The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Freedom of Expression for Labor and Social Movements Program
The protests in November reached the peak of the number of labor and social protests in 2018. The geographical scope of the protests expanded to about fourteen cities. Other sectors continued to lead the protest movement, such as the sports sector, due to a financial crisis that entrenched the players and workers of sports clubs. Social sectors also witnessed protests during November.
The program monitored (62 protests) during November, among them 13 were labor and professional, while 49 were social protest, summarized as follows:
- Labor and Professional Protests:
The program monitored during the month of November, 21 labor and professional protests, distributed as follows;
- Hunger-Strikes: 3
- Protests: 3
- Sit-in: 2
- Petition or complaint: 2
- Strike to work: 1
- Gathering: 1
- Threatening to protest: 1
Details are as follows:
- The hunger strike came in first in terms of labor and professional protests, and in November with three strikes;
- 8 teachers from the Esna educational department, South of Luxor, entered a hunger-strike on Nov. 24th, at the Esna Central Hospital, in protest against the decision of their transfer ending their deputation to work in Esna schools. They ended their strike on Nov. 25th, after achieving their legitimate demands based on Resolution No. 202, which states that the transfers and deputation shall be in July and August of each year.
- Both Eman Salah Abdel Hamid and Maha Mahmoud Al-Wasseef – 2 nurses at Menia Al Nasr Central Hospital in Daqahalia – entered a hunger strike, in the Department of Internal Medicine in the hospital on Nov. 28th, in protest against their transfer to the renal department of the hospital, based on a decision issued by Siham Yassin, head of nursing at the hospital. Daqahalia’s governor transferred the investigation to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health.
- Eman Ibrahim – a nurse at Al-Arish General Hospital, North Sinai – entered a full hunger strike, on Nov. 28th, in protests against the arbitrary transfer from where she used to work in the Hosna-Qasseema-Bagdad hospital, to the urban center of the old station in central Arish. She ended the her strike later that evening after the approval to transfer her to Al-Arish General Hospital, from the urban center in the old station in El Arish upon her request.
November witnessed 3 protests to challenge the administrative decisions or to claim financial dues, detailed as follows:
- About 600 graduates of the Faculty of Nursing, Zagazig University, organized a protest in front of the Dean’s office, on Nov. 4th, in protest against the decision that they should spend the house-officer service year in the university hospitals in the city of Zagazig far from their places of residence, plus not receiving their incentives for 2 months.
- Workers in the tourism-village of Magawish in Hurghada, an Egypt Tourism Business Company, organized a protest, on Nov. 4th, because of the unclarity regarding their situation after the decision to close the village in Dec. 2018. The workers also demanded temporary contracts, appointing and distributing them to different branches like their colleagues.
- About 320 workers in the tourism-village of Magawish in Hurghada, an Egypt Tourism Business Company, organized a protest for the 3rd time, on Nov. 18th, to demand that they be appointed like their appointed colleagues, demanding the President of the Republic to intervene.
November witnessed at least 2 sit-ins, of which one was done by dozens and the other by thousands of protesters:
- Kamel Zaidan, an employee of Qotour Azhar Institute of Girls, started a sit-in on Thursday, Nov. 8th, in protest against the decision to transfer him back to the central region of Tanta, as an expert teacher and not an institute Sheikh, claiming that the Azhar institutes had not had any vacancies at the time, though a few days later he was surprised that a colleague was appointed as an Institute Sheikh without announcing the vacancy.
- A large number of filmmakers, producers, photographers and technicians who are employees of “Dream” TV channel, had a sit-in, on Nov. 14th evening, and they stopped working after the channel stopped paying their dues for 9 months. The police intervened to disperse the sit-in, and an official record against the channel was issued.
The Petition/Complaint was used once during November 2018, where:
- The players at Al-Nasr Mining Sport team in Edfu, Aswan, issued a group complaint, addressed to the Football Association, on Nov. 8th, against club management, because of the intransigence of the administration in the payment of their financial arrears of the current season, as well as the fact that 6 players had not received the upfront payments for their contracts with the team.
15 players from the same team issued an official complaint, on Nov. 25th, to the Football Association’s Players Affairs Committee, for the 2nd time against the board to obtain their financial dues for the previous 3 months.
