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CONNECT THE WORLD
Egypt's Lost Sons; Court Upholds Death Penalty For Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy; U.S. Airstrike Targets Veteran al Qaeda Leader in Libya. Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET
Aired June 16, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:27] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Hello, and welcome to a special edition of Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. We're live once again
in a very windy Cairo, a city where many people are talking about the death sentence that was just upheld for the country's former president Mohamed
Coming up, we'll look at the growing use of Egypt's judiciary to crack down on government opponents.
Also this hour, Egypt's lost sons -- children leaving home for what they believe will be a better life across the sea in Europe. But the
reality is often far different.
Plus, life in the slow lane -- why Egypt's would-be entrepreneurs are struggling to get ahead.
ANNOUNCER: Live from Cairo, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: We start tonight with a story that goes right to the heart of Egyptian politics and society. The first, is democratically elected
leader here now on death row in an Egyptian jail.
Now a court has in the past hours upheld the death sentence of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsy. The 63-year-old, convicted, you'll
remember, for his role in a 2011 prison break. It's one of several trials that his supporters at home and abroad have denounced as political.
Along with 16 other senior jihadist figures, he was also given a life sentence today for spying.
Morsy was overthrown by the military in July of 2013. CNN's Ian Lee has been covering the twists and turns of the Morsy trials for us and most
of the other imprisoned Brotherhood figures.
He joins us now.
What's the response been in Cairo and a cross Egypt today?
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we need to remember that Mohamed Morsy was Egypt's first democratically elected president. He
was ousted in 2013 in a popular coup. But the government they say justice has been served. And they have a lot of supporters here in Egypt that
believe that as well.
For a lot of the human rights groups as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, they say this whole trial was a charade. They didn't believe
it from the first part. And there are some serious questions that need to be answered.
One of the questions is regarding three Palestinian men. One of them died in 2008, another one died in 2013, and a third has been in an Israeli
prison for almost 20 years. So how are these men involved in this trial in the first place? So that's one of the questions.
The other question is why was Mohamed Morsy tried now? He has been free since 2011. They could have done it before then, but they waited
until after he was ousted as president.
And if they wanted this case to be taken seriously, these are questions that need to be answered.
ANDERSON: This case will automatically be appealed, this sentence, I think I'm writing in saying. What's the significance, though, for the
LEE: For the most part, we've seen the Muslim Brotherhood completely destroyed here in Egypt. Their members have either fled or they're on the
run or their in prison. And we don't see them coming back any time soon.
But they do have a strong international presence. And they keep pushing that and they keep pushing for their rights, they say, that Egypt
should be punished for the ousting of Morsy. And that's something that we'll be watching closely. Can they get international support? Right now
it doesn't look like too many country's are supporting them, only really Qatar and Turkey.
ANDERSON: Yeah, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned as a terrorist organization here. Ian Lee, thank you very much for joining us.
Well, now to a serious blow against all al Qaeda and one of its most violent branches. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has confirmed its
leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi is dead.
Two Yemeni officials, security officials, tell CNN he was killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in Yemen. He was al Qaeda's number two leader
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh filed this report earlier from Amman in Jordan.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORREPSONDENT: We are waiting to hear more from the U.S., U.S. officials when reports first emerged last
night, did not confirm carrying out a strike in Yemen. What we do know is that they said they were looking into these reports. We first heard of
this from Yemeni officials, security officials there saying that a suspected U.S. drone strike killed al-Wuhayshi in the Hadramot (ph) region
of Yemen on Friday. And of course in the past few hours, that video statement coming out from AQAP confirming the killing of al-Wuhayshi along
with two other militants.
Now they do not say when or where this strike took place.
AQAP is considered to be the most dangerous branch of al Qaeda by the U.S. And the killing of al-Wuhayshi will definitely be considered a major
blow to the organization, although it came out really fast afterwards and announced a new leader, a successor, the obvious successor in this case,
the former military chief of the group.
[11:05:39] ANDERSON: Well, that was CNN's Jomana Karadsheh.
