Middle East
Castle Journal

Castle Journal

VIENNA, 7 January (UN Information Service) —

Egypt witnessed a remarkable decline in the cases of trafficking in persons detected in 2017, compared to cases reported in 2014, according to a report released on Sunday, 6 January, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC).

Only 23 cases of trafficking in persons have been recorded during the period from January to July 2017, compared to 52 cases in 2014, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons.

Also importantly, the number of reported cases of trafficking in the form of sexual exploitation dropped to zero in 2017, compared to 34 cases in 2014.

The report noted that the current legislation on trafficking in persons, introduced in 2010, covers all forms of trafficking indicated in the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol.


Globally, armed groups are using human trafficking as a strategy to finance activities or increase their workforce in conflicts around the world, according to the report.

Recruiting children for use as soldiers is widely documented in conflicts in Central Africa and the Middle East, among others, according to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Such groups are also trafficking adults and children for exploitation in mining and other extractive industries, and to spread fear to control the local population.

Women and girls are trafficked into ‘sex slavery’ to boost recruitment and reward soldiers. This was the experience of Nadia Murad, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking and a winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, who was sold into sexual slavery along with thousands of other Yazidi girls and women after the Islamic State overran her village in Iraq when she was 19 years old.


“Nadia Murad is the first trafficking victim to serve as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, and by sharing her experience of being enslaved and raped by Islamic State terrorists, she has been a leading voice in exposing this abhorrent crime,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov. “I urge the international community to heed Nadia’s call for justice, and I hope this report can contribute to these efforts.”

Within conflict areas, not only armed groups but also other criminals traffic people fleeing danger and persecution. Forcibly displaced populations have been targeted by traffickers, including settlements of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Afghans and Rohingya. The report highlights that circumstances generated or exacerbated by armed conflict, such as displacement, weak rule of law, socio-economic hardship, social fragmentation and family breakdown, increase people’s vulnerability to trafficking.

The report also shows that 70 per cent of the detected trafficking victims worldwide are female. Around half are adult women, while girls comprise a fifth of all victims and their share of the total is increasing.
Sexual exploitation continues to be the main purpose for trafficking, accounting for some 59 per cent, while forced labour accounts for around 34 per cent of all detected cases.


For children, the patterns appear to be slightly different. While boys are mainly trafficked for forced labour (50 per cent), many are also trafficked for sexual exploitation (27 per cent) and ‘other’ forms of exploitation such as begging, child soldiers and forced criminal activities. Girls were trafficked in 72 per cent of cases for sexual exploitation and in 21 per cent of cases for forced labour.

Globally, countries are detecting and reporting more victims and convicting more traffickers. The number of victims reported peaked at more than 24,000 detected victims in 2016, and the increases in numbers of detected victims have been more pronounced in the Americas and in parts of Asia


The share of domestic victims, persons trafficked within their own country, among those detected has more than doubled from 27 per cent in 2010 to 58 per cent in 2016, the study finds. Most of the trafficking victims that are detected in regions other than their own come from parts of East Asia or sub-Saharan Africa. This may be related to the high level of impunity in these regions, which are often areas of origin for trafficking victims.
However, the world’s richest countries are more likely to be destinations for victims who are trafficked from more distant origins, and increased international cooperation is required to respond.

“While we are far from ending impunity, international and national efforts to effectively implement the Protocol against Trafficking in Persons have made a difference. Over the past ten years, the share of countries recording no convictions declined from 15 per cent to nine per cent, and some countries recorded their first convictions during the 2014 to 2016 period,” said Mr. Fedotov. “This Report shows that we need to step up technical assistance and strengthen cooperation, to support all countries to protect victims and bring criminals to justice, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The report, produced by UNODC every two years, reinforces the link between tackling this crime and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. The Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018 is being launched just weeks after the adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which reinforced the existing international legal framework and highlighted the key importance of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 21:18

Malaysia elects new Sultan four weeks later

Kuala Lumpur -

Written by: Mohammed Kifian

The world woke up to the news of the abdication of Sultan Mohammed V of the throne, according to the information received that his rule should have be continued! So what is the reason to push Sultan Mohammed to give up and what about the future of Malaysia!

