FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa - August 13th - The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is holding two major events to honour those how lost their lives while peacefully protesting, in two open squares, the military coup led by Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, July 3rd 2013 against the first democratically elected president and his government in a mass murder operation. Human Right Watch called it in its detailed report "All according to Plan".

ECCD is also honouring the victims of this bloody coup who have been detained, subjected to torture, extrajudicial assassinations almost 100 have been executed without due process, and several hundred death sentences have been issued. ECCD is equally rto mind the thousands who were detained. It is estimated that the Egyptian authorities currently hold about 60,000 political prisoners. Among them, twelve men, including former MPs, government ministers, and physicians have been sentenced to death by Egypt's highest appeals court, the Court of Cassation, on June 14th 2021. The men face imminent execution if their sentence is confirmed by Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The various commemoration events are

  • Rally at Mississauaga Celeberation Square, Saturday August 14th 2 PM EDT
  • Rally at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Saturday August 14th, 3 PM
  • An international Zoom Conference, Saturday August 14th 2 PM EDT, organized by the International "Stop Executions in Egypt" campaign with participants including human rights activists and politicians in Canada and worldwide, including former Tunisian President Moncef Al Marzouki. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
  • Blood Drive in collaboration with the Canadian Blood Services in various cities in Canada in honour of the victims of the Rabaa Massacre

On this sad occasion, ECCD also honours the journalists who were deliberately targeted while covering the tragic events unfolding at Rabaa and El-Nahda camps and other protests. The most recent case being the detention of veteran journalist Abdel Nasser Salama, who through an opinion published on his FaceBook page, called for El Sissi to resign (August 2021).

ECCD is inviting all those who care about human rights to show their solidarity by joining us.

About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information:
www.eccd.ca
عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته.
Mohamed Kamel: (514) 863-9202

Background Information
On June 30 2013, exactly one year after the late Dr.Mohamed Morsi was democratically elected as president, large numbers of disenchanted people gathered in Tahrir square demanding the departure of Morsi. It is well documented now that these protests were encouraged and funded by those opposed to the Arab Spring aspirations. Three days later, General Abdel Fattah El Sisi, at the head of the armed forces forcefully deposed Morsi under the pretext of responding to the call of the people.

Supporters of the late deposed president replicated by occupying two squares — Rabaa al-Adawiya in Nasr city, Cario and al-Nahda in Giza — to protest his ouster, vowing to remain until Morsi was reinstated.

On July 27, 2013 about 100 protesters gathered in Nasr City, were mowed down by special police forces under the pretext that they were attacking police headquarters. Political analyst Larbi Sadiqi writes 'July 27, 2013 will go down in the annals of history as an infamous day not dissimilar to June 4, 1989, when the Chinese government used disproportionate force in Tiananmen Square, snuffing out a peaceful protest with violence'. And he rightly predicted that this was just the beginning as internal and external reconciliation attempts failed to resolve the crisis peacefully. Unfortunately, he couldn't have been more clairvoyant.

On 14 August 2013 Egyptian security forces raided the two camps of protesters in what was described by Human Rights Watch as the most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history.

By 8:00 the smaller Al-Nahda camp — near Cairo University in Giza — was cleared of protesters, but it took about 12 hours for police to take control of the main sit-in site near the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque that has served as the epicenter of the pro-Morsi campaign. The police in riot gear used tear gas, rubber bullets, birdshot and live ammunition to disperse the protesters while being supported by bulldozers to clear barricades and covered by armored vehicles and snipers on rooftops.

According to the Egyptian Health Ministry, 638 people were killed on 14 August, of which 595 were civilians and 43 police officers, with at least 3,994 injured. The actual numbers are reported to be much higher although many victims were never accounted for, either because they were missing or their death certificates indicated natural causes for their demise.

On 10 December 2013, thirteen Egyptian and international human rights organizations urged Cairo's interim authorities to probe the mass killing of protesters in the capital on 14 August. To this day, there has been no independent investigation.

Egyptian state television aired images purporting to show weapons confiscated from the sit-in protester's camps, including automatic rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition. However, various journalists and news agencies discredited these claims as multiple independent journalists had visited and inspected the camps for weapons prior to the attacks, finding none of the purported weapon caches.

