Greed, lack of humanity blamed for sale of infants in Egypt

In this Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 photo, children exercise in the courtyard of the Farah elementary school, in Khosoos, a poor town just outside of Cairo, Egypt.
Updated 21 July 2019

Greed, lack of humanity blamed for sale of infants in Egypt

  • “There are many pages on social networking sites that are full of illegal activities, including the sale of human beings, prostitution and the sale of children,” said Ashraf Al-Wardani, a security expert

CAIRO: When Egyptian security forces arrested three suspects caught selling a three-hour-old child at a hospital in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, the news shocked the country.
The story began when a page on Facebook, titled Children for Paid Family Adoption, offered the chance to adopt a newborn child in exchange for money.
Police officers posing as interested buyers agreed a fee of 65,000 Egyptian pounds ($4,000) for the girl, payment on delivery.
On July 17, 2019, the day of her birth, the officers went to the hospital to meet the mother, who was accompanied by a man. After the mother and child came out of the operating room, the girl was handed over to the buyer.
Once the mother had been given the money, she and the man were immediately arrested along with the man who had set up the Facebook page, who had been involved in many such sales.

Through Facebook
Security investigations revealed that the Facebook page was launched four months ago; the man responsible was charged with human trafficking, displaying a child for sale and using Facebook to commit the crime. The mother and her husband were charged on similar grounds. The child is being kept in a nursing home under the supervision of the Committee for the Protection of Egyptian Childhood.
“There are many pages on social networking sites that are full of illegal activities, including the sale of human beings, prostitution and the sale of children,” said Ashraf Al-Wardani, a security expert. “Egyptian security must be vigilant against these crimes, It is driven by the desire for quick gain.”

BACKGROUND

The owner of the Facebook page — who is under arrest — has justified his crime by writing on the page that many parents are deprived of children.

Al-Wardani told Arab News that Egyptian security forces have been busy over the past period of monitoring the activities of terrorists, and neglected the task of tracking illegal activities.
The owner of the Facebook page — who is under arrest — has justified his crime by writing on the page that many parents are deprived of children at a time when a large number of parents are throwing their children onto the street to become street children. He wrote that his role was to help deprived parents adopt children, so protecting them from the dangers of the streets.

Not the first incident
The crime in Alexandria was not the first to rock Egyptian society. The police were informed that there was a place in Al-Shorouq, a suburb of Cairo, where a large number of children were being kept, who were being taken away by families.
Some suspected that the apartment owners were trading those children. When the police arrested the owners the suspicions were proven to be correct.
Investigations revealed that the prices of the sale and purchase vary according to the child’s condition and specifications. Sales range from 200,000 Egyptian pounds down to 30,000 Egyptian pounds.

Punishment and reasons
Zineb Mahmoud, a lawyer and researcher at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, told Arab News that the law penalizes the sale and purchase of children, and can incur life imprisonment.
Dr. Magda Mustafa, professor of sociology at Ain Shams University, said that economic reasons are behind the parents’ drive to offer their children for sale, amid soaring prices, rising unemployment.
At the same time the main reason is greed and a lack of humanity.


Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

  • Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption

BEIRUT: Three lawmakers and members of Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s parliamentary bloc will not abide by its decision to name a new prime minister on Monday. 

Meanwhile, activists in the civil movement are holding meetings to announce a general strike and the blocking of roads on Monday in protest over reports that the new government will not include technocrats.

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption. He later said he would not agree to head a new government unless it consisted of technocrats.

Lawmaker Neemat Frem urged citizens to provide him with the name of their favorite candidate to head the new government, “for you are the primary source of authority, and it is my duty to convey your voice in the binding parliamentary consultations.”

Lawmaker Chamel Roukoz said he will not nominate anyone for the position of prime minister.

Lawmaker Michel Daher declared his intention to boycott the parliamentary consultations if Al-Khatib is the only candidate.

Aoun assured a delegation of British financial and investment institutions, and US bank Morgan Stanley, that binding parliamentary consultations will take place on Monday to form a new government, which will help Lebanon’s friends launch agreed-to development projects.

“The new government’s priority will be to address the economic and financial conditions as soon as it is formed,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

On Friday, Hariri sent letters to the leaders of a number of countries with good relations with Lebanon. 

He asked them to help Lebanon secure credit to import goods from these countries, in order to ensure food security and availability of raw materials for production in various sectors.

His media office said the move “is part of his efforts to address the shortage of financial liquidity, and to secure procuring the basic import requirements for citizens.”

Among the leaders Hariri wrote to are Saudi Arabia’s King Salman; the presidents of France, Russia, Egypt and Turkey; the prime ministers of China and Italy; and the US secretary of state.

On Dec. 11, Paris is due to host a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon. Reuters quoted a European source as saying: “France has already sent invitations to attend the group meeting.”

Protesters continued their sit-ins in front of government institutions in Nabatieh, Zahle and Saida.

In Tripoli, protesters blocked the city’s main roads, which were eventually reopened by the army.

In Akkar, protesters raided public institutions and called for an “independent government that fights corruption, restores looted funds, and rescues the economic situation and living conditions from total collapse.”

Lebanese designer Robert Abi Nader canceled a fashion show that was due to be organized in Downtown Beirut, where protesters are gathering. 

Abi Nader said he intended through his show to express support for the protests by designing a special outfit called “the bride of the revolution,” and revenues were to be dedicated to families in need.