December 18, 2014

European Parliament Votes in Support of Palestinian Statehood

On 17 December 2014 the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution in support – "in principle" – of Palestinian Statehood. 

The resolution was drawn up by five political groups and passed by Parliament as a whole, by 498 votes to 88, with 111 abstentions.

Here is the adopted text in full:



The raw text:


P8_TA-PROV(2014)0103
Recognition of Palestine statehood
PE539.000
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on recognition of Palestine statehood (2014/2964(RSP))

The European Parliament,
      having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East peace process,
      having regard to the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council on the Middle East Peace Process of 17 November 2014,
      having regard to the statements of the High Representative/Vice-President on the attack in the Har Nof synagogue of 18 November 2014, on the terrorist attack in Jerusalem of 5 November 2014, and to the statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative on the latest developments in the Middle East of 10 November 2014,
      having regard to the announcement of the Swedish government on the recognition of the State of Palestine of 30 October 2014, as well as the earlier recognition by other Member States before joining the European Union,
      having regard to the motions on the recognition of the State of Palestine approved in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on 13 October 2014, the Irish Senate on 22 October 2014, the Spanish Parliament on 18 November 2014, the French National Assembly on 2 December 2014, and the Portuguese Assembly on 12 December 2014,
      having regard to International Law,
      having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,
A.      whereas the EU has repeatedly confirmed its support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security and called for the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority;
B.      whereas finding a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, has been a key concern for the international community, including the European Union, for more than half-a-century;
C.      whereas direct peace talks between the parties are stalled; whereas the EU has called on the parties to pursue actions conducive to an environment of confidence necessary to ensure meaningful negotiations, to refrain from actions that undermine the credibility of the process and to prevent incitement;
D.      whereas in its resolution of 22 November 2012, the European Parliament stressed that peaceful and non-violent means are the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, called for the creation of the conditions for the resumption of direct peace talks between the two parties, supported, in this connection, Palestine’s bid to become a UN non-member observer, considered this an important step in making Palestinian claims more visible, stronger and more effective, and called on, in this connection, the EU Member States and the international community to find an agreement in this direction;
E.      whereas the United Nations General Assembly decided on 29 November 2012 to grant Palestine non-member observer state status in the UN;
F.      whereas the recognition of the State of Palestine falls in the competence of the Member States;
G.      recalling the commitment of the PLO to recognise the state of Israel since 1993;
1.      Supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced;
2.      Supports the efforts of President Abbas and the Palestinian national consensus government; stresses again the importance of consolidating the authority of the Palestinian consensus government and its administration in the Gaza Strip; urges all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to accept the commitments of the PLO and end internal divisions; calls for continued EU support and assistance for Palestinian institutional capacity-building;
3.      Expresses grave concern at the growing tensions and increasing violence in the region; condemns in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism or violence, and extends its condolences to the families of the victims; warns about the risks of further escalation of violence involving holy sites, which could transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious conflict; calls on political leaders from all sides to work together through visible actions to de-escalate the situation and stresses that non-violent means and respect for human rights and humanitarian law are the only way to achieve a sustainable solution and a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; underlines that any violent action can only fuel extremism on both sides; urges all parties to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement, provocation, excessive use of force or retaliation;
4.      Stresses also that actions, which call into question stated commitments to a negotiated solution must be avoided; underlines that settlements are illegal under international law; calls on both parties to refrain from any action which may undermine the viability and the prospects of the two-state solution;
5.      Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect of international law;
6.      Welcomes the recent visit of the High Representative/Vice-President to Israel and to Palestine and her commitment to engage proactively in a positive process aimed at breaking the circle of the conflict and creating the conditions for genuine progress in the peace process; believes that the European Union should take its responsibility and become a genuine actor and facilitator in the Middle East peace process, also with a view to the need of the resumption of the peace talks, including through a common approach and a comprehensive strategy for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; reiterates that a diplomatic approach under the auspices of the Middle East Quartet is necessary and recalls the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative;
7.      Calls on the HR/VP to facilitate a common EU position in this regard;
8.      Underlines the need for a comprehensive peace, ending all claims and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both parties, including those of Israelis for security and those of Palestinians for statehood; stresses that the only possible solution to the conflict is the coexistence of two States, Israel and Palestine;
9.      Decides to launch a “Parliamentarians for Peace” initiative aiming to bring together cross-party Members of European, Israeli and Palestinian Parliaments to help advance an agenda for peace and to complement EU diplomatic efforts;
10.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Middle East Quartet Envoy, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.
 --------------------------

January 09, 2014

Manal's Account of Alaa's Violent Arrest from their Home

The wife of Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, who is currently held in Tora prison in Cairo, recounts how he was taken from their home, when security officers without a warrant broke down the door to their apartment, beat him, slapped her, and then took him away.

The original report by Manal is in Arabic. An English translation was provided by Ahdaf Soueif on her facebook page, who kindly gave permisson to reproduce the translation here for readers who do not own a facebook account and would not be able to access it otherwise.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Manal's Account of Alaa's Violent Arrest from their Home

Arabic on Manal's FB page.

English translation by Ahdaf Soueif:


The Raid and theArrest

28 November is Safi’s birthday. The girls have organized a nice outing, but now that Alaa has decided to hand himself in to the Prosecutor's Office on Saturday we don’t have a lot of time left together, especially as I’m sure they’re going to lock him up.

