Your new post is loading...
By: Tom Rollins
A l’occasion de la Journée mondiale contre la cyber-censure, Reporters sans frontières publie l’édition 2014 de son rapport "Ennemis d’Internet". Ce document révèle les secrets des institutions qui, au sein des États, mettent en oeuvre la répression en ligne et les atteintes technologiques à la liberté de l’information.
Au motif de la sauvegarde de la sécurité du territoire, les institutions pointées dans ce rapport, parmi lesquelles l’Autorité des Télécommunications (Pakistan), le FSB (Russie), le Centre analytique des opérations (Bélarus), le Ministère de l’Information et des Communications (Vietnam) ou le Bureau d’Etat de l’information sur Internet (Chine), ont largement outrepassé leur mission originelle pour se livrer à une censure et une surveillance sans bornes des acteurs de l’information.
Trois des trente deux institutions désignées “Ennemis d’Internet” par Reporters sans frontières opèrent dans des démocraties qui prétendent pourtant défendre la liberté d’expression et la libre circulation de l’information. Ainsi, les pratiques de la NSA aux États- Unis, du GCHQ au Royaume-Uni et du Centre de développement des télématiques en Inde n’ont rien à envier à leurs homologues chinois, russes, iraniens ou bahreïnis.
Le contrôle de l’information en ligne ne serait pas possible sans le concours de sociétés privées. Dans l’édition précédente du rapport Ennemis d’Internet, Reporters sans frontières pointait du doigt les mercenaires numériques, des entreprises qui mettent leur savoir faire au service de régimes autoritaires contre des sommes d’argent bien souvent colossales. En 2014, l’organisation dénonce cette fois les dealers de la surveillance, des salons qui mettent en relations des entreprises spécialisées dans la surveillance et la censure avec des régimes autoritaires. Parmi les plus connus et les plus néfastes : ISS World, Milipol et Technology against Crime.
Au-delà de la dénonciation, c’est l’action qui permettra de mettre fin à ces pratiques indignes. Reporters sans frontières livre donc une série de recommandations à destination des États et des institutions internationales afin de mettre un terme aux dérives sécuritaires et paranoïaques observées depuis plusieurs années.
Les pratiques des institutions “Ennemis d’internet”, qui oeuvrent le plus souvent dans l’ombre, doivent être dénoncées et connues du plus grand nombre. C’est à cette condition que les institutions internationales, les Nations Unies, l’Europe ou les traités régissant l’export des technologies de surveillance pourront se saisir de ces problèmes et légiférer afin de faire cesser au plus vite ces pratiques. Reporters sans frontières invite les internautes du monde entier à se joindre à cette initiative.
Par Alexandre Buccianti
L’Égypte compte près de 120 000 mosquées, dont 40 000 seulement dépendent du ministère des Biens religieux. Les 80 000 autres sont des mosquées gérées par des privés. Contrairement aux églises, il n’y a pas vraiment de loi régissant la construction des mosquées dont le nombre a explosé depuis le boum pétrolier des années 70.
Or, selon les autorités, nombreuses sont celles qui sont devenues un instrument de propagande politique pour la confrérie des Frères musulmans, décrétée « organisation terroriste » en décembre. Le gouvernement avait déjà décidé de « nationaliser » des centaines d’écoles, de dispensaires et d’associations caritatives dépendant de la confrérie.
La reprise en main des mosquées vise aussi à mettre un terme à une interprétation radicale de l’islam véhiculée par les mosquées tenues par les salafistes. C’est dorénavant le discours qualifié de « tolérant » de la grande mosquée d’Al-Azhar qui sera diffusé. Reste à savoir si le ministère des Biens religieux dispose des milliards d’Euros nécessaires à l’application du décret.
By MOHAMED ABDEL MEGEED
CAIRO: The National Population Council (NPC) received a notice from the Attorney General on Tuesday about the case of 13-year-old Suhair al-Bata’a, who died after being circumcised last June in the Dakahlia governorate, Youm7 reported.
Raslan Fadl, 57, the doctor who performed the surgery, and Mohamed Ibrahim al-Bata’a, the girl’s father, were accused of unintentional murder and were transferred to criminal court.
The case has again raised the issue of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Egypt.
The prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is 91 percent among women in rural areas of Egypt, while 85 percent of women living in urban areas have undergone FGM/C, according to a report of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF stated that the average age of the women surveyed ranged between 15 to 49-years-old. It said the absence of decisive criminal penalties justifies the high rates of female genital mutilation in Egypt, even though many girls have died because of the surgery.
The NPC issued a statement on Feb. 13 highlighting the fact that the new constitution of 2014 incorporates for the first time two articles condemning violence against women and children.
Article 80 of the new constitution states that the state is to provide children care and protection from all forms of violence, abuse, ill treatment and sexual and commercial exploitation. Article 11 states that the state is committed to protecting women against all forms of violence and to ensure the empowerment of women to reconcile family duties and work requirements.