I want to turn to terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank who has called al-Wuhayshi's killing the biggest blow to al Qaeda since the death of Osama
bin Laden. Paul joining us now live from our London studio.
Just explain the significance of the death of this AQAP leader, Paul.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, SECURITY ANALYST: Significant. al-Wuhayshi was the number two globally of al Qaeda. He was somebody probably destined to
become the paramount leader of al Qaeda worldwide. This was somebody with great charisma. He was beloved of his fighters in Yemen.
At a time when al Qaeda is in a global contest with ISIS for recruits, his loss is a major loss for them, because he was so popular.
You see a number of groups go over to the ISIS side. Well, Wuhayshi kept AQAP loyal to Aymen al-Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda loyal to the
core al Qaeda franchise.
Now a very, very big loss.
Wuyahshi, somebody who built up this terrorist organization in Yemen into a powerful force. And also oversaw three plots against western
aviation, against American aviation in recent years, including the underwear bombing attempt over the skies of Detroit in 2009.
But al Qaeda in Yemen have anointed a new successor, Qasim al-Raymi. He's Yemeni. He's in his late-30s. He's also very capable. In fact, he
really ran AQAP with Wuhayshi as a double act.
So there will be some continuity here of command. And AQAP is still a growing threat in Yemen, a growing threat to the U.S.
ANDERSON: You did, though, talk about how it has been weakened of late by the rise of ISIS, also of course in the past 24 hours reports of
the death of a significant al Qaeda in the Magreb leader.
So, where does al Qaeda stand now? And where is it within the context of the Islamic State, or ISIS?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, that's a great question, Becky. And there's no doubt that ISIS have been stealing the headlines that they've energized the
global jihadist movement by taking territory in Syria and Iraq, also in Libya and Egypt, making gains in those countries, even a new affiliate in
Nigeria, Boko Haram joined their ranks in recent months.
But I think it would be wrong to dismiss the al Qaeda threat. Al Qaeda is still a very viable threat to the west. They're growing in
certain areas, particularly in Yemen where the al Qaeda franchise there is growing taking advantage of the political chaos to seize new territory.
But also al Qaeda is growing much stronger now in Syria with the affiliate there Jabhat al Nusra.
So, I think all these years after 9/11, the al Qaeda network still poses a threat to the west. And perhaps a bigger and more active threat to
the west than even ISIS, because they've been determined to launch attacks. That's been a big priority for them.
And in Yemen, they have this master bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri who is developing increasingly sophisticated devices.
One of the concerns now is that AQAP will want to avenge the death of their beloved leader, launch some kind of attack against the U.S., Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, the possibility of revenge attacks, obviously clear. Paul, thank you.
Men, women and children are crossing the border from Syria into Turkey with what little they can carry. These just some of the 23,000 people the
UN refugee agency says have crossed in the past two weeks alone.
Now, most of the refugees have come from around the key border town of Tal Abyad. This video appears to show Kurdish led forces reclaiming the
town from ISIS. Reuters reports their advance had been backed by U.S. airstrikes.
But, amid the story of thousands of people trying to get out of Syria comes what is an unusual story of one group reportedly trying to get into
the country. 12 members of the same family from northern England have gone missing while on a trip to the Middle East with fears that they are heading
to ISIS controlled territory.
Now, worried relatives are appealing for help to track them down. The brother of one of the women is already in Syria.
Let's cross live to Bradford in England and speak with Nic Robertson. Nic, what do we know at this point?
[11:10:21] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we know that the family is concerned. We're expecting the -- one of
the husbands and the lawyer to be giving a press conference here in the next few minutes. We may learn more details then, but the reason that
they're concerned about the three sisters -- one is 30, one is 33, the other 34, the nine children ages range from 3 to 15, the reason that
they're concerned that they may have gone from Turkey into Syria is because as you say there is a brother -- these three sisters have brother in Turkey
already. And the father of the three sisters, and the husband of the three sisters, are worried that that may have been the draw, may have been the
And the reason that they change their plans, instead of flying back from this religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia as planned to the UK that
they switched their plans without telling the family and flew instead to Turkey, Becky.