After they broke up the protest (against the provision for the military trial of civilians in the draft constitution on the 26th November) and questioned the people they detained we could smell what was coming. The lawyers told us that every person they questioned was asked about their relationship with Alaa. And the thing is that Alaa was standing outside the police station where the questioning was happening for more than 8 hours. The lawyers said to the investigator if you want to ask Alaa about anything we can ask him to come in, but the investigator said something along the lines of “he can come and see us if he wants”.

The next day we hear the news about the arrest warrant and the scene is drawn.

Why was there an arrest warrant?

Why not start with “come in for questioning”, and if he doesn’t come then order the arrest? Especially since everyone knows that when the Military Prosecutor asked Alaa to come in for questioning he came back from abroad to present himself – even though he intended to refuse to co-operate with the exceptional military judicial system. And the whole process was repeated in the days of the Morsi presidency, and Alaa went and presented himself - even though he refused to be investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office because of its lack of neutrality.

But no, this time the Ministry of the Interior wanted to put on a show: “The Arrest of the Fugitive Criminal, Alaa Abd El Fattah”.

That night, I thought about just going out for a couple of hours and coming back quickly. That would be OK surely, especially since Alaa is very busy. But it feels like I’ve caught Khaled’s cold; every bit of me aches and I feel shivery, and on top of that I’m anxious and miserable. I actually find that I can’t get out of bed. In the afternoon I try to put Khaled down for a nap but he rebels and after an hour I’ve had enough so I get Alaa to take over and go to sleep.

I woke up, and slept again and woke up and slept again and woke up and started to get myself together to get out of bed. Alaa came in and I was just about to ask him to be a sweetie and make me a tea when the door of the flat burst open (you can see it from our bed) and a swarm of people were in our room; some in civilian clothes and some in flak jackets and some in masks, their machine guns aimed at our faces as I sat on the edge of the bed in my pyjamas.

They were yelling:

“No-one move!”

“Stay where you are –“

“Cuff him!”

“Lie on your belly!”

And all I could think of was Khaled, “My son my son - let me see my son ...”

“Stay where you are!”

I saw a man bringing handcuffs and I couldn’t see Alaa. Between him and me there were ten people or more (I think it was more than 20 people in this raid) and it seemed they’d got him face down on the floor.

“My son my son .. ”

A man in a civilian suit - who looked like he was running the show - gestured to let me go see Khaled. As I got up I saw several of them had their mobiles out and were taking pictures.

I went to Khaled and found him asleep in his room on the big bed and I thanked God. I closed the door and tried to collect myself. In the corridor a man in civilian clothes was coming out of the kitchen carrying a laptop.

I went into the hall and I could hear someone calling out “Come here, Mrs, and get him some clothes”. From the corner of my eye I can see the man who took the laptop now taking Alaa’s mobile that was lying on the sofa. I can hear them talking and understand that Alaa is getting the clothes for himself and someone says “Don’t bother, Mrs”, and the man with the laptop and the mobile goes into the room. I’m in the hall and I can’t see what’s happening in the room because of the number of people blocking the doorway.

I hear Alaa say to them “What are you doing? These are my wife’s things. Do you have a warrant? It’s done; you’ve arrested me. Now, do you have a search warrant? I want to see the warrant”. I understand they’re taking my laptop and mobile that I’d left on the bedside table when I went to bed.

I started demanding the warrant too: “Do you have a warrant from the Prosecutor? Excuse me, I’d like to see the warrant - ”

It was as if the word “warrant” was the filthiest name you could call their mothers. They got angry. I heard them say to Alaa “if you carry on asking for the warrant you’ll go out like this.” 3 or 4 men crowded around me, dragged me by the hair and pushed me onto the sofa and started slapping me. One held me down by the hair, the other held me by my right arm. I think I insulted one – a polite insult of course like "what do you think you’re doing you animal" – and of course they carried on beating me and calling me a “whore” and “the daughter of a whore." In the background I saw Alaa being pushed from the room to the hall to outside the flat in the house clothes that he was wearing.

And suddenly it was as if I was outside the scene and it turned into a surrealist spectacle from which I remember shots like in a comic strip: close-up on an unshaved face and yellow teeth while he’s hitting me and insulting me. Or the boss in the suit hitting me and calling me names and all I can think of is how much he acts like Tohamy Bey in the ad series on Melody channel, “Aflam Masri Omm el-Agnabi” ("Egyptian Drama Beats Western Drama").

Anyone who’s worried about me: please don’t be. I didn’t feel violated or broken. No. I was strong. You know, my worst nightmare is being abused and trying to scream but my voice does’t come out – and that didn’t happen. Actually, for a moment, I pitied them: the Ministry and the officers and their thugs and Sisi and SCAF. I felt they were so tiny – I’m not sure how to describe this, but I kind of thought “wow - Alaa’s really driving you this mad? You need to put together this whole exhibition to show your strength and feel that you’ve got power - and now? Now you think you’re really something?"

I’m not coming on like some hero with a whole “they won’t break us” rhetoric. No. This was really how I felt, and at that moment I decided to stop resisting and trying to escape the blows: let the scene come to an end so we can get on with what we need to do.

