries under the Barack Obama administration,

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SPECIAL BRIEFING: Developments in U.S.-Egypt Aid Relationship
TIMEP
08/24/2017

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS UPDATE, September 7, 2017: On September 6, the office of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), vice-chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, issued a summary of the Senate’s State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee (SFOPS) fiscal year 2018 spending bill. With regard to Egypt, the bill proposes the allocation of $1 billion in security assistance, a $300 million cut from the levels enacted in past years, and from

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Visions or Illusions? State Development Plans and Violence in al-Warraq
Omnia Khalil
08/03/2017

Sayed Hassan al-Gezawy, better known as Sayed Tafshan, was killed on July 16, 2017, in clashes that started between security forces and the residents of al-Warraq in Egypt’s Giza governorate. Residents of the Nile island had been shocked that morning to find that security forces were starting to tear down houses while some residents were at work. Demonstrations started in an attempt to prevent the demolition of the homes, and security forces started

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Measuring Success in Egypt’s War on Terror
Allison McManus
07/27/2017

The Egyptian Ministry of Defense posted a grainy video to its YouTube channel on Monday: A vehicle slowly approaches a checkpoint south of Arish. Nearby cars drive away and people scatter as a military tank crushes the vehicle, and presumably anyone who was inside. As the tank is driven away, a large explosion fills the screen—the detonation sends cars flying and covers the roadway in plumes of black smoke. “Success for the Heroes of the Armed

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Egypt’s Ad Campaign for Investment Law Glosses over Economic Challenges
Mohamed El Dahshan
07/20/2017

A television commercial showed beautiful young people walking out on their daily jobs, launching a homemade jam company, a food truck, or a designer furniture store. A voiceover promised that the new investment law will give “exceptional incentives to small companies, especially youth, women, entrepreneurs, and startups.” The unusual advertisement, which began airing during evening prime time throughout June as viewers tuned in to watch their

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Egypt’s Payroll Is Fine, but Its Revenues Are Too Low.
Osama Diab
07/05/2017

Throughout June, the Egyptian cabinet and parliament debated a budget for the 2017–18 fiscal year, which began on July 1. The budget has been referred to in Egypt as the “IMF budget” due to the number of restrictions in an austerity program imposed by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF—which approved a $12 billion package of loans in November 2016, in exchange for a number of reforms—aims to reduce Egypt’s public spending from around

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