The NPC statement said that the prevalence of FGM/C in Egypt is more than 90 percent among every married woman between the ages of 15 to 49-years-old, although the phenomenon is declining, with the number for girls between 10 to 18-years-old down to 50.3 percent.
The Egyptian government criminalized FGM/C in 2008, after a widely publicized case of a young girl who died after being circumcised in 2007. But some Salafi groups objected to the law and argued for the right to female circumcision for religious and cultural reasons. They demanded abolishing the law in 2012 after the rise of political Islam in Egypt, CNN reported.
Article 242 of the Penal Code reads that anyone who performs female genital mutilation/cutting “shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three months and not exceeding two years or a fine of not less than 5,000 EGP.”
The Islamic educational institute Dar Al-Iftaa emphasized recently its previous fatwa (opinion) that was issued in 2006 denouncing female genital mutilation/cutting, explaining that it was proven scientifically to harm health, and must be prevented religiously.
The National Council for Women (NCW) praised the stance of Dar Al-Iftaa toward FGM/C during a conference held at the NPC on June 25 to celebrate the International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation.
Mervat al-Talawy, the head of the NCW, said in a statement that Dar Al-Iftaa’s fatwa came as a response to movements that claim that FGM/C is acceptable in Islam.
The NPC has launched a FGM/C abandonment program to eliminate the practice FGM/C in five years in coordination with the Egyptian government, according to a NPC statement.
Additional reporting by Dana al-Hadedy.
By HEBA AHMAD
CAIRO: During the last few years Egypt witnessed a jump in independent theaters which reflect and discuss social and political issues through a number of different artistic expressions.
The Cairo Post interviewed some independent theater directors to know their opinions, visions, and targets along with the obstacles that face them.
Theater actor and director Mohamed Abdullah told The Cairo Post Monday that the independent theater movement in Egypt was suffering from weak production due to overdependence on member financing. He said that “low ticket prices set to attract people, particularly to attend independent theater festivals such as Afaq, the French Culture Palace Festival and Sawy Culture Wheel Festival,” cause financial problems.
He said most of current performances focused on politics, but that his productions try to be different.
“Complicated social relationships are the main focus of my team. The current political experience in Egypt is still incomplete and many other teams have already covered the different political perspectives,” Abdullah said.
He criticized the censorship of some of his work by authorities, such as censorship of his “The Inheritance of the Wind” play, which pushed him to change its text.
Shady Sorour, another theater actor and director, told The Cairo Post Monday that theaters affiliated to the Ministry of Culture also suffered from obstacles.
“The theaters suffer from badly administrated bureaucracy and the Ministry of Finance reduced the budget allocated to the Ministry of Culture,” he said.
The reduced budget for theaters pushed the head of the Art House Theater Fatouh Ahmed to demand annual membership fees to collect money for quality productions.
“Nevertheless, the Ministry of Culture supports independent teams through its Hanager Theater and The Creativity Center,” Sorour said, adding that the ministry provides opportunities for independent theaters to participate in festivals in Tunisia, France and other international festivals.
Sorour said directing, dancing, and acting trainers had been provided to teams to improve their performance before travelling to the festivals.
“The media coverage provided by the ministry for independent theaters is stronger than its support for the teams affiliated to the ministry itself,” Sorour added.
Ahmed Ramzy, a theater director at Sawy Culture Wheel, told The Cairo Post that independent theaters were “different from free theaters.”
Ramzy said that independent theaters are established by professional actors, who belong to syndicates and have professional acting degrees, including “Khaled Saleh, Khaled al-Sawy, Ibrahim al-Baz and others.” Free theaters, on the other hand, may include individuals with no degrees or syndicate membership, according to Ramzy.
“The free theaters in Egypt need cooperation from the Ministry of Culture, and all concerned artistic organizations,” he said, “adding that we should look to the Italian experience with free theaters for a model.”
Ramzy said art, especially plays, lacks fair criticism, evaluation and support. He added that most of the academic art professionals did not consider the independent plays as “good plays” and rarely admit that the independents present cultural content.
“The teams collect money from their members to rent places for rehearsals, clothes and also places for live performances … youths require more financial support to be able to continue to produce,” Razmy added
Following the previous cabinet’s resignation on February 24 amid a massive wave of labor strikes, the new Minister of Manpower Nahed al-Ashry moved to issue a controversial initiative on Sunday banning work stoppages for the next 12 months.
In media statements issued Sunday, the minister also claimed that she aspires to reach a deal with employers so as to realize the demands of striking workers, with the aim of containing their anger and limiting unrest.
Ashry has served in the Dispute Resolution Bureau of the Ministry of Manpower for the past 20 years — under the labor ministers appointed by Mubarak, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and the Brotherhood.
On Tuesday, a host of independent labor unions and workers’ organizations responded to this initiative by denouncing it as being unilateral, and offering striking workers nothing in return.
The Ministry had announced on Sunday that it has signed this new initiative with a new, small and virtually unknown, organization dubbed the “Egyptian National Workers' Federation.”
