Press communiqué

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy ECCD offers its sincerest condolences to those who lost loved ones in the trains' collision in Sohag, Egypt.
ECCD salutes the contribution of ordinary people for the rescue efforts to the wounded and deplores the lack of preparedness of the authorities.
A collision between two trains killed at least 19 people and injured 185 in the southern Egyptian province of Sohag on Friday, according to a Health Ministry statement delivered Saturday, Reuters reported. Previously, the number of casualties reported was 32 deaths. The exact number of deceased and injured may never be disclosed.

The crash occurred north of the provincial capital, Sohag, between two passenger trains both heading north toward the capital, Cairo.

ECCD is demanding an independent, transparent investigation into the crash, not convenient explanations dolled out by the Minister of Transportation. When he visited the site, under heavy guard, trying to soothe the people with promises, he had to retreat followed by angry shouts of 'Irhal' (Leave).

ECCD is also demanding adequate preparedness of the emergency services. Videos posted on social media showed passengers coated with dust and debris, walking in a daze inside derailed and mangled train carriages. Others were writhing with pain and crying for help.

ECCD deplores that money is allocated to infrastructure that benefits only enclaves frequented by the wealthy rather than the daily transportation means used by the working classes.

Background Information:

Friday's collision immediately brought scrutiny to Egypt's rail system, one of the oldest in the world and largest in the region. Construction on the first railway line in Egypt, between Alexandria and Kafr Eassa, began in 1851. Once among the most efficiently in the world, the rail network has suffered from under funding over past decades with tragic consequences.

Data released by Egypt's official statistics agency showed 1,657 train accidents in 2017, up from 1,249 the year before.

El-Sissi has infamously declared that it will be more profitable to collect interest on the millions of Egyptian pounds (needed to modernize the transportation infra-structure), by depositing the money in a bank.
However, in January, Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany's Siemens for construction of a $23 billion high-speed train line that would run from Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to New Alamein on the Mediterranean coast, two resorts for the wealthy. It would also
pass through a new capital city being built east of Cairo, for El-Sissi administration.
Even with the disruption caused by the coronavirus, 1.4 million passengers per day used the nation's trains and metro network, Egypt's Transportation Ministry said last April.

According to the Washington Post, the Egyptian prime minister has offered roughly $6,300 to the families of the deceased and just over $2,500 for those injured.

Ottawa, September 22 2020

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) stands in full solidarity with Egyptians and all Human Rights defenders calling for the removal of El-Sisi and his military regime.

Western Governments especially our Government should support Egyptians and all Human Rights defenders facing a regime that killed thousands in cold blood, imprisoned tens of thousands of political opponents from all political stripes, and silenced all critical voices.

During the last few days, demonstrators spontaneously flooded the streets to cry out their anger and demand change, calling for El-Sisi to leave. They passionately expressed themselves physically and virtually. The most popular hashtag was 'We don't want you' and 'Irhal' (which means leave!).

Characteristically, the response to the people's rebellion was by more detentions and complete denial by the official controlled media. El-sisi himself remained silent. But the regime surely realizes now that it is losing its grip and the winds of change are gaining strength.

As the population was reeling from a sharp increase in the price of commodities, on top of the ever-rising taxes, the regime has introduced an additional punishing new law about building permits. In fact, another disguised way of extorting money to replenish the coffers of those in power at the expense of the poor.

With broken hearts, we and all the world, watched the images of families being thrown into the streets while the bulldozers flattened their homes. When will this cruelty and injustice stop?

To those who raised their voices denouncing the latest round of abuse by the regime, to those who are aspiring for the end of cronyism and corruption, for those who aspire to live in security and dignity, for those who are unjustly imprisoned, we want to assure you of our backing and admiration. We will not let you down! We will do everything in our power to extend our support in these difficult times.

The end of this tyrant and his regime is near!

About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information:

Ottawa, August 14 2020

Remembering the massacres of Raba'a and Al Nahda squares (Egypt)- Aug 14, 2013
Calling for justice for the victims of Abdel Fatah El-Sissi, from 2013 to date

Today, Egyptian Canadians sadly commemorate the victims, peaceful protesters who opposed the deposition of President Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president following a coup d'état orchestrated by then General Abdel Fatah El-Sissi, July 3rd 2013.