All right, Nic's on the story. And as we get more, of course, we will bring that to you, possibly looking at a news conference just at the bottom
of this hour in about 15 minutes on that story.
As and when we get that, of course, we'll bring that to you viewers. Nic, thank you.
Live from Cairo tonight, this is a special edition of Connect the World. Coming up, a death sentence and a show of defiance. We're going to
get reaction to the sentencing of Mohamed Morsy from the Muslim Brotherhood.
And later, lost at sea, Egypt's sons enticed by false hope and false promises into a dangerous journey to Europe. It's our CNN Freedom Project
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back. We're in Cairo for you.
The former president was in court earlier today to hear his legal fate. The court upheld a death sentence against him. Morsy sentenced last
month for his role in what was a 2011 prison break.
Let's get some reaction now from the Muslim Brotherhood organization. I'm joined by a spokesman for the group in the United Kingdom. Abdullah
Haddad is with us from our London bureau.
Your response to what we have heard today?
ABDULLAH HADDAD, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD SPOKESMAN: Yes. I think today it's -- we witnessed a travesty of justice. The first democratically
elected president in the history of Egypt is being sentenced to death by the man who issued a military coup against him.
Now, we have more than 40,000 political prisoners in jail. We have witnessed extreme amount of human rights violations, more than 100
political prisoners dies by the minute in Egyptian prisons. Mass death sentences for the past two years.
I think Egypt has faced one of its worst periods ever by the el-Sisi's junta trying to push the country into a dark tunnel in order to protect
ANDERSON: All right.
I know that your brother and your father have also been handed life sentences in what was one of these two cases Morsy has been involved in.
The government will say that it has exercised due process. And that after the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood unleashed what they will
believe is a militant Islamist insurgency.
And quite frankly when we speak to people on the street today in the wake of this upholding of the death sentence, many people here say the
Muslim Brotherhood are not legitimate. They call them a terrorist group and they want -- they see this as due process and they want to move on.
HADDAD: Well, first of all, we know that most of the Egyptian (inaudible) are just kangaroo courts. And we have seen this in al Jazeera
Second of all, my father -- my brother are accused of spying and espionage. My father was the former adviser for Dr. Morsy in foreign
affairs. My brother was the official Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson. Both of them are accused of spying to the U.S., Israel, Iran, Hezbollah,
Hamas and Qatar, Turkey. So I think that the kind of trial itself, it's all fabricated.
And we know that Abdel Fatah el-Sisi is using the Egyptian judiciary as an oppression tool to settle political scores.
ANDERSON: I described what some of what I've heard on the street in the wake of the upholding of this death sentence today.
I want our viewers just to hear what we've heard from some people. Have a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These are fair verdicts concerning their treason. They were taking the country to an unknown fate.
But what's more important than verdicts is implementing them, because not implementing verdicts gives a chance of many problems.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I see this as a fair verdict for the Muslim Brotherhood. We had one of the worst years. Mubarak years
were more merciful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The verdicts indicate the integrity of Egyptian judiciary, because these people wronged the Egyptian
people, the Arab world and Islam. They killed and scared the secure. They committed a lot of crimes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): No one liked what they were doing. You had your chance. Rule the country. You should have changed
the way you behaved, but you wanted to take the country in a different direction.
ANDERSON: The words of a number of Cairo residents that we spoke to very close to the court where the hearings were held today.
I think I'm right in saying that there will be an automatic appeal process. What sort of hope do you hold out that Morsy will avoid the death
sentence at this point and indeed your family members will avoid these life sentences on appeal?
HADDAD: First of all, let me say that I'm pretty surprised that you actually found random people on the street that have the same opinion. It
will be better if we have seen different opinions on the street. There are people who are with the Muslim Brotherhood...
ANDERSON: So, with respect, I'm just going to stop you there for one second. We interviewed a number of people, an awful lot of -- sorry, sir -
- OK, you've made your point.
