The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Freedom of Expression for Labor and Social Movements program
The program of Freedom of Expression for Labor and Social Movements of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) documented during the month of August 2018: 38 protests, out of which 9 were labor and professional protests, while 29 were social protests, summarized as follows:
First: Labor and professional protests
During August, the program monitored 9 labor and professional protests, detailed as follows:
- Strike: 4 cases
- Threatening to protest: 2 cases
- Petitions or complaints: 2 cases
- Vigils: 1 case
Broken down as follows:
Striking came first among labor and professional protests in August with four cases:
- About 800 workers from the Needle Craft Readymade Garments Factory in the Free Zone of Shebin El Koum City, Menoufia, entered a total labor strike on Thursday morning August 9th to demand better financial conditions.
- The drivers of Basratah – Ezbet al-Nahda line in Damietta staged a strike on August 13th, protesting the poor condition of the road due to excavation and road bumps as a result of gas drilling and drainage work for more than four years.
- Players of Matrouh Al-Gezira club refused to play a friendly match on Sunday August 19th with a third division team in Alexandria, and only had light training, in protest against not getting the 40% of their contracts agreed upon at the beginning of the match.
- The players of Abu Saql Club’s football team, which is participating in the Super League B, refused to participate in the group exercises before facing Coca-Cola in the third round of the competition, on August 24th because the board of directors had not given the contract first installments to the players.
- Threatening to protest:
August witnessed 2 cases of threatening to protest, as follows:
- On August 20th, the Hosh Issa youth center team in Beheira threatened to have a group strike to pressure the board to pay their winning bonuses during the first round of the Egyptian Cup. That was after the players had gathered at the club’s headquarters after winning over Metobus team at the second round, before traveling to their homes during Eid al-Adha vacation but they did not find anyone from the board to respond to their demands.
- The staff of Chest Hospital in Tanta, Gharbia, on August 26th, threatened to organize a protest after the news of the nomination of Dr. Dina Abu Hammar as director of the hospital, in violation of seniority and efficiency.
- Petitions or Complaints:
August witnessed the use of petitions and complaints twice, as one of the means of protest where:
- A number of workers from the Frickol Group for Engineering Industries filed a complaint to the Labor Office on 10th of Ramadan in the industrial area, on August 8th, due to the late payment of their July 2018 salaries.
The Directorate of Manpower in Sharqia formed a committee that contacted the chairman of the company to resolve the issue amicably, and the latter agreed that he had no objection to the entry of workers to their work and that he would pay the remaining salaries by August 13th, as well as the late overdue wage.
- The Committee of Trade Unions of the University of Alexandria resorted to the Dispute Settlement Committee on August 18th, in preparation for filing a lawsuit against the President of the University and carrying the application No. 722 for the year 2018 and determining the meeting of September 15th to consider the right of the workers to the payment of the examination bonus on the basis of their monthly salary, rather than the basic one, in accordance with article 298 of the Executive Regulations of Law No. 49 of 1972 (Law on the Organization of Universities), and the disbursement of financial differences retroactively with the observance of the quinary limitation.
August witnessed one vigil where:
- 500 workers of Clothes for Spinning Kafr el-Dawwar weaving factory organized a protest in front of the company’s management on August 6th to claim tax breaks for 4 consecutive months. The company’s legal adviser promised the workers to pay tax breaks within the next few days.
Second: Social protests
During August, the program monitored 29 social protests, detailed as follows:
- Gathering: 10 cases.
- Vigils: 5 cases.
- Suicides and Threatening to protest: 4 cases each.
- Demonstrations and Roadblocks : 2 cases each.
- Strikes and sits-in: 1 case each.
Broken down as follows:
The gathering came at the top of the social protests for the month of August by 10 cases of summarized as follows:
- A large number of parents of Al-Nasr College for Girls in Alexandria (EGC) gathered Sunday August 5th at the school headquarters to announce their rejection of the Board’s decision to vacate the activity building from its contents to the International British Secondary Division, thus depriving students of the National Department of their right to student activities.