Although there has been a general debate over the behavior of Sultan Mohammed V as head of state since the election of Paktan Harapan (People's Party) in the historic elections of May 9, 2018, the idea of ​​the prematurely-terminated Kelantan rule was unthinkable, Before he gave up the ruling, what happened?

Behind the scenes, it appears that some of the other Malay rulers were upset by the damage to the royal institution at the time.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad complained in June that Sultan Mohammed had not complied with the rule of law to delay his inauguration and appoint a new deputy general.

The historic change of government on May 9, which ended Parisian Nacional's six-decade rule since independence, generated much public debate about the role of kings in democracy in Malaysia.

At the same time, the media adviser to the prime minister, Kadir Jassin, claimed that 255 million renminbi (S $ 84.8 million) had been spent by Agung during his 16-month term.

But the straw that gnawed at the camel's back, was his secret wedding on November 22 on Russian beauty queen Oksana Vojvodina.

In November and December, Sultan Mehmet was ostracized for recuperation after medical treatment. Instead, there were reports of his wedding party through world news pages and thrillers.

Miss Moscow, 25, is said to have converted to Islam - the official religion of Malaysia and all her kings - earlier this year, but stories about her  portraying, her career as a fashion model and watching it on reality television have tarnished the image of Sultan Mohammed V among conservative Muslims. "The unruly acts, according to the description of nearby circles, called for disagreements with the government, which is uncommon in Malaysia, but the regularity of these disputes with the royal family has become particularly disturbing, given the history of the royal family" with Toon Mahathir.

During his first term in power from 1981 to 2003, Dr. Mahathir was repeatedly able to obtain public support in order to cut off the royal family's wings. In the early 1990s, his government passed laws that removed some royal immunity and the need for its approval to publish new laws.

According to official sources, four of the country's nine kings began discussing how to resolve the issue early last month, including Perak's governors, now Agung's deputy, and Perlis, a senior royalist.

Days after the end of Sultan Shah's stay at the National Palace as Acting Agung on December 31, the Governors' Conference was held three times a year, but it was a futile meeting.

Shortly after the meeting last Wednesday, rumors surfaced that Sultan Mohammed had asked him to step down within a week or face an embarrassing decision to deport him. But it was not clear if those who were pushing for his resignation had obtained the required majority of at least five.

Although the referees met again unofficially without Agung during the week, Dr. Mahathir said on Friday that he had no indication of the Sultan's status, and that he had heard only the same rumors as others.

However, the announcement by Sultan Mohammed on Sunday that he will give up the verdict indicates that he will return to Kelantan for the possible knowledge that the writing was on the wall and that enough of his peers to vote for them is not enough.

While his tenure requires a four-week wait to elect a new Agung, the royal family may wish to resolve the matter much sooner than to overthrow Sultan Mohammed V's hopes of return and avoid prolonged public concern over their royal affairs.

Sources: Malaysian Newspapers


reported| Hiedi Julz

Oscar-winning Kevin Spacey, 60-year-old,American actor, producer and singer, was accused two months ago with a moral case alleging of sexual harassment of a young man at a nightclub.It is said Kevin was  drunk. Massachusetts State Court against Kevin Spacey and formally accused of molesting a young man 18, more than two years ago.

The court set March 4 as the date for a new hearing in the same case, which dates back to 2016 and accuses Spacey of sexual harassment of the son of American media, Heather Unroh, in a nightclub.

The court prevented actor Kevin Spacey from communicating with the young victim and approaching him until the new hearing.

The representative declined to speak during the session and appeared in court smiling and calm, while his lawyer presented to the court a document denying the attack Kevin Spacey on the young man and that he drank alcohol, but the young man confirmed the crime of harassing witnesses, which prompted the court to charge him officially and may be tried in his mind five years, That there are several charges against the famous actor including the charge of sexual harassment of actor Anthony Rab when he was 14 years old.


Tony Wilde

After eight weeks of rebellion against the French government by the movement of yellow jackets who reject economic measures from President Macron ,

French Prime Minister  said today that the government would support "a new law that punishes those who do not respect the requirement to report protests, those who participate in unauthorized demonstrations, those who arrive at demonstrations and wearing face masks" and will prevent riots and to prevent demonstrations of the movement of yellow jackets

He also announced plans to ban "rioters" known to the authorities from participating in the demonstrations, in the same way that football fans were prevented in the past from playing.

