Report Number 4: The Results of the Monitoring Efforts Conducted by the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring Elections: Six Victims: the Toll of the Elections So Far

December 2nd, 2010 by Editor

The elections have witnessed uncountable violations. Violence has been the dominant feature of he day which is exactly what many civil society organizations and political powers have warned against. These organizations have demanded keeping violence to a limit during the electoral process. The picture is completed with violations of the rights of journalists and media representatives and blocking certain websites which all resulted in a general attitude within the public who refrained from participating in the elections as some polling stations had no voters showing up, and some others had very small numbers of voters. It is safe to say that the voting average rate was only 10% to 15%.

 

First: Deaths (six reported cases until the official closing of the polling stations):

The elections have witnessed six death cases in the governorates of Cairo, Al-Monofeya, North Sinai, Qena and Asuit. The first death happened in the Al-Matariya constituency when Amr Sayid –the son of the independent candidate running for the workers seat Ain Shams constituency- died. The second occurred during the voting process when the 60-year old Nagi Omran dropped dead due to a sharp drop in blood circulation. He had initially lost consciousness while voting and was then transferred to his home after which he was declared dead and was transferred again to the hospital pf Kamshish Village in Al-Monofeya Governorate. The third case was when a 79-year old woman called “Nafisa Abd El-Hamid Abdullah” dropped dead due to a diabetic coma inside the polling station. A 38 year old man died after being stabbed during a fight between the supporters of different candidates in the constituency of Dishna after a family fight. The fifth death was that of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate supporter in Asuit, Hamdy Abd El-Sabour Annas, who died after being    shot by the supporters of the Natinoal Democratic Party’s (NDP) candidates. The sixth death was that of Hussain Salama Abu-gar’i of the Al-Rishat tribe in El-Sheikh Zuwayid district. Abu-gar’i died was shot by the supporters of one of the candidates when a fight broke out between his tribe and that of the Al-Surka after Sayid Abu-harb –a member of Al-Rishat tribe- shredded the authorization of an Al-Surka tribe candidate’s deputy. Moreover, there has been a rapid increase in the number of acts of violence and bullying in many constituencies in different governorates which have led to alarmingly dangerous injuries.

As a result of such violence, the number of the injured has increased in the governorates of Damieeta, Al-Monofeya, Al-Dakhleya, Suhag, Asuit, Al-Gharbiya, Qena, Ismailia, Beni Suef and Al-Fayoum.

 

Second: Violation of the rights of media representatives:

A journalist in the Al-Shrorouq newspaper –Muhammad Khayal- was arrested and held under custody in the Al-Badrashin police station after being accused with killing one of the NDP candidates’ supporters. Aya El-Fiqi –another journalist- was physically assaulted while a website reporter –Yasmin Fathy- was held in custody in Shoubra police station with Masrawy website’s reporter Muhammad Abu Daif. Moreover, two journalists –Muhammad Gamil and Muhammad Sa’d- were kidnapped in El-zaqziq city and their cameras were confiscated. A number of websites which were covering the elections were blocked through blocking the servers of the two biggest internet service providers in Egypt (Link and TE Data). Shahid 2010 (a website covering the electoral process) was blocked. Two Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated websites were also blocked –Ikhwan Web and Ikhwan Online-. Also, the website of the opposition newspaper Al-Dostur was blocked until the end of the day.

It has also been reported that a number of incidents of assaulting candidates had occurred. An example of such incidents was the assault of candidate Subhy Saleh and arresting candidate Akram Al-Sha’ir –the Muslim Brotherhood candidate- in Al-Manakh police station from 6 A.M. and until 8 A.M.

