This Week in Egypt – September 20, 2013

Catch up on the latest out of Egypt every week, with analysis, news updates, photos, videos, and more.

Quote of the Week

Minya Governor Salah Ziada on why security forces took so long to respond to the Islamist takeover of Delga | AFP

Egypt in the News







Zeinhom Morgue: Victim to the ‘Misery of the System’ | Drew Brammer, Egypt Independent

Drew Brammer writes of the influx of the dead at the Zeinhom morgue following the Raba’a al-Adaweya massacre. Citing the infrastructural failure of the morgue and the ministry of justice, Brammer shares insight from one doctor on the crisis of the morgue.

“Following the military’s bloody crackdown on Islamists in August, gruesome testimonies flowed in from relatives who waited in long queues to collect the bodies of loved ones at the Zeinhom morgue in Downtown Cairo, the Health Ministry’s main morgue.”

“Despite there being other places in Cairo where autopsies can be performed, such as in most hospitals, Dr. Ahmed explained the Zeinhom morgue is the only morgue that is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. Therefore, all deaths, with very few exceptions, that require investigation into their causes, such as the killing of protesters, must by law go to Zeinhom morgue.”

“He stressed that the heart of the morgue’s problems is that it is a victim of the “misery of the system.” “We need more room, better equipment, better techniques. No one is listening. The head of the department is changing every now and then. The head of the Ministry of Justice is changing. That’s why we take so long to make a decision.”

“Will the morgue be ready for another disaster?” Brammer asked the doctor.

“Dr. Ahmed confidently responded. “It would not be prepared. The main problem is we are not prepared for disasters happening. They need special preparations and more techniques that we lack. Every problem and every disaster will be the same since the 25th of January 2011 and our place is not enough for people.””

In Egypt, the Kids Are Not Alright. In Fact, They’re in Prison | Louisa Loveluck, GlobalPost

Staying true to historical precedent, Egypt’s military and police forces have not spared minors in sweeping arrests during large protests. Louisa Loveluck writes that since August 14 at least ninety minors have been arrested; many being held in adult detention centers.

“Detained as part of a far-reaching clampdown on thousands of rebellious Morsi supporters, many of the teenagers and children face seemingly fabricated charges — like carrying weapons or instigating violence. They have also been denied due process and are being held in adult prisons, rights groups contend.”

“The mishandling of child detainees is not a new phenomenon. Hundreds of minors arrested in the aftermath of protests marking the second anniversary of Egypt’s January 2011 uprising. In practice, the laws designed to protect Egypt’s some 30 million minor rarely do so.”

Video of the Week

Renowned Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Souief participates in protest against the emergency law and curfew, which are currently being imposed by the Egyptian government since mid-August. Souief also objects to the indiscriminate arrests of citizens. She refers to the cases of Sinai-based journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa, who is currently facing a military trial under emergency law. 

Source: Aswat Masriya

PBS Frontline also published an hour-long documentary portraying the past two and half years of Egypt’s revolution, highlighting the power struggle between the the Muslim Brotherhood and the military forces. Watch here.

This Day in History

On September 19, 2011, Egypt’s Political Parties Commission refused to grant al-Jama’a al-Islamiya a party license on the grounds that political parties were not meant to be based on religion. On September 20, Tarek al-Zomor, a head of the group at the time and now a member of the Shura Council and secretary-general for the Building and Construction Party, lashed out at the decision saying it was politicized. Zomor was convicted in 1984 for allegedly taking part in the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s third president. He was imprisoned for thirty years and released in 2011. Source: DNE 

Photo of the Week

On September 15, policewomen were deployed to the women-only metro cars in response to Muslim Brotherhood calls to demonstrate at the metro stations and in the metro cars.
Source: DNE by Ahmed El Malky

Cartoon of the Week

Translation: [Newspaper] “Ahly defeats Zamalek 4-2.” [Man] “Didn’t I tell you? We have returned to Mubarak’s days.”
Source: AMAY

20130920 Cartoon

 Translation: [Driver] “May our Lord punish them.” [Passenger with beard] “May our Lord punish them.”
Source: Andeel

Activists react to the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad on Tuesday

Image: Photo: DNE