Egypt. According to
countryaah, the opposition gathered its forces during the year
and launched the Mayihkomsh campaign in October (roughly "he
should not rule"). Among the inmates were Ayman Nur, leader
of the opposition party al-Ghad (Morning Day), who was
released Feb. 18 from prison where, despite many believing
he was innocent, he served a five-year sentence for document
forgery since December 2005. The Mayihkomsh campaign was
aimed primarily at President Hosni Mubarak's supposed plans
to inherit his son Gamal Mubarak. In addition to al-Ghad, a
wide spectrum of opposition groups also participated in the
banned Islamist organization Muslim Brotherhood and the
Facebook-based April 6 movement, whose members were mostly
highly educated young adults.
A 17-year-old French tourist was killed and a total of 21
people were injured on February 22 when an explosive charge
exploded in the Khan el-Khalili base station in central
Cairo. Three Egyptians were reported the day after being
arrested for involvement in the attack. Another seven people
who were said to have ties to the al-Qaeda terror network
were arrested in May.
Parliament voted in February for a law with harsher
penalties for sexual harassment. Among other things,
telephone harassment was charged with high fines. The law
also stated that the police must investigate every
allegation of sexual harassment, something that has often
not happened before.
Mamdouh Ismail, owner of the sunken ferry Al Salam
Boccaccio 98, was sentenced March 11 to seven years in
prison for causing death to another in connection with the
ferry disaster that claimed more than 1,300 lives in 2006.
Ismail was in exile.
With reference to the spread of the new influenza A/
H1N1, also called swine flu, the government ordered at the
end of April that all the country's total about 250,000 pigs
should be slaughtered. The action made many Coptic pig
US President Barack Obama visited Egypt on June 4, giving
a speech at Cairo University urging Americans and Muslims to
meet in the fight against extremism. The speech contained a
number of Koran quotes and phrases in Arabic.
Egypt made many attempts during the year to mediate in
the conflict between the rival Palestinian movements Hamas
Tensions arose between Egypt and Algeria in connection
with the World Cup qualifiers in football in November.
In October-December, the regime sought to conduct
parliamentary elections, which, however, were met with
massive electoral boycotts by civil society. Only 10% voted
and the elected parliament had no popular legitimacy.
As revenge for Russia's entry into the war in Syria, IS
crashed into the Russian airplane over Sinai in late
October. ( How Sinai became a magnet for terror,
Guardian 8/11 2015). Since al-Sisi's military coup 2˝
years earlier, reasonable relations had been developed
between Egypt and Russia, and hundreds of thousands of
Russians traveled to Egypt each year as tourists. The
downturn of the aircraft was supposed to put an end to this
flow, thus affecting Egypt's already strained economy.
In December 2015, the dictatorship brought 730 people to
court in a mass trial. Including photojournalist Mahmoud
Abou Zeid, who was accused of belonging to a "criminal
group" and of murder after documenting a protest action in
Cairo in August 2013.
The dictatorship decided in February 2016 to close the
independent Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture
and Violence Victims. The closure triggered protests not
only from the center itself, but also from Amnesty
International, Human Rights Watch and the Danish Dignity
Center Against Torture, which worked with Nadeem. The
decision to close was formally taken by the «Ministry of
Health», which sent two police officers to close the center.
In previous months, the regime had focused on shutting down
the independent human rights organizations in the country to
stop the flow of information on the serious human rights
situation. ( Egyptian anti-torture group vows to defy
government move to shut it down, Guardian 22/2
2016). Later in February, the regime murdered Italian
student Giulio Regeni, found on the outskirts of Cairo, with
clear signs of torture. The European Parliament expressed
moderate concern, while in April Italy withdrew its
ambassador from the country.
Saudi Arabia's dictator Salman visited Egypt in April.
The two countries signed economic cooperation agreements
worth $ 25 billion. US $ and Saudi Arabia were also assigned
to the two Egyptian islands in Aqaba Bay of Tiran and
Sanafir. However, in order to avoid getting too much into
the pocket of Saudi Arabia, Egypt sought to play on several
horses and strengthened relations with Russia. It had the
interesting consequence that President Sisi announced in
November that Egypt supported Bashar al-Assad's stay on the
presidential post in Syria. A break with the politics of
previous years. A foreign affairs analysis in
February 2017 pointed out that the exchange rate was also
due to the two countries' joint enemy, IS, the shared
suspicion of Turkey and its superpower ambitions and that
Egypt did not share Saudi Arabia's hatred of Iran.