 

The most obvious violations reported by the Egyptian Coalition for Monitoring the Elections (hereinafter the Coalition) are as follows:

 

First: The use of violence and bullying:

The Coalition observers in Tamiya district of Al-Fayoum Governorate have reported some bullies assaulting the heads of the polling stations and smashing ballot boxes. They have also reported election fraud in other polling stations in the same governorate in favor of the NDP candidates. Voters have been assaulted by NDP candidates supporters in Martyr Salah Hussain School in Snuris constituency as NDP candidates supporters used the help of a group of bullies who took over the voting cards and started publicly pre-marking in the presence of the security forces who tool absolutely no action to stop them. Also in Kfour E-Nile Village, a group of voters have been harassed and prevented from voting and were assaulted by Rabei’ Hassan Saleh –an NDP candidate supporter-.

In Damietta, the Coalition observers have reported the presence of several Damietta cab cars with metal plates numbered 668, 4224, 3310, 34260, 3141, 1555, 1951, 3619 and 2933 loaded with bullies who support the bullies of the NDP to terrorize the voters. Also, in Meet Al-Khuly Abd El-Lah Village of Al-Zarqa district a citizen called Ihab Ahmed Abdulhamid was physically assaulted while his pregnant wife was stabbed with a knife by the supporters of the NDP candidates. Also, the NDP candidate running for the workers’ seat in Sharbas Village of Al-zarqa district personally marked voting cards and placed them in voting boxes himself with the help of bullies who engaged in random gun shootings. It has also been reported that the NDP candidates’ supporters have committed election fraud filling boxes with pre-marked voting ballots in favor of NDP candidates with the help of a group of bullies in polling stations number 17: 20. Moreover, an officer in the polling stations of Awlad Khalad Primary School pf yje Faraskur constituency have reportedly assaulted Hautham Muhammad Hussain and hit him on the head with the back of his gun which lead to a serious injury that required his immediate transfer to a hospital. Along the same lines, in the same area, a group of bullies supporting NDP candidates smashed voting boxes while voters gathered around polling stations but were told there were no voting ballots starting 3.30 P.M.. In the Al-Rawda City of the Faraskur constituency, some ballot boxes were burned by the bullies of the NDP.

Continuing the violence scenario, Fathallah Rakha and Hamdi Shalaby Ashur, the NDP candidates running for both parliamentary seats in Kafr Al-Bateekh City of Kafr Sa’d district  shot their guns randomly and pre-marked voting ballots in their favor themselves. In Ismailia Governorate, the Coalition observers have witnessed filling ballot boxes with pre-marked ballots by bullies in Al-Hawis Primary school. Also, the supporters of A-Wafd Party candidates attacked the polling station of the Girls Preparatory School in Fayid district to prevent voters from delivering their votes which lead to some injuries. The Coalition observers in Monofeya Governorate have reported that the independent candidate Ramadan Dahi has been assaulted by a group of bullies using bladed weapons in the polling station of Saft Gidam in Tala district after which he has been held in Tala Central Hospital until this moment. Within the same context, in Alexandria, the Coalition observers at the Othman Ibn Affan Schools in the Menia Al-Bassal constituency have reported the presence of a large fathering of bullies armed with sticks and clubs in from of polling stations doors to prevent voters from delivering their votes.

In KAfr El-Sheikh Governorate, it has been reported that five ballot boxes were burned down and replaced by other non-transparent boxes at the Om Al-Sho’ur polling station in Al-Hamoul constituency. This was followed by a random gun shooting from security forces present at the scene after the voters voiced out their objection to the replacement. In the same governorate, 2000 citizens gathered on the ring road of Kafr El-Sheikh to protest the election fraud committed in their governorate after which the security forces opened fire randomly on the protesters.

Moreover, in the governorate of Suez, the Coalition observers have reported that Galal Mazen –a candidate- have assaulted women inside the polling station of Abu Arif. In Al-Dakhleya Governorate, the Coalition observers have reported the presence of a group of bullies assaulting Ra`fat Al-Basiouny –an independent candidate- which led to a head injury after being hit with a club. He has also been attacked using a sharp instrument causing tears in his tendons after which he was rushed into the Operating Room of the Emergency Hospital in Al-Mansoura City. In Suhag, the Coalition observers at the Military Secondary School have reported the occurrence of  a verbal skirmish in addition to clashed between the deputies of independent candidates on one side and those of the NDP with the police on the other side which led to injuries as gun shots were eventually exchanged. A police conscript was shot by one of the supporters of Muhammad Helmy Abd El-Akher –a candidate- in Al-Dakhily School in Tahta constituency.