In addition to those murdered sur place, thousands were detained, and tried on trumped up charges.

The trials have been described by Amnesty International as "grossly unfair" and that they "cast a dark shadow over the country's entire justice system". Human Rights Watch described it as a "mockery of justice" and demanded to "void their execution and put an end to Egypt's profligate use of the death penalty".

During the dispersal, journalists covering the event were targeted. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, it was the deadliest day for journalists in Egypt since the organization began keeping records in 1992. Veteran Sky News camera operator Michael Deane, 61, was killed although he was wearing a helmet that clearly identified him as a journalist. Also killed was Egyptian journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, working for Gulf News publication XPRESS newspaper, and Egyptian reporter Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who was with the Al-Akhbar state-run newspaper and was an editorial manager for the Muslim Brotherhood television satellite channel Misr 25, as well as Rassd News Network (RNN) photojournalist Mosab El-Shami. Among the journalists most seriously injured were Al-Watan editor Tariq Abbas, who was shot in the face, and Al-Masry Al-Youm photojournalist Alaa al-Qamhawy, who was shot in the foot. Among the detained journalists were Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah al-Shami and Al Jazeera Media Network's Mubasher Misr photographers Emad Eddin Al-Sayed and Abdulrahman Al-Mowahhed-Bellah, and Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt) journalist Radwa Al-Selawi.

References

Press communiqué - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ECCD fears for the life and safety of journalist Abdel Nasser Salama after Egyptian authorities detained him following his publication of a FB post demanding that Abdel Fattah El Sisi step down. ECCD is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Salama.
Ottawa - July 21 2021- Abdel Nasser Salama, the former editor-in-chief of Egypt's leading state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram was arrested in his home in the city of Alexandria, Egypt on Sunday and jailed for 15 days pending investigations over alleged charges of "financing terrorism", spreading false news on social media and undermining state agencies and institutions.
Egypt's public prosecution issued the order to imprison Mr. Salama after the latter posted an opinion piece on Facebook early last week calling on President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to resign over, among other charges, his role in the "heavy defeat" related to Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam. The FB account has been taken off line. An English translation appears below.
The news of Mr. Salama's detention is particularly worrisome because of the documented lack of due process of the Egyptian judicial system. Moreover lately, declassified documents in the investigation of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi led to questions about the involvement of the Egyptian authorities. https://news.yahoo.com/egyptian-intelligence-chief-to-face-questioning-over-alleged-involvement-in-khashoggi-killing-221455670.html
ECCD is thus adding its voice to the Committee to Protect Journalists as well as individual journalists to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Abdel Nasser Salama. https://cpj.org/2021/07/egyptian-authorities-detain-journalist-abdel-naser-salama-on-terrorism-and-false-news-charges/
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About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information:
www.eccd.ca

Translation of Abdel Nasser Salama FB post (by ECCD)

