Arab Republic of Egypt
Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
Joined United Nations: 24 October 1945
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 26 December 2012
83,688,164 (July 2011 est.)
President since 30 June 2012
President elected by popular vote for four-year term (may run for
one additional term); note - on 30 March 2011, The Supreme
Council of Armed Forces promulgated a provisional constitution until
passage of a new constitution by a Constituent Assembly. Election
last held: (first round held on 23-24 May 2012; runoff held on 16-17
June 2012; Vice Presidents appointed by President
NOTE: On 22 December 2012, in reaction to disagreements arising
from the creation and passage of the new Egyptian Constitution, Vice
President Mahmoud Mekki resigned the Vice Presidency however
President Mursi refused to accept his resignation.
Next scheduled election: 2016
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
According to the provisional constitution, the Prime Minister is
appointed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces however
President appointed new Prime Minister once the Supreme Council
Next election: TBD
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4% (2006 census)
Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%
Republic comprised of 26 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Legal system is based on English common
law, Islamic law, and Napoleonic codes; judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of
administrative decisions); accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Executive: President elected by popular vote for four-year term (may run for second term); note - on 30 March 2011,
The Supreme Council of Armed Forces promulgated a provisional constitution until passage of a new constitution by a
Constituent Assembly. Election last held: (first round held on 23-24 May 2012; runoff held on 16-17 June 2012
Legislative: bicameral system consists of the Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (Shura Council) that traditionally
functions mostly in a consultative role (270 seats; 180 members elected by popular vote, 90 appointed by the president;
members serve six-year terms; mid-term elections for half of the elected members) and the People's Assembly or Majlis
al-Sha'b (508 seats; 498 members elected by popular vote, 64 seats reserved for women, 10 appointed by the president;
members serve five-year terms)
elections: Advisory Council - last held in June 2010 (next to be held in 2012); People's Assembly - last held in three
phases (two rounds each) between November 2011 and January 2012; note: the Supreme Court on 14 June 2012
dissolved the People's Assembly; lawsuit to dissolve the Advisory Council is pending however the president ordered they
reconvene on 8 July 2012.
Judicial: Supreme Constitutional Court
Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most
economic activity takes place. Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel
NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK.
Cairo from 2004 to 2008 aggressively pursued economic reforms to attract foreign investment and facilitate GDP growth.
Despite the relatively high levels of economic growth in recent years, living conditions for the average Egyptian remained
poor and contributed to public discontent. After unrest erupted in January 2011, the Egyptian Government drastically
increased social spending to address public dissatisfaction, but political uncertainty at the same time caused economic
growth to slow significantly, reducing the government's revenues. Tourism, manufacturing, and construction are among the
hardest hit sectors of the Egyptian economy, and economic growth is likely to remain slow at least through 2012. The
government is utilizing foreign exchange reserves to support the Egyptian pound and Egypt may seek a loan from the
International Monetary Fund.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Egypt)
Egypt has been a republic since 18 June 1953. Since the declaration of the republic, four Egyptians have served as
presidents. The first President to take office was President Mohamed Naguib. The fourth president was Mohamed Hosni
Mubarak, the President of Egypt since October 14, 1981, following the assassination of former President Mohammed
In early 2011, following the Tunisian Revolution, there was a revolution in Egypt. Mass protest compelled Mubarak, the
leader of the National Democratic Party, to resign on 11 February 2011, ending his fifth term in office. He was replaced
by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces headed by Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, which dissolved the
Parliament of Egypt, suspended the Constitution of Egypt, and promised free, open presidential and parliamentary
elections before the year's end and within six months. Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik was sworn in as Prime Minister on
January 29, 2011, in response to the 2011 Egyptian revolution; he was succeeded on 5 March by Essam Sharaf, in
response to continued protests.
On 19 March, a constitutional referendum was voted on and passed reforming the laws surrounding the power and
election of the presidency, limiting the presidency to two four-year terms, providing judicial supervision of elections,
requiring the president to appoint a deputy, calling for a commission to draft a new constitution following the parliamentary
election, and providing easier access to presidential elections by candidates (30,000 signatures from at least 15 provinces,
30 members of a chamber of the legislature, or nomination by a party holding at least one seat in the legislature).
