Egyptian Canadian Coalition for DemocracyHuman Rights in Egypt | When will Canada's Detained Come Home?

Media Advisory
Human Rights in Egypt | When will Canada's Detained Come Home?

Ottawa April 26 & 27 - A panel of eyewitnesses, experts and academics speak on human rights violations, highlighting the cases of Khaled Al-Qazzaz and Mohammad Fahmy, and Press Conference.

  • Canadian citizen Sarah Attia, whose husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz has been falsely imprisoned in Egypt, continues to raise awareness about his inadequate care and deteriorating health. Sarah Attia is urging the Canadian Government to do more to help bring justice for her husband and family while he is unlawfully imprisoned in Egypt.

  • A member of Mohamed Fahmy’s family will give an eye-witness account of his situation and the conditions in Tora Prison, Cairo. Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was taken prisoner December 29, 2013, when he was acting bureau chief for Al Jazeera English. This Sunday, April 27, is his birthday, to be spent for 23 hours in a dank cell.

  • Hilary Homes from Amnesty International Canada will speak of the human rights violations taking place in Egypt. Amnesty International has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Canadian citizen and prisoner of conscience Mohamed Fahmy and the release from detention of detained Canadian permanent resident Khaled Al-Qazzaz who has been held without charge or trial for nine months.

  • Dr. Monia Mazigh, a Canadian academic and human rights expert who campaigned tirelessly for the release of her husband, Maher Arar, when he was deported to Syria, tortured and held without charge, will also address the audience. Dr. Mazigh is author of Hope and Despair, a 2008 book about her pursuit of justice.

Hosted by the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) at the University of Ottawa on Monday April 28 at 6:30 pm in the Faculty of Social Sciences (120 University Private), Room 1006.

Also, join Sarah Attia for a press conference at the Charles-Lynch Press Conference Room in Centre Block on Parliament Hill, on Tuesday April 29 at 10.30 am.

For more information:
Osama Elkhodary
(613) 265-6509
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Egyptian Canadian Coalition for DemocracyMr. Baird shouldn’t visit Egypt now

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) has learned that Mr. Baird will be visiting Egypt starting April 17 2014 and holding talks with representatives of “the interim government”, appointed by the military junta lead by Field Marshall Abdel Fatah Al Sisi.
 
Contrary to what Mr. Baird has declared earlier, that “We stand with the Egyptian people in their efforts to build a stable, inclusive, prosperous and democratic Egypt based on respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” this visit can be construed as an endorsement of all the well documented atrocities and egregious human rights violations committed in Egypt over the last 9 months under the stewardship of Field Marshall Al-Sisi.
 
In this respect, we urge Mr. Baird and the Canadian government not to turn a blind eye to such abuses, such as the detention of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy and the death sentencing of 529 people in one court session.

Ottawa always had an uncompromising policy toward human rights violations taking place anywhere, and Egypt should not be an exception. We demand that Canada maintains the same standards towards Egypt rather than declare “this visit will signal Canada’s willingness to support Egypt during this important transition.”

As to the other issues mentioned on the DFAIT's website: “During his trip, he will discuss economic and security issues as well as important regional issues, including the situation in Iran and Syria and the Middle East peace process”, it is regretful to hear this since the present interim government in Egypt, which has illegally took control of the country from the democratically elected president, has neither the legitimacy nor the capacity to serve Canadian interests in Egypt or the region.

Furthermore, we fear that seeking close cooperation on ‘security’ matter with the interim government will undermine rather than enhance the security of Canadians traveling to the Middle-East.

Last, but not least, we foresee that this visit will be used by the interim government to gain credibility for implementing an inclusive process whereas in effect any opposing voice is ruthlessly suppressed. Canada should not be part of this travesty of democracy.

Thus, we ask that Mr. Baird reconsider his decision to visit Egypt at this time. 

For more information:
www.eccd.ca
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Samaa Elibyari: +1 (514) 288-8609

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for DemocracyA Scream for Justice

Since the bloody military coup took place in Egypt on July 3rd, 2013, the killings, arrests, and torture of Egyptians by the coup regime did not stop.  Every day, the coup shows the world more and more how ugly and savage its true face is.  Starting with the massacre of Rabaa, the largest massacre in Egyptian history, that claimed thousands of lives, to the daily killing of Egyptian University students, to the arrest and torture of a massive number of Egyptians that exceeded 22,000 so far, the coup is showing the world its bloody and savage nature.  All this is happening amid a deafening silence from the international community.  This suspicious silence encouraged the coup regime to sentence 26 pro-democracy supporters Egyptian to death last week with complete disrespect to the basic principles of justice.  Two days ago, on March 24th, an Egyptian judge, based on orders from the military, sentenced 529 pro-democracy Egyptians to death in a grotesque trial that lasted for only two sessions spanning only 20 minutes! The defendants were denied the right to deny the charges and no evidence whatsoever was presented.  It is ironic that several of those accused were killed by the military before the alleged crime took place. Some of them have been outside the country for years!

It has never happened before in Egyptian history that the country suffered from such a brutal level of injustice.  The leaders of the military coup, after removing the democratically elected president, are trying to get rid of all opposition using the Egyptian judiciary as their weapon in cold blood.

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is calling on all free people around the world in the name of basic human values, freedom, and human rights to stand beside their brothers and sisters in Egypt who are struggling for freedom from an oppressive military regime.  We call on all free people around the world to pressure their governments to help stop the flood of spelt Egyptian blood and to press for a return to democracy in Egypt.