Do it, Mr. President
Why does President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi not have the moral and ethical courage to declare his direct responsibility for the heavy defeat against Ethiopia, and for wasting Egypt's historic right to the waters of the Nile, when he granted legitimacy to the Dam, the cause of the crisis, when he signed the disastrous 2015 agreement (and he was aware of the consequences of what he was doing), then when he gave again, legitimacy to the Dam by resorting to the UN Security Council without adequate preparation.
Even before that when he overlooked at the very beginning the construction (of the Dam), and subsequently when he was unable to take a military decision to bring the conspiring Ethiopian leadership to their senses. Also, when he failed to rally international support for a just cause, despite spending billions of dollars buying arms and other things from influential countries.
Honesty and courage require the president to come out to the people with the announcement of his abdication from power and present himself to a fair trial for all what his hands committed, from ceding the Red Sea islands, the Mediterranean gas fields, the Nile waters,
and wasting Egypt's wealth on useless armaments, and tying the country down with exorbitant debts that it will never be able to repay,
and spreading a state of terror and fear among Egyptians by threatening them to deploy the army (against them) within 6 hours,
and dividing the society according to creed, function, and status by creating an unprecedented situation of polarization,
and imprisoning and arresting tens of thousands with or without justification,
and turning the Sinai into a cemetery for our soldiers and officers as a result of an extremely bad managed crisis that could have been avoided; not to mention dozens of other charges that will be revealed in due course.
I wish Mr. President that you were being convinced early enough of the painful truth revealed by the Security Council session, which is that there is no support for you in the world, and this has never happened to Egypt throughout both its ancient and modern history, and the reasons are well known to you.
Do it and step aside, Mr. President, in order to save Egypt, if you are really Egyptian. This will be the only good deed that the world will remember you for and would erase from their memory (of the world) the accusation of the coup that troubles you and that was the cause of most of the foreign concessions.
Do it so that the armed forces could have the freedom to act before it is too late. They will find unprecedented support from all strata of people if they (the armed forces) do what is necessary, bearing in mind that there is no legitimacy for anyone who did not defend the Nile.
It suffices that the Egyptian nation witnessed, as the whole world witnessed, that the President of Egypt was riding an aerial bicycle, for a promenade in the new city of El Alamein at a time when the Security Council was discussing an existential issue for Egypt. (Hence you showed) great disregard for the people, who were watching the events live on television screens, feeling anger and sadness over the fate of their children and offspring, who would be dealing with sewage waste in food and drink, and even ablution.
We will rule out the theory of conspiracy, betrayal, or being a proxy, and everything that is currently heard on the Street, we only hope that you can prove that the issue was just a miscalculation resulting from the one person's rule and taking individual decisions, then there will be no maximum punishment, although I personally doubt it.
Do it and step aside at once without wasting any more time, if not for Egypt, then for you, I repeat: for your sake, because in all the dictatorships that the world has gone through, cheating and deception have never held for ever, they eventually erode little by little, even if they lasted for a long time, with the prop of failed battalions and electronic committees, and the domination of a miserable media.

Egyptian Canadians will rally today Friday June 25th, 7 PM @ Parliament Hill to denounce the recent death sentences that took place in Egypt and demand Canada's government to take a stance against them.

On June 14th 2021, Egypt's highest appeals court, the Court of Cassation, upheld the death sentences for 12 people, including former MPs, government ministers, and physicians.

Unfortunately, the Canadian government has remained silent since then. Such silence from Canada and the international community is giving a green light to Egypt's military dictator, Abelfattah El-Sisi, to carry out the executions, and deliver more death sentences to activists and opponents in the future.

The 12 men whose death sentences were confirmed could face execution imminently if no pressure is made on Sisi.

The trial has been described by Amnesty International as "grossly unfair" and that they "cast a dark shadow over the country's entire justice system". Human Rights Watch described it as a "mockery of justice" and demanded to "void their execution and put an end to Egypt's profligate use of the death penalty".

Those whose death sentences the Cassation Court upheld include former MP, Mohamed al-Beltagy, former Minister of Youth, Osama Yassine, dentist and former speaker of Freedom and Justice Party, Ahmed Arif, and university professor, Abdelrahman al-Bar. 4 of those sentenced death, Mohamed and Mostafa Al-Faramawy, Ahmed Farouk, and Haitham Al-Arabi, were arrested 2 weeks before the Rabaa dispersal (the event the trial case is all about) happened.

The trials are related to the Rabaa Massacre that took place on August 14th 2013, in which the military regime killed more than 1,000 protestors who held a 40+ day sit-in in Rabaa Square. The massacre has been described by Human Rights Watch as "one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history". Instead of holding the military and security forces responsible for the massacre, the judiciary in Egypt trialed the organizers of participants of the sit-in, and handed 12 death sentences and more than 31 life-in-prison sentences to them. Mohamed Elbeltagy, a former MP and one of those sentenced to death for participating in the sit-in, had his daughter, Asmaa Elbeltagy, killed during the sit-in dispersal. The judiciary in Egypt has never investigated her death or brought any of her murderes to justice.

We hereby demand that you as an MP, and the Canadian government, to issue a statement to denounce the recent death sentence, and perform diplomatic pressure on Sisi's regime to halt the executions.