Following the convening of the newly elected People’s Assembly and Majlis al-Shura in March 2012, a committee was to
draft a new constitution to replace the pre-revolutionary one, followed by presidential elections. However, the Egyptian
presidential election, 2012 occurred without a new constitution. The military council, which took power in early 2011,
promised a fair and civilian vote. The first round of the election took place on May 23 and 24, 2012. It was followed by a
run-off on June 16 and June 17 which Mohamed Morsi won. He assumed office June 30.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Egypt
Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of Halaib region north of the 22nd
parallel boundary; Egypt no longer shows its administration of the Bir Tawil trapezoid in Sudan on its maps; Gazan
breaches in the security wall with Egypt in January 2008 highlight difficulties in monitoring the Sinai border; Saudi Arabia
claims Egyptian-administered islands of Tiran and Sanafir
Refugees (country of origin): 60,000 - 80,000 (Iraq); 70,198 (Palestinian Territories); 12,157 (Sudan) (2007)
Transit point for cannabis, heroin, and opium moving to Europe, Israel, and North Africa; transit stop for Nigerian drug
couriers; concern as money laundering site due to lax enforcement of financial regulations
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
2011 Human Rights Report: Egypt
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
March 25, 2012
Egypt is a republic governed at year’s end by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), a transitional authority of senior
military officers that rules by decree. The appointed civilian Cabinet of Ministers carries out the SCAF’s executive responsibilities.
Legislative elections began on November 28 and were scheduled to end in February 2012. Nongovernmental (NGO) observers
reported the first two rounds of elections that took place during the calendar year to be generally free from state interference. There
were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control.
On February 11, then president Muhammad Hosni Mubarak transferred executive authority to the SCAF following antigovernment
demonstrations that began on January 25. On February 13, the SCAF suspended the 1971 constitution and dissolved the popularly
elected People’s Assembly and the partially elected Shura (Consultative) Council. On March 19, voters approved a constitutional
referendum that mandated new legislative elections and the drafting of a new constitution. The referendum balloting was considered
free and fair. On March 30, the SCAF issued a provisional constitution. Presidential elections were scheduled to be held in May
The most significant human rights problems during the year were attacks on demonstrators, violence against religious minorities,
the use of military courts in civilian cases, and arbitrary arrest, especially as permitted under the Emergency Law. Authorities
harassed and pursued a broad-based investigation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and their staff; state media and
government figures branded many civil society activists “traitors” in a campaign against foreign funding of civil society groups.
Security forces and civilian thugs attacked demonstrators during the year; these attacks, along with clashes among opposing
groups of demonstrators, killed at least 930 persons. Beginning on January 28, authorities arrested and tried approximately 12,000
civilians in military courts that lacked fundamental due process procedures for offenses ranging from “thuggery” to “insulting the
military.” The SCAF expanded the Emergency Law, in place almost continuously since 1967, to include broad offenses such as
“causing internal tensions.” Under the Emergency Law, citizens were subject to arbitrary arrest and detention and unfair judicial
procedures, although the transitional authorities primarily applied the code of military justice, rather than the Emergency Law,
against demonstrators during the year.
Other human rights problems included physical abuse and torture by security forces, poor prison conditions, and governmental
restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and association. Authorities detained journalists and bloggers for criticizing the
military. The previous government severely restricted Internet freedom when it cut connections to telecommunication networks
during the peak of antigovernment demonstrations. After the revolution security forces, including military police, used excessive
force to disperse protesters and specifically harassed female protesters. Authorities continued to enforce onerous restrictions on
non-Muslims establishing and repairing places of worship, and non-Muslims were targets of government and societal violence. The
government continued to shoot African migrants attempting to cross the Sinai Desert en route to Israel. Domestic violence and
societal discrimination against women was widespread.
Official impunity was a problem. In rare instances, such as the high-profile June 2010 killing of Khaled Saeed, the government took
steps to prosecute security forces.
Click here to read more »
20 June 2011
Committee on the Rights of the Child
30 May – 17 June 2011
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention
Concluding observations: Egypt
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the State party’s consolidated third and fourth periodic report (CRC/C/EGY/3-
4), submitted in accordance with the reporting guidelines of the Committee, as well as the written replies to its list of issues
(CRC/C/EGY/Q/3-4/Add.1). The Committee appreciates the analytical and self-critical nature of the report and the efforts of the
State party to present its report as scheduled despite the current political transition. The Committee further appreciates the
constructive dialogue held with the State party.
