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August 22 2013

Deaths without dignity | A MUST READ Sherief Gaber 21st of August 2013 Mada Masr

Deaths without dignity |

Sherief Gaber
21st of August 2013
Mada Masr

I found myself at Zeinhom again this week, the sadly familiar walk up the street now met with several large idling trucks, supposedly refrigerated, brought in to store the hundreds of bodies from the August 14 Rabea al-Adaweya massacre that the morgue had no room for. Each day since then more bodies had arrived. A couple of days ago it was at least 36 detainees killed by police as they were being transported to Abu Zaabal prison, likely killed by a tear gas grenade thrown into the transport van, suffocating in the claustrophobic metal box. As we walked up to the doors of the morgue, new reinforced ones made of heavy sheet metal, an argument was already in progress with those inside, who were refusing to allow lawyers, photographers, anyone in. Using my phone’s camera as a makeshift periscope to peer through a grate over the doors, I saw bodies strewn about in the hallway, in various stages of decomposition, some bearing large rough autopsy scars down their chests and abdomens. 

A man came up to me, asked to see the few seconds of video I had shot: “I want to know if my brother is there, please, I’ll know him if I see him.” I couldn’t comprehend the possibility of recognition in these figures, their features so distended and warped by rot, not natural decay but the rot produced by a place so neglected and neglectful. He said his brother wasn’t in the video, which likely only bought him a few minutes of relief until he would be confronted by the inevitable moment.

Constitution committee's draft unfavorable to Islamists | Mada Masr 21st of August

Constitution committee’s draft unfavorable to Islamists |
Mada Masr
21st of August

A sign of significant change in terms of parliamentary representation can be seen in the committee’s decision to return to the single candidate system during elections, reversing the rules whereby two thirds of parliament’s seats were granted to party lists and a third to individual candidates. Egypt saw the first parliamentary elections using this system in November 2011, which resulted in a 70 percent victory for Islamists, who, in turn, were able to select the 100 lawmakers who drafted the 2012 Constitution.  

A return to the single candidate system represents the return to the electoral norms during the rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. It has been criticized for being associated with large families in Upper and Lower Egypt being able to exert control and influence over the electoral process. Islamists, instead, relied on electoral lists to gather enough votes in a parliament, where its party representation was quite strong. 

The article in the suspended constitution stipulating the political exclusion of members of the formerly ruling National Democratic Party for a period of 10 years, has been removed by the committee. This arguably reflects an interest in the return of former regime figures either through the single candidate system or through their inclusion in political parties, particularly the liberals among them.

July 26 2013

The popular war on terror | Mada Masr

The popular war on terror | Mada Masr
Sarah Carr

t was mostly the privately owned satellite media and newspapers that became the army’s court jester, or at least did so with the most gusto. Logos appeared on screens insistently informing viewers that June 30 was a popular revolution, not a coup. Then the terrorism rhetoric began, and the pro-Morsi protesters were no longer just a bunch of skin-disease ridden, cult supporting lunatics, but also terrorists. Again, this happened almost seamlessly. Television presenters indulged themselves in the vilest xenophobia against Palestinians and Syrians, who they claimed were camped out in pro-Morsi sit-ins and meddling in Egyptian affairs.

Only the weakest of evidence was produced to support these claims, including a video of some men dancing dabke to this Palestinian pro-Morsi song. The aim, of course, was twofold: Firstly, to support the claim that the Brotherhood has links with Hamas and other foreign groups involved in acts of insurgency in Sinai, and secondly, to isolate the Brotherhood even further, turn it into a “them” separate from the rest of the population. The fastest and most foolproof way to do this in Egypt is to establish that a group has links with foreign powers. It works every time.

The media campaign has been disastrous for Syrian refugees, whether already in Egypt or seeking to cross its borders. Syrians who want to come to Egypt to flee the devastation in their country must now gain security authorization before doing so. Syrians already in Egypt are quietly being rounded up at army checkpoints and detained — even individuals registered with the United Nations.

#Egypt #Egypte

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