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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Egypt in the news on 24 July 2019: British Airways again, revolution day, human rights

The British Airways decision to suspend flights to Cairo for a week continues to provide international media with a chance to rake Egypt’s security over the coals. Exhibit A: This Deutsche Welle article that, despite quoting a security analyst as saying, "You have to distinguish between Sinai and the rest of the country," does not hesitate to characterize the security situation throughout the country as “unstable” and “tense.” The suspension remains inexplicable, EgyptAir Holding Co Vice Chairman Sherif Ezzat Bardous said yesterday, according to Reuters.

The “increasingly lethal response” of Egyptian security forces to terrorist threats is prompting greater scrutiny of our human rights record, the Wall Street Journal reports. The number of people reportedly killed in raids spiked at 153 in the first half of 2019 alone, up from 33 in 2015. Many families of the deceased are alleging that they were killed in detention, rather than in clashes with security forces. Meanwhile, Amnesty International accuses police of keeping detainees in poor conditions during “arbitrary overnight probation” following release from prison, says Amnesty International.

Other headlines worth noting:

  • Revolution Day is more than a celebration of Nasser’s overthrow of the monarchy; it is a reminder that the army is “in the midst of determining the destiny of the Arab world,” argues Ahmed Aboudouh in the Independent.
  • Tomb raiders are in the money: In the most gruesome news of the day, tomb-raiding has reportedly become “increasingly widespread” in Egypt and medics and narcotics dealers getting rich, according to the African Exponent.
  • New discovery: Underwater archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient temple near the sunken city of Heracleion off the Nile Delta coast, reports Newsweek.

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