II. Follow-up measures undertaken and progress achieved by the State party
4. The Committee welcomes the significant efforts of the State party with respect to the implementation of the Convention
during the period under review. In particular, the Committee notes as positive the adoption of Child Law No. 12/1996 Amended by
Law No. 126/2008 in 2008 (hereinafter “Child Law (2008)”).
III. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
8. The Committee notes the socio-political challenges facing the State party in the aftermath of the 25 January 2011
Revolution and the current interim rule by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces under which, pending parliamentary and
presidential elections, the Parliament has been dissolved and a temporary Constitutional Declaration has replaced the suspended
Constitution. In this context, the Committee reminds the State party of the continuous nature of international human rights
obligations and that the rights under the Convention apply to all children at all times. It calls upon the State party to seize this critical
transitional period towards democratic governance, solicited by the youth, as an opportunity to strengthen its legal and institutional
system for the protection and promotion of human rights, including the rights of the child, as indicated by the delegation during the
dialogue. In this spirit, the State party is strongly encouraged to preserve and build upon achievements made in recent years,
including the Child Law (2008) and other domestic legislation relating to children, with a view to further improving the situation of
children in the country.
IV. Main areas of concern and recommendations
A. General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44, para. 6 of the Convention)
The Committee’s previous recommendations
9. The Committee notes as positive the efforts by the State party to implement the Committee’s concluding observations on
the State party’s previous report (CRC/C/15/Add.145, 2001) which have yielded positive results. However, it regrets that many of
its concerns and recommendations have been insufficiently or only partly addressed.
10. The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to address those recommendations from the
concluding observations of the second periodic report under the Convention that have not been implemented or sufficiently
implemented, including those related to coordination, data collection, allocation of resources, independent monitoring as well as
those concerning adolescent health, the best interest of the child in all matters affecting children, children with disabilities,
economic exploitation, sexual exploitation and abuse of children. The Committee further urges the State party to provide adequate
follow-up to the recommendations contained in the present concluding observations.
Click here to read more »
Freedom House Welcomes Peaceful Presidential Election in Egypt
Jun 26 2012 - 11:01am
Freedom House congratulates Dr. Mohamed Morsi and the Egyptian people on his election as the first civilian President of Egypt,
the result of a peacefully contested election. We hope that this will mark a watershed moment in Egypt’s transition to democracy.
Freedom House notes, however, that this election has taken place against a profoundly undemocratic background. Egypt’s highest
court disbanded the freely elected parliament. The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) subsequently arrogated to
itself sweeping powers of arrest, detention, and lawmaking, and asserted veto power over the constitution drafting process. The
military’s promise to turn over of power to a civilian government on July 1 is critical and should be followed by a reversal of the
recent democratic setbacks.
Freedom House hopes the new civilian government under President Morsi will do its utmost to advance the rule of law and ensure
that the rights of all, including women and minorities, are safeguarded. All Egyptians should join together to ensure that Egypt’s
progress toward electoral democracy is sure and irreversible.
Egypt is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House's survey of political rights and civil liberties, Not Free in
Freedom of the Press 2012 and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2011.
Click here to read more »
13 July 2012
THREE ACTIVISTS HELD BY THE EGYPTIAN ARMY
Three political activists have been detained by the Egyptian army. The three men, all civilians, are possible prisoners of conscience
and at risk of torture or other ill-treatment in detention. They are likely to face an unfair trial before a military court.
Youth members of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), Islam Amin, Karim Al Kenany and Mohamed Masoud were
detained on 12 July 2012 after protesting in Rabaa Al Adawiya, in the Nasr City district of Cairo. The protest, which the men were
helping to co-ordinate, was calling for greater inclusiveness in Egypt’s Constituent
Assembly – the body tasked with writing the country’s next Constitution.
At around 11pm men in plain clothes disrupted the protest, reportedly attacking protesters and wounding at least one with a bladed
weapon. As protestors began to disperse, they reportedly saw Mohamed Masoud being arrested by men in plain clothes, believed to
be security officers. The friends and family of Islam Amin and Karim Al Kenany were unable to reach them on their mobile phones
and so became concerned.
