- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Ottawa, August 14 2020

Remembering the massacres of Raba'a and Al Nahda squares (Egypt)- Aug 14, 2013
Calling for justice for the victims of Abdel Fatah El-Sissi, from 2013 to date

Today, Egyptian Canadians sadly commemorate the victims, peaceful protesters who opposed the deposition of President Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president following a coup d'état orchestrated by then General Abdel Fatah El-Sissi, July 3rd 2013.

Immediately, after the announcement of the coup was made, supporters of the nascent democratic process poured in Rabaa al-Adawiya square (Nasr City) and al-Nahda square (Giza) in defiance. Their numbers swelled reaching thousands thus becoming the largest sit-ins in Egyptian modern history. They hoped their steadfastness would succeed in pressuring the military to restore Dr. Morsi* to the presidency. Protesters slept, ate, prayed, and camped in the squares for 45 days under the burning sun of Cairo.

On August 14, 2013 the military-backed government, officially ordered the dispersal of Rabaa and al-Nahda squares with armoured vehicles, bulldozers and hundreds of security forces moving in the early hours.

The brutal dismantlement of the sit-ins saw soldiers and police murder more than 800 protesters at Raba'a square in a matter of hours. Hundreds more were killed in Al-Nahda square. The exact number of the victims will never be known as countless bodies were not identified.

After a year-long investigation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented the events that led to the mass killings, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing video footage.

Based on the findings of its 2014 report, titled "All According to Plan"**, HRW concluded the killings "likely amounted to crimes against humanity" and "were part of a policy". Despite a wealth of evidence implicating the Egyptian army and police in killing the protesters, no one has ever been brought to trial.
HRW has called for an international, independent inquiry into the tragic event of Raba'a to no avail. "Without justice, Rabaa remains an open wound. Those responsible for the mass killings of protesters shouldn't count on being able to shield themselves from accountability forever", said Sarah Leah Whitson, then HRW's director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The massacres at Raba'a and Al-Nahda squares are not the only crimes committed under Abdel Fattah El Sissi. Since he usurped power in 2013, he continues to ruthlessly suppress any opposition. Imprisonment, torture and a complete disregard for law became the new order in Egypt. Presently, there are an estimated 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt, held in appalling conditions.

We, members of the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD), continue to press for accountability, for the deceased and the detainees. To all the victims, we say, your sacrifices will not be forgotten. You will always be in our hearts and on our minds, today and every day.

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

 

*Dr. Mohamed Morsi died in prison, after six years of detainment, under dire conditions amounting to torture and total medical neglect.
** For more info about Rab'a Massacre please read HRW report https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/08/12/all-according-plan/raba-massacre-and-mass-killings-protesters-egypt

El 28 de julio 2020

Para: Embazador Enrique Ruiz Molero
Embajada de España en Canadá
74, Stanley Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1M 1P4, Canada

Embazador Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui
Embajada de España en Egipto
41 Ismail Mohammed, Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

CC: Media

English version follows

REF: Gracias al Gobierno de España.
Posición de España sobre el caso del egipcio Mohamed Ali, residente en Barcelona

Su Excelencia Sr. Enrique Ruiz Molero,
Su Excelencia Sr. Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui:

Estoy escribiendo en nombre de la Coalición Egipcio-Canadiense para la Democracia, ECCD, una organización con sede en Canadá que tiene como objetivo promover la democracia y los derechos civiles en Egipto.

Actualmente, estamos profundamente preocupados por la situación de Mohamed Ali, ciudadano egipcio que reside en Barcelona, y los pasos que el régimen egipcio ha tomado para extraditarlo.

En sus videos sobre el tema, Mohamed Ali elogia a las autoridades españolas por acatar el estado de derecho y no ser atraídos por lo que está ofreciendo a cambio de su cabeza. Nos gustaría unirnos a él para expresar nuestro sincero agradecimiento al Gobierno de España por adoptar una postura tan basada en principios.

Mohamed Ali es un crítico político del régimen egipcio. Está denunciando la corrupción desenfrenada en el ejército, los abusos de las autoridades y una cultura de desprecio total por los derechos civiles.

Aboga por el avance democrático a través de protestas pacíficas. Y está poniendo su vida en peligro al hablar públicamente. En nuestra opinión, merece protección y apoyo.

El primer intento de detener a Mohamed Ali a través de la INTERPOL sigue una serie de acciones para reducirlo al silencio. El papel de España como promotor de los derechos humanos es realmente alentador. Leemos sobre su sitio Web, 'España quiere contribuir a título nacional y como miembro de la Unión Europea a un mundo más libre, más justo y en paz. La defensa de los derechos humanos constituye por ello una prioridad de su acción exterior'.