They left and I felt a massive surge of anger. I went onto the balcony to see where they were taking Alaa and was stunned by the rest of the spectacle: our house is on the corner of 2 streets and it turned out there was another group – other than the twenty who broke into our house – most of them masked, positioned at the intersection of the 2 narrow streets and aiming their guns at all the windows and balconies, yelling “Get inside! Close your window!”


Post-Arrest Confusion

What drove me nuts most was that they took the mobiles. How can all this happen and I can’t tell anyone? (My landline doesn’t work). The anger started to turn into confusion and helplessness. I can’t take control and decide on the next step. I want to go down to the neighbours. Can I leave Khaled alone? Where are my slippers? Where are the keys?

Luckily, my neighbours came to the rescue. They came up and I told them what happened quickly: they hit me ya Tante .. they took the mobiles .. Khaled’s fine .. I need a phone.

My neighbor gives me her mobile. Who should I call? All the names vanished from my head. I should call Alaa’s mother, Tante Laila. She doesn’t reply. Who else? His father. I don’t know the number by heart. Mona? I’m not sure of the number. I try anyway but it doesn’t answer. I call Tante Laila again and she answers and she was on her way to us anyway. I told her. She said “I’m getting off the microbus; seconds and I’ll be with you”. All this happened in about ten minutes. I think they came at about 9.30 and by twenty to ten they were gone.

Thank God that Khaled was asleep. Thank God I didn’t go out. If I’d gone out and left Khaled with Alaa, what would have happened?

The rest of the night is foggy. I had no sense of time. I was lost and trying to hold onto details and things to do so I could feel I was in control.

Family and friends and lawyers came straight away – or maybe after a while.

Khaled woke up and of course was infected with the tension and anxiety. He keeps coming to find me and throwing himself at me .. crying. I try to get someone from the family to take care of him so I can get on with what I’m doing. He won’t calm down. Where’s the pacifier? I go to look for it in our room and notice for the first time the bloodstains on the floor. In the spot where they had Alaa in cuffs.

If they hit me because I asked for the warrant, and injured Alaa after they handcuffed him, what will they do to him when they’ve got him locked up?

Locked up where?

This was a question we couldn’t answer. Phone calls didn’t come up with anything (everyone who has a connection with the “democratic” government or relationships with the Ministry of the Interior didn’t get their calls answered), nor did our tour of the police stations and the security directorates and the central security camps.The visitors started to leave. Khaled went to sleep. Only some of the family remained. I start to prepare the prison suitcase and find inside it most of the things we packed the day Alaa went to hand himself in to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Public Prosecutor – also in a fabricated case not much different from this one.

At last, in the morning, I slept. And woke up an hour and a half later to a phone call from my mother-in-law: “Alaa will be questioned in the Cairo Security Directorate and the lawyers are on their way to him”.


The Independence of the Prosecutor’s Office

Firstly, why does the Prosecution agree to question an accused person in the security directorate? Why? Of course some people will ask: and what’s the problem? I’ll tell you what the problems are.

Three lawyers attended Alaa’s questioning; the others were refused permission (1). We sat, the family and lawyers in some office in the Directorate and we had to endure the oiliness of the officers and their analysis of the political situation (2). Oiliness must be a condition of acceptance in the force.

I took out my tablet and got engrossed in anything so I wouldn’t be part of the conversation. A bottle of water in my bag meant I wouldn’t have to accept any offers of drinks.

So it turns out the oily cuties at the desk have been taking photos of us with their mobiles and next day an item appears on the al-Ahram portal: “Alaa Seif’s family enjoy the hospitality of the Ministry of the Interior in consideration of the human aspect (of the case)”, as though they'd taken us out on a picnic on Orphan’s Day (3). Anyway, we will be suing them for taking our photos without permission. If the questioning had been in a prosecutor’s office, this wouldn’t have happened. It would be good if we can demand compensation from the Public Prosecutor too, maybe they’ll learn a lesson.

The lawyers send word that the questioning is over and that now Alaa is being questioned as a plaintiff. Sometimes the lawyers drive me mad too: could you tell us if he was tortured? Could this be the first piece of information the lawyers pass on to the families?

After the questioning they allowed Mona and me to go up and see Alaa, and they promised that they’d let Tante Laila and Sanaa see him too – but of course they didn’t (4).

We saw him for 10 minutes, I just had time to find out he was OK and to tell him Khaled and I were fine. The last thing he saw before they took him was the police beating his wife. The last thing I knew of him was that he was injured while he was still at home.

I learned that he’d been hit on the head, probably with the butt of a gun, and I learned that he’d slept on the floor for 12 hours. For 6 hours his hands were cuffed behind his back and when they decided to show mercy they cuffed them in front of him. His left eye was very red and had something like a blood clot – probably because of the dirty cloth they blindfolded him with so tightly. He told me that Khaled had fallen asleep in his arms before they came. Good that they had some special time together before all this happened.

The 10 minutes were over and Alaa was taken away.

We started to leave but they said Alaa had to leave first and then we could go. We sat and chatted with the district prosecutor and made an appointment to go back and file a report on my being assaulted. I saw the list of confiscated items: two laptops and a mobile. It seems that the Ministry of the Interior isn’t going to mention the second mobile (the lawyers confirmed later that Alaa’s mobile never appeared on the list). I asked for the laptops and mobile back and the prosecutor promised they’d return them after we put this in my report – and he confirmed that the Ministry of the interior did not have a search warrant.