He said: "This action was successful," noting that the stadium ban

"Problem makers pay for damage"

In the future, Philip said, the burden will be on "rioters, not taxpayers, to pay for the damage" to businessmen and property during the protests, which began peacefully in mid-November because of their objections to taxes but quickly became extreme.

Many protesters are demanding the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron. These demands have been rejected as undemocratic by the government.

NBC - Jerusalem

editing by| Tony Wild

The national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday according to Israeli newspaper that president Donald trump promise Israel with no withdraw from Syria before he get a clear guarantee of

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which Turkey won’t attack Kurdish forces after Americans' withdrawal.

 "President Donald Trump will not withdraw American troops from northern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees it won’t then attack Syrian Kurdish forces that have been critical allies in the fight against ISIS",  Bolton said to reporters  

He added that a commitment from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to protect the Kurds after American forces exit is something Trump is demanding, and that it’s just one of several conditions that have to be met before U.S. troops leave.

Bolton who will meet with Israeli officials Sunday and Monday, and with Turkish officials, including Erdogan, on Tuesday, tries to convince the Israeli partners with the Decision of president Trump to withdraw from Syria after his troops ended its mission there.

Israeli Officials are now studying a series of results after the American withdrawal from syria, that they must first be met, which Bolton described as “policy decisions that we need to implement.”

“This is a cause and effect mission,” Bolton said. “Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfillment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see. And once that’s done, then you talk about a timetable.”

Bolton also indicated that the U.S. troop withdrawal will not be a complete drawdown, as Trump had promised. Instead, he discussed a withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria, where most of the estimated 2,000 U.S. troops are based, while leaving some of them in the southern part of the country.

Stressing that despite conditions for withdrawal,the continued presence of U.S. forces in Syria is not unlimited.

“The primary point is we are going to withdraw from northeastern Syria," Bolton said.


Washington - NBC


President Donald Trump has ordered to send a troop of   80 military to Gabon among fears of violent because of the elections.

According to a letter dated Friday, the troops sent to Gabon would be tasked with securing U.S. citizens and diplomatic facilities in neighboring Congo in the event "violent demonstrations" broke out in the wake of a presidential vote. 

Congo, a vast and underdeveloped country rich in the minerals that power mobile phones and laptops, has faced repeated civil wars involving numerous armed militias. Some 40 million people had been registered to vote but at the last minute around 1 million were barred as the electoral commission cited a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

The vote will decide the successor to current President Joseph Kabila, who took office in 2001 after his father, Laurent Kabila, was assassinated. If there is no violence, the election would stand as Congo's first peaceful democratic transfer of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.

The country's first free and fair election was held in 2006, with Kabila declared the winner. The U.N. has described it as one of the most complex votes the organization has ever facilitated.

More than 16,000 U.N. troops remain stationed in the country as part of a mission to maintain stability.

U.N. Secretary-General's spokesman issued a statement ahead of the recent vote encouraging citizens to "seize this historic opportunity" while warning all political actors to "[refrain] from any form of provocation."

However, since voting began on Dec. 30, election observers and the opposition have raise concerns about irregularities.

Monday, 07 January 2019 00:19

Terrorism is dying in Egypt,SIS says

Cairo - SIS

Terrorists celebrate New Year’s Eve in their own special way through bloodshed and taking innocent lives. This is exactly what they have done 2 days ago with their wicked attack in the Mariouteya area in Giza that left 4 dead (1 Egyptian tour guide and 3 Vietnamese tourists) and 12 wounded.

However, a thorough reading into the evolution of terrorism in Egypt and the war its waging on Egyptian State and society during the last few years in general and 2018 in particular shows us that there are major changes that all confirm the fact that terrorism is receding and is approaching its ultimate defeat. 