- Strike to Work:
Striking came in 3rd place among all sorts of labor and professional protests during November with one case:
- The players of the first team of football at Mansoura club in Daqahalia, had a strike from the team exercise on Nov. 27th, because of their resentment of the delayed monthly salary, and demanded to receive winning rewards as they had won both matches with Farko and Tanta.
Gathering came in the third place as well;
- The employees of the Drinking Water and Sewage Company in Naga Hammadi Center, north of Qena, gathered on Sunday, Nov. 18th inside the company’s branch in Nagaa Hammadi. They refused to work to protest the contract of about 30 people from outside the company to work as water bill collectors without holding a competition, demanding opening an investigation into it.
- Threatening to protest:
Threatening to protest came in 3rd place as well. November witnessed;
- In a statement on Thursday Nov. 1st, journalists of “Al-Alam Al-Youm” who have been protesting in the Syndicate of Journalists since Oct. 20th, stated that they would organize a protest at the Syndicate of Journalists on Sunday, Nov. 4th, protesting the administration’s refusal to back down its decision to liquidate the company and transfer the subordination of journalists to the company, which deprives them of the technology allowance that the syndicate has given to journalists working in Egyptian newspapers. The journalists then announced the postponement of the protest in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist incident in Menia.
- Social Protests:
The program monitored 49 social protests, detailed as follows:
- Vigil: 11
- Suicide: 10
- Striking and Threatening to strike: 3
- Petition/Complaint, road blocking, and hunger-striking: 5 each
- Demonstration and sit-ins: 1each.
November witnessed 14 protests, coming first in terms of social protests during the month, where;
- A number of parents of students at Victory College School in Maadi organized a protest in front of the school, on the morning of Nov. 1st in protest against the increase in tuition fees without legal basis, and the failure of the Ministry of Education to consider their complaints.
- Students at Al-Azhar University organized a protest on June 3rd, against the death of student Osama Muslim Saqr Gad Alrab, after being run over by a car in front of the main gate of the Faculty of Education, across Al-Nasr Street while leaving university.
- The people of Nabroh village gathered in front of the city council in protest against the governor’s decisions to transfer the market from Teret Nesha Street to a new place and asking shop owners to issue licenses to practice the activity. It was agreed to postpone the decision for two weeks, to either discuss the subject again or find another alternative place.
- Dozens of parents organized a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Education on the morning of Nov. 5th to protest against the monumental attack on a private schools in Dar El-Salaam, where students were surprised after two years of school that they were not enrolled in the school administration records.
- On Nov. 5th, a number of Menia lawyers staged a protest in front of the Beni Mazar Court to denounce the terrorist incident that targeted a number of Christians while returning from a visit to the monastery of Anba Samuel in Menia, killing and injuring 14 people.
- A number of parents and students of the “Private Minister Institute” School in Dar El-Salaam, Cairo, organized a protest for the 2nd time on Thursday Nov. 8th in front of the Ministry of Education after being scammed by the school, as they were surprised that they were not enrolled in the administrative records, and that the school is not licensed.
- On Nov. 7th, dozens of traders staged a protest in Port Said that lasted for about 15 minutes, against a decision by the Free City Council to determine the import quota required for the release of imported goods according to the actual weight of the goods.
- Dozens of microbus drivers on the Mostaqbal-Line in Ismailia organized a protest in front of the General Secretariat Ismailia on Nov. 12th, in protest against the entry of a number of minibusses to the line through corruption and nepotism, despite the big number of cars already existing in the station. The governor called a number of drivers and officials from both the station administration and traffic, to manage the situation and discuss the problem.
- A number of parents of students from private schools organized a protest in front of the Parliament on Nov. 18th, in conjunction with the presence of the Minister of Education in the Council, in protest against the abolition of teaching additional languages to first-grade students.
- A number of parents of private “Languages” schools, held a protest in front of the Ministry of Education and Technical Education on Nov. 24th, in protest against the minister’s decision to cancel the teaching of high level and the second foreign languages; “French and German” in private language schools demanding the return of additional curricula and not just the government’s curricula.
- A number of high school students, in Daqahalia, held a protest in front of the monument in Suez Canal Street in Mansoura on Monday, Nov. 26th to protest the changes in the exam schedule, demanding the change of the examination schedule and the return of the old system. Central security forces intervened, the protest was dispersed and 8 students were arrested and transferred to the police station.