During the next three hours, an ESDP lawyer visited two police stations in Nasr City attempting to locate the activists. Enquiring at
S28, a military area in Nasr City (previously employed by the military forces to detain protesters) a military officer denied the men
were there, yet minutes later the lawyer saw the three activists being driven away in an open-backed vehicle surrounded by what
appeared to be security officers in plain clothes. The head of Egypt’s military police has since told the lawyer that the men have
been taken to the Military Prosecution.
Amnesty International would call for the activists’ immediate and unconditional release if they are being held solely for peacefully
exercising their right to freedom of assembly. The organization is concerned that, despite being civilians, the men are likely to face
an unfair trial before a military court.
Click here to read more »
Egypt: End Mubarak-Era Impunity for Sectarian Violence
Emergency Court Trials Unfair, ‘Reconciliation’ Punishes Victims
July 16, 2012
(New York) – The new administration of President Mohamed Morsy should take urgent steps to address sectarian violence. The
administration should ensure that those responsible for the violence are identified, investigated, and prosecuted in courts that meet
international fair trial standards and order a retrial of those sentenced by discredited emergency law courts.
Under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power after former president Mubarak’s ouster in February
2011, Egypt has had at least 12 incidents of serious sectarian violence, which has left numerous homes and shops destroyed and at
least 25 people dead. Only two cases have resulted in prosecutions, but prosecutors referred the cases to Emergency State Security
Courts, which were notorious for failing to meet minimum due process standards and whose verdicts cannot be appealed. Other
cases were handled with so-called reconciliation meetings, which did not result in justice, Human Rights Watch said.
“Sectarian tensions in Egypt have long been punctuated by outbursts of criminal violence, yet time and again authorities fail to
prosecute or punish those responsible,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Putting an end to
sectarian violence means prosecuting those responsible and making sure that the outcome is fair.”
In October 2011, Human Rights Watch documented three serious attacks on Christians in which prosecutors declined to investigate
suspected arsonists, looters, and assailants. Those episodes – in Atfih, Muqattam, and Marinab – have yet to be investigated.
In the few instances in which the government has prosecuted suspects, authorities have used emergency courts, where defendants
can’t get a fair trial and there is no right of appeal of even the most questionable verdict, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights
Watch has found in monitoring trials before Emergency State Security Courts that the judges routinely fail to investigate allegations
of torture properly, accept confessions obtained under torture, and do not allow defendants adequate access to lawyers outside the
courtroom. With the May 31, 2012 expiry of the state of emergency, the public prosecutor can no longer refer cases to these
courts.nterrogated Eid, who confirmed that his organization had issued the statement accusing Murad of plagiarism.
The new president should ensure a system is in place to speedily review and quash all verdicts issued after unfair trails, including all
verdicts issued by emergency courts, Human Rights Watch said.
Click here to read more »
From ‘prisoner’ to President, Morsy wins historic Egypt poll Amir offers congratulations
CAIRO, June 24
Islamist Mohamed Morsy was declared Egypt’s first freely elected president on Sunday, sparking joy among his Muslim Brotherhood
supporters on the streets who vowed to continue to try to wrest power from armed forces reluctant to cede ultimate control.
In his first speech to the nation, Morsy said he will be a leader “for all Egyptians” and called for national unity after a polarising race.
“I will be a president for all Egyptians,” Morsy said just hours after he was declared president following a deeply divisive race against
Ahmed Shafiq, the last premier to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
“I call on you, great people of Egypt ... to strengthen our national unity,” he said, adding that national unity “is the only way out of
these difficult times.”
The election has polarised the nation, dividing those who feared a return to the old regime under Shafiq from others who wanted to
keep religion out of politics and who fear the Brotherhood would stifle personal freedoms.
Morsi, who resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood to take the top job, thanked the “martyrs” of the uprising for the victory and
stressed “the revolution continues.”
Morsy has promised a moderate Islamist agenda to steer Egypt into a new democratic era where autocracy will be replaced by
transparent government that respects human rights and revives the fortunes of a powerful Arab state long in decline. Morsy is
promising an “Egyptian renaissance with an Islamic foundation”.
Click here to read more »
EOHR’s report on abolishing civilians’ military trials
July 14th, 2012 by Editor
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) issued a report entitled “ Together for abolishing civilians’ military trials” on
Saturday July 14, 2012. The report covered observation and documentation of typical cases of civilians’ military trials and
witnesses on these cases and then ends with some recommendations. The number of detainees who were referred to military trials
after 25th of Jan revolution reached approximately 13,000.