Immediately, after the announcement of the coup was made, supporters of the nascent democratic process poured in Rabaa al-Adawiya square (Nasr City) and al-Nahda square (Giza) in defiance. Their numbers swelled reaching thousands thus becoming the largest sit-ins in Egyptian modern history. They hoped their steadfastness would succeed in pressuring the military to restore Dr. Morsi* to the presidency. Protesters slept, ate, prayed, and camped in the squares for 45 days under the burning sun of Cairo.

On August 14, 2013 the military-backed government, officially ordered the dispersal of Rabaa and al-Nahda squares with armoured vehicles, bulldozers and hundreds of security forces moving in the early hours.

The brutal dismantlement of the sit-ins saw soldiers and police murder more than 800 protesters at Raba'a square in a matter of hours. Hundreds more were killed in Al-Nahda square. The exact number of the victims will never be known as countless bodies were not identified.

After a year-long investigation, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented the events that led to the mass killings, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing video footage.

Based on the findings of its 2014 report, titled "All According to Plan"**, HRW concluded the killings "likely amounted to crimes against humanity" and "were part of a policy". Despite a wealth of evidence implicating the Egyptian army and police in killing the protesters, no one has ever been brought to trial.
HRW has called for an international, independent inquiry into the tragic event of Raba'a to no avail. "Without justice, Rabaa remains an open wound. Those responsible for the mass killings of protesters shouldn't count on being able to shield themselves from accountability forever", said Sarah Leah Whitson, then HRW's director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The massacres at Raba'a and Al-Nahda squares are not the only crimes committed under Abdel Fattah El Sissi. Since he usurped power in 2013, he continues to ruthlessly suppress any opposition. Imprisonment, torture and a complete disregard for law became the new order in Egypt. Presently, there are an estimated 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt, held in appalling conditions.

We, members of the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD), continue to press for accountability, for the deceased and the detainees. To all the victims, we say, your sacrifices will not be forgotten. You will always be in our hearts and on our minds, today and every day.

About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information:


*Dr. Mohamed Morsi died in prison, after six years of detainment, under dire conditions amounting to torture and total medical neglect.
** For more info about Rab'a Massacre please read HRW report

El 28 de julio 2020

Para: Embazador Enrique Ruiz Molero
Embajada de España en Canadá
74, Stanley Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1M 1P4, Canada

Embazador Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui
Embajada de España en Egipto
41 Ismail Mohammed, Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

CC: Media

English version follows

REF: Gracias al Gobierno de España.
Posición de España sobre el caso del egipcio Mohamed Ali, residente en Barcelona

Su Excelencia Sr. Enrique Ruiz Molero,
Su Excelencia Sr. Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui:

Estoy escribiendo en nombre de la Coalición Egipcio-Canadiense para la Democracia, ECCD, una organización con sede en Canadá que tiene como objetivo promover la democracia y los derechos civiles en Egipto.

Actualmente, estamos profundamente preocupados por la situación de Mohamed Ali, ciudadano egipcio que reside en Barcelona, y los pasos que el régimen egipcio ha tomado para extraditarlo.

En sus videos sobre el tema, Mohamed Ali elogia a las autoridades españolas por acatar el estado de derecho y no ser atraídos por lo que está ofreciendo a cambio de su cabeza. Nos gustaría unirnos a él para expresar nuestro sincero agradecimiento al Gobierno de España por adoptar una postura tan basada en principios.

Mohamed Ali es un crítico político del régimen egipcio. Está denunciando la corrupción desenfrenada en el ejército, los abusos de las autoridades y una cultura de desprecio total por los derechos civiles.

Aboga por el avance democrático a través de protestas pacíficas. Y está poniendo su vida en peligro al hablar públicamente. En nuestra opinión, merece protección y apoyo.

El primer intento de detener a Mohamed Ali a través de la INTERPOL sigue una serie de acciones para reducirlo al silencio. El papel de España como promotor de los derechos humanos es realmente alentador. Leemos sobre su sitio Web, 'España quiere contribuir a título nacional y como miembro de la Unión Europea a un mundo más libre, más justo y en paz. La defensa de los derechos humanos constituye por ello una prioridad de su acción exterior'.