- A number of high school students – 1st and 2nd stages – staged a protest in front of the General Directorate of Education in Beni Suef on Sunday, Nov. 25th to protest against the new system which includes a question bank. The police intervened to stop the protest, which lasted for about an hour after promising the students to deliver their demands to the officials.
- A number of cars drivers and owners held a protest in front of a branch of a private company in the city of Tanta, Gharbia, on Nov. 26th, accusing the company management of scamming them after receiving cars from the company in violation of the terms of the contract. A record of the incident was released.
- Dozens of lawyers staged a protest on the union’s stairs on Thursday, Nov. 29th to protest against the contract that had been approved by the union council to establish a hospital and commercial mall without disclosing the details of the loan or the project sponsor, demanding the publication of the terms of the contract for all lawyers, as a number of them confirmed that the loan represented a financial burden on the union so it cannot be accepted.
Vigils came second among social protest during November with 11 cases summarized as follows;
- The residents of Al-Qashti Street, part of the 2nd district of Tanta, Gharbia, gathered in governorate on Nov. 9th, because an ambulance did not arrive to save Haneen, the first-grade student who fell from the balcony of her house and remained for more than half an hour before an ambulance coming for her.
- On Nov. 9th, a number of members of the family of Mu’taz Bilah Hamed Hassanein, a 23 years old carpenter, who was killed by a hole collapse while he was digging for antiques inside a building in Sheikh Zayed City, in front of the apartment where the their son’s body was, and the failure of recovering his body after 6 days of the incident by the competent authority, chanting slogans honoring the dead burial.
- Dozens of Suzuki car drivers and owners gathered in front of Ashmoun City Council in Monufia on Thursday, Nov. 15th to protest the governor’s decision to prevent them from working in transporting passengers inside the city and its villages.
- A number of citizens gathered on Nov. 15th, for the delay of the arrival of an ambulance to transport a woman who fell down the Ayat train in Giza. One of the citizens confirmed that the victim was alive but was killed because of the delayed arrival of the ambulance.
- Dozens of parents of students from Al-Sayeda Khadija primary school in Baqlin, Kafr El-Sheikh, gathered inside the school’s courtyard on Saturday, Nov. 17th, refusing to implement the decision of the educational administration in Baqlin to transfer the young pupils to the girls’ middle school which is located far from their location for maintenance purposes.
- The citizens of Dawagen village east of Kilo 59 in Wadi Al-Natroun, Behaira, gathered on Nov. 17th, around the governor while he was visiting the village, demanding the establishment of a pedestrian bridge on the subway road parallel to the desert road, an artificial speed bump on the road of the 800 meters long main road as well as the village’s urgent needs of sanitation services and upgrading of the health system.
- Dozens of citizens gathered in al-Welga village in Minya al-Qamh, Sharkia on Nov. 19th and burned some tires to prevent the installation of a mobile network tower that the company was building in an agricultural land without permits for fear of damage to the village. Security forces intervened to disperse the vigil.
- Dozens of residents of al-Matareya and al-Manzala gathered at the entrances of the two cities on Nov. 21st, after hearing the news that 17 of their children had been injured in a collision between a car carrying workers and a transport vehicle on the Port Said-Ismailia road. The residents renewed their previous requests to find solutions to this road that causes continuous accidents and deaths.
- The families of the dead in the sinking ferryboat accident in Behaira on Nov. 25th in front of the morgue of Al-Shuhada Hospital in Monufia, waiting for the bodies of their relatives to be buried after five people drowned.
- The families of the victims in an accident (who were buried under the sand while digging for antiquities inside Wadi Al-Natroun farm) gathered in front of the General Directorate of Al-Behaira on Nov. 25th to demand the extraction of the bodies of their loved ones.
- On Nov. 29th, a number of Bakoos people gathered in Alexandria, in front of the Noor al-Islam Mosque and Nursery, to prevent the demolition of the mosque after reports of the closure of the nursery and the mosque and returning the land to the railway.
- Suicide or attempted suicide:
Suicides and suicidal attempts came third with 10 cases;
- A 26-year-old Alexandrian real estate agent committed suicide by hanging himself on Nov. 12th after suffering from depression because of debt and inability to meet the requirements of his children.
