Forced evictions were carried out in Al-Duwayqa, Establ Antar and Ezbet Khayrallah, all "unsafe areas" in which residents occupy state-owned land and are at risk from rock falls, on the basis of administrative orders issued by local authorities. The evictions were carried out without notice or prior consultation with the affected communities or any notification in writing, so hindering the possibility of legal challenge. In June, some 28 families from Atfet Al-Moza in Al- Duwayqa were left homeless when they were forcibly evicted so that the authorities could "secure" the rocky slope where they lived. In Establ Antar, some residents were told to demolish their homes or else face eviction.
From September 2008, when a rockslide killed at least 119 residents of Al-Duwayqa, to the end of 2009, the authorities rehoused some 4,000 families in an upgraded area of Al-Duwayqa. Some 1,400 other families from Establ Antar and Ezbet Khayrallah were rehoused in 6 October City, south-west of Giza, far from their source of livelihood. However, rehoused families were not given documentation providing them with legal security of tenure, and women divorced or separated from their husbands were not provided with alternative housing.
In December 2009, the Public Prosecutor indicted eight officials from the Cairo Governorate and Manshiyet Nasser Neighbourhood Authority on a charge of involuntary homicide in connection with the fatal 2008 Al-Duwayqa rockslide.
Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers
At least 19 people were shot dead by Egyptian security forces while trying to cross the border into Israel. All were believed to be foreign nationals and migrants, refugees or asylum-seekers in Egypt. In September, the authorities defended the use of lethal force, saying it was meant to protect Egypt's borders and that it targeted "infiltrators", including smugglers of drugs and weapons.
- In January, at least 64 Eritreans trying to cross into Israel were forcibly returned to Eritrea despite fears that they would be at risk of serious human rights violations there (see Eritrea entry).
At least 269 death sentences were imposed by the courts, and at least five prisoners were executed.
Amnesty International visits/reports
Amnesty International delegates visited Egypt several times in 2009 to conduct research and to attend conferences and workshops.Buried alive: Trapped by poverty and neglect in Cairo's informal settlements (17 November 2009)
Egypt: Government should immediately release Musaad Abu Fagr and Karim Amer (22 July 2009)
Egypt: Government must urgently rein in border guards (18 September 2009)
Egyptian court overturns journalists' prison sentences (2 February 2009)
Egypt: Military Court of Appeals fails to rectify injustice (19 November 2009)