Egypt. The year was marked by big and small victories for President Hosni Mubarak and his fight against militant Islamism. In March, a leader of the militant Islamist group al-Jama’at al-Islamiyya announced that the group was giving up its fight to forcefully dismiss the government. The group would instead try to reach its goals through political pressure, said the group’s lawyer Muntasir az-Zayat. One month after the group’s announcement, about 1,000 imprisoned members of al-Jama’at al-Islamiyya were released. At the same time, nine members of the banned Islamic Jihad organization were sentenced to death for Islamist-motivated acts, and another 78 were sentenced to three years to life imprisonment. The nine who were sentenced to death had all been tried in their absence.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Egypt. A large majority of Egyptians voted on September 26 to allow President Hosni Mubarak to retain power for a fourth six-year term. He had no challenger when the parliament nominated him as presidential candidate in June, receiving 93.8% of the vote. The turnout was 79.2%. After the election, he appointed Atif Ubayd, privatization manager in the outgoing government, as new head of government.
A few weeks before the election, Mubarak had been subjected to a knife attack by a man in Port Said. Police shot to death the man, who was said to be a mentally unstable street vendor. Mubarak was slightly injured.
In July, Egypt’s highest administrative court, the government, announced that girls may be prohibited by law from wearing a full Muslim veil during school hours. A lower court had previously ruled that such a ban was illegal. With the ruling of the Cabinet, a five-year battle was settled on the issue.
Three journalists in the Islamist newspaper Ash-Shab were sentenced in August to two years in prison for defamation by Yusuf Amin Wali, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture and also Secretary-General of the ruling National Democratic Party, al-Hizb al-watani ad-dimuqrati.
On October 31, a Boeing 767-300ER passenger plane of EgyptAir crashed off the east coast of the United States. The 217 people on board, including 62 Egyptians and at least 106 Americans, were killed. American experts, who investigated the accident using, among other things, a tape recording of the conversation in the cockpit, suggested in November that the crash could have been due to the backup pilot committing suicide. This angered Egyptian authorities, who said it was not yet clear what caused the accident.
In April, a Cairo court sentenced 14 journalists to every 25 years in prison for “broadcasting fake news” and sentenced another journalist to death for allegedly setting up “media committees” and for “founding and leading a banned group”. Several of the accused were convicted in absentia. The convicts appealed the verdicts to an appeals court, which in December overturned the judgments and ordered the conduct of a new trial.
Turkey was one of the countries that sharply condemned the military coup in Egypt in 2013, and relations between the two countries subsequently deteriorated drastically. In October 2014, Egypt and Saudi Arabia took revenge by running an intensive campaign against Turkey that prevented the country from taking a seat on the UN Security Council. A place that a few months earlier had been almost 100% sure of getting.
Former President Morsi, in May 2015, along with 100 others, was sentenced to death by a Cairo court for “complicity in prison escape” in 2011 during the uprising against dictator Hosni Mubarak. (Mohamed Morsi sentenced to death by Egyptian court, Guardian 16/5 2015). The same month, the country’s National Human Rights Council announced that 2,600 had been killed for political reasons since Morsi had been killed in a military coup 18 months earlier. At the same time, prisons are overcrowded. The police stations’ cells are filled to 400% of their capacity and the prisons to 160%. Lawyers and human rights activities are also sent to prison by the dictatorship. On May 30, a court of appeal in Alexandria sentenced the prominent lawyer and human rights activist Mahienour el-Masry to 18 months in prison. She, along with other attorneys, had participated in a demonstration against police brutality 3 months before the crash of Morsi. (2,600 reportedly killed in 18 months since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Guardian 31/5 2015).
In August, the regime adopted a new terror law with a very vague concept of terror that allowed the terror law to be used politically as needed.
In September, the military killed 12 tourists in the desert in the country’s west. Most of the tourists were Mexicans, and the killings triggered a diplomatic crisis between the two countries. The regime declared it believed the tourists were rebels.