Friday, August 23, 2013

Egypt: fresh violence prompts appeal from UN rights office to assess situation

From the Website of United Nations


Egypt: fresh violence prompts appeal from UN rights office to assess situation

A man injured during clashes in Cairo, Egypt, on 27 July 2013 being assisted. Photo: IRIN/Saeed Shahat
20 August 2013 – The United Nations today called on Egyptian authorities to allow access to human rights officers to assess the situation on the ground in light of the new wave of violence in the country.

“We are reiterating our call to the Egyptian authorities to allow us to deploy human rights officers from the OHCHR so that we can assess the situation on the ground,” a spokesperson for the of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Elizabeth Throssell told reporters in Geneva.

“Everyone deprived of their liberty must be treated humanely and afforded all judicial guarantees under international law. 

OHCHR said it remains alarmed at the ongoing violence, and condemned the ambush in the Sinai in which at least 25 police officers were killed when two mini-buses were ambushed. It also voiced deep concern over reports of 36 prisoners who were killed while in police custody on Sunday night, as well as reports of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members and some of its leaders being detained. 

These incidents need to be fully investigated, Ms. Throssell said, adding that human rights officers could be dispatched to gather evidence as part on an independent investigation.
During the same briefing, spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP) Elisabeth Byrs said the agency was concerned about the rise of poverty and food insecurity among the most vulnerable communities in Egypt due to the continued political uncertainties and a worsening economic situation over the last few months.

WFP has continued food deliveries throughout July and August with minor delays, she said, adding that distribution of food vouchers for Syrian refugees went ahead in July and was now being planned for August. 

Altogether, WFP has reached 95 per cent of the targeted beneficiaries in July, assisting 35,000 Syrian refugees with food vouchers in greater Cairo, Damietta and Alexandria despite the ongoing political unrest.

Ms. Byrs said WFP plans to reach 50,000 Syrian refugees this month, including in some additional and poorer neighbourhoods.

Website of United Nations



From the Website of PIA

DOLE orders OWWA, POEA to fast track repatriation of OFWs in Egypt
Friday 23rd of August 2013

MANILA, Aug. 23 -- Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz ordered the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to work together on the immediate repatriation of all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in civil strife-torn Egypt.

Baldoz’s directive follows the decision of the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to impose a ban in the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to Egypt, which recently has been wracked by political instability and mass protests that pose security risks for OFWs, DOLE said in a statement.

Under the ban, the deployment of new workers, as well as the return to Egypt of vacationing workers, spouses of Egyptian nationals, Islamic University students, and their dependents, is likewise suspended.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has raised the crisis alert level in Egypt to Crisis Alert Level 4, which requires mandatory repatriation of all Philippine nationals to the country.

Baldoz, in her order, said the POEA, led by Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, must coordinate with licensed overseas recruitment agencies that deployed the 1,540 OFWs to Egypt for the issuance of airline tickets to the OFWs within 48 hours.

Most of the 1,540 OFWs in Egypt are domestic workers, nurses, hotel workers, production technicians, and skilled workers, such as stone setters. She also directed Administrator Cacdac to monitor insurance agencies, which have insured the deployed OFWs.

“This should be immediate and fast,” said Baldoz, who further directed Administrator Cacdac to urge the licensed agencies to inform prospective OFWs about the deployment ban to Egypt.

“It is not safe for OFWs to go to Egypt and work there, considering the present circumstances,” she added.

Baldoz also ordered Robert Bassig, presently welfare officer in the POLO in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Welfare Officer Eduardo Mendoza, who is based in Manila, to immediately proceed to Cairo to assist in the repatriation efforts.

Baldoz also instructed OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon to ready the package of assistance under the National Reintegration Program for OFWs, particularly livelihood and job referral assistance, temporary shelter, medical care, and counseling.

“The same goes true with the non-OWWA members. Livelihood starter kits should already be handed out to these OFWs,” Baldoz emphasized.

The labor and employment chief last week ordered the on-site implementation of the Balik-Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay Project, with priority for the 777 distressed OFWs sheltered at the Migrant Workers and Other Filipinos Resource Centers, or Bahay Kalinga in various Middle East countries. Already, 44 of these OFWs have been repatriated from Kuwait.( - See more at:




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