Egyptian Chronicles

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Protest in Luxor over police brutality : Back to the Old times

On Friday, Luxor governorate witnessed a huge protest that continued for hours by citizens who protested against police brutality and the ministry of interior.
That huge protest which started after Friday prayers escalated to become a rally which the security forces tried to disperse but failed.
Part of the protest in Luxor city "We are all Talaat Shabeeb" 
Late Talaat Shabeeb
The citizens were protesting the alleged beating till death of Mr. Talaat Shabeeb while in police custody on Tuesday and the mistreatment of citizens in Al-Awamiyah district in the Upper Egyptian governorate where the deceased used to live.

The story of 47-years-old Talaat Shaheeb was arrested from a café over alleged drug possession started on Tuesday.
The police said that Shabeeb was fine at the police station ,then he fell ill and so he was transferred to Luxor international hospital where he died there.
The police also claimed Shabeeb was a thug and a drug addict.
His family and the eye witnesses in Al-Awamiyah say that he was arrested after a feud with a police officer at the café.

Eye witnesses say that the father of four did not have Tramadol pills and actually the officer and their low ranking officers had the pills with them and they saw how a low ranking officer “they know by name” gave the pills to his boss who said that he was arresting Shabeeb because of the pills taking him to Al-Awamiyah police station.

There, he was beaten to death after half an hour of his arrest according to his family.

His family says that he was transferred to Luxor international hospital as a dead man and they have evidence on that.
The smoking gun in their case was the Luxor International hospital's official medical report which stated “The deceased arrived  the hospital as a dead body at 1 AM”

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#EgyElections: The second stage is just like First stage but less noisy

And the second stage of the Parliamentary elections kicked off on Sunday and finished on Monday.
I did not write anything or cover it. I did not go to the polling stations as I have done before.
I did not do that not because I find those elections are useless and boring “Which are actually true” but because I am simply sick and have got this nasty flu and cough that did not make me sleep for days. I also had problems with ISP and internet connections that were solved today.
I do not know if it is me online, but I find people are less interested in the results of this stage in the elections.
It is less noisy in a way or another like the first stage despite we are speaking about Cairo and Delta governorates.
Despite the media coverage , the people seem to care less actually following other local and international news. I noticed that people in Egypt were interested in following the news of that awful suicide bombing in Al-Arish that targeted the elections supervising judges in their“Swiss-inn” Hotel earlier Tuesday killing at least seven people were killed. The attack that killed a judge and security personnel was important to the people than knowing the results of the elections.
The people are not even interested in knowing who won in North Sinai or how the political situation there aside from that never ending military operation.
Needless to say, there was nothing in the second stage for real.
The voters, mostly elderly at one of the polling stations waiting
By Mostafa  Bassim
I think the turnout in that phase was not that high than the first phase of the first stage.
Ironically, it seems that people forgot that there were elections in 13 governorates above them in Cairo despite all the campaigns and banners with faces of candidates.
They do not speak about the elections or discuss the results.
Still, it was in high in rural areas than big cities. Again, senior citizens were seen more often in the polling stations than youth.
More ex-NDPians and Controversial figures made it in this round.
Personally, I think we are in front of some political apathy because the majority of the people feel that there is no use as they see the old corrupted faces returning once again to the parliament using their old ways whether through electoral bribes or electoral lists.
Now here are some belated quick facts and numbers about this stage in the parliamentary race in Egypt.
Already from 3,067 candidates in 13 governorates competing over 267 seats in the 2015 parliament.
The 13 governorates were Cairo, Qalioubiya, Daqahliya, Monufia, Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharkia, Damietta, Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai.
When it comes to the electoral lists based seat, we had about 195 candidates in 4 lists “In the love of Egypt, Al-Nour party, the Republic alliance and Independence current” competing over 45 seats in Cairo and another 15 seats in East Delta.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

In Case you do not know , there is a new crisis between Egypt and Sudan

And it seems that there is a new crisis between Egypt and Sudan thanks to the police brutality.
Since the start of November, the crisis has been growing and the Egyptian media did not care or cover it.
We all know about it from social media and Sudanese media  in Egypt unfortunately.
It seems that several Sudanese citizens were arrested and mistreated by Egyptian security forces for allegedly foreign exchange issue.
According to the Sudanese community in Egypt , not less 15 Sudanese citizens were arrested and mistreated in Downtown Cairo police stations for allegedly illegal foreign exchange and fraud in the past few weeks.
Most of the reports revolve around Abdeen and Azbakia police stations in Downtown Cairo.
One of those incidents is creating huge anger in Sudan currently: The incident of Mr.Yahia Zakaria.
Mr. Zakaria came to Cairo accompanying his sick son and his friend.
According to Sudanese press , Zakaria and his friend were entering a foreign exchange company to exchange US dollars with Egyptian pounds when they were arrested by under-covered police officers.
A scan for the Sudanese newspaper with a report about
the torture of one the Sudanese citizens in Cairo
"17 November" 
The 50-years old Sudanese man and his friend spent their night at a police station in downtown Cairo where they were allegedly harassed racially.
Next Day, they were referred to the prosecution where it turned out that Zakaria had $500 and LE4,000 while his friend had $1600 and 2000 Sudanese pound.
The two men were released by the prosecution but instead of walking free, the police referred them to the National security after three more days in detention.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Beyond the Schweppes Bomb secret

And ISIL aka Daesh revealed the secret behind the crash the Russian Plane in Egypt and ironically a Schweppes Golden can be allegedly behind it !!
The militant group claimed responsibility for the crash of the Russian plane officially in the 12th issue of its Dabiq magazine  revealing its secret: An improvised explosive device in a soda can be
planted on the board of the doomed plane.

