Human Rights

Labor activists as the regime tries to quell protests

On Sunday evening, Egyptian security forces arrested leftist union activist Khalil Rizk Khalil. He appeared today in the State Security Prosecution, which ordered him to be detained for 15 days in connection with the issue of state security, including on charges of joining a “terrorist group”, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite being a Christian, he spread and spread false news using social media.

Arrest of labor activists

Rizk (42 years), a prominent labor leader in the drivers’ union, was arrested without legal support, and is not yet known the reasons for his arrest, but observers of political and labor affairs in Egypt linked his arrest to a case against the Egyptian workers union After about a month.

According to those close to Rizk, he has recently received threats to stay away from labor issues and not to show solidarity with the workers of the EPICO Pharmaceutical Factory, who went on strike on 18 November to demand their dues, noting that their salaries range from 1800 to 3,000 pounds. (Between $ 100 to $ 150) depending on years of work, after which the company announced the closure of two factories, and granted workers leave for a week without pay.

The Egyptian security forces arrested a few days ago a number of workers leaders of the company “Epico Pharmaceutical” in the city of 10th of Ramadan, east of Cairo, to bargain to end the workers‘ strike.

Forced concealment

The brother of trade unionist Khalil Rizk Khalil reported to the Attorney-General about the arrest and enforced disappearance of his brother, and stated that he disappeared while he was with his brother in a café in the Marj area, during a phone call.

The complainant added that the brother of the disappeared worker went to Al Marj police station to edit a report about the incident and asked to unload the street cameras.

According to the latest monitoring of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information in Egypt, the protests did not stop during the third quarter of this year, which witnessed 125 protests of different political forces, and the labor and social protests came first with 46 events, followed by protests by the Brotherhood and the Coalition to support legitimacy with 45 events Protest.

In 2018, 588 labor and social protests were organized by various labor sectors in Egypt, including 200 labor protests, as well as about 505 labor and social protests in 2017.

Over the past few years, the Egyptian authorities have arbitrarily dismissed a large number of workers protesting in a number of state-owned companies, pressured and threatened their lawyers, and in 2017 alone the number of workers activists arrested and charged for their participation in strikes and protests 180 workers.

According to estimates of the Democracy Index, 186 workers were arrested, and 2,691 were dismissed and suspended for protests from May 2016 to April 2017.

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