Además de cumplir con las directivas generales de la Unión Europea, sabemos cómo los opositores al régimen militar del general Franco, que se vieron obligados a exiliarse, regresaron después de su muerte y fueron fundamentales para convertir a España en un país democrático y próspero.

Tras haber pasado por esta historia, esperamos que España siga extendiendo su hospitalidad a los críticos políticos, como Mohamed Ali, que deciden buscar refugio dentro de sus fronteras.

Les agradecemos por considerar debidamente esta carta.

Muy atentamente,

Ahmed Abdelkader El Pannann
Coalición Egipcio-Canadiense para la Democracia
Presidente de la Junta
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.eccd.ca

Spanish version above

August 6, 2020

TO: Ambassador Enrique Ruiz Molero
Spain Embassy in Canada
74, Stanley Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1M 1P4, Canada

Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui
Spain Embassy in the Arab Republic of Egypt
41 Ismail Mohammed, Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

CC: Media

REF: Thanks to the Government of Spain
Position of Spain concerning the case of Egyptian Mohamed Ali, residing in Barcelona

Your Excellency Mr. Enrique Ruiz Molero,
Your Excellency Mr. Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui:

I am writing, In the name of Egyptian-Canadian Coalition for Democracy, ECCD, an organization based in Canada aiming to promote democracy and civil rights in Egypt.

Currently, we are deeply concerned about the situation of Mohamed Ali, an Egyptian citizen residing reportedly in Barcelona, and the steps the Egyptian regime has taken to extradite him.

In his videos on the subject, Mohamed Ali praises the Spanish authorities for abiding by the rule of law and not being lured by what is offered in exchange for his head. We would like to join him in expressing our sincere gratitude to the Government of Spain for taking such a principled stand.

Mohamed Ali is a political critic of the Egyptian regime. He is denouncing the rampant corruption in the military, wide abuses of authorities, and a culture of complete disregard for civil rights. He is advocating for democratic advancement through peaceful protests. And he is putting his life in danger by speaking out publicly. In our opinion, he deserves protection and support.

The first attempt to have Mohamed Ali detained through INTERPOL, comes after a series of actions to reduce him to silence. The role of Spain as a promoter of human rights, as we read from your website, is truly heartening.

In addition to abiding by the general directives of the European Union, we know how opponents of the military regime of General Franco who were forced to go into exile, returned after his death and were instrumental in turning Spain into a democratic and prosperous country.

Having gone through this history, we hope that Spain will continue to extend its hospitality to political critics, like Mohamed Ali, who choose to seek refuge within its borders.

We thank you for giving due consideration to this letter.

Sincerely yours,

Ahmed Abdelkader El Pannann
Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Chairman of the Board
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.eccd.ca

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Statement on Release of Yasser Albaz

 

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Ottawa, July 3rd, 2020

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) welcomes the release of Yasser Albaz and his safe return home after more than a year of arbitrary detention in Egypt.

"We are very happy that Yasser is finally home with his family," said Ahmed Abdelkader, president of ECCD.
We applaud the intervention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team for having diligently advocated for Yasser's liberation and asked for his immediate return to Canada. PM Trudeau's intervention came at a critical time as Yasser's health was deteriorating and his family was fearing for his life.

"Prime Minister Trudeau clearly understood the urgency of the situation with Yasser showing worrisome health symptoms and no hope for proper care in Egypt's prisons. We are grateful to our government for finally putting pressure on the Egyptian regime to release him," added Abdelkader.

Human Rights advocates have repeatedly warned that the condition in which political prisoners are held in Egypt is tantamount to torture. Some have described the lack of medical care as being a slow form of execution. "The plight of political prisoners in Egypt remains dire." Abdelkader continued.

As we rejoice for the liberation of Yasser, our hearts go to the families of the estimated 60,000 other political detainees in Egypt.

We exhort our government to speak up clearly and act decisively for the freedom and civil and due process for all political prisoners

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
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mohamed Kamel: (514) 863-9202This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Press Release: 
PM Trudeau Could Still do More to Save Yasser Albaz's Life

 

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -
Ottawa, June 17th, 2020

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) calls upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to practice all the diplomatic tools available to the Canadin government to save the life of Canadian citizen Yasser Albaz who has shown COVID19 symptoms while in custody in Egypt's notorious Tora prison.