“So, what’s the decision?”

“The decision isn’t here yet.” He stares at the telephone.

It’s become so normal; he’ll reach his decision after he gets the phone call. They used to try and pretend; they’d make us leave the room as though the prosecutor was considering the case. Now, it’s totally normal and shameless: we’re waiting for the phone call.

We sat for over an hour waiting for the phone call, marooned upstairs, us and the prosecutor and his assistants, unable to move from the 6th floor. Well, when Your Honour agrees to leave the Prosecutor’s Office and go conduct your questioning in the Security Directorate you get locked up like any prisoner. I think this was also his punishment for allowing us to see Alaa for 10 minutes (5).

The funny thing, though, is that one of the lawyers got a phone call from a  journalist in al-Youm al-Sabe3 (The Seventh Day) informing him that Alaa was going to be remanded for 4 days – before even the prosecutor had got his phone call.

So what’s the difference between the prosecutor and the clerk who takes down the transcript except that maybe his spelling’s better? He asks some predictable questions and corrects the clerk’s spelling. Seriously, nothing more.

Well, tell us where Alaa will be taken? The answer: that’s up to the Ministry of the Interior.

We get information he’ll be taken to Tora Prison. But yesterday we got so many “definite” bits of information that we don’t believe anything any more. We spend another night unsure of where he is, until next day Sanaa manages to get a “tableyya” in to him (food that is handed to the prison administration without the family seeing the prisoner) in Tora Prison.

My questioning the next day isn’t that different: I tell the story of what happened and what they did to me, and I tell them how I was beaten because I asked to see the prosecutor’s warrant. No reaction. Well, Your Honour, I just don’t understand how you can look me in the eye. The Ministry of the Interior doesn’t own us; it owns you and your institution.

We asked about getting the laptops back. They said they’ve gone to the inspection department in the Ministry. The lawyers started to argue that any evidence – if found – would not be admissible in court because it was obtained without a warrant, and that the Ministry of the Interior took the equipment only to find pictures they could use to smear us, or confidential material related to our work or financial information. The prosecutor started to say it’s only your story that the laptops were taken from the house but the officer who recorded the confiscation says he arrested Alaa at a checkpoint and so it’s his right to confiscate the objects without a warrant.

The lawyers – who’d read the arrest and the confiscation reports - cut right through this. How have you sold yourselves so fully to the Ministry of the Interior? How can you lie so openly to shield them?

After a long argument with the prosecutor and the DA, and after we’d recorded in the report that we hold the Ministry of the Interior responsible for any smear campaigns, or any hacking of websites that we’d developed, or any publicizing of the confidential affairs of any of our clients – they gave us the reason for the inspection of our illegally confiscated machines: “the Ministry of the Interior wants this.” This is, of course, not just reason enough, it’s the motto of our times.

We have filed an emergency case to get back our equipment.


January 03, 2014

Young rapper from Egypt: "We girls are fed up."

The Egyptian student Mayam Mahmoud, 18, appeared on "Arabs Got Talent" – and became world famous as the singer with the headscarf. She lost in the casting show, but she keeps on rapping and fights for gender equality.

Here is the English translation to an interview, the German SPIEGEL did with her today:


SPIEGEL: Why do you write songs about discrimination and sexual harassment in your country?

Mahmoud: I don't write about politics, there are enough others doing that. I write about girl's stuff that effects me directly. And it's a fact that the girls here are simply fed up. Our daily life is full of stress. I really believe that the next revolution will be a women's revolution. Because I at least don't keep quiet if a guy harasses me. If he verbally assaults me, I verbally assault him. One guy once touched me, I grabbed him at his collar and punched him on the head. He was totally shocked. The problem is: We don't have laws here against sexual harassment and we shouldn't wait for them either. We ourselves must get active. There is an iPhone app with the name "True Caller", you can report bad guys there. And I did. I'm not against the men. I wish I could solve their problems. I wish I could heal them – heal them from whatever pushes them to hurt us.

SPIEGEL: Many Egyptians think that young women who speak up are a provocation. Weren't you afraid of being condemned by society?

Mahmoud: No, I'm not afraid to offend or being criticised. No one has the right to judge me. What can one expect from a society that puts marriage for a girl as the highest goal; of people who yell at you on the street: "May you soon be a bride"? Why do these people say: "Don't cry like a girl" or "She is an old spinster"? I hate that. Why don't they look at a man and deem him an old spinster? If a girl breathes loud they tell you to contain your breath so not to seduce someone! Our society demands girls to be split personalities. On the one hand they say: "You move so graciously" and on the other hand: "You arouse attention". Or: "Look down – but look enchanting."

SPIEGEL: And because your anger needed an outlet you started to rap?

Mahmoud: Well it is like this: I write poems since I was eight. Since I could read my parents gave me books as gifts. And my mother loves poetry, she taught me a lot about our poets. Since childhood I carry a little notebook around with me and I write into it about all sort of things, things I love and things I hate. Some poems are done in a very fast rhythm, so later I realised they could be good for rapping. So I started to rap and my parents loved it. My father encouraged me to go on. It was he too who convinced me to take part in the casting show "Arabs Got Talent".

SPIEGEL: After your appearance you became known worldwide as Egypt's youngest rapper wearing a headscarf ...