The military trials took place after several sit-ins like Petrojet workers, Maspero, cabinet headquarters, Mohamed Mahmoud street
first and second sit-ins and Abbasya. After the Israeli embassy’s 1st sit-in, the detainees were referred to military courts, while
after the 2nd one; they were referred to exceptional courts like the state security emergency courts. Until now they have not been
released. Most of the detainees of the Suez student incident were sentenced before military courts though the civil judiciary is
responsible for this.
The report refuses referring civilians to military courts, as since the establishment of the organization in 1985, it deliberately issued
many reports and statements on the exceptional and military trials for civilians, and it launched many campaigns to stop referring
civilians to military courts in the 90s, and it resumed its continual demands to stop military trials for civilians for years. And after
the 25th of Jan revolution, and the end of the transitional period by electing a new president, the organization has focused on
stopping civilians’ military trials and referring them instead to civil judiciary. Their legal rights have to be represented before civil
judges, and gain an appropriate defense especially in light of expectations after the revolution to reach the rule of law.
This report has used a specific methodology depending on observing and documenting the various complaints received by the field
work unit from military court referrals’ families. the report includes discussions done by the lawyers with these families and the
access to all documents of cases filed, as well as listening to witnesses to come to the fact the facts. Also the follow-up of cases
addressed by the various media channels, audiovisuals and electronic to keep pace with what is traded on the trials, reach the
needed cases and take the appropriate legal action. Finally the field visits and meetings done by lawyers to the prosecution general
offices and military courts and what they reported from referrals’ families’ testimonies.
Click here to read more »
Results of the Fact-Finding Committee on the Acts of Violence in Egypt during November and December 2011
Written by Manager Thursday, 09 February 2012
Egypt has witnessed since mid-November 2011 and until near the end of December a series of acts of violence that began with the
attempt by civilian and military security forces to forcibly disperse a sit-in in Tahrir Square on November 19th and the ensuing
repercussions of this.
Protestors faced an unprecedented crackdown not seen in the country since the January 2011 revolution as a result of which more
than 60 demonstrators were killed and more than 4500 demonstrators and security forces were injured. This is the largest number
of causalities to fall in clashes between security forces and citizens since the January 2011 revolution and since the Maspero
incidents. Moreover, these events witnessed serious violations of human rights and public freedoms, casting a dark shadow over
the entire Egyptian society.
The acts of violence and counter violence and their repercussions have raised many questions. The sit-in that had begun a week
before the events with a small group of those injured during the revolution protesting neglect and demanding their rights, with
dozens of citizens joining them in solidarity, soon turned into huge crowds when the sit-in was forcibly dispersed on the afternoon
of Saturday November 19th, quickly spreading to fifteen governorates. Following this, the diverse and sporadic demands which
had been raised during the "Friday of Saving the Revolution" on 25/11/2011 quickly merged into a central demand calling for the
transfer of power to civilians and the formation of a national salvation government in what became known in the media as "the
second wave of the January Revolution".
Questions surround a wide range of developments starting with the timing of these incidents which began a few days before the
start of the People's Assembly elections, and the circumstances surrounding the forcible break-up of the sit-in in Tahrir Square by
both the civilian and military police. Questions also surround the responsibility for taking this decision, especially after Major
General Mansour al-Issawi, the Interior Minister at the time, stated that he had received written instructions from Dr. Essam
Sharaf, the Prime Minister at the time, to break up the sit-in by force, and even criticized the former head of government for not
having dated this letter.
There are questions also regarding the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of the security forces shortly after evacuating
Tahrir Square and controlling its entrances, as well as the context in which clashes shifted to Mohamed Mahmoud Street where
most of the bloody confrontations between protestors and security forces occurred. Questions also surround the objectives of the
rioting by protestors and whether these were acts of revenge against the excessive use of force by the police during the breakup of
the sit-in or whether it was an attempt to storm the Ministry of Interior according to statements made by the Ministry.
Click here to read more>>.
Along the Nile, in the 10th millennium BC, a grain-grinding Kubbaniya culture using the earliest type of sickle blades was
replaced by another culture of hunters, fishers and gathering peoples using stone tools. Climate changes and/or
overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, eventually forming the Sahara (c. 2500 BC).