A screen cap from Dabiq magazine 
Yes according to the Forward of the glossy militant magazine, the militant group “discovered a way to compromise the security at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and resolving to bring down a plane belonging to a nation in the American-led Western coalition against the Islamic State, the target was changed to a Russian plane. A bomb was smuggled onto the airplane”.
The IED bomb was allegedly made of C-4 explosives planted in a Schweppes Gold soda drink “Pineapple flavor”

It is worth to mention that Daesh-affiliated group “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis” {ABM} claimed responsibility for that twice.

The Sinai-based group which started as Al-Qaeda affiliated group then swore allegiance in 2014 to Daesh claimed responsibility of the same day, but most analysts thought that they were bluffing because at first it was believed that they downed by a missile.

The group which named itself “Sinai” province issued another statement claiming responsibility for the Plane’s crash but refused to reveal how.

Of course , they say that they did to avenge for the Russian air strikes in Syria against ISIL.
The official Egyptian-led investigation team has not announced yet the reason behind the crash that killed over 200 people, mostly Russians.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mohamed Mahmoud clashes : The Young people still remember it

Today, Non-Islamist Pro-25 January revolution protesters and supporters commemorated the anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes mostly online as usual.
In case you forgot, the Clashes of Mohamed Mahmoud erupted in November 2011 following the violent dispersal of a sit-in against the Supra-Constitution principles proposed by SCAF.
The clashes took place at Mohamed Mahmoud street and surrounding streets. Not less than 40 protesters were killed and hundreds were injured.
Many protesters lost their eyes in those clashes. 
Strangely we used to have parliamentary elections during then just like now and I remember that the Muslim Brotherhood leading figures were afraid that those clashes would spoil the elections.
In November 2012, the clashes renewed once again between protesters and security forces during the commemoration of the clashes in 2011.
It feels like ages !!
In November 2013, Once again the clashes erupted when protesters protested in Tahrir square and one protester was killed during the clashes.
In November 2015, a small group of protesters organized a stand at 6 October bridge Thursday afternoon.
The stand by Momen Samir
#Egypt_is sinking
I have seen this lady in protests since 2011 in many protests 

The vanishing of the NDP Building scene

As you have known in May that the infamous building of the National Democratic Party “NDP” was being demolished.
I noticed that no one paid attention to the progress of demolishing that building that became of symbol of corruption and power in Egypt for decades and thus I see how far the demolishing process has reached.
Once upon time , there was a huge building there for Egypt's ruling party since 1970s
I took couple of photos for the building while it was being demolished on Monday and it really looked so different.

You can see the Egyptian museum as in the old times across the times 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#RussianPlane : Moscow says it is a bomb while Cairo says it is too early to say anything

And we woke up early Tuesday to find Russia announcing officially that what brought down the Russian airliner in Sinai was a bomb.
Putin and his men at the meeting which was filmed
"Kremlin website" 

In Moscow, we found out that President Putin held a meeting on the crash of the Russian airliner. with the head of Federal Security Service “FSB” Director Alexander Bortnikov.
Bortnikov announced in the meeting that through examining the passengers’ personal belongings and luggage and fragments of the plane that crashed in Sinai, traces of foreign-made explosives were found.
According to the FSB experts, “ self-made explosive device equivalent up to 1 kg of TNT was set off on board”
In other direct word, it was a terrorist act according to the Russian government.
From his side, El-Sisi’s best friend vowed to “find the perpetrators anywhere on the planet and punish them”. He also added that Russia “will act in compliance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which envisages the right of a state to self-defence.”
This is what article 51 of the United Nations charter says:
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Does the right of the self-defence of Russia stops in Russia and the ISIS stronghold there or will it be extended to include Sinai as well ?? This is the question of the hour in Egypt.
Of course that meeting which was filmed for the Russian public to show much Putin cared for his people, that means Putin already knew about the findings of FSB hours earlier and his words were prepared carefully.
I do not know if the Egyptian ambassador in Moscow was informed by those results prior to that meeting or not but if he did not then we will be having a bigger problem.
The Russians also announced a US$ 50 million for anyone with information about the perpetrators.
It is worth to mention that ISIS-affiliated and North Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis “ABM” aka Sinai province claimed responsibility for the attack without giving any details on how they did it.
After an hour or even less from this announcement, we found Reuters reporting that according to security officials in Egypt, 17 Sharm El-Sheikh airport staff were detained including 2 men  “Ground crew” suspected to be involved in planting the bomb on the board of the plane.
The report including this very interesting detail quoting unnamed Egyptian security official.
The second security official said CCTV footage showed a baggage handler carrying a suitcase from an airport building to another man, who was loading luggage onto the doomed airliner from beneath the plane on the runway.
So allegedly, that was how the bomb was planted onto the airliner.

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