Egypt | Page 22 | Freedom House

Egypt

82 million people
2,600 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Not Free

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Freedom House has compiled the following questions for Anne Patterson, most recently the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, who has been nominated to serve as the next U.S. assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled for Thursday, September 19.

Distinguished Fellow for Democracy Studies

While most Tea Party commentary zeroes in on the threat of an oppressive statism here at home, the movement’s sweeping—and warped—interpretation of domestic developments has its complement in a badly distorted perspective on international affairs.

Human rights groups are routinely tarred in today’s Egyptian media—including social media—as either “traitors supporting terrorism” or “mercenaries selling their services to the highest bidder.” They are being denounced for treachery despite their utter dedication and consistency in standing by the principles of human rights and democracy through all the regime changes of the past three years. The general phenomenon is sadly familiar, but the current assault is especially severe, taking new forms and gaining wider public support.

Freedom House is deeply troubled by the charges filed against ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for allegedly inciting the murder of protesters outside the presidential palace during mass demonstrations in late 2012.  Morsi was detained by the military during the coup on July 3, 2013, and has not been seen in public since.

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Egypt Democracy Compass

The Egypt Democracy Compass is designed to provide a snapshot of the country’s trajectory, either toward or further away from a truly democratic system, on a monthly basis. The compass will assess progress in eight key components of  democratic transition: the constitution, elections, political participation, civilian control and security-sector reform, media freedom and freedom of expression, religious freedom, peaceful assembly and civic activism, and judicial independence and rule of law.

Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights

Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights examines the human rights implications of domestic blasphemy and religious insult laws using the case studies of seven countries—Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Poland—where such laws exist both on paper and in practice. Without exception, blasphemy laws violate the fundamentalfreedom of expression, as they are by definition intended to protect religious institutions and religious doctrine– i.e., abstract ideas and concepts – from insult or offence. At their most benign, such laws lead to self-censorship.  In Greece and Poland, two of the more democratic countries examined in the study, charges brought against high-profile artists, curators and writers serve as a warning to others that certain topics are off limits. At their worst, in countries such as Pakistan and Malaysia, such laws lead to overt governmental censorship and individuals are both prosecuted and subject to severe criminal penalties including lengthy jail sentences.

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