This new proposal for a ban on strikes violates the provisions of the International Labor Organization’s Convention 87 (which the Egyptian state voluntarily ratified in 1957) along with Article 8 of the United Nation’s International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ratified in 1982), and may even contravene Article 15 of the new Egyptian Constitution regarding the right to strike.
If Egypt's government genuinely intends to answer the demands of workers – and not just silence industrial unrest – it will need to do more than appeal to the patriotism of the Egyptian working-class. That means making concessions, entering negotiations in good faith and not resorting to old-style repression against workers.
An informed source from Ministry of Antiquities and the Grand Museum denied on Tuesday news over shelving investigations in the case of disappearance of 76 artifacts from the museum.
The investigations showed that the artifacts were damaged but did not disappear, the source said adding that the case is being reviewed by administrative prosecution and that the ministry should disclose the real reason behind disappearance of the artifacts.
The source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the disappearance is related to entrance of Japanese film company to Khufu ship on 21 December. The source also called on the ministry to reveal if there was investigations or not.
An informed source from the ministry told the state-owned MENA news agency that the ministry approved the request from the archaeological supervisor on the the Khufu ship project, on which the Japanese mission works, to get samples from the ship to analyze them.
The source added that 76 artifacts from the restoration laboratory at the museum were missing, 12 of which were from Khufu ship. No one has been identified yet for being in charge of the samples. No request has been made by the executive chief of the lab so the samples would be taken out. No results were announced over analysis of the samples.
The source wondered about taking the artifacts by the Japanese mission to analyze them without conclusion of investigations, especially that the current chief of antiquities sector was head of Haram antiquities department, when the accident of the missed artifacts happened.
Edited translation from MENA and Al-Masry Al-Youm
Religious Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar decreed on Tuesday that all mosques in Egypt are to be supervised and administered by the ministry, however small they may be. He assigned the ministry to implement the decision within a month. The minister also banned all NGOs from collecting donations inside mosques, and asked worshippers not to pay any money without taking a receipt from the mosque’s management. He instructed imams not to let anyone deliver a speech from the pulpit or give religious lessons without prior written permission from the ministry. He also said that the Friday sermon would be the same in all mosques and would be limited to large mosques only. Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
Le nouveau Premier ministre égyptien, Ibrahim Mahlab, doit mener le pays à l'élection présidentielle. Objectif : dérouler le tapis rouge au maréchal Sissi.
Position précaire que celle de Premier ministre en Égypte. L'islamiste Hicham Qandil l'a occupée moins d'un an, avant la chute du président Mohamed Morsi, en juillet 2013. À peine huit mois plus tard,Hazem al-Beblawi, son remplaçant, vient de jeter l'éponge. Il laisse la place à Ibrahim Mahlab, ministre de l'Habitat sortant, dont le mandat s'achèvera à l'issue de l'élection présidentielle, d'ici au mois de mai. La démission de Beblawi et de son cabinet, le 24 février, a surpris ses propres ministres. Son explication, louant le travail accompli, a peu convaincu. Car la situation socio-économique n'a cessé de se détériorer ces derniers mois. Grèves, pénuries et violences s'intensifient. Un constat aux allures de désaveu pour Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, présenté en juillet en sauveur de l'État. Bien que le maréchal reste le candidat favori - bien que non déclaré - de la prochaine élection, Beblawi pourrait avoir servi de fusible à l'armée. Explication de Sophie Pommier, directrice du cabinet de conseil Méroé, spécialisé dans le monde arabe : "J'y vois une stratégie des militaires pour faire porter aux seuls démissionnaires la responsabilité du marasme actuel."
By Mahmoud Salem
By MUHAMMAD GHAMRAWY
CAIRO: The recently-inaugurated Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a decision on Monday to raise monthly social pension rates.
The new pension will be a 323 EGP (U.S. $46.41) per capita, 360EGP ($51.72) for two individuals, 413EGP ($59.34) for three individuals, and 450 EGP ($64.65) for four family members, according to the official state newspaper.
The newspaper said the decision was issued after reviewing the constitution and the 2010 social insurance law.
About 1.5 million Egyptians currently receive the monthly social pension, said Minister of Solidarity Ghada Waly on March 9 to CBC channel.
Minister Waly said that the ministry has plans to alleviate poverty in Egypt, adding there must be a complete database for personal incomes.
According to economic expert Aala Abdel Haleem, the decision to raise the pension was not only made “to support the neediest factions in Egypt” but was also a political move. Abdel Haleem told The Cairo Post that the rise is also part of a government beautification process that would “support the government in achieving stability and support Field Marshal Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.”
Abdel Haleem said the increase was only symbolic and does not effect real change, but it would limit people’s anger against the government.
“Of course there are political reasons for the decision,” Abdel Haleem said, “but it’s the most that the government can do because it is dealing with several problems.”
He added that the government is trying to have more of a social role in the hopes to avoid public criticism.