Mahmoud: Well, my father didn't want me to wear the headscarf, but I wanted it. I was 13 when I decided to wear it. And that was my own decision. I like myself with it and I feel free with it, it is that simple. Ok, in the West many wonder how such ideas can live under the headscarf, but I don't like these stereotypes.

SPIEGEL: Three years ago your country experienced a revolution but not much has changed in the heads of the people, or what would you say?

Mahmoud: I was very happy when the revolution broke out in 2011 but I was too young to take to the streets, I was 15. Today I believe that the real revolution, the one in our heads, has not yet begun. Changes in society take time. They are only possible if the people realise that not the system but they themselves must change. To be honest, I don't believe that anything is going to change in the next ten years in Egypt.

SPIEGEL: What are your dreams? What are your hopes for the future?

Mahmoud: I wish I could bring about change in this world, at least in my country. That I can teach something to others and inspire them. Looking back I always wished to be a boy because everyone tried to make me believe I was just a girl that was not allowed to get injured while playing, because my face wouldn't be beautiful anymore. Because of this I envied my brother and his freedom and his wounds. But now I am proud to be a girl. Because women are not less tough than men, they are tougher. A woman who can give birth to a later president can become president herself. She only must believe in herself. There are so many girls who watched me on "Arabs Got Talent" and later wrote messages on facebook to me. They wrote that they decided to from now on not be quiet anymore. That made me proud.



October 03, 2013

EU HR Ashton at the end of her visit to Cairo

Remarks by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton at the end of her visit to Cairo, Egypt
 
3 October 2013

Hello everyone. It's very nice to see some faces I recognize here and to have the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with you on my trip to Cairo.

I've had a number of important meetings with the President, with the Deputy Prime Minister, with the Minister of Defence, the Foreign Minister, I've met with the Grand Imam, with the Coptic Pope, with civil society, with the Freedom and Justice Party and with the El Nour party. So I’ve held a broad range of discussions. I want to say at the beginning that it's very important for everyone to understand that I don't come here to interfere or to mediate. We are important partners together, the European Union and Egypt. We do a lot together.

I met yesterday morning with the Foreign Minister and our discussions focused on the work that we're doing together in trying to support the removal of chemical weapons in Syria for example, or the work that we've been doing together at the United Nations last week. So this is an important relationship that we want to build upon. Of course, I was extremely interested in talking about the economic and political situation here in Egypt. For the economy, the European Union is a strong partner and is working with the government, and with civil society, with others to see how we can best help and support especially the most vulnerable in society. We do that everywhere we possibly can and it's very important that we recognize the needs of those who are the most vulnerable.

In addition, of course, we focused too on the political situation here and the importance of Egypt moving forward. I remember well the events of January 2011, my meetings with so many people who told me their aspirations for a democratic Egypt. And I believe those aspirations remain the same. So it is extremely important to find a way to continue on that journey. I met with Amre Moussa, who I've known for a long time, to talk about the constitution, the work that is going on to engage people in the forming of the constitution. And in all our deliberations, we stress the importance of inclusiveness to ensure that the political future of Egypt belongs to the Egyptian people, that they are the decision makers, and that they have the opportunity with the elections, in the near future, to make their voices heard.

Inclusiveness means trying to involve everybody and that also means reaching out to each other. Because it is important to find ways to have the right kind of dialogue and that's what we've been urging everyone, not because we are interfering but because we know from our own experience in Europe how important it is to try to have the correct involvement and engagement. It's something that needs to be a process that continues. We don't insist on anything. It's your country. We are just, as I say, glad to be partners and glad to be supporters of Egypt finding its way to democracy in an inclusive way.

I think there has been quite a lot of outreach. What I mean by outreach is that I hear people saying we understand the importance of inclusivity. For example on the constitution, I think there have been ways in which people have tried to engage others. And that's really important in trying to find a way forward that's going to enable people to participate fully in political life. And my guess is that's a process that will take a little time. But it's important for everyone to feel that they're able to participate in a process as well as ultimately in political life in the future.

With General El Sisi, we discussed a whole range of issues. We discussed the situation in Sinai, which we are concerned about, and I expressed my condolences for the soldiers and police officers who have been killed there. We talked about the way in which the government is moving forward. We talked about the importance of this inclusive process. And we talked about the possibilities for helping the economy. So it was a very wide-ranging and I think a very important conversation in which we covered a variety of different issues. I can say that I got a real sense of everyone really trying to go forward in the right way.

It's been, as always, a great privilege to be in this country. I think it's my fourteenth visit and I look forward to my fifteenth visit. I wish everyone well. And I give through all of you my very best wishes to the people of Egypt.

Thank you.


January 31, 2013

"Give up your arrogant attitude and act in the interest of Egypt"

This remarkable open letter by the Egyptian-German author Hamed Abdel-Samad was published yesterday – prior to President Morsi's arrival in Berlin – in the German magazine SPIEGELonline. It not only prepared the Germans for what they were to expect from their guest, visiting with chancellor Merkel to discuss debt relief and financial aid – it also was a critical welcome message for the Egyptian President on his first arrival in Germany.

As the open letter was only published in German, here you find the English translation:

---------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Morsi, 
 


as an Egyptian who has lived in Germany for 17 years, I would have liked to receive the first democratically elected president of my country with a bouquet in Berlin.

Instead, I am obliged to confront you during your visit to Germany with a bunch of questions.

