First Female Elected Head of Dostour Party; Journalists Referred to Military Court for Leaked Video

On February 26, 2014, Hala Shukrallah was elected head of the Dostour Party, making her both the first woman and the first Copt elected as head of an Egyptian political party. The Dostour Party was launched in April 2012 by former Vice President Mohamed El Baradei, and since its inception has been comprised of people from various ideological backgrounds, including Salafists. Shukrallah has announced plans to develop an improved party platform that will unite Egyptians in their in desire for freedom and social justice.

Also on this date, the North Cairo Military Court accused journalist Amr Salama al-Qazzaz and media producer, Islam al-Homsi of posting leaked videos of conversations held between Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El Sisi and military officials. The citizens were referred to a Military Misdemeanor Court for the offense. Al-Qazzaz was arrested on November 12, 2013, and his possessions including his laptop, phone, documents, and CDs were seized. Al-Homsi was arrested on November 18, 2013 as he was leaving his lecture hall at the Faculty of Commerce. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information has called the trial of journalists in military courts, as permitted by the new Constitution, a serious infringement on freedom