References:

- Amnesty International, "Egypt: Death sentences upheld for 12 defendants after shameful mass trial", 2021/06/14

- Human Rights Watch, "Egypt: Commute Death Sentences for Rab'a Protestors", 2021/06/18

- Human Rights Watch, "All According to Plan: The Rab'a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt", 2014/08/4

Press communiqué

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy ECCD offers its sincerest condolences to those who lost loved ones in the trains' collision in Sohag, Egypt.
ECCD salutes the contribution of ordinary people for the rescue efforts to the wounded and deplores the lack of preparedness of the authorities.
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A collision between two trains killed at least 19 people and injured 185 in the southern Egyptian province of Sohag on Friday, according to a Health Ministry statement delivered Saturday, Reuters reported. Previously, the number of casualties reported was 32 deaths. The exact number of deceased and injured may never be disclosed.

The crash occurred north of the provincial capital, Sohag, between two passenger trains both heading north toward the capital, Cairo.

ECCD is demanding an independent, transparent investigation into the crash, not convenient explanations dolled out by the Minister of Transportation. When he visited the site, under heavy guard, trying to soothe the people with promises, he had to retreat followed by angry shouts of 'Irhal' (Leave).

ECCD is also demanding adequate preparedness of the emergency services. Videos posted on social media showed passengers coated with dust and debris, walking in a daze inside derailed and mangled train carriages. Others were writhing with pain and crying for help.

ECCD deplores that money is allocated to infrastructure that benefits only enclaves frequented by the wealthy rather than the daily transportation means used by the working classes.

Background Information:

Friday's collision immediately brought scrutiny to Egypt's rail system, one of the oldest in the world and largest in the region. Construction on the first railway line in Egypt, between Alexandria and Kafr Eassa, began in 1851. Once among the most efficiently in the world, the rail network has suffered from under funding over past decades with tragic consequences.

Data released by Egypt's official statistics agency showed 1,657 train accidents in 2017, up from 1,249 the year before.

El-Sissi has infamously declared that it will be more profitable to collect interest on the millions of Egyptian pounds (needed to modernize the transportation infra-structure), by depositing the money in a bank.
However, in January, Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany's Siemens for construction of a $23 billion high-speed train line that would run from Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to New Alamein on the Mediterranean coast, two resorts for the wealthy. It would also
pass through a new capital city being built east of Cairo, for El-Sissi administration.
Even with the disruption caused by the coronavirus, 1.4 million passengers per day used the nation's trains and metro network, Egypt's Transportation Ministry said last April.

According to the Washington Post, the Egyptian prime minister has offered roughly $6,300 to the families of the deceased and just over $2,500 for those injured.

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Ottawa, September 22 2020

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) stands in full solidarity with Egyptians and all Human Rights defenders calling for the removal of El-Sisi and his military regime.

Western Governments especially our Government should support Egyptians and all Human Rights defenders facing a regime that killed thousands in cold blood, imprisoned tens of thousands of political opponents from all political stripes, and silenced all critical voices.

During the last few days, demonstrators spontaneously flooded the streets to cry out their anger and demand change, calling for El-Sisi to leave. They passionately expressed themselves physically and virtually. The most popular hashtag was 'We don't want you' and 'Irhal' (which means leave!).

Characteristically, the response to the people's rebellion was by more detentions and complete denial by the official controlled media. El-sisi himself remained silent. But the regime surely realizes now that it is losing its grip and the winds of change are gaining strength.

As the population was reeling from a sharp increase in the price of commodities, on top of the ever-rising taxes, the regime has introduced an additional punishing new law about building permits. In fact, another disguised way of extorting money to replenish the coffers of those in power at the expense of the poor.

With broken hearts, we and all the world, watched the images of families being thrown into the streets while the bulldozers flattened their homes. When will this cruelty and injustice stop?

To those who raised their voices denouncing the latest round of abuse by the regime, to those who are aspiring for the end of cronyism and corruption, for those who aspire to live in security and dignity, for those who are unjustly imprisoned, we want to assure you of our backing and admiration. We will not let you down! We will do everything in our power to extend our support in these difficult times.

The end of this tyrant and his regime is near!

About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information:
www.eccd.ca