Questions that not only I pose but millions of young Egyptians who are disappointed in you and feel cheated out of their revolution. Questions that Mrs. Merkel should also ask herself before she calls you a "reliable" partner of the Federal Republic and a guarantor of "peace and stability" in the Middle East.

You have been elected democratically, Mr. Morsi, but a democrat you are not. You have come to power by legal means, but your power is not legitimate, as about 52 percent of Egypt's electorate voted for you because you promised to be a president for all Egyptians and to adopt a constitution that would represent all people in the country. You also promised that the objectives of the revolution – freedom, social justice and human dignity – would become the guidelines of your policy. But shortly after your election to many it become clear that you are just a bad copy of Mubarak. Your Muslim brothers kidnapped the constitutional assembly and in a cloak-and-dagger operation adopted a constitution which marginalised the liberal forces as well as the women and Copts. A constitution that expands the power of the President as if you never intended that ever another president will govern the country. The public debate on the new constitution you have nipped in the bud. The controversial draft you have signed immediately and put to the vote in a referendum.

Whoever questioned the plans of the Islamists was an infidel traitor

You have ignored the strong protests against this Constitution.

You have allowed that your followers besieged the Constitutional Court so that it could pass no judgment against the new constitution. You have watched as armed Islamist militias have attacked peaceful demonstrators in front of your palace.

Your followers turned the vote on the constitution into a decision about heaven and hell. Whoever was on your side was a good Muslim. Who questioned the plans of the Islamists was an infidel traitor. And so you deeply divided the country at a time when you should have played the role of the reconciler.

Tell me, Mr. President: What magic powers lie in your throne, which strange scents are sprayed around the presidential palace that in such short time you already behave like your predecessor Mubarak? You look down on the opposition and call your opponents traitors. You only believe reports produced by your confidants and you dance to the tune of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis. The most important posts you do not hand to the experts who have the skills but to people who are loyal to you. Also in your speeches you use the same empty phrases like Mubarak on growth, national security and the domestic and foreign conspiracy aimed at destabilising Egypt.

Why are you so thin-skinned, why can't you handle criticism, Mr. Morsi?

Like the party of Mubarak, your Muslim brothers try to gain control over all the institutions of the country at a rapid pace. Municipalities and unions are undermined and independent judges are being removed, critical media are intimidated, while the state media, as in the times of Mubarak, develop into a propaganda apparatus of the President and his entourage.

In one aspect you have even overtaken Mubarak: The number of journalists who are being prosecuted since your inauguration is higher according to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information as in the 30 years of Mubarak rule. For insulting the president alone, 24 journalists currently are under investigation in Egypt.

Why are you so thin-skinned? Why can't you handle criticism of your policies? And how after this great revolution can there be such an accusation as "insulting the president"? Did you forget that today you would not be president of Egypt if the youth of the revolution would not have insulted your predecessor? Journalists under your rule not only are brought to justice, but also deliberately liquidated. One case is especially important to me. Our colleague Al-Husseini Abu Deif was killed in front of your palace by armed Islamists on 5 December 2012.

He was killed by those militias that you had invited to your palace in order to protect you from the angry protesters. Mr President, who has killed Al-Husseini? And why is your judiciary occupied with the persecution of critical journalists rather than worrying about the murderers of Abu Deif? Now, thanks to your policy, chaos is reigning on the streets of Egypt.

Egypt needs strong institutions, transparency, opening

Tourists stay away from the country, domestic and foreign investors flee. The Egyptian pound loses value daily and the country's credit rating is downgraded to the level of Greece. All this because the security in the country and a predictable policy is lacking.

Unlike Iran or Saudi Arabia Egypt can not afford Islamism. The hungry can't feed of the Shari'a, and the youth, who has overcome fear, will not allow a new dictatorship. Even the Salafis and Jihadists, who support you now, soon will turn against you. If these religious zealots realise that you are just a political opportunist and that you do not care for God but for power, they will turn against you. They will declare you an infidel and turn the same weapons against you that you now point against the liberals and will declare the jihad on you.

Although I am a fierce opponent of your policies, I do not wish you to fail because that would also mean the failure of Egypt. I just wish that you give up your arrogant attitude and act in the interest of Egypt and not in the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood.

I left Egypt 17 years ago because I was not able to live there freely. I participated in the revolution two years ago because I wish for a new Egypt. Now I see that we have exchanged one form of paternalism for another. I know that with Mubarak as predecessor you have taken over a difficult legacy, but that legacy can not be the eternal excuse for the failure of your government. Besides, one can not eliminate the legacy of Mubarak with the methods of Mubarak. Egypt needs its women and its Copts just as much as it needs its faithful Muslims. Egypt needs politicians who are familiar with economic, domestic and foreign policy, not experts in prayer and exegesis of the Quran.

Egypt needs strong institutions, transparency and a self-confident, sincere opening.

Dear Mrs. Merkel, Morsi will not hug you

Speaking of sincerity: What is your position today actually on Jews? I'm sure you remember that a few years ago you called the Israelis bloodsuckers and descendants of apes and pigs. You not only demanded that the Egyptians raise their children with hatred against Jews and Zionists but also hatred against their alleged supporters, such as America, France and the whole of Europe. Do you have the decency to apologise to Mrs. Merkel and the German public for your unspeakable remarks before calling for debt relief and development aid? More importantly: can you distance yourself from this in front of the Egyptian public? Will you finally remove this education of hate from the Egyptian educational system? Don't you think that it is time to introduce a new education policy that is not based on self-glorification and demonisation of the other but on respect, free thinking and the ability to self-criticism? Which deals with conflicts on a factual, not on an emotional level?

