The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Egypt

By Vexen Crabtree 2018


Comments:
FB, LJ

#Egypt #equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Egypt
Arab Republic of Egypt

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalCairo
Land Area 995 450km21
LocationAfrica, Mediterranean, Middle East
Population84.0m (2011)2
Life Expectancy71.33yrs (2017)3
GNI$10 064 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesEG, EGY, 8185
Internet Domain.eg6
CurrencyPound (EGP)7
Telephone+208

Egypt is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Egypt does better than average in its nominal commitment to Human Rights9. But unfortunately Egypt gets most other things wrong. Despite having over 118,000 girls in under-age marriages in 2017, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled against a 2008 law that prohibits child marriage, and violence against women is far, far too common19. It does worse than average in commentary from Human Rights Watch10, eliminating modern slavery11, fighting corruption12, its Global Peace Index rating13, opposing gender inequality14, supporting press freedom15 and in LGBT equality16. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in fighting anti-semitic opinions17 and in supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms18. Independent newspapers and news websites that the government dislike face arbitrary restrictions, confiscation of equipment and their staff are harassed - Al-Borsa, Daily News Egypt, Masry al-Arabiya and Cairo Portal were all abused in 201719. "President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [crushes] public dissent in Egypt"20 and security forces use torture to obtain confessions19.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #Egypt #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery

The Interior Ministry´s National Security Agency (NSA), operating with near-absolute impunity, was responsible for the most flagrant abuses, including widespread and systematic use of torture to coerce confessions. Torture techniques included beatings, prolonged painful stress positions, and electrocutions. Prosecutors rarely investigated torture claims and almost never dropped torture-tainted confessions. [...]

President al-Sisi ratified a new law on associations in May 2017 that, when implemented, could eliminate the little remaining space for civil society and end the work of decades-old human rights and other independent associations. The law criminalizes the work of NGOs, providing for up to five-year prison terms for failing to adhere to its provisions such as operating or receiving funds without government approval.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)17
Pos.Lower is better
%17
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
85Turkey69
86Greece69
87Saudi Arabia74
88Egypt75
89Oman76
90Lebanon78
91Morocco80
92Qatar80
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)12
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score12
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
101Armenia35.0
102Gabon35.0
103Albania34.4
104Egypt34.2
105Argentina34.2
106Niger34.2
107Indonesia34.2
108Djibouti34.0
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)13
Pos.Lower is better13
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
108Belarus2.21
109Uzbekistan2.22
110El Salvador2.22
111Egypt2.22
112Jamaica2.22
113Benin2.23
114Armenia2.24
115Niger2.24
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)10
Pos.Higher is better
Score10
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
98Kazakhstan-6
99Cuba-6
100Yemen-7
101Egypt-7
102Equatorial Guinea-7
103Swaziland-7
104Indonesia-7
105Ethiopia-7
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)9
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties9
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
81Guinea17
82Russia17
83Armenia17
84Egypt16
85Togo16
86Belarus16
87Seychelles16
88Tajikistan16
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)18
Pos.Lower is better
Rank18
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
141China141
142Ethiopia142
143Mauritania143
144Egypt144
145Saudi Arabia144
146Chad146
147Pakistan146
148Zimbabwe148
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)15
Pos.Lower is better15
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
154Swaziland4676
155Azerbaijan4773
156Belarus4835
157Egypt4866
158Pakistan5131
159Kazakhstan5508
160Rwanda5546
161Sri Lanka5659
World Avg3249
q=178.

Throughout 2017 the government continued to interfere with independent news outlets and block websites of political groups, enacting arbitrary restrictions, confiscating equipment and harassing staff; this included Al-Borsa, Daily News Egypt, Masry al-Arabiya and Cairo Portal were all abused in 2017, sometimes using anti-terrorism laws19. Human Rights bodies are often treated the same way19.

Slavery (2018)11
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims11
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
101Mozambique0.54
102Russia0.55
103Moldova0.55
104Egypt0.55
105Benin0.55
106Venezuela0.56
107Haiti0.56
108Zambia0.57
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory21. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends22. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life23. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves24.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery25. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity26. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.27. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi11, Eritrea11, Indonesia28) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery29.