- Dozens of people from the Kurdish center in Dakahlia gathered on Friday August 10th to protest the killing of a young man under the wheels of the train coming from Matareya to Mansoura, as he passed through the religious institute area, and demanded the establishment of a barrier in that area because of its danger. The residents said they had already demanded that before, but to no avail.
- On August 15th, a number of residents of Ezbet “Ashra”, belonging to the San al-Hagar Center in Sharqia, gathered on the “San al-Hagar-Dakahlia” main road and blocked the passage of cars. The security services intervened and convinced the people to open the way and to follow the peaceful methods of expressing their demands.
- A group of militants gathered in the village of Zeneqa of the village council of Asfoun in Esna, Luxor, after Friday prayers on August 24th, after their gathering on August 22nd, to reject Christian prayers in a church building for which papers had been presented to the church committee. The police cordoned off the village and arrested several of the crowd..
- A number of residents of Abu Sultan village in Minia gathered on August 25th, protesting against the surveillance cameras on a building used to perform religious rituals for Christians. The security forces moved to the village, and the crowd was dispersed, and 3 individuals were arrested.
- On August 25th, dozens of people from Dekheila area west of Alexandria gathered on the Corniche road after a child was killed by a speeding car while crossing the road. The protesters demanded the establishment of speed bumps on the road to reduce the insane speed of cars. Security forces intervened to disperse the crowd.
- A number of residents of the Atrib region of Banha city in Qalioubia gathered on August 25th in front of an apartment building to prevent the owner from installing a mobile network tower of a telecommunications company on the roof of the building for fear of cancer. The security forces intervened and dispersed the protesters before breaking into the residential tower and smashing the mobile tower.
- A large number of relatives of the victim “Amr. M.” – Known as Amr Kallousha 29 years a coffee-house waiter who was a resident of Salakhana in Al-Ibrahimeya, Kafr El-Sheikh – on August 26th, gathered in front of the Ibrahimia Central Hospital because his autopsy – after he was murdered in a fight – was delayed.
- The residents of Ezbet Abdel Azim of Manshaia Bani Atman Center in Sinouris, Fayoum, gathered on Thursday August 30th, after hearing the screams of a woman on a street calling for the rescue “Jana Said Saad” , a young girl, from the hands of a thief who tried to kidnap her, and when the woman chased him, he beat her until he broke her arms, insisting on kidnapping the girl and fleeing.
- Dozens of members of Al-Rowad Sports Club gathered in the 10th of Ramadan City in Sharqia on August 31st to demand the return of Mohamed El-Kashef, the manager of the swimming pool. The board of directors of the club retracted the decision to remove him after the sinking of the child, “Hassan Abdel Nabi”, after falling into the swimming pool.
August Witnessed 5 vigils, where:
- On August 5th, a number of supply bakers in Giza, organized a protest in front of the First Data branch in Al-Haram, including the direction to the Giza Governorate building, due to the continuous fall of the network for the fifth consecutive day.
- On Tuesday August 7th, dozens of parents from Al-Zahraa Private Language School in Ganaklis, East Educational district of Alexandria, organized a protest in front of the school building to protest the 60% increase of expense compared to last year.
- On August 20th, a number of taxi drivers organized a protest in Al-Mahalla Al-Kubra, Gharbia to demand the abolition of tuk-tuks inside the city and their equality in the work with that of the taxi in Tanta and the rest of the cities of the governarate. The head of the traffic department in Mahalla intervened and promised the drivers to prevent the tuk-tuk gradually from the streets until it is finally banned.
- The parents of children applying for kindergarten in Assiut organized a protest in front of the Assiut Governorate General Council on August 27thto demand the establishment of new classes for children aged five years and above, after the age of acceptance of that stage in private schools had risen to the age of five years and a half which caused the deprivation of their children to enroll in the preschool stage.
