Around the World on 1 April 2021
The US State Department issued its annual report on Egypt’s human rights record, in which it charges that Egypt has committed a number of rights violations, including against refugees and asylum seekers, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The report also accuses the Egyptian government of “frequently” not respecting the right to freedom of expression, “restricting and disrupting” individuals’ access to the internet and their ability to post content online, and “inconsistently [punishing] or [prosecuting] officials who committed abuses.”
One area we did better on: Enforcing laws that criminalize [redacted] assault, with the report pointing to the arrest and conviction of serial assaulter Ahmed Bassam Zaki last summer as a positive example.
IN DIPLOMACY: Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman was in town yesterday for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and to launch the Egyptian-Croatian Business Forum — the first to be held between the two countries in 10 years. A cooperation protocol will be signed during the forum to link Alexandria's port with the Croatian port of Rijeka, Ramadan said at a press conference with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (watch, runtime: 15:29). The minister noted that Croatia is particularly interested in cooperating in the automotive, tourism, pharma, engineering industries.
FURTHER AFIELD: Egyptians employed in Saudi Arabia will have their travel visas and work permits extended while the country maintains its travel ban, Saudi ambassador to Egypt Osama Naqli told Immigration Minister Nabila Makram yesterday, according to a statement. The extension applies to Egyptians currently in Saudi Arabia and those who work for Saudi employers but are unable to return to the country. The Saudi government earlier this month said that its international travel ban will remain in place until 17 May, pushing back previous directives that were set to resume flights 31 March.