Egypt practices conscription, which involves a mandatory period of service in the military. But the Walk Free Foundation reports that this sometimes becomes slave labour as some 'conscripts' are assigned to lengthy and arduous work which is clearly non-military in nature30 such as public infrastructure and civil construction work.

2. Gender Equality

#Egypt #gender #misogyny #politics #women

Gender Inequality (2015)14
Pos.Lower is better14
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
133Syria0.55
134Togo0.56
135Kenya0.56
136Egypt0.57
137Swaziland0.57
138Cameroon0.57
139Mozambique0.57
140Sudan0.57
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote31
Pos.Lower is better
Year31
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
110Mauritius1956
111Somalia1956
112Gabon1956
113Egypt1956
114Comoros1956
115Malaysia1957
116Laos1958
117Hungary1958
World Avg1930
q=189.

The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Egypt and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Egypt is an unequal country, with male rights dominating those of women.

Half-hearted steps to combat violence against women remained ineffective, with no monitoring of progress, and the prosecution of perpetrators remained rare19.

Women continued to face discrimination under Egypt´s personal status law on equal access to divorce, child custody, and inheritance. [...]

The National Program for Combating FGM reported a decline in thepercentage of girls aged 15 to 17 who underwent FGM from 74 percent in 2005 to55 percent in 2015. [...]

President al-Sisi publicly spoke against child marriage after the 2017 national census in September revealed that there were 118,000 girls married under 18. "It hurts me and it should hurt anyone with true conscience," alSisi said.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Despite the problems with under-age marriage, Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court ruled against a 2008 law that prohibits marriage for children under the age of 18.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#Egypt #equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)16
Pos.Higher is better
Score16
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
170Botswana-25
171Ghana-25
172Pakistan-26
173Egypt-27
174Iraq-29
175Togo-29
176Comoros-30
177Angola-30
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence32. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws33. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries32. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

Security forces seek out and arrest gay and transgender folk; at one concert in 2017 activists proclaimed support for a rainbow flag, leading security forces to make 75 arrests - "Supreme State Security Prosecution charged two with "joining an illegal group" aiming at overthrowing the constitution. Courts sentenced over 40 of the arrested to prison terms of up to 6 years undervague "debauchery" laws"19.

4. Egypt Overall National and Social Development

#Egypt #human_development

Social & Moral
Development Index
34
Pos.Higher is better
Points34
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
140Laos46.0
141Uganda45.8
142Tonga45.6
143Egypt45.5
144Nauru45.4
145Bangladesh45.3
146San Marino45.1
147Rwanda45.0
148N. Korea45.0
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#christianity #egypt #islam

Discriminatory laws serve to restrict Christian churches from operating19, and there is frequently violence against churches. When attacks occur, the government has sponsored "customary reconciliation" sessions rather than conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions against Muslims19.

In September, representatives of Egypt´s Orthodox Church submitted a list of more than 2,000 churches that lack any license needed legalize their status according the 2016 discriminative law. Sectarian violence around construction or repair of churches still exists and when violent incidents do occur, as in Kom al-Lofy in Minya governorate in April, the government sponsored “customary reconciliation” sessions in place of criminal investigations and prosecutions.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

In Egypt Mitwalli Ibrahim Mitwalli Saleh was arrested in 2003 and charged (2 months later) with "contempt of the Islamic religion" for questioning, in an unpublished work, Muslim beliefs such as the murder of apostates and the ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men35.

19

Current edition: 2018 Dec 23
http://www.humantruth.info/egypt_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #christianity #corruption #Egypt #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #islam #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Book Cover

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  10. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  11. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  12. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  13. ^^
  14. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  15. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  16. Sources:^^
  17. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  18. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). p185-194.^^^^^
  20. Human Rights Watch (2018). p6.^
  21. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  22. McCall (1979). p180.^
  23. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  24. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  27. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  28. Klein (2004) .^
  29. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  30. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p44.^
  31. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  32. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  33. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  34. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  35. Amnesty International UK (2006 Jan/Feb) Issue 135, p25. www.amnesty.org.uk.^

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