What is still left of the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that had been adopted by the General assembly of the United Nations, back in 1948, in the aftermath of the barbarianism of World War II? What is still ‘human’ in the Rights Organizations? – Everything. And that is why it is time for those now mostly self-serving ‘bureaus of organized upholders of moral standards’ to take a chance to better themselves. Temporary dissolution would be the noble way to resign from rusty-grown standards, for they deteriorated to a mumbo. But nobility has left men since a long time already. The HRO’s ought to dynamically and circumstantially adjust their action to the situation, while applying sensivity to regional issues. Putting a blind eye to abuse of human rights from the side of self-proclaimed victims, as is partly the case with Muslimbrotherhood in Egypt, is like making the fox guards the hen, is a declaration of ethical bankruptcy. It seems HRO’s factually only randomly live up to honor the rights of their institutionally framed promises. Regretfully, HRO’s grew as well to be associated with pretense and clichés of fundamental values since hardly any action is followed up with consistency to goals. What mostly happens when monstrous violations of human life, contempt of human integrity and defilement of human dignity occurs is a hasty sequence of outcries & condemnations, published through well established media-outlets spread through volunteers and sub-initiatives only to be eventually let at the mercy of their dreadful fate, once the immediate hype is over. – And the just & proper human beings of the world follow. Like fishes in an aquarium: you put some flakes at the surface of the water and ‘all’ fishes swarm up to regale themselves with fresh flake/news-spread. Once the ‘action-part’ is over, the tents are being decamped, the posters and flags being packed; for the big names then it’s time to celebrate themselves most probably in a lounge of a posh hotel, for the small guys: to rest in the comfortable feeling of their moral superiority. The victims of grave threats, the really affected and gruesomely suffering human beings, people in war-zones, are waiting in vain for human nobility to penetrate their unfortunate fate, their hope is futile for the triggering action of human spirits of mercy and redemption, redeeming the promise of rescue with immediate help. They put some issues on their web-sites but one can’t count on completeness. After the herd is gone, oftenly, the affected might even suffer more suppression, more violence, more pain. So the HRO’s resort to smaller battlefields, where moral-victory is cheap to obtain.
While i.e. the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria has not changed through HRO’s intervention and initiatives, with the people more or less left to their own survival skills, if they are lucky enough to still have a chance to apply them, the voices of ‘moral justice’ raise again over Egypt.
‘Egypt must immediately and unconditionally release women protesters‘, demand Amnesty International and other HR-groups.-
What happened? About 22 women from the Muslim Brotherhood camp, 11 of which were minors, stood trial in Alexandria ‘for simply protesting’, as the narrative goes, this week, ‘21 women and teenage girls were found guilty of obstructing traffic during a pro-Islamist protest last month. The 14 women were imprisoned for 11 years, while the seven under the age of 18 were sent to juvenile prison.’ Newspapers showed pictures of the girls in white pious prison attire which would make your heart break, wouldn’t you have read as well, that some of them threw stones at passersby. Rough justice? “Yes, it is!” one does spontaneously concede upon the inappropriateness of this out-proportionate sentence. – How rough is it really? Isn’t it true that all judiciary is been acted out on the background of their societal context through the ones in power? Yes, it is.-
Here is an example of authentic state brutality from a history that still resonates in our modern world and had been thought of while phrasing the UN-charter of Universal Human Rights. In the late 1930-ies, a resistance youth-group, mostly aged 14 to 18, had formed in Nazi-Germany. They rejected the Nazis‘ authoritarianism and set up protests, gatherings on street corners, ‘engaged in hiking and camping trips, defying the restrictions on free movement, which kept them away from the prying eyes of the totalitarian regime’, since camp-activity was sanctioned and encouraged by the governmental establishment. However: as soon as members of these groups had been identified by the Nazi-German state-security, the Gestapo, ‘as belonging to the various gangs, they were often rounded up and released with their heads shaved to shame them. In some cases, young people were sent to concentration camps or prison’ as one can read in various sources. In late 1944, ‘the state’ ordered a crackdown on the group, leading to 13 youngsters being publicly hanged in the city of Cologne.-
That had been an act of judiciary self-understanding in the late 30-ies of the last century. Time has changed. The surface of human nature has changed. Human nature has not.
In today’s Egypt, where an interim-government seeks ways to reach to presidential elections to achieve a system of governance, that will find mainstream consent, while keeping a preliminary ‘emergency-tool’ since the state-of-emergency had been annulled in accordance with the road-map, ‘Egypt’s president passed a law on Sunday making it illegal to hold demonstrations without the approval of the police and banning protests in places of worship, the perimeter of governmental buildings and of course banning weapons of any kind and, like everywhere else in the world, a ban on wearing masks. What is different is: now one isn’t even allowed to gather without permission, if the number of assembly exceeds 10 (ten) people.
In a country like Egypt, where most socializing activities take place in large groups, the limitation to 10 is of course causing chuckles of laughter.. But wait: as clumsy an initiative as this ‘anti-protest-law’ comes over, as – regretfully – justified it should be viewed at. – With some youth agitated by the Muslimbrotherhood ‘to defend the rules of democracy and insist on the freely-elected president Mohamed Morsi’s reinstatement’, and a sense of entitelment to ‘have a right’ to demolish the University, set fire to the building, holding protests with throwing stones, Molotov-cocktails and disrupting public order, one can hardly deny that that kind of ‘peaceful protest’ wouldn’t demand some regulatory adjustment. “Students are the center of Egypt. When you limit their freedom, you limit Egypt” was a slogan. Really?