HADDAD: I just make my point.
The latest research showed that support for the Muslim Brotherhood from 30 percent from Zogby Research. There are people who are support the
Brotherhood. There are people who are against the Brotherhood. There are people who will not support and not against. There are research and there
are numbers for this.
And we can see now, the direct of the propaganda lead by el-Sisi's regime in order to demonize anyone who is against him any political reasons
whether he is an Islamist, Brotherhood, liberal or secular activist.
ANDERSON: And in our defense, I will say that we interviewed an awful lot of people and that was a balanced and fair reflection of what we heard
on the streets of Cairo today just to check on what you said. Sir, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Well, for more on this ruling, I'm joined by long time Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi. Thank you for joining us.
Were you surprised by this verdict today?
BORZOU DARAGAHI, JOURNALIST: I wasn't at all surprised. I think this has been one in a long series of rulings by the Egyptian judiciary against
the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, against supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it -- you know, there's some question, of course, as to
whether these death penalties will be carried out.
The case still has to go to the court of cessation, which will scrutinize the case on its legal merits, on evidence and so on. And this
court has a history of integrity so far and has vacated a lot of these very harsh sentences.
[11:20:32] ANDERSON: We are seeing, therefore, one assumes -- agree with me or not on this, but what it looks as if we're seeing is at least
the exercise of due process here by the government. Am I right in saying that?
DARAGAHI: I would say that this case, these cases in general have been characterized by so many irregularities -- irregularities that border
sometimes on the absurd that you cannot really call these -- this whole process sort of due process. I mean, you couldn't call it fair by any
stretch of the imagination.
ANDERSON: Hold that though, because I want to go a little wider than we've just seen in court today. Just earlier this month, viewers, Human
Rights Watch said during his year in power, and that was a year last Monday, current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been gaining western
support while lagging behind on human rights.
In a statement it said the United States and European governments should stop overlooking Egyptian government abuses, including a lack of
accountability for many killings of protesters by security forces, mass detentions, military trials of civilians, hundreds of death, and the forced
eviction of thousands of families in the Sinai peninsula.
I will go on to add that many rights groups here talk to the hundreds of forced disappeared in Egypt.
The foreign ministry says that this is rubbish. Human Rights Watch, the report is bereft of the basic tenets of accuracy and fairness and go on
to say it's an organization who is systemically trying to go against Egypt, as it were.
DARAGAHI: Yeah, I mean, the foreign ministry lost a lot of credibility with many of the journalists here when it actually accused
Human Rights Watch of supporting terrorism in a press release that it sent out.
As I said, the sort of antics of the judiciary, of the various governments here -- the government bodies here, have kind of crossed the
line from being somewhat irregular towards somewhat absurd sometimes. I mean, we can go through many examples in this particular trial.
But to give one example, just this morning the judge in giving his sentence he went on a minutes long rant against the Muslim Brotherhood and
the satanic nature of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Now this is a criminal trial in which individuals are being tried. And he basically gave a statement that in any western court would have
basically been grounds for recusing that judge from this trial.
We've spoken to lots of people on the streets both today and with our correspondents who are here on the ground.
It does seem quite clear that the Muslim Brotherhood has very much less legitimacy than it had back in 2011. That doesn't excuse the fact
that there are these allegations of forced disappearances and various other accusations...
DARAGAHI: Becky, there's this jingoism. It's propagated by the official and private media. It's propagated by the security forces that
are out there on this...
ANDERSON: What are the implications and consequences of that for Egypt?
DARAGAHI: I think that there is a pot boiling. I think that all of the tensions that led to the 2011 uprising, that explosion that happened,
explosion of anger against the security forces, we're back in that pattern again. And it might take one year, it might take five years, it might take
10 years, but my sense is, and the sense of many of the people here, based here, correspondents here, is that that explosion could happen again and
that this false formula for stability that worked for many decades is no longer tenable in the age of YouTube and social media, and that we're back
in the same sort of cycle again here.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. All right, well thank you very much indeed. We're here or the week. I hope that we'll talk again while we're here.
Thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Live from Cairo, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Still ahead, tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of these mothers that are flooding around us, they say that their sons will cross on these
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We take you to the Egyptian coastal towns where hundreds of young men and boys take the boat to Europe. Many are never heard from
again. That exclusive report coming up.
And One Square Meter tonight takes us to what is the beautiful English countryside where the debate over new development has residents split.
That is up next. Headlines at the bottom of the hour. See you then.
[11:26:47] JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Rolling fields of green, ducks basking on the river banks, the quintessential English
countryside romantacized in period dramas, living up to its picture postcard reputation with imposing centuries old mansions standing to
Sprawled over 1,120 square meters, this 18th Century mansion is only an hour outside of London in Buckinghamshire, and has all the trapping fit
for a king -- long wooden corridors, a self-playing piano, and 17 hectares of lush green to gaze out on to.
Once occupied by the knights of a brotherhood order...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their motto over the fireplace here is "Do as you please."
DEFTERIOS: Is now on the market for more than $15 million, a princely sum, but its location in the designated green belt of England makes it a
Properties in protected areas that forbid development sell for a 10 to 20 percent premium.
NICHOLAS BROWN: Being in a protected area, you are able to make sure that your investment is well covered, you're not having the chances of
development going on locally.
DEFTERIOS: For 6 million pounds, or $9 million, this 400 year old six bedroom mansion buys into the country lifestyle.
BROWN: A quintessential British location, stunning scenery, fabulous rural backdrop within only a few minutes drive of the motorway to be able
to get up to London.
DEFTERIOS: But not all of England's countryside has the same level of protection.
110 kilometers away in the county of Hartfordshire, the small town of Bunningford sits in unprotected countryside. And this land now filled with
raffseed (ph), has just had planning permission approved for over 200 new homes. A fraction of the country's demand, its estimated the UK needs to
build a quarter of a million residential properties each year. Meeting these needs poses a dilemma for developers and countryside dwellers.
Kevin Fitzgerald is the honorary director of the campaign to protect rural England, a volunteer group that lobbies to protect the countryside.
He says he's not against building homes, just not in the countryside.
KEVIN FITZGERALD, CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT RURAL ENGLAND: Not far up the road there is a need for economic growth in the rich southeast where
countryside is at a premium there is not the same need. So, the space is elsewhere.
DEFTERIOS: Locals are also weighing in. Joyce Dubner has been living here for 48 years and hopes the imminent developments will benefit everyone
in the community.
JOYCE DUBNER, COMMUNITY MEMBER: I think if they're going to build houses, they'll have starter homes. I think there will be more property to
DEFTERIOS: These new homes don't come cheap. A three bedroom costs over a half million dollars. But their setting makes them popular.
BROWN: Clearly, an excessive development can have a detrimental effect in the initial stages, but later on, once it's all established,
it'll soon be forgotten about. It is a convenient setting and pretty countryside. There will still be people who want to buy there.
DEFTERIOS: And for some, paying a premium the keep the countryside quaint is a price worth paying.
John Defterios, CNN.
[11:32:29] ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World. And we are in Cairo for you today and for the rest of the week.
The top stories this hour.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula says its leader has been killed. Yemeni security officials say Nasser al-Wuhayshi was killed in a suspected
U.S. drone strike in Yemen's Hadramount (Ph) region on Friday. He was al Qaeda's second in command globally. AQAP says its military chief, Qasim
al-Raymi will succeed him.
At least 17 people have been killed in a train accident in Tunisia. A passenger train crashed into a lorry. It happened in al Fais City (ph)
60 kilometers south of the capital of Tunis. More than 70 people were injured.
Five people were killed overnight in the United States when a balcony collapsed near the University of California-Berkeley campus. All five of
those killed were Irish. And according to Ireland's foreign ministry they were attending a 21st birthday party when the accident happened.
An Egyptian court has upheld a death sentence against former president Mohamed Morsy. The 63-year-old was sentenced to death over his role in a
2011 prison break. Morsy was also given a 25 year jail sentence for espionage.
