Over 10 years have passed since the revolution which led to the downfall of Mubarak's regime in 2011. Today’s Egypt is a torn country, scarred by high levels of inequality and the military regime’s brutal crackdown not just on political dissent but more broadly on any attempt from civil society to engage with politics and social issues. A widespread atmosphere of fear and suspicion undermines any chances for inclusive and democratic public debate, with the result that any grassroots political movement challenging the existing military regime is nipped in the bud; a political atmosphere which shrinks any existing or potential space for dialogue and exchange between social groups, thereby inhibiting the promotion of social solidarity and community activism among the population.
Moreover, the unrestrained, systematic and unaccountable agency of a judiciary that is hostage to the military’s repressive agenda (agency which includes the massive use of several forms of torture, forced disappearances, unlawful detention of individuals against whom no charges were ever filed, and even extrajudicial killings), has forced many Egyptian human rights defenders to flee the country and seek asylum elsewhere.
Diaspora activists, however, refuse to let geographical distance silence them, and even in exile, they persist in campaigning for a free, fair and democratic Egypt, where fundamental rights are guaranteed to everyone.
EgyptWide was first created as Egyptian-Italian Initiative for human rights and civil liberties. Our engagement stems from the aspiration to promote a culture of nonviolent commitment to positive peace nationwide in Egypt- so to say, EgyptWide.
We are a group of human rights defenders with different academic backgrounds and career paths.
We are Egyptian activists from the diaspora, and Italian activists eager to join them in demanding justice from the country which since 2019 has become the largest importer of Italian arms (and with which the Italian government maintains unaccountable and profitable international relations).
We are members of the civil society from two distinct but closely tied countries, who recognise themselves as stakeholders with a shared, mutual interest in advocating universal rights for all.
We believe conscious grassroots engagement with political and social processes to be the most effective defence available to the people against the rise of authoritarian trends. To the Egyptian military regime promoting a para-fascist, security-obsessed and repression-centred model of State, and launching a violent crackdown on any form of dissent, pluralism, and diversity through the militarisation of civil life, we respond with the project of a conscious, responsible civil society committed to actively engaging with what happens in the public space - both regarding domestic politics and international relations.
Our work consists in
- Raising awareness about
Repressive mechanisms depriving the Egyptian population of its basic rights to freedom, justice and social security.
We build spaces for dialogue with the Italian civil society, as we consider it our best ally in lobbying the Italian government for changes in its diplomatic and trade relations with Egypt.
The very existence as well as the nature of the current strategic agreements between the two countries represent the Italian government's silent but loud endorsement of the regime's agency.
Finally, we promote an idea of transnational solidarity which aims at bridging cultural divide and geographical distance by prioritising common human rights and needs, whose mutual recognition is often disregarded in the neoliberal-authoritarian paradigm currently informing international relations.
- Promote accurate, transparent, pluralistic information on the human rights situation in Egypt.
- Analyse, report and monitor the repression by the Egyptian regime.
- Analyse, report and monitor other forms of violence, injustice and exclusion involving Egyptian society and its marginalised groups, in addition to those perpetrated by the local authorities and the judiciary.
- Support, to the greatest extent possible, the political processes involving the Egyptian civil society and/in its struggle for political freedom.
- Support, and advocate freedom and justice for, the community of human rights defenders in Egypt.
- Support the diaspora human rights community in re-organising and continuing their political engagement in Italy and across the world.
- Mobilise Italian civil society on the issues of international arms trade and accountability in Italy-Egypt relations.
- Bring the issues of civil liberties, social justice and human dignity at the forefront of public debate at a local as well as national and international level