- Workers and employees of Zamalek Club staged a protest at the Olympic Committee headquarters on August 29th to confirm the validity of the general assembly procedures scheduled for August 30th-31st, and to denounce the news of the invalidation of the general assembly procedures.
August witnessed four cases of suicide, where:
- “Hassan M.”, a 14-year-old student, worked in a sewing workshop in his residence in Kerdasa on August 13th committed suicide by hanging himself after his employer fired him and he was suffering from a bad psychological condition.
- Mahmoud M, 23, committed suicide on August 25th, after undergoing a major psychological crisis due to the burden of life, which led him to hang himself in his room in the Amiria district in Cairo.
- A 50-year-old, a worker in a garment factory in the free zone, Amiria-I police station, committed suicide on August 25th by throwing himself off the balcony of the house in Abdelkader area west of Alexandria, while his landlord was demanding the due rent.
- A young man ended his life by hanging himself in the city of Osim, Giza, on August 26th because of a financial crisis. He was unemployed for years, causing him a state of depression that forced him to hang himself from the ceiling.
- Threatening to protest:
August witnessed four cases of threatening to protest, where:
- Zamalek club staff in coordination with the club’s board of directors on August 2nd organized a protest on Sunday August 5th in the club, protesting the detention of Mohammad Abu Taleb, the employee of the club for 15 days on charges of “trading in the black market” with a group of employees at the club. The protest was postponed until Thursday August 9th after the intervention of the justice minister.
- On August 3rd, Dr. Hermas Radwan, Chairman of Bani Ebaid Club in Daqahlia, submitted a request to the Bani Ebaid police station to obtain a permit to organize a peaceful demonstration in front of the City Council on Sunday August 5th for 3 days to demand the dismissal of the city’s president, Rabha Diab .
- Zamalek board of directors on Tuesday August 14th ordered a general strike at the club on Thursday, if the state did not intervene to stop the charges against the current board members after the release of a board member – Rehab Abu Raegeila – from the Public Prosecution after charges of currency trading and depositing accounts on behalf of the club is at his own expense.
- On August 20th, a number of lawyers, through social media outlets, threatened to organize a general strike protesting the decision by Minister of Finance No. 381 of 2018 on the determination of the categories of lawyers under the income tax account, established by Law No. 91 of 2005, after the lawyers syndicate announced its rejection describing the increases as “unjustified”.
August witnessed two cases of demonstrations where:
- A number of people from the town of Mayt Salsil in Daqahlia staged a demonstration outside the house of Mahmud Nazmi, 33, accused of killing his two children, in protest at the prosecution’s investigations into the killing of his children Rayan and Mohammed, demanding the reopening of investigations. Security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators, on Tuesday August 28th, after they tried to go to the police station and cut the main road.
- On August 31st, hundreds of Copts from Manfalut demonstrated in front of Manfalut police station in Assiut, denouncing the disappearance of a Christian girl called “E.M. Saad”, and chanted ‘we want our girl, or take our lives.” And “where’s the Media? Here are the Copts”
August witnessed two cases of roadblocks where
- The people of Abiouqa village, located in Desouq, Kafr El-Sheikh, gathered on August 21st and cut off the Desouq-Kafr El-Sheikh road, after the death of child Mohamed Hany Naeem, 6 years in a traffic accident. The security forces intervened violently and 8 people were arrested, while the village witnessed a security ceige for the arrest of other defendants. A police report of the incident No. 11009 was issued from administrative Desouq, 8 people were detained for 15 days, and a second report was issued after the arrest of the driver of the car.
- A father, his wife, his daughter and his brother blocked the Aga-Mitt Ghamr road on Sunday morning August 26th, in front of the village of Beshla after the disappearance of their daughter, 17-year-old secondary student called Wessam, while she had been heading to a lesson in the village of Bishla on Saturday. The security authorities intervened to break up the crowd.
August witnessed one strike:
- The Zamalek club’s union committee announced on Saturday August 18th that they are on strike until the position of their colleague Mohammed Abutaleb, the treasurer who has been accused of “trading in foreign currency in the black market”, with a group of employees at the club.