And add another name to the growing list of U.S. Republicans running for president. You're looking at live pictures of Donald Trump announcing
that he is entering the race. Trump is a businessman, property developer, but is perhaps best known these days a reality TV host. He has told
crowds, quote, "politicians can never make America great again."
Again, in this CNN Freedom Project report senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir takes an in depth look at this controversial and
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sun rising over Egypt's Mediterranean coast. The Nile Delta is home to generations of
Egyptian fishermen, casting out onto the Med. It's also the country's smuggling heartland. Those very same boats loaded up with human cargo,
headed for Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language)
ELBAGIR (voice-over): Some eventually make the journey home. But too many never return.
[11:35:27] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My son left on September 6th. Seven days later they told us the ship he was on has sunk."
Mubrahim's (ph) son was 17 when he disappeared. She says smugglers later told her he was crewing one of their ships headed to Italy. She's not
alone. As we spoke to Mubrahim (ph), another mother sits quietly crying, waiting to tell us her story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He never stole. He never working in smuggling or any of these things. They told him, "Come work for
10 days fishing and come back." And since September and up to this moment, this fire is burning us. We can't eat, drink or rest.
ELBAGIR: A lot of the parents don't want to show their faces but they do want us to show the pictures of their sons. This is Karam (ph). His
mother still doesn't know where he is. He's amongst at least six of the kids from his village that went down on that boat. Their families have been
searching for the last nine months and they still have no idea where these boys are.
ELBAGIR (voice-over): Both mothers hope that by telling their stories, someone, somewhere will recognize the boys.
We've been investigating the trafficking of teenagers and boys from Egypt to Italy for several months now, boys forced to work on smuggling
ships and then dumped on the Italian coast, manning the boats bearing illegal migrants.
As we finished up the interviews, news had spread that the next stop on our journey was Sicily. Mothers crowded us in the street with pictures
ELBAGIR: It feels like this entire village is...
ELBAGIR: ...they say that their sons...
ELBAGIR: ...on these ships, were forced to man these ships and now they say that they've been imprisoned, could be in Sicily.
(voice-over): But they're not just crewing the boats. They often make up the bulk of the passengers. With the little uncertainty of recent years
has plunged Egypt into economic turmoil. All those who are able, sometimes as young as 9 and 10, are risking the sea crossing to Italy, sometimes
risking jail at the other side.
Smuggling inlets like Burj Mughayzil dot this coastline. Captain Mahmoud (ph) and his ships may have made the journey to Italy many times,
smuggling over boatloads of kids. The parents, he says, are as much to blame as the smugglers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): People here in this village, they're selling their kids. They think, we're 10 and we can't find enough
to eat. When we're nine, we can eat a little better. If we're eight, we can eat a little better still. If two get locked up, better than we all die
ELBAGIR (voice-over): If the smuggled children to make it to Italy and find work there, it could change...
ANDERSON: And apologies. I'm going to get you out of that report, because I want to take you to a news conference that you've seen developing
on your screen in Bradford England, where three sisters and their nine children are missing. They left nearly three weeks ago and it is feared
they were traveling to ISIS controlled territory in Syria.
Let's now listen in.
(BRADFORD, ENGLAND PRESS CONFERENCE)
[11:51:38] ANDERSON: You're listening to Balaal Khan, the attorney for three British fathers who have made an emotional appeal for the return
of their missing families.
The husbands of three sisters and their nine children who made a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and then unbeknownst to these men
boarded a flight from Medina to Istanbul.
There is no question or no suggestion so far as the attorney is concerned of any sort of radicalization in the family.
Just listening to those three men that Balaal Khan represents earlier, emotional pleas -- please contact me, said one of the fathers, I can't go
on. I can't live without you. Maria, I love you. Please come back. I miss you.
We've been married for 11 years, said another. Come back to have a life for you and our daughters.
Three women with their nine children missing now and a very emotional plea from the fathers, three British fathers in Bradford, in England.
