Egypt. Egypt’s economy was severely affected by reduced tourism following the September 11 attacks in the United States. The Egyptian Pound was devalued on January 14. In October, President Hosni Mubarak took control of the central bank because of the banking sector crisis.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Egypt is every July 23. US Vice President Dick Cheney visited Egypt in March to discuss the fight against terrorism and support for an attack on Iraq. At the end of August, Mubarak warned that a possible US attack on Iraq could wreak havoc on the region. Egypt announced in April that its diplomatic relations with Israel had been downgraded and would focus on defending the cause of the Palestinians following the Israeli army’s offensive against Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.
On July 23, Egypt celebrated the 50th anniversary of the military coup that abolished the monarchy. Among the guests of honor were Libya’s leader Muammar al-Khadaffi.
Mubarak’s son Jamal, 39, was appointed Secretary-General of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) in September. The appointment was seen as the president preparing for a change of power.
The case of Sad ad-Din Ibrahim, an Egyptian-American sociologist and human rights advocate, strained Egypt’s relations with the United States and also the EU. Ibrahim was released in February after eight months in prison, accused of diminishing Egypt’s reputation abroad and illegally receiving contributions from abroad. But on July 29, he was sentenced to seven years in prison by a security court. Both the EU and the US protested. The United States decided to freeze all aid beyond the $ 2 billion guaranteed under the Camp David Agreements in 1978. The verdict would be tried again in December.
In May, Mubarak ordered a trial in which 23 gay men were sentenced last year to prison for rape. That all 52 who had originally been prosecuted would again be faced with the right triggered criticism. The process continued to be bordered by litigation over procedural issues.
In September, a military court sentenced 51 Islamists to between two and fifteen years in prison for alleged assassination attempts and attempts to overthrow the government. 43 people were released. The trial was designated as the largest of its kind in several years.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mustafa Mashhur, passed away on November 14. Mashhur turned 83. He had led the organization, which is formally banned but still tolerated, since 1996.
More than 370 people were killed on February 20 in a violent fire on a crowded passenger train en route from Cairo to Luxor in southern Egypt. The Minister of Transport and the Head of the State Railways resigned. The fire is believed to have been caused by a leaking gasoline tube.
In March, US crash investigators identified the second pilot on the Egypt Airplane that crashed Oct. 31, 1999, outside the United States as responsible for the crash that claimed 217 fatalities. Egypt questioned the information.
In October, the Alexandria Library was inaugurated as it took twelve years to build. The building is erected in the same location as the famous Alexandrian library of antiquity.
In May, security forces attacked the Cairo Press Syndicate and arrested 2 journalists accused of publishing “false rumors”. The journalists were released on bail in the fall, but in November Press Syndicate Director Yahia Galash and board members Khaled Elbalshy and Gamal Abd el-Reheem were sentenced every 2 years to “hide suspects”.
In April, authorities arrested Ahmed Abdallah, director of the Egyptian Commission on Rights and Freedoms, who investigated and documented disappearances in Egypt. In September, the authorities turned to another 3 human rights organizations that were frozen in their funds: the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center and the Egyptian Center for the Right to Education.
Throughout 2016, the dictatorship received massive financial support from the United States, the IMF and the Gulf states. The West failed to criticize the massive human rights violations in the country. In addition, the sale of weapons to the country was important. French President Francois Hollande visited Egypt in April 2016 and returned home with solid Egyptian orders on French warships and aircraft.
In the Sinai Peninsula, militant groups linked to IS ambushed police and military ambushes through 2016.
US-Egypt relations improved greatly after Donald Trump took over as US President in January 2017. The two presidents met during Trump’s arms sales trip to the Gulf States in May 2017. The US was primarily interested in selling weapons to Egypt.
Egypt is currently one of the most oppressive dictatorships in the world, where freedom of the press and assembly has been put to waste; political parties banned; Torture, disappearance and murder are commonplace.