August witnessed one sit-in:
- On Saturday August 18th, dozens of residents of Ezbet El-Lewa in Kafr El Dawar, Beheira, entered a sit-in outside the General Office in Abdulsalam Al-Shazli Street in Damanhour to demand the delivery of drinking water to the village after a six-month interruption.
Third: Geographical distribution of labor and professional protests
The governorate of Beheira topped the labor and professional protests during the month of August by two protests, and each of (Sharqia, Gharbia, Menoufia, Damietta, North Sinai, Marsa Matrouh, Alexandria) came in the second and final place with one protest each.
Fourth: Geographical distribution of Social protests:
Cairo topped the social protests by 5 in August, and each of Alexandria and Daqahlia came second with 4 protests each, while Sharqia and Giza in the third place with 3 each, and Assiut came fourth place with 2 protests. Finally; Luxor, Gharbia, Fayoum, Qalubia, Minia, Kafr El-Sheikh, Beheira and others ranked fifth with one protest each.
Fifth: Sectorial distribution of labor and professional protests:
Sports topped all sectors in terms of the number of labor and professional protests during the month of August by (3) protests.
In second place came spinning and weaving with 2 protests.
In the third and final place came the sectors of metal industries, transport, education, scientific research, and health, with one protest each.
Sixth: Sectorial distribution of Social Protests:
The security sector topped all forms of social protests during the month of August with 8 cases of protest.
The sports sector came in second place with 6 protests.
Suicide and attempted suicide due to poor economic conditions came in third with 4 suicides this month.
Education and scientific research came in fourth with 3 protests.
In fifth place came the sectors of transport, communications, water, sanitation and electricity, with 2 protests each.
While the sectors of localities, justice, commerce, and lawyers, ranked sixth and final by 1 protest each.
The number of protests in August was less than in previous months and that is may be due to fear of publication after the expanding issuance of laws that penalize opinion-leaders.
It can also be attributed to the pilgrimage season, Eid al-Adha holiday and public holidays for many government departments during this month, as well as the high temperature.
As evidenced by the prevalence of social protests during the month of August, they were characterized by being spontaneous and unorganized; gatherings occupied the forefront of social protests in 10 cases during the month, while gatherings, vigils, suicide, and threatening to protest exceeded 75% of social protests.
While the labor protests have spread to almost 8 governorates, we find that the social protests were concentrated mainly in Cairo, Alexandria, Daqahlia, Sharqia and Giza.
The program monitored the activities of extremist groups in Upper Egypt; as they threw stones at the churches; amid the disregard of the security services for the escalation of events in the governorates of Menia, Luxor and Assiut, and ignored the screams and calls by church leaders.
Those events did not come out of nowhere, but their introductions were evident through the follow-up of the events of the past months.
It was also clear that there was a indifference with those events and the equality between the perpetrator and the victim by the security authorities, while anyone who expressed an opinion or objected to a political decision was jailed.
This is accompanied by a state of media blackout on many of the events that we believe were the result of security alerts that determined the availability and the way of dealing with the media.
This blackout coincides with the adoption of Law No. 175 of 2018, which works to confiscate the public domain and muzzle the mouths and deprive citizens of their right to express their opinion.
We can say that the social conflict takes place away from the official institutions as it did not find in the current political and organizational arenas the honest representation, and if the existing authority can today control this conflict and control the parties, we believe that there will come a day when things will get out of control, and at the end it is the citizen who will pay the price of a repressive power that has confiscated all political and economic rights.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information ANHRI
Freedom of expression for Labor and social movements Program
 News entitled “The Church: An Attack on Copts’ Houses in Menia”
 The report is based on a number of sources: field monitoring of the program of freedom of expression of Labor and social movements, labor issues conducted by ANHRI, in addition to several paper newspapers and websites (Al Watan, Al Masry Al Youm, Al Wafd, Masrawy, , Youm-7 and others)