Syrian refugee businessmen target of campaign in Egypt

Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabri submitted a report to the attorney general, demanding legal action to reveal the sources of Syrian funds coming to Egypt. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 June 2019
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Syrian refugee businessmen target of campaign in Egypt

  • The campaign began with a tweet by Nabil Naeem, a former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad

CAIRO: Since the outbreak of the war in Syria in March 2011, many Syrians have fled their country. In Egypt, Syrians have entered many industries, including food, textiles and real estate.

But a recent campaign against them alleges that they are providing financing for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is classified as a terrorist group in Egypt.

The campaign began with a tweet by Nabil Naeem, a former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

“The economic activity of the Syrians in Egypt is part of the funds of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote.

Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabri submitted a report to the attorney general, demanding legal action to reveal the sources of Syrian funds coming to Egypt. He accused Syrians of buying shops and apartments in commercial areas of Egypt, and renting them at high prices.

But Youssef Aboud, a Syrian who works in a shawarma restaurant in Cairo, said: “If those who promote the campaign in Egypt have evidence of a suspicious source of funds, the accusation should be made against individuals, not all Syrians.”

He added: “I came to Egypt six years ago. (Among Egyptians) I feel like I live among family. Fleeing Syria to Egypt was the best decision I made. The choices were Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.” Aboud said: “My family and I preferred Egypt because I feel that the ties that bind us are historic and deep.”

Syrian businessmen “are trying to work, and to help us young people,” he added. 

“I don’t think there are ulterior motives.”


Detainee allegedly tortured in Sudan dies

Updated 20 min 9 sec ago
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Detainee allegedly tortured in Sudan dies

  • The man died on Saturday in the town of Dilling in the state of South Kordofan after he was detained by agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service
  • It was NISS that led a sweeping crackdown on protests against Bashir’s rule that first erupted in December

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese civilian detained and allegedly tortured by security agents in a central town has died in custody, a doctors committee linked to the country’s protest movement said Sunday.
The man died on Saturday in the town of Dilling in the state of South Kordofan after he was detained by agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the doctors committee said in a statement.
The detainee “passed away on July 20, 2019 from torture while in detention at the NISS office in Dilling,” the statement said without elaborating on the circumstances of his arrest.
“NISS continues to torture and claim innocent civilian lives illegally without facing any consequences.”
Officers of NISS were not immediately available for comment.
Rights groups and activists had regularly accused NISS agents of cracking down on dissidents and restricting freedoms during the regime of veteran leader Omar Al-Bashir who was ousted in April.
It was NISS that led a sweeping crackdown on protests against Bashir’s rule that first erupted in December.
Dozens were killed and hundreds of protesters, activists and opposition leaders were arrested during the months-long campaign that led to Bashir’s overthrow and subsequent demonstrations calling for civilian rule.
Last week a power-sharing deal was inked between the protest leaders and the ruling generals who seized power after ousting Bashir.
More talks between the two sides to thrash out some pending issues have been suspended following differences within the protest movement itself over the power-sharing deal.