It has been reported that riots and disturbances were stirred by groups of bullies in polling station number 4 in Street Number 10 School of the Bulaq Al-Dakrur constituency which the heads of polling stations demanded the police puts a stop to. In Asuit, the Coalition observers have further reported that a police officer had stabbed Adel Al-Qadi –a candidate’s deputy- with a bayonet in the chest creating an injury that required five stitches in the polling station of Abu Teig Primary School. Also, in Gharbeya, a reporter of the Delta News website –Muhammad Ali Khalil- has been assaulted and stabbed causing an injury which required 8 stitches. In Qena, the Coalition observers at Al-Sharoleen Preparatory School in Nag’ Hamadi constituency have reported clashes between the supporters of candidates Tariq Raslan and Khaled Khalafallah which resulted in an injury to the head of Sayid Ali who is now a patient in Nagi Hamadi Hospital.

 

Second: Pre-marking voting ballots:

The Coalition observers at the third constituency of Snuris have reported that a group of bullies had pre-marked all voting ballots after which the Coalition deputy on the location could personally obtain a large number of pre-marked voting ballots all in favor of NDP candidates. In Kafr El-Sheikh, the Coalition observers have also reported that voting ballots were pre-marked in favor of the NDP candidate in polling stations number 146:151 in Al-Sadat Preparatory School on Al-Brulus constituency. Also, in Fayoum, supporters of NDP candidates have been reported to take over voting ballots and Premark them in the polling stations of Salah El-Din Preparatory School, Muhsin Tantawy Preparatory School, the Primary Arena, Beni Othman Old Primary School and Beni Othman Modern Primary School in Snuris district.

In Qena, the supporters of NDP candidates in Bahgura of Nag’ Hamadi district have been reported to have threatened the voters using weapons and denied them access to the polling stations then marked voting ballots in favor of NDP candidates.

In the governorate of Dakahleya, the Coalition observers have reported pre-marking voting ballots in the polling stations of Ezbit Saqr, the Religious Institute, and Al-Sayida Aisha School in Bandar Al-Mansoura in favor of the NDP candidate in the heavy presence of security forces. Also, in Helwan, the Coalition observers have reported that ballot boxes were declared to be already full at 12 P.M. even though only few voters showed up to polling stations number 26, 27, 30 and 31 on The Canal School in Al-Ma’adi constituency.

 

Third: Bribes:

The Coalition observers at Ibn Sina School of El-Raml constituency have reported the presence of a truck with the metal plate number 152622 distributing meals among voters with the logo of the NDP on it. Also, in Damietta, it has been reported that the NDP candidate has been giving voters L.E 300: L.E. 500 bribes to the voters in the polling station of Seif El-Din Primary School in El-zarqa district.

The phenomenon of buying votes by NDP candidates has also been reported extensively in Cairo where a regular vote cost L.E. 20 and the vote of people with disabilities cost L.E. 5. Women have been assembled in Al-Sayida Zainab Commerce Secondary School of Al-Sayida Zainab constituency to vote for the NDP candidates for L.E. per vote whereas the price votes reached L.E. 150 per vote. In Sharqiya governorate, the Coalition observers have reported distributing meals among the heads of polling stations who were supervising the elections.

 

Fourth: Errors inside the polling stations:

The Coalition observers have reported allowing the supporters of the NDP candidate into the Agriculture Secondary School of Samalut constituency in Menia to deliver their votes without dipping their hands in the phosphoric ink. Also, in Alexandira, the Coalition observers at Genghis Khan polling station in El-Raml constituency have reported the presence of a police officer inside the polling stations encouraging the voters to vote for the NDP candidates. Moreover, in Giza, the Coalition observers have reported the presence of police officers inside polling station number 17 in Martyr Abd El-Men’im Riyad Scool in the constituency of Giza’s Educational Department. Along the same lines, in Cairo, the Coaltion observers at the Qasr El-Nile polling station have reported an incident where the head of the polling station removed the voting ballot of one voter from inside the ballot box after the voter had placed her regular seat voting ballot in the women’s quota ballot box by mistake.

