In 2016, Egyptian human rights lawyers launched “Freedom for the Black Gown,” a campaign dedicated to highlighting the ongoing crackdown that had expanded to include the legal community. The campaign
A stifling and restrictive environment for freedom of expression and the press in Egypt is visible in the way journalists and media workers find themselves caught in an intricate and complex web of bureaucratic measures, laws and regulations whose primary function is to impede independent, critical reporting and entrench the state’s censorship over content to ultimately establish control over narrative.
Going forward it’s important to identify and prioritize realistic demands that protect or expand valuable space for Egyptians to build civil society and protect essential rights that governments can unify their pressure around. By chipping away at the regime’s authoritarian excesses the international community, alongside Egyptian civil society, can help make incremental progress that benefit all Egyptians.
Prior to the constitutional declaration of August 2019, regional actors aligned themselves with Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC), some of whose members remain on the Sovereign Council, to promote their respective national interests. Most of these engagements ultimately proved destabilizing for the country in transition, and questions persist about the direction of Sudan in light of the various international influences.
Syria is a society in the midst of ongoing conflict with no clear political prospect of an end in sight. Heinous crimes have been committed and continue to be committed
In recent years, the Egyptian regime has promoted a new “vision” of Islam, both locally and internationally, to combat terrorism and religious extremism. President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi not only called for the renewal of “religious discourse” to fight terrorism at the beginning of his presidency, but he also has on numerous occasions highlighted the need for correcting the image of Islam by shaking the “dust” off the Islamic heritage in line with the modern age.
A more effective and consistent approach would be if Congress establishes a commission made up of human rights and democracy experts, half chosen by the administration and half chosen by Congress, with the entire group subject to Senate confirmation, to judge whether countries have met the benchmarks.
In 2015, the World Health Organization forewarned that Syrian refugees living in Egypt were at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders than members of the host population due to chronic unemployment, financial hardship, violations of individual rights, as well as the residual effects of trauma they experienced during conflict and as a result of recent displacement. Today, the same risks factors have been met and exacerbated by the lack of social protection mechanisms and legal enforcement in place to prevent and penalize abuse and discrimination towards refugees across Egypt.
Regardless of the political outcome, Kirkukis are demanding their say in the future. Civil society, youth, and intellectuals of the city are and must be further engaged to be represented in determining their future.
The death of President Beji Caid Essebsi in July of this year and the prospect of elections in the fall leave the question open about what, if anything, will be done in the sphere of transitional justice.