Early tribes naturally migrated to the Nile river where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized
society (see Nile: History). Evidence of pastoralism and cultivation of cereals in the East Sahara dates to the 7th
millennium BC. The origins of the unified Egyptian state are unclear. There are no contemporaneous sources, and later
sources are unclear and contradictory. Around 3100 BC a king unified the whole of the Nile Valley between the Delta
and the First Cataract at Aswan, with the centre of power in Memphis. Traditionally (according to Manetho), this king
was known as Menes. Several Egyptian pyramids were built and some abandoned before they were finished. Around
2575 BC, Pharaoh Khufu (aka. Cheops) made his mark on the landscape. For him, the greatest and most famous
pyramid of all was constructed, the Great Pyramid of Giza. A Semitic people known by the Egyptians as the Hyksos,
took advantage of the political instabilities of the Nile Delta to take control of it and later extend their powers south. The
period of history in which Achaemenid Persia ruled over Egypt is divided into three parts: the first Persian domination, an
interval of independence, and the second Persian domination. The last pharaoh of the Twenty-Sixth dynasty,
Psammetichus III, was defeated by Cambyses II of Persia in the battle of Pelusium in the eastern Nile delta in 525 BC,
Egypt was then joined with Cyprus and Phoenicia in the sixth satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. Thus began the first
period of Persian domination over Egypt (also known as the Twenty-Seventh dynasty of Egypt), which ended around 402
BC. After an interval of independence, during which three indigenous dynasties reigned (the 28th, 29th, and 30th
dynasty), Artaxerxes III (358–338 BC) reconquered the Nile valley for a brief period (343–332 BC). This is the second
period of Persian domination in Egypt. The Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt began following Alexander the Great's conquest in
332 BC and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest. It was founded when Ptolemy I Soter
declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt, creating a powerful Hellenistic state from southern Syria in the east to Cyrene to the
west, and extending south to the frontier with Nubia. Alexandria became the capital city and a center of Hellenistic culture
and trade. To gain recognition by the native Egyptian populace, they named themselves as the successors to the Pharaohs.
The later Ptolemies took on Egyptian traditions by marrying their siblings, had themselves portrayed on public monuments
in Egyptian style and dress, and participated in Egyptian religious life. Hellenistic culture thrived in Egypt until the Muslim
conquest. Aegyptus was, in ancient geography, a province of the Roman Empire, encompassing most of modern-day
Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula. Both the provinces of Cyrenaica to the west and Arabia to the east bordered
Aegyptus. The area originally came under Roman rule in 30 BC, following the defeat of Cleopatra and Mark Antony by
Octavian (the future Emperor Augustus). It would come to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire. During the
initial Islamic invasion in 639 AD, Egypt was ruled at first by governors acting in the name of the Ummayad Caliphs in
Damascus but, in 747, the Ummayads were overthrown and the power of the Arabs slowly began to weaken. Although
Egypt remained under the nominal rule of the Abbasid Caliphate, its rulers were able to establish quasi-independent
dynasties, such as those of the Tulunids and the Ikhshidids. In 969 the Ismaili Shi'a Fatimid dynasty from Tunisia
conquered Egypt and established its capital at Cairo. This dynasty lasted until 1174, when Egypt came under the rule of
Saladin, whose dynasty, the Ayyubids, lasted until 1252. The Ayyubites were overthrown by the their Turkish
bodyguards, known as the Mamluks, who ruled under the suzerainty of Abbasid Caliphs until 1517, when Egypt became
part of the Ottoman Empire. Egypt was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Egypt was always a difficult province
for the Ottoman Sultans to control. It remained dominated by the semi-autonomous Mameluks until it was conquered by
the French in 1798. After the French were expelled it was ruled by the Albanian Muhammad Ali of Egypt and his
descendants who pulled Egypt even further out of Ottoman control. This lasted until 1882 when the British invaded and
Egypt became a de facto colony of Britain. The reign of Muhammad Ali and his successors over Egypt was a period of
rapid reform and modernization that led to Egypt becoming one of the most developed states outside of Europe. It also
led to massive government expenditures, that ended up bankrupting Egypt and eventually led to it falling under control of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The History of modern Egypt is generally accepted as beginning in
1882, when Egypt became a de facto British colony. This situation persisted until 1922 when Egypt was officially granted
independence; British troops, however, remained in the country and true self-rule did not occur until 1952 with the rise to
power of Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser. Nasser's one party state has seen many changes but had remained in place, firstly
under Anwar Sadat, and his ouster, under Hosni Mubarak.Egyptian youth and opposition groups, inspired by events in
Tunisia leading to overthrow of the government there, organized a "Day of Rage" campaign on 25 January 2011 (Police
Day) to include non-violent demonstrations, marches, and labor strikes in Cairo and other cities throughout Egypt.