 

Fifth: Harassing and assaulting civil society observers:

The Coalition observers at the Suzan Mubarak Primary School in the constituency of the First Division of Giza have reported being denied access to the polling stations. Also, in the polling stations of Uwaydat Primary School, Commerce School for boys, Dr. Abd El-Aziz El-Qusy Scool and Al-Baha` Zahir School observers have been reportedly denied access to the stations where voting ballots were being pre-marked in favor of the NDP candidates. Along the same lines, one of the Coalition observers –Ibrahim Abdullah- has been assaulted in Al-Zarqa district of Damietta.

 

Sixth: Closing polling stations to voters:

The Coalition observers at the polling stations of Algeria School in Gurbal district of El-Montazah constituency have reported that security forces have closed the stations to voters starting 4.30 P.M. preventing them from delivering their votes. In Ismailia, security forces have reportedly closed polling station number 13 at kilometer 13 of the third constituency in Al-Qantra district to voters according to orders from the Elections Administration of Ismailia after proven cases of election fraud.

 

Seventh: Preventing voters from voting:

The Coalition observers have reported preventing voters from delivering their votes in the two polling stations of Al-Shaima` School and Umar Abd El-Aziz School in Shubra El-Khima’s constituency of Qaliubia while exclusively allowing the supporters of the NDP into the stations. Also, in Kafr El-Sheikh, the observers have reported that the security forces had surrounded the Al-Khashi’a Village in El-Hamoul constituency with a security cordon preventing people from voting.

In Monofeya, it has been reported that voters have been prevented from voting in the polling stations number 153 to 156 in Martyr Essam Primary School in Tila constituency and the stations were closed for 45 minutes after which the voters were shocked to find the ballot boxes replaced. The same situation took place in polling stations number 17 and 18 in Om Al-Abtal School in Tile. In one reported incident from those two stations, an independent candidate summoned a member of the Higher Elections Committee (HEC) to investigate a case of election fraud in the stations after which a number of counselors did a vote count in polling station number 17 and realized that a fraud had indeed been committed leading to stopping the voting process in both stations. Voters have also been denied access to the polling stations of El-Sheikh Khedr and El-Huwaiti Villages in Bandar Suhag where only the supporters of the NDP were allowed into the stations. In Qena, the Coalition observers have reported the voters being denied access to the Al-Ulayqat constituency in Qus district to deliver their votes.

 

Eighth: Mass Transportation:

The Coalition observers at Madinet Nasr constituency on Cairo have reported incidents when public transportation Arab Contractors buses transported voters to votes for the NDP candidates. Also, in Al-Qawmiya School in El-Zamalek constituency, a car with the metal plate number 155025 was reported to transport voters to vote for the candidates of the NDP.

 

Ninth: Assaulting journalists and media representatives:

The Coalition observers have reported the kidnapping of two journalists -Muhammad Gamil and Muhammad Sa’d- from El-Zaqaziq City and confiscating their cameras.  In Damietta, it has been reported that journalist Aya El-Fiqi has been assaulted and robbed of her camera and laptop in Meet El-Kholy Village of El-Zarqa district after which she was held in custody since 10 A.M. for five hours before she was finally released.

Along the same line, a website reporter –Yasmin Fathy- was held in custody in the police station of Shubra. In Cairo, the Coalition observers have reported an Algerian journalist being assaulted in Abdein constituency. Riham El-Dahy, a journalist at El-Shorouq newspaper, has been kidnapped from El-Sahel constituency while Muhammad Abu Daif,  the reporter for Masrawy website has been kidnapped from Huda Sha’rawi School of El-Duqi. Another journalist, Muhammed Tariq, has been reported to have been assaulted while taking photos from outside a polling station in El-Nozha constituency after which he was banned from photographing and his camera has been confiscated.

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