Developments in Mahalla

Hossam has been following the latest repressive measures being taken against labor activists in Mahalla, one of the center of labor protests in Egypt. He says:

There is a ongoing crackdown on labor activists in Mahalla, since they staged a demonstration last October against the management's corruption:


Following the demo, the management decreed the transfer of four activists from their positions:

1- Blogger Kareem el-Beheiri was moved to the Cairo office

2-Mohamed el-Attar was moved to the Alexandria office

3-Amal Said was moved to the company's nursery

4-Wedad el-Demerdash was also transferred to the nursery


More alarmingly, the two women (Amal and Wedad) were sexually assaulted by thugs at the behest of the management, when they tried to enter the company compound.


The victimized workers' colleagues are planning a demo on Saturday in solidarity. However yesterday another activist was victimized (named Wael Habib) as he was distributing leaflets in the company calling for the demo:


Wael has been one of the central figures in the December 2006 and September 2007 strikes...

It appears security is trying to block some of the labor activists who've done the most to get information out in the last few years from having access to the main factory.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,