Protester grievances focused on police brutality, state emergency laws, lack of free speech and elections, high
unemployment, rising food prices, inflation, and low minimum wages. Within several days of the onset of protests,
President MUBARAK addressed the nation pledging the formation of a new government, and in a second address he
offered additional concessions, which failed to assuage protesters and resulted in an escalation of the number and intensity
of demonstrations and clashes with police. On 11 February MUBARAK resigned and national leadership was assumed
by a Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). The SCAF dissolved the Egyptian parliament, suspended the nation's
constitution, and formed a committee to recommend constitutional changes to facilitate a political transition through
democratic elections. Following some delays, elections for a new parliament took place between November 2011 and
January 2012. Presidential elections are scheduled for May 2012. Presidential election were held in two rounds, the first
round held on 23-24 May 2012 with a runoff held on 16-17 June 2012 Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad
MURSI elected. Popular vote shifted power to the Muslim Brotherhood in both the legislature and the presidency. On 14
June 2012, the Supreme Court dissolved the People's Assembly. A lawsuit to dissolve the Advisory Council is pending.
SCAF has modified the provisional constitution stripping much of presidential power. On 08 July Mursi ordered the
legislatre to reconvene despite the Supreme Court ruling. On August 2 Hesham Qandil was appointed Prime Minister and
Mahmoud Mekki, the first of two vice presidents was appointed on 12 August 2012. On 22 November 2012, Egyptian
Mohamed Morsi issued a declaration immunizing his decrees from challenge and seeking to protect the work of the
Constituent Assembly drafting the new constitution. The declaration also requires a retrial of those accused in the
Mubarak-era killings of protesters, who had been acquitted, and extends the mandate of the constituent assembly by two
months. Additionally, the declaration authorizes Morsi to take any measures necessary to protect the revolution. Liberal
and secular groups previously walked about of the constitutional constituent assembly because they believed that it would
impose strict Islamic practices, while Muslim Brotherhood backers threw their support behind Morsi. The move has been
criticized by Mohamed ElBaradei who stated "Morsi today usurped all state powers & appointed himself Egypt's new
pharaoh" on his Twitter feed. The move has led to massive protests and violent action throughout Egypt. The Constitution
of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the fundamental law of Egypt. It was signed into law by President Mohamed Morsi on
26 December 2012, after it was approved by the Constituent Assembly on 30 November 2012 and passed in a
referendum held 15–22 December 2012 with 64% support. It replaced the 2011 Provisional Constitution of Egypt,
adopted in 2011 following the Egyptian revolution. The constitution and the manner in which it was adopted have been
one focus of the 2012 Egyptian protests. Zaghoul el-Balshi, the general secretary of the commission overseeing the
planned constitutional referendum, resigned in the wake of the protests.
Sources: Wikipedia: History of Egypt
Click on map for larger view
Click on flag for Country Report
Current situation: Egypt is a transit country for women trafficked from Eastern European countries to Israel for sexual
exploitation, and is a source for children trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic
servitude, although the extent to which children are trafficked internally is unknown; children were also recruited for
domestic and agricultural work; some of these children face conditions of involuntary servitude, such as restrictions on
movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Egypt is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the third year in a row because it did not provide
evidence of increasing efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers; however, in July 2007, the government established
the "National Coordinating Committee to Combat and Prevent Trafficking in Persons," which improved
inter-governmental coordination on anti-trafficking initiatives; Egypt made no discernible efforts to punish trafficking crimes
in 2007 and the Egyptian penal code does not prohibit all forms of trafficking; Egypt did not increase its services to
trafficking victims during the reporting period (2008)
Vice President since 12 August 2012
Prime Minister since 02 August 2012