The last part of my letter, I wish to direct at Madam Chancellor, who is receiving you in Berlin.

Dear Mrs. Merkel, I know that you are not going to embrace Mr. Morsi the way you hugged Mubarak. Your advisors will most certainly have informed you that the Muslim Brothers do not allow women to embrace them in public. But you surely will reach out your hand to him and he is not – as many Islamists – going to reject it, because he needs you. He will talk to you about debt relief, financial support and German investments in Egypt. All this the country of the Nile needs urgently. But do not be hasty, Mrs. Merkel, and please tie this assistance to a democratic development of the country. Not only the observance of democratic elections should be the criterion but also the respect for human rights, protection of minorities and transparency in elections. And please ask for guarantees for the promises of Mr. Morsi, because he's at nothing better than giving empty promises. Egypt needs and deserves your attention, Mrs Merkel, but it too needs and deserves a predictable political leadership that acts on behalf of all Egyptians and does not ignore the main demands of the revolution.

November 28, 2011

Election violation - Please report !

If you notice violations at the polling stations please report them. It is vital, that as much violations as possible are recorded!

There are several organizations where you can report violations. Some people have complained that numbers are not reachable. So if you don‘t succeed at the first, please try at other numbers. But make sure you manage to report what you have seen or experienced!

If you tweet about violations please use the hashtag #egyviolations so that all these tweets can be found later under that tag.


To report #EgyViolations please contact:

Egyptian Organization for Human Rights:
Telephone:
23636811
23620467
0800444800
01002226341
www.eohr.org


El Nadeem center:
01020339365
01020339366
01020339367
01020339368
01020339369
01020339371
01020339372
http://www.alnadeem.org/en


Mora2ba movement:
010177306-61
010177306-60
010177306-59
lawyers will handle complaints legally.



To upload media of violations:
soutak@FEP.org.eg
01280760174
01280764187
(note: it‘s a party, not an NOG)


On twitter #FF
@eyeonelections
for updates on the elections

-----------------------

October 12, 2011

The SCAF press conference on the Maspero massacre

Read this documentary of the SCAF press conference today on the massacre of demonstrating Copts at Maspero on Sunday. 25 protesters were killed by gunshots or crushed to death by armoured army vehicles deliberately running them over - as video footage proves.

No truth was to be expected from this press conference. And alas - no truth was presented. This press conference for long will remain in the memories of Egyptians as the worst hour of lying by the SCAF.




September 14, 2011

Five letters to help free Maikel Nabil


Choose whatever suits you best - a letter send by fax or post - commenting on the SCAF page - writing a mail to the Prime Minister - or ALL - but please TAKE ACTION!

This blogger is unjustly arrested in military prison in Cairo for writing a blogpost! He is on hunger strike and currently in bad health in the prison hospital. His family is NOT allowed to visit him! They refuse them any information! We must help him or he might die!

__________________________

1.  Letter to Military General Attorney

Please copy this into a word doc, print, sign - and send off by fax or postal service


Military General Attorney
Major-General Medhat Radwan
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, EGYPT

Fax: (+20) 22 412 0980 (ask for fax)


Dear General Attorney,

I hereby urgently call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE


__________________________

 2.  Letter to Director of Military Judiciary

Please copy this into a word doc, print, sign - and send off by fax or postal service


Director of Military Judiciary
Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, EGYPT

Fax:  (+20) 22 402 4468   or   (+20) 22 411 3452


Dear Director,

I hereby urgently call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE


__________________________

3.  Comment for the SCAF facebook page

Please copy this text into a comment box underneath the most recent statements of the SCAF on their facebook page. You can comment many times. For higher impact put this text into three consecutive comment boxes.   > SCAF Facebook page


I hereby urgently call upon the SCAF to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!


__________________________

4.  Mail to PM Essam Sharaf

Please copy this text into your mail programm and send to the PM's mail address (he likes to get your mails, he writes on his web-site!)   > mail to PM


Dear Prime Minister,

I hereby urgently ask you to engage yourself in the immediate and unconditional release of the blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death! But his death - as already now his jailing and critical health condition - will tarnish Egypt's reputation throughout the world!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and call upon the SCAF to release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

In Tahrir sq. you vowed to be on the side of the revolution. The imprisonment of a blogger is not what this revolution fought for. Nor - as you can imagine - is his injury or even his death!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE


__________________________

5.  Letter to Field Marshall Tantawi - Head of SCAF

Please copy this into a word doc, print, sign - and send off by fax or postal service


Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Commander-in-Chief and chairman of the
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Cairo, Egypt


Fax: (+20) 22 574 8822 - or - (+20) 22 291 6227


Dear Field Marshal Tantawi,

I hereby urgently call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in a deteriorating health situation. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE

__________________________
Return to Words & Swords

September 09, 2011

Protest against restriction of TV channels in Egypt


Please copy this text into your mail programm and send to the PM's mail address (he likes to get your mails, he writes on his web-site!)   > mail to PM


Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, made the following statement on yesterday's decision of Egypt's transitional authorities to restrict permits for satellite channels:

"I am deeply disappointed by Thursday's decision of Egypt's Military Council and the cabinet of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to restrict access to satellite channels.