Además de cumplir con las directivas generales de la Unión Europea, sabemos cómo los opositores al régimen militar del general Franco, que se vieron obligados a exiliarse, regresaron después de su muerte y fueron fundamentales para convertir a España en un país democrático y próspero.

Tras haber pasado por esta historia, esperamos que España siga extendiendo su hospitalidad a los críticos políticos, como Mohamed Ali, que deciden buscar refugio dentro de sus fronteras.

Les agradecemos por considerar debidamente esta carta.

Muy atentamente,

Ahmed Abdelkader El Pannann
Coalición Egipcio-Canadiense para la Democracia
Presidente de la Junta
E-mail: عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته.

Spanish version above

August 6, 2020

TO: Ambassador Enrique Ruiz Molero
Spain Embassy in Canada
74, Stanley Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1M 1P4, Canada

Ambassador Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui
Spain Embassy in the Arab Republic of Egypt
41 Ismail Mohammed, Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

CC: Media

REF: Thanks to the Government of Spain
Position of Spain concerning the case of Egyptian Mohamed Ali, residing in Barcelona

Your Excellency Mr. Enrique Ruiz Molero,
Your Excellency Mr. Ramón Gil-Casares Satrústegui:

I am writing, In the name of Egyptian-Canadian Coalition for Democracy, ECCD, an organization based in Canada aiming to promote democracy and civil rights in Egypt.

Currently, we are deeply concerned about the situation of Mohamed Ali, an Egyptian citizen residing reportedly in Barcelona, and the steps the Egyptian regime has taken to extradite him.

In his videos on the subject, Mohamed Ali praises the Spanish authorities for abiding by the rule of law and not being lured by what is offered in exchange for his head. We would like to join him in expressing our sincere gratitude to the Government of Spain for taking such a principled stand.

Mohamed Ali is a political critic of the Egyptian regime. He is denouncing the rampant corruption in the military, wide abuses of authorities, and a culture of complete disregard for civil rights. He is advocating for democratic advancement through peaceful protests. And he is putting his life in danger by speaking out publicly. In our opinion, he deserves protection and support.

The first attempt to have Mohamed Ali detained through INTERPOL, comes after a series of actions to reduce him to silence. The role of Spain as a promoter of human rights, as we read from your website, is truly heartening.

In addition to abiding by the general directives of the European Union, we know how opponents of the military regime of General Franco who were forced to go into exile, returned after his death and were instrumental in turning Spain into a democratic and prosperous country.

Having gone through this history, we hope that Spain will continue to extend its hospitality to political critics, like Mohamed Ali, who choose to seek refuge within its borders.

We thank you for giving due consideration to this letter.

Sincerely yours,

Ahmed Abdelkader El Pannann
Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Chairman of the Board
E-mail: عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته.

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
Statement on Release of Yasser Albaz


Ottawa, July 3rd, 2020

The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) welcomes the release of Yasser Albaz and his safe return home after more than a year of arbitrary detention in Egypt.

"We are very happy that Yasser is finally home with his family," said Ahmed Abdelkader, president of ECCD.
We applaud the intervention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team for having diligently advocated for Yasser's liberation and asked for his immediate return to Canada. PM Trudeau's intervention came at a critical time as Yasser's health was deteriorating and his family was fearing for his life.

"Prime Minister Trudeau clearly understood the urgency of the situation with Yasser showing worrisome health symptoms and no hope for proper care in Egypt's prisons. We are grateful to our government for finally putting pressure on the Egyptian regime to release him," added Abdelkader.

Human Rights advocates have repeatedly warned that the condition in which political prisoners are held in Egypt is tantamount to torture. Some have described the lack of medical care as being a slow form of execution. "The plight of political prisoners in Egypt remains dire." Abdelkader continued.

As we rejoice for the liberation of Yasser, our hearts go to the families of the estimated 60,000 other political detainees in Egypt.

We exhort our government to speak up clearly and act decisively for the freedom and civil and due process for all political prisoners

About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

For more information:
عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته.">عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته.
Mohamed Kamel: (514) 863-9202عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته.">