The family of Yasser Albaz will be rallying at the Prime Minister's residence today at 24 Sussex Drive at 2 PM to call upon Justin Trudeau to intervene to save the life of Yasser Albaz. At 4 PM, members of the Egyptian Canadian community will be rallying today at the Prime Minister's Office at 80 Wellington Street.

Jails in Egypt suffer from medical negligence, malnourishment, and lack of hygiene, and death among prisoners due to absence of medical care has become a norm. According to the Geneva-based Committee for Justice, at least 958 prisoners died in Egyptian prisons between June 2013 and November 2019 as a result of torture, ill-treatment and denial of medical care. Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, died himself in jail due to medical negligence, according to Human Rights Watch.

The silence of western governments, including Canada, is giving a green light to all these violations by the military regime in Egypt. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's disappointing response during yesterday's daily press conference to a question on Yasser Albaz failed to clearly reaffirm his personal commitment to save his life.

Yasser Albaz's detention in Egypt is meaningless especially as he has been detained for more than 480 days with no charges laid against him. This fact, along with the fact that hospitals in Egypt are not well equipped to face COVID19, means that the Canadian government is obliged to bring Yasser, a Canadian citizen, home to treat him in Canada.

Since the July 3rd 2013 military coup, Egyptians are suffering under a dictatorial regime that stripped them from all rights, issued death sentences without due process, illegally detained more than 60 thousand citizens, mistreating them and denying them their rights in medical care.

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
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sherif Elkholy: (613) 867-0075This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Open Letter to Our Government on the Anniversary of January 25th Revolution

 

Ottawa

January 25th 2011 

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy requests Ottawa to support the petition to protect inmates from frigid temperatures in Al-Akrab (Scorpion) prison in Egypt.
Canadian engineer Yasser AlBaz among detainees.

Since then General Abdel Fatah El-Sissi took power in July 2013, the Egyptian authorities have issued hundreds of death sentences without due process, illegally detained more than 60 thousand citizens, mistreating them and held them in abject conditions.

Presently, due to climate change, Egypt is swept by frigid temperatures in a country previously known for its mild and sunny winters. The consequences are severe for average households but particularly dire for inmates.

On-line petitions, the only channel left to make any demands or express an opinion contrary to the official scripted narrative of the Government, are calling attention to the cruel conditions in the prisons, where inmates are left exposed to extremely cold temperatures and deliberately left without blankets. This is exemplified by the situation in Al-Arab prison.

Detainees in Egypt's Scorpion prison are denied blankets and forced to sleep on the floor. They aren't allowed to receive warm clothing. In despair and protest, more than 300 inmates started a hunger strike. In response security forces stormed the homes of their families.

Among those imprisoned, is a Canadian citizen, Yasser Elbaz, who has been detained in Egypt for more than 300 days without trial.

The hardship from the cold is compounded by the lack of medical attention that led to tragic consequences.

  • On Monday January 13th, an American Egyptian detainee, Moustafa Kassem, died in custody due to a hunger strike protesting his innocence.
  • On Saturday January 4th, journalist Mahmoud Abdel Majid Mahmoud, 47, died inside the Scorpion prison. As his condition deteriorated prison authorities ignored his cellmates' cries for help.
  • In August, Human Rights Watch said that Khaled Hassan, an Egyptian-American limousine driver imprisoned on terrorism charges, had tried to kill himself in his cell.
  • And let us not forget what the UN investigation in the death of former President Mohamed Morsi in custody, concluded.

A group of independent UN human rights experts said on Friday that there was "credible evidence" that inadequate prison conditions in which former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was held may have led "directly" to his death in June, and thousands of other detainees may be at "severe risk".

The silence of western governments, including Canada, is giving a green light to all these violations and the deaths of dozens of detainees every year due to deliberate negligence.

It has been 9 years since the Egyptian people gathered in Tahrir square, in Cairo to demand 'Bread, Liberty, Social Justice'. The transitional period after the Hosni Mubarak stepped down, was chaotic but heralded a fledgling democratic spirit. In spite of the reversal of political gains at that time, we should not let the Egyptian dream for a better life die.

We demand that our Canadian government publicly and strongly demand immediately measures to alleviate the preventable suffering of all detainees in Egypt. Moreover, Ottawa has a special responsibility toward Yasser Elbaz.

Our government should also demand Egyptian authorities to respect the rule of law, basic civil rights and freedom of expression.

The time to denounce the cruelty of the Egyptian authorities is now! If we don't act we will be sharing the responsibility for the crime. The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy is counting on your support in this urgent situation.

Thank you for giving immediate due consideration to this message.

Sources:

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
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.