The changes and shifts we have documented are as follows:

1.      The terrorists’ plan to create an atmosphere of fear, panic and social strife between Egyptians has failed. The terrorist attacks have backfired against the terrorists as it has attracted positive confrontation from the populace. Among examples of the popular reaction are, the people’s solidarity with the families of the victims of Al Rawda mosque massacre and the residents of Helwan confronting and actually subduing of the armed terrorist who attacked the Mar Mina Church; this highlights the ordinary citizen’s willingness to fearlessly confront and fight terrorism.

2.     The Comprehensive Military Operation led by the Egyptian Armed Forces against terrorist groups led to a sizable decrease of terrorist activities and in the number of attacks. 2018 witnessed the smallest number of attacks in the past 5 years. Only 8 attacks took place in 2018, 5 of them were primitive IED attacks and some of them failed to achieve their sordid aims. This shows that the frequency and number of terrorist attacks has subsided to a great extent in comparison with previous years, as we have witnessed 222 attacks in 2014, 199 attacks in 2016 and 50 attacks in 2017. Naturally the number of victims of terrorism has decreased due to the fall in the number of attacks and this is concrete proof of the success of the Comprehensive Military Operation.

3.     Operation Sinai 2018 has compelled terrorist groups to make major changes to their methods of executing attacks, and the nature of their targets which has in turn exposed their weakness. In 2017 terrorist groups were forced to resort to suicide bombings in greater quantities, this indicates that the success of security operations against them forced them to sacrifice their lives in order to prove that they are still present. In 2018 terrorist groups have returned to using weak and hardly effective IEDs and they have failed to successfully carryout 2 of their 8 attacks in 2018.



The Comprehensive Operation (Sinai 2018) and Counterterrorism efforts


The Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018 has successfully destroyed terrorism’s infrastructure like hideouts, tunnels, weapon depos and Media centers. 1200 IEDs were found disarmed, 420 cannabis farms were destroyed and 16 tunnels on the border with Gaza were also destroyed. That in addition to the destruction of 1086 vehicles and 1000 motor bikes used by terrorists, the neutralization of over 500 militants and the capture of hundreds more. Among the elements detained during the operation were terrorists, suspected terrorists, wanted criminals who have court verdicts issued against them. The captured terrorists were referred to the prosecution for investigation while the wanted criminals were sent to serve their sentences in prison. The comprehensive operation is not only limited to the Sinai, it extended to other strategic areas on the western and southern borders.


Throughout the past 10 months of the Comprehensive Military Operation Sinai 2018 the Egyptian Armed forces have accomplished several strategic objectives on all three fronts:

1.      Our troops have successfully neutralized first and second line leadership figures in the ISIS affiliate Wilayat Sinai formerly Known as Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis. The latest of such leading terrorists that were neutralized was the leader of the group Abu Osama Al Masri and other leaders namely Khairat Al Sobki, Mohamed Gamal, Islam Weam and several others. This had a very negative impact on the structural viability of the group and its ability to carry out attacks.

2.      All branches of the Armed Forces along with the Egyptian Police are taking part in operation Sinai 2018. This operation has several dimensions including direct confrontation and border security. The Border Guards and the Navy have successfully established their control over sea and land borders, and this was partially due to an agreement with Hamas on border control in the case of the eastern border with the Gaza strip. The Armed Forces successfully destroyed several tunnels that were used to smuggle arms, ammunition, funds and terrorists.

3.      The massacre of the Al-Rawda mosque in Bir Al-Abed carried out by “Wilayat Sinai” terror group in November 2017, which left more than 300 people dead, encouraged citizens to diligently cooperate with Egyptian security forces in confronting terrorist elements in the Sinai. This has contributed to empowering the security forces to direct attacks that severely impacted the structure of terrorist groups and extremist elements, not only on the level of killing leadership and elements of those groups, but it also resulted in paralyzing the groups and the terrorist elements affecting their ability to move easily.

Analyzing the course of terrorist operations in Sinai and the results of the comprehensive military operation (Sinai 2018), we can conclude two main observations: 

1) There is a significant decrease in the number of terrorist operations in Sinai during 2018 compared to the previous four years.

2)  The decline of terrorist operations is coincided with a clear decline in the number of victims from the army and police forces in Sinai during 2018 compared to the previous four years.

The collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood and its failure to commit its crimes


 The military and the security services, especially the police forces, have besieged and weakened groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, namely “Hasm” and “Liwaa al-Thawra” all over Egypt (the valley and the delta) in 2018. This is due the preemptive strikes they have carried out both in terms of arresting terrorist elements and targeting hideouts, particularly in the Western desert and some new cities on the outskirts of Cairo. On the other hand, the procedures and financial policies that have consolidated the control over the transfer of funds from abroad to Egypt, attributed to the Central Bank and other concerned parties, have led to the reduction of the financing of these groups. In addition, the State’s confiscation of most economic and commercial establishments belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood has significantly reduced the financial resources necessary to carry out terrorist operations, and accordingly led to the decline of terrorism in Egypt during 2018 compared to the previous four years.

The last terrorist attack to be carried out by “Hasm” the targeting of a police car on a road near Maadi in mid-2017. Additionally, the spokesman of the “Hasm” terrorist group has declared on 5 September 2018 that the movement has been affected by the security raids that paralyzed its ability to continue. Also, the “Liwaa al-Thawra” terrorist group, which announced its establishment in October 2016 after the assassination of Brigadier General Adel Ragai, has almost disappeared and carried out only one terrorist attack in 2017. This was thanks to successive blows they have received from security forces.

Attacks against State infrastructure (such as electricity, water, etc.) and the economic establishments as well vanished in 2018.

 Most of the terrorist operations in 2018 were based on random elements or what we can call "lone wolves". This was shown in some terrorist operations that took place at the end of 2017, such as the attack on a liquor store in Omrania district, Giza governorate that left 2 civilians dead and the latest attack in Al Mariouteya district.


Preemptive strikes ...The keyword of aborting terrorist schemes


 Given the strong and direct influence of the comprehensive operation (Sinai 2018), the year 2018 has witnessed the implementation of a series of successful security operations in which the police forces carried out preemptive operations that aborted terrorist schemes in their early stages due to their high efficiency in tracking and information gathering on those terrorists’ groups:

·         In April 2018, the security forces killed seven members of ISIS terrorist group in Abnoub in the eastern desert.

·         In June 22, security forces targeted a terrorist hideout and killed seven terrorists involved in targeting Christian houses of worship.

·         In June 28, security forces killed six terrorists involved in the assassination attempt of the security chief of Alexandria governorate.

·         In July 2018, security forces attacked a terrorist hideout and killed six terrorists in Dirout, Asyut Governorate.

·         In October 27, security forces killed 13 terrorists near KM 74 on the Asyut road.

·         In November 4, security raids have resulted in the killing of 19 terrorists in Minya governorate foiling their plans to carryout acts of sabotage.

·         In November 28, security forces dismantled a terror cell in Sinai, killing 11 terrorists and arresting 6 others. Besides, they confiscated high-frequency radio sets.

·         In December 8, security forces dismantled the terror cell responsible for the attack on the bus carrying Christian worshipers heading to the Monastery of Saint Sameul last November, killing 19 terrorists involved in targeting the bus, in the western desert of Minya governorate.

·         On 23 December, the National Security Agency have detected a terrorist hideout. The terrorists were planning to carry out a series of terrorist attacks against vital installations and members of the armed forces and the police in one of the remote areas of El-Arish. Security forces raided the hideout and clashes ensued for a few hours resulting in the killing of 14 terrorists. 

·         In December 29, hours after the terrorist attack against the tourist bus in Giza, the Ministry of Interior raided a number of terrorist hideouts in the governorates of North Sinai and Giza and directed several strikes against terrorist elements planning to carry out a series of deadly attacks targeting State institutions, the economy and the tourism sector, in addition to plotting to target police officers and Christian houses of worship. 40 terrorists were killed in the clashes.


Efforts to combat terrorism have intensified in Egypt achieving remarkable and significant results that broke terrorist groups and aborted their schemes and accordingly, reduced the number of terrorist attacks and the amount of victims in 2018 to the lowest level in nearly five years, the same year in which a large number of countries in the world witnessed a variety of terror operations.


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 Castle Journal is an international newspaper with daily electronic edition, received the international license by the United Kingdom number 10675, and accredited by the Egyptian Embassy in London, owned by Abeer Almadawy

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