The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued its annual report on the democratic process in Egypt in 2017, which it described as “steep decline”.
The Network said: “The year 2017 witnessed widening of the repression and closure of the public domain. All those interested in public affairs became a target of security obsession, which was not limited to journalists, activists and human rights defenders, but also expanded to presidential candidates.”
In its report, ANHRI confirmed that 2017 witnessed a clear determination by the Egyptian authorities to completely close the public domain, preventing any demonstration by various political forces regardless of its reasons, indicating a great fear from the public’s return to Tahrir Square.
2017 witnessed 779 different demonstrations organized by various political forces despite the measures taken by the authorities to suppress such protests, and the attempts to prevent them.
Security forces targeted large demonstrations in main streets, major squares, the Syndicate of Journalists, and in the vicinity of Tahrir Square in general. All demonstrations organized in those areas were targeted by the security apparatus, according to the report.
The report noted that 2017 witnessed a continued increase in the number of military trials of civilians. Military courts adjudicated 38 trials in 2017, 32 trials in 2016, and 29 trials in 2015.
As for the assault on freedom of expression and media freedoms, the report said: “2017 witnessed continued severe restrictions and continued targeting of freedom of the media. Advocates for Democracy lawyers monitored 215 widespread violations against freedom of the press and media freedoms compared to 289 in 2016 and 343 violations in 2015.
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