- Captain Awwad, Egyptian Karate champion and the winner of several international medals announced on Nov. 19th that his high school son had committed suicide because the captain was unable to pay tuition fees and tutoring for his son.
- Mohammed, 38, a scrap ironworker in Abaadia district in Samalut, north of Menia, ended his life by hanging himself in his house on Nov. 20th, due to financial difficulties and accumulated debts.
- 31-year-old A.S., 31, carpenter, hanged himself in his sister’s apartment in the village of Mantay in Qalioub, Qalioubia on Nov. 21st, due to disputes between him and his wife.
- A 26-year-old worker used a kitchen knife and stabbed his wife to death then stabbed himself with the same knife on Nov. 23rd, after a dispute over house expenses.
- 25 years old, a butcher in Behaira, tried to commit suicide by poison, on Nov. 22nd after suffering a poor psychological condition for financial difficulties and differences between him and cattle traders in his field.
- On Nov. 24th, T.M., a student in the first year of high school, committed suicide by hanging herself in her home in a village in Samalut, north of Menia, because her family had refused to continue her education because they could not afford it.
- Saiful Islam, a 28-year-old Bangladeshi national, who used to work in a clothing factory, committed suicide at his residence in Al-Dawahi neighborhood of Port Said on Nov. 26th because of financial hardship.
- M. 19, a student, from Bebba, Beni Suef, committed suicide on Nov. 29th, killed herself by swallowing insecticide, because her father was unable to pay tuition fees. Record No. 23272/2018 was released.
- M.I, 35, a factory worker and resident of Shobra al-Kheima, Qalioubia, committed suicide on Nov. 29th due to poor living conditions. The investigation revealed that the wife of the deceased left the house and went to her father’s house and applied for a divorce.
November witnessed at least three social strikes:
- A number of bazaar owners at the Savoy market in east Luxor entered a strike on Nov. 13th due to the lack of sales, as well as the suspension of companies during the new season as a result of the closure of the road. Their demands were to find an access to the market.
- A number of lawyers in Sharqia entered a strike at the union’s headquarters in Belbeis on Nov. 17th, in protest against murdering their colleague Ahmed El-Sayyed Ne’matullah by Belbeis Investigation apparatus during an exchange of fire with suspects.
- Students of the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences at Beni Suef University entered a strike on Nov. 15th. The students sent memorandum to the Ministry of Higher Education, the Supreme Council of Universities and the Administrative Prosecution, accusing the university administration of intransigence against them, in regards to canceling the house officer service year and accounting it as a fifth training year affiliated to the study years.
- Threatening to protest:
November witnessed 2 cases as follows;
- On Nov. 11th, a number of Ismaili sports club fans called for a sit-in in front of the club’s headquarters on Nov. 13th to demand the departure of the entire board because of the poor results achieved by the team during the leagues championship.
- Players of Maleyet Kafr Al Ziat team in Gharbia called for a strike to the team’s training and filed a collective complaint with the Players Affairs Committee, on Nov. 26th, for not paying their salaries and rewarding them for 3 months.
- On Nov. 27th, the editors of the newspapers filing for membership at the Syndicate of Journalists threatened to call for an escalation, whether by protesting or suing the syndicate, to collect signatures for an emergency general meeting to discuss the intransigence of the syndicate in discussing the coding of newspapers. The editors also demanded for solutions to save those newspapers from closure.
- On Nov. 7th, a group of parents of students at Lycee El Horreya School in Zamalek issued a complaint to the Ministry of Education against the school board, due to disagreement over the school’s unjustified firing of some pre-school and KG teachers.
- Cairo Doctors Syndicate issued a complaint to the President of the Supreme Council of Information on Nov. 18th regarding a TV campaign called “if we looked in the mirror”, claiming it contained an insult to doctors, demanding to stop airing that campaign.
- Hundreds of Christians were arrested in both Maghagha and Adwa in north of Minya, blocked the western desert road leading to the monastery of Anba Samuel on Nov. 2nd, in protest against the Menia terrorist attack that had targeted a minibus carrying a large number of Christians while returning from a visit to the monastery of St. Samuel. The security forces opened the road the same day after communicating with some of the protesters.