This decision puts Egypt's path towards fair, free and pluralist elections in jeopardy. It sends a negative signal with regard to the commitment of Egypt's authorities to freedom of expression and media. True democracy lives from pluralism of visions, programmes and proposals.

Criticism should not be feared, but used to mobilise political leaders to seek policies to the benefit of the people. Persecuting those who voice their critical opinions - journalists, bloggers, activists - cannot be justified."

I urge you to take this statement very seriously. Egypt is losing its dignity in the world. The image is tarnished by the SCAF and their military rule enough. It is incomprehensible why you as Prime Minister who vowed to be on the side of the revolution allowed this to happen.

The President of the European Parliament has spoken clear and well. If we lose the support of the EU and the world, Egypt will not be well off.

Please ensure that the above mentioned measures regarding curbing free speech and free press will not go in effect!

Sincerely


-----------------------
Press release by President of the European Parliament

September 06, 2011

World Press Reporting on Maikel Nabil

Jailed Egyptian Blogger on Hunger Strike Now in Critical Condition
Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting (Washington DC, USA)
08.09.2011

Fears for Egyptian blogger on hunger strike in jail
The National (Dubai, UAE)
05.09.2011

Blogger im Hungerstreik
Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich, Germany)
05.09.2011

Un blogueur égyptien risque de périr en prison
Generation Nouvelles Technologies (Paris, France)
05.09.2011

Media watchdog warns jailed blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad may die
The Australian (Sydney, Australia)
04.09.2011

Free Maikel Nabil Sanad!
European Youth Forum (Brussels, Belgium)
04.09.2011

Unjustly detained blogger, on hunger strike, could die in prison 
Reporters Without Borders (Paris, France)
03.09.2011

International action day organized for imprisoned blogger on hunger strike
Daily News Egypt (Cairo, Egypt)
02.09.2011

الموت يتهدد حياة أول سجين رأي في مصر بعد الثورة
Deutsche Welle (Cologne, Germany)
02.09.2011

Ägyptischer Blogger kämpft um seine Freilassung
Tagesspiegel (Berlin, Germany)
01.09.2011

Egyptian Blogger Imprisoned for Facebook Comment on Hunger Strike
Amnesty International (New York, US)
01.09.2011

Hunger striking blogger’s health and prison conditions much worse
Reporters Without Borders (Paris, France)
01.09.2011

Jailed Egyptian blogger on hunger strike
Committee to Protect Journalists (New York, US)
31.08.2011

Jailed blogger on hunger strike, health failing
IFEX (Toronto, Canada)
27.08.2011

September 04, 2011

Maikel Nabil: Letter to Military General Attorney


Please copy this into a word doc, print, sign and send off by fax or snail mail


Military General Attorney
Major-General Medhat Radwan
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, EGYPT

Fax: (+20) 22 412 0980 (ask for fax)


Dear General Attorney,

I hereby urgently call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE


__________________________
Return to Words & Swords

Maikel Nabil: Letter to Director of Military Judiciary


Please copy this into a word doc, print, sign and send off by fax or snail mail


Director of Military Judiciary
Major-General Ahmed Abd Allah
Military Judicial Department
Cairo, EGYPT

Fax:  (+20) 22 402 4468   or   (+20) 22 411 3452


Dear Director,

I hereby urgently call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE


__________________________
Return to Words & Swords

Maikel Nabil: Comment for the SCAF facebook page


Please copy this text into a comment box underneath the most recent statements of the SCAF on their facebook page. You can comment many times. For higher impact put this text into three consecutive comment boxes.   > SCAF Facebook page


I hereby urgently call upon the SCAF to immediately and unconditionally release Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!


__________________________
Return to Words & Swords

Maikel Nabil: Mail to PM Essam Sharaf


Please copy this text into your mail programm and send to the PM's mail address (he likes to get your mails, he writes on his web-site!)   > mail to PM


Dear Prime Minister,

I hereby urgently ask you to engage yourself in the immediate and unconditional release of the blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been unfairly tried in a military court, although he is a civilian. He was sentenced in absence both of him and his lawyers to 3 years in military jail - merely for expressing his critical opinion on the way the Egyptian army dealt with protesters. This criticism has been on the internet a thousand times by many bloggers. There is no justification to jail this one blogger for his critical views that many others too have expressed without having been arrested and sentenced. It is also a violation of the Interim Constitutional Declaration that the SCAF has guaranteed to the Egyptian people to be valid and respected by the army!

Maikel Nabil Sanad has been in hunger and thirst strike, has suffered a coma and is in prison hospital. His life is in danger. Should anything happen to him, the SCAF will be fully responsible for his injuries or even his death! But his death - as already now his jailing and critical health condition - will tarnish Egypt's reputation throughout the world!

Please ensure immediately that Maikel Nabil Sanad is receiving adequate medical care and call upon the SCAF to release him on the grounds that no civilian in the post-revolutionary Egypt should be sentenced in an unfair military trial for expressing his personal views and opinions!

In Tahrir sq. you vowed to be on the side of the revolution. The imprisonment of a blogger is not what this revolution fought for. Nor - as you can imagine - is his injury or even his death!

Your sincerely

SIGNATURE


__________________________
Return to Words & Swords