In the light of what Egypt, a state-in-the-making, has already to defend I see no wisdom in this freedom. Next to all the economical projects, having and are being signed with Gulf allies, the World-Bank is prepared for substantial support: 24 projects account for $4.6 billion are added to the Egyptian portfolio. “We are preparing new projects that are priorities for the people of Egypt” according to Hartwig Schafer, the WB country director.
What is an essential condition for economic activity? Freedom of schedule! – Protestors blocking the roads in random demonstrations, chanting for ‘Freedom’ just has no appeal and is met with little understanding for and from all the companies and individuals required, to be or get involved on all the projected enterprises!
At a point I was wondering: what ‘freedom’ is the pro-Morsi youth having in mind? Is what they actually mean liberating themselves from a mostly dull and deprived home-environment?
As a sound majority of Egyptians state: we need to eat before we can discuss the details of our political agenda. The time to protest is not now.-
With the new protest-law enforcement, old activists came back into the scene, most notably the heroes of the first days of the revolution, who made it to the hearts & minds of the forces who fight for democracy in Egypt, one of whom is Alaa Abdel Fattah, whose intellectual means are obviously confined to the petty limitations of setting his goal at chaos and disruption. “#FreeAlaa”. Seriously?? A revived hash tag on Twitter reflects the solidarity with Alaa, whose history goes back to 2005, when he followed his parent’s foot-steps as political activists, both of whom started political activism under Sadat. Alaa’s father, a human-rights attorney, had been arrested by Mubarak’s State Security in 1983 for 5 years and he reportedly had been tortured.- Aged 24, Alaa himself became a noticeable part of the opposition-front under Hosni Mubarak. His blog gained merits. On May 7th 2006, Alaa Abdel-Fattah was arrested during a peaceful protest after he called for an independent judiciary. His arrest, along with that of several other bloggers and activists, spurred solidarity protests by others around the world, some of whom created the blog “Free Alaa” devoted to calling for his release from jail. El-Fattah was released on 20 June 2006, after spending 45 days in jail. More actions followed..
But what did he learn, allow me to limit the time-frame, in the 3 years after January 25th 2011? I find it incomprehensible that an activist who, at this point of time, hasn’t anything more to offer other than ‘No 2 All’ still gets this amount of public compassion. – Probably because the Ministry of Interior doesn’t leave out any mistake one can think of..
Take how the law is being bended, when it comes to crimes committed by the ‘soldiers of justice’ the police officers. To address only one, most recent, prominent example: In March, a policeman was convicted of shooting at protesters, deliberately aiming at their eyes, during demonstrations in November 2011 (and it had been more then only one person who lost his eye!). The man dubbed the “eye sniper” was sentenced to three years in prison. (?!?) And now they are considering to again allowing Military trials for civilians. I know too little about Egypt’s law-system to see the necessity of this; my explanation would be ‘securing military locations’ – but as well the judiciary could amend the civil law for cases like that.- .. see what is stirring the justified outrage?
To be clear: I am not happy about the demonstration-law. But the alternative would, as I understand the situation, be, at this point, the extension of the state-of-emergency, with the curfew and, I speculate, the package holds the ‘martial-law’. So having abolished the state-of-emergency came as a relief to the people, since the lifting of the curfew, we all suffered under, promised to restore a kind of normalcy.
Egypt still is ‘in a state of war’ as some say and see it. Fact is: there is a war against terrorism which is not over yet.
Some dispute the right of Adly Mansour, the interim-president, to sign a law, here: the demonstration law, since he is not elected, only appointed. True. According to this logic, the demonstrations against the protest-law were ‘completely justified’. The argument holds: ‘if the interim government is inept to come to terms with their opposing forces they should resign. – Hmm.. and then what?
I can’t see that as a solution of the core-problem since until now Egypt didn’t find consensus among the battling political competitors. In a phase, where the country is just a stone’s throw away from “The Reign of Terror”, as the revolution unfolded in France, demanding over 35.000 lives of those people, who had other ideas to realize ‘fraternité, égalité et liberté’ than the political current of 1793.
As for the jailed women: they will be pardoned. Thanks to the pressure of HRO’s. Unjustifiably so! They supported a public pressure and squeezed that out of the interim-government, which is coming more and more under fire, since a lot of people expect miracles to happen to them individually, where a government can only define the framework of activity. What message is that, to pardon those girls? You throw stones at people to communicate your ‘political disapproval’ and then the HR organizations come to help you out?
As ridiculous as it is to confine them to 11 years in prison and spreading over the newspapers that their education won’t suffer for the Minister of Education lets the public know, that he makes sure that the girls will be provided with books and can make their exams in their penitentiary, as wrong is it, to let them get away with it.
The road to democracy is already paved. Interruptions through demonstrations and morally bankrupt HRO’s won’t stop it.
“All life is a purposeful struggle, and your only choice is the choice of a goal.” Ayn Rand. I am a natural born optimist. I believe Egypt will find her way toward the aspired destination. The realist in me however worries whether a lifetime will suffice to see this happen. Please activists I’m asking you: why are you wasting your and other people’s energy for small battles, where the fight for the real rights would need all this energy and more? Only engaging in constructive opposition can lead toward the achievement of the right of every Egyptian to be treated with respect, consideration and dignity.