Of course this following just in the past 24 hours, another incredibly emotional family learning in Dewsbury, in Yorkshire in northern England
that their son is likely the boy, a 17-year-old, in a photo representing ISIS in Iraq over the weekend who was killed.
We'll get you more on this story, of course, as we get it. Nic Robertson is at that press conference. As we get contact with him, we will
talk to him about what we have learned.
I want to move you on just for a moment, just before we broke out there. Nima Elbagir's exclusive report indicating and describing what is
going on in a number of towns on the Egyptian coast where smugglers are taking young boys across the sea to Italy. It's the first of three reports.
And tomorrow, we'll learn from Nima Elbagir what is happening to these kids once they reach Catania.
But I'm joined now by Amir Taha who is Egypt coordinator for the International Organization of Migration.
And we have a statement from the government here in support of the report. And I did want to get a sense, if we can get that -- and my
producers are just going to get the numbers for me -- the statement from the government. Do we hear that? Let's take a look, yes, at some of the
latest figures from Egypt.
According to ARAM (ph) online, the Egyptian army says it has arrested more than 6,000 people in the last seven months for trying to, quote,
illegally migrate from or through Egypt. So, the response for the government to Nima's piece is we are doing what we can. But while there is
supply and demand, it's very, very difficult. Your response.
AMIR TAHA, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: Yes, I mean indeed, the government of Egypt has been very active in trying to curb
irregular migration of Egyptians and of non-Egyptians, because let's not forget that Egypt is not only a sending country, but also a receiving
country. And as well as a transit country for many of the irregular migrants that come through the region. They come through the region into
Egypt and from Egypt on towards Libya and sometimes from Libya on towards Europe.
The numbers are high. What is concerning is the number of Egyptians actually at this point in time, that's been on the rise, especially
[11:55:16] ANDERSON: Yeah, we're talking about 8, 9, 10 year old kids here.
TAHA: That is correct. So, we are talking about very young children who are making their way towards Europe who are trying to find the better
future. But sometimes these kids are not asked to go -- and they're actually sent by the families...
ANDERSON: Well, they can't know at 8, 9 or 10 years old that they should be looking for a better future. There are, though, reports and
there's a narrative out there that says these families see this as aspirational. They've sent kids before -- you know, they sent kids before.
They've earned money out of having these kids in Europe. It's as much what the families are doing as it is what the smugglers are doing to a certain
What can you do about this? What can we do about this?
TAHA: The most important thing, of course, is to actually enhance the punishment on the family, and this is -- the government of Egypt is looking
at enhancing the punishment done by the law on the families, on the legal guardians of these children. And this is something that has been presented
by the government of Egypt.
And the government of Egypt also established a national coordinating committee for combating irregular migration who has proposed a number of
laws. Four have been presented already to the prime minister's office, which looks specifically at the punishing the parents and the smugglers
ANDERSON: Zero tolerance they talk about.
TAHA: Zero tolerance.
ANDERSON: These are proposals. Are they going to get through? I mean, you know, we're looking to the Egyptian government for some answers
here. We're also going to have to look to the families direct from the smugglers.
Now, what we're doing also on that is not only -- I mean, Egypt is also a signatory of the trafficking convention. It is in 2010, it's law 64
as it is known in Egypt. And what we're doing right now is raising awareness on the law enforcement officials on this law.
The law is very good. It protects the children. It protects...
ANDERSON: This is the human trafficking law.
TAHA: Correct. It does. And it also enforces certain kinds of referral mechanisms which could (inaudible) is actually very active on.
But there's not much awareness of a law, so what we are doing as IOM, we're trying to enhance awareness for that law.
ANDERSON: OK. And with that, we're going to have to leave it there, because of the breaking news we had this hour. It's an absolute pleasure
to have you on, incredibly important story.
We are going to leave it there.
But of course we are in Cairo all of this week. It's an incredibly busy time. That was Connect the World, a special show. We'll be back here
at the same time tomorrow from the scene here and those helping us around the world, thank you for watching.