We call on reputable international organizations including the United Nations (UN), Amnesty International,  the International Human Rights Commission, and the International Criminal Tribunal to do all they can to stop the execution of the grotesque court rulings in Egypt.  We also call on them to interfere to end the massacres committed by the military and police force against pro-democracy supporters and to press for the release of all political detainees.  We also call on all international organizations to stop any cooperation with the military-controlled Egyptian government and to reduce the representation of Egypt in these organizations until the oppressive practices cease and full return to democracy is achieved.   

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for DemocracyThe Farce of the Coup Constitution

In these days, Egyptians worldwide are commemorating the anniversary of the January 25th 2011 revolution.  We all remember how this revolution impressed everyone with its peacefulness and inspired the world with its strength.  The results of this glorious revolution included the first ever democratic procedure in Egypt’s history and the election of the first ever democratically elected civilian president in Egypt’s history.

This year, while we relive the memories of this great revolution, Egypt is living a state of complete collapse of its democratic systems as a result of the July 3rd military coup that brutally ended the fledgling democratic experience.  The military coup canceled the results of five free votes (two (2) Referenda, two (2) parliamentary elections and the presidential elections), suspended the constitution approved by 63% of Egyptian voters, and kidnapped the legal president of Egypt Dr. Mohamed Morsi.

In an attempt to attain recognition before the international community, the coup government appointed unelected committee to write a new constitution draft.  This illegal committee eliminated all the Egyptian factions opposing the military coup.  They wrote the constitution draft in a politically-tense environment contaminated with gross human rights violations as testified to by many international organizations.

The military-appointed government moved to put the controversial constitution document to a referendum for Egyptians inside and outside the country.  More than 85% of voters boycotted this referendum which was carried out amid a strong propaganda campaign from the state-controlled media to guide the voters to say “yes”.  Anyone who dared to express criticism for this illegal document was arrested.  During the two days of voting, twelve Egyptians were murdered by the coup forces and scores were injured during peaceful protests to condemn the referendum.

We, member of the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD), reject this constitution draft, the results of the referendum, and any subsequent steps based on the referendum, for the following reasons:

  1. The illegal constitution draft makes the military above the state.  The referendum legalizes this situation, gives the army the chance to eliminate any democratically elected government in the future.

  2. The “road map” suggested by coup was imposed by the military and was never a result of a national consensus.

  3. This flawed constitution document is a result of an illegal non-elected committee that does not represent Egyptians.

  4. Thousands of Egyptian martyrs who were murdered by the military gave their lives to protect the democracy that this constitution document destroys.  This document effectively establishes a military fascism in which Egyptians are denied the basic human and political rights guaranteed by international conventions.

  5. The climate in which the referendum was carried out is toxic.   Most leaders of the opposition were imprisoned and only military-controlled media was allowed to operate.  Independent journalists were arrested or denied the right to freely report the incidents inside the country.

  6. There was no independent monitoring of the voting process.  The military and its allies had full control on the voting ballots.  All respectable international organization like the Carter institution have declined to monitor the voting process because they are convinced that it was fraudulent process.

The ECCD reiterates its stance that the January 25th revolution against the new oppressors will not stop.  The ECCD will continue to support the people of Egypt inside the country until the revolution achieves its targets of freedom, democracy and social justice for all Egyptian.

 

Egyptians Worldwide for Democracy and Justice (EW4DJ)Egyptians Worldwide for Democracy and Justice (EW4DJ) Calls for Boycotting the Constitution Referendum

Councilor Adly Mansour, the military-appointed president of Egypt, has called recently on Egyptian voters to participate in a referendum on the constitution drafted by a military-appointed committee composed of 50 members.

EW4DJ, as a representative of a wide segment of expatriate pro-democracy Egyptians, rejects this constitution draft and calls for the return of the democratically elected institutions.  EW4DJ also calls for the return to the democratic route that was approved by Egyptian voters on March 19th, 2011.

EW4DJ rejection of the constitution and the referendum is based on many reasons.  These reasons include the following:

  1. Egypt lives under a state of terror imposed on the population by the military coup.  Thousands of peaceful pro-democracy supporters have been killed by the coup army and police forces.  Tens of thousands are behind bars in humane conditions with many believed to have been tortured.  Free newspapers and TV stations have been shut down.  Only the ones under state control or under the control of pro-coup supporters were left to operate.  The crimes of the coup have put the country on the verge of a civil war and in such a climate, a fair and transparent voting is not possible.
  2. The referendum is illegal and the person calling for it, the military-appointed councilor Mansour, is also an illegal president.   He is a puppet in the hands of the military coup with no real legitimacy.
  3. The military coup itself, according to international law, is illegal.  As a consequence, all actions of the coup authorities, including the formation of the constitution drafting committee and the declaration of a road map, are illegitimate.  The Egyptian people, both inside and outside the country, will not accept the illegitimate constitution draft as basis for the future of the country.
  4. The suggested constitution draft contains many flawed clauses that undermine all the gains of the revolution of January 25th, 2011.  These clauses allow the militarization of the state and the creation of a military fascism.  It also puts the position of the minister of defence and the military above state laws.
  5. Egypt has already a constitution that 64% of Egyptians voted in favor in 2012.  The unelected committee appointed by Councilor Mansour has no authority to change the constitution of 2012 which was created by members elected by the Egyptian nation.

Egyptians Worldwide for Democracy and Justice (EW4DJ), while rejecting the military coup and all subsequent measures taken by the coup authorities, calls for Egyptians both inside and outside the country to boycott the referendum.  We call on our people to continue protesting and resisting the bloody coup by all peaceful means until its eventual defeat.  ED4DJ values the great sacrifices our people are making to recover democracy and to put the country on the right track again.

Egyptians Worldwide for Democracy and Justice