- A number of citizens Qantara, west Ismailia, blocked the Ismailia-Port Said road, and cars were prevented from passing after a citizen had been run over by a car, demanding the establishment of industrial road bumps to avoid such incidents in which cars hit citizens while crossing the road. On the evening of Nov. 6th, the security forces opened the road, arrested a number of protesters, and brought the defendants to the prosecution.
- Mustafa Mohammed Mohammed, a patient in the orthopedic department at Benha University Hospital, entered an open hunger strike and refused treatment on Nov. 11th because hospital officials were delaying his surgery for a long time.
- A number of microbus drivers in Tanta, Gharbia, along the Sabarbai-Galaa Fast and Sabai-Mashraha roads, entered a strike to work on Nov. 27th, in protest against the violation of traffic lines by minibus drivers in the internal lines, demanding that they be allowed to work on internal lines.
- On Nov. 28th, a number of students, teachers and staff of the Martyr Gamal Saber Preparatory School in Damietta protested against the detention of Sami Diab, an Arabic language teacher, for 4 days on charges of bullying a second-grade student called Basmala Ali Abdul Hamid who had made fun of her skin color, demanding his release.
- Dozens of those suffering from the crisis of memberships at Baladeyat AlMahalla sports club in Gharbia, entered a sit-in on Nov. 26th, to demand the renewal of their membership in the club after the Board had refused to renew them as the rest of the members of the General Assembly of the club. Gharbia security secured the sit-in. President of the club met with the members and asked them to go to the Attorney General to submit an official communication or to go to the administrative body to get an official letter to renew memberships.
- Geographic Distribution of Labor and Professional Protests during Nov. 2018
Cairo was equal to Aswan, Red Sea, and Daqahlia in terms of topping the labor and professional protests during this month, with 2 protests each. As for the second place, it was occupied by Sharqia, Gharbia, North Sinai, Qena, and Luxor with 1 protest each.
- Geographic Distribution of Social Protests during Nov. 2018
Cairo topped all cities in terms of social protests during this month with 10 protests, followed by Gharbia in the second place with 6 protests, and then Menia and Beni Suef came in third place.
Ismailia, Behaira, Daqahalia, and Qalubia came 4th with 3 protests each, while Alexandria and Giza were 5th with 2 protests each, and finally, Damietta came at the bottom of the list with 1 protest.
- Sectorial Distribution of Labor and Professional Protests during Nov. 2018
Sports sector topped equally with the health sector the list of labor and professional protests for November with 3 protests each.
The sectors of (media, journalism, printing, publishing, education, scientific research, and tourism) ranked second with two protests each.
In the end, the water, sanitation and electricity sector came 3rd and last with 1 protest each.
- Sectoral Distribution of Social Protests:
The education and scientific research sectors came at the top of social protests in November with 11 protests each.
Then the sectors of (suicide/suicide attempt due to poor economic conditions) came 2nd with 10 protests each.
While the localities came 3rd with 6 protests.
The security sector came 4th with 5 protests.
Health sector came 5th with 4 protests.
Sports came 6th with 3 protests.
In the 7th place, the sectors of (media, journalism, printing, publishing, lawyers, transport and communications) came with 2 each
While the 8th and final was occupied by (Telecommunications, Trade, Services, and Tourism) with 1 each.
Thus, from the previous presentation, it is clear that:
The sports sector is witnessing a financial crisis that began in October and increased during the November, which is caused by delaying the dues and bonuses of players for more than three months.
The rate of suicide remained at its rate during the year and was not affected by the change in the seasons of the year, which confirms the social dimension and frustration experienced by many sections in the society as a result of the successive economic changes.
Also, there is a decline in terms of strike in labor protests, which was the preferred method of protesting for workers and employees, to obtain their legal rights, and it was replaced by hunger strikes.
Also, sit-ins, roadblocks, petitions, and complaints declined and were replaced by vigils and gatherings at the center of the scene of social protests, giving an impression that the social protest movement is shifting from the spontaneous form to a more structured one.
Protests in the education sector have increased over the usual repeated annual frequency due to increased tuition fees, to include parents ‘and teachers’ dissatisfaction with the educational process. This is evident from the fact that the education sector has topped all sectors in November, more than 2 months after the beginning of the academic year.
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
Freedom of expression of labor and social movements program