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Sunday, 20 January 2019

Egypt human rights are back in the spotlight

Human rights were back in the spotlight over the weekend after Human Rights Watch published its World Report 2019 on Thursday. The organization attacked what it claims is a pattern of authorities using counterterrorism measures to crack down on dissent. It also criticized the March 2018 presidential elections and repeated accusations of forced disappearances. This comes as a Cairo criminal court renewed on Thursday the detention of a woman interviewed by the BBC in a report on forced disappearances, Reuters reports. The woman, who had been released last week, had claimed her daughter had been forcibly disappeared; the daughter later appeared on television with popular nighttime talk show how Amr Adib to deny she had been disappeared.

Pressure on Macron to bring up labor rights? Ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Egypt at the end of the month, France 24 notes that unspecified activists are calling for him to raise an alleged 2016 crackdown on labor at Alexandria Shipyard. The shipyard is working with France’s Naval Group.

Terrorists have reportedly kidnapped a Christian man traveling in a taxi in North Sinai, 30 km west of Arish, the Associated Press reports. Security officials have subsequently identified the man as Adeeb Nakhlah, 45-year-old police forensics expert. The kidnapping resulted in a firefight with security forces, which reportedly led to the death of one of the kidnappers, security forces said.

Other headlines worth noting in brief include:

  • Much ado about nothing? CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley put out and then deleted a tweet in which he claimed the Egyptian government had issued an arrest warrant for him after his 60 Minutes interview with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. CBS has confirmed Pelley deleted the tweet after being told no warrant had been issued, NBC reports.
  • Don’t count on natural gas thawing the cold peace between Egypt and Israel, writes David Rosenberg in an oped for Haaretz.
  • Why is Egypt restoring Jewish monuments? It’s all about cozying up to Washington, writes the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  • Egyptian national Abdallah al-Desouki was one of three terrorists killed in southern Libya during an operation that also resulted in the death of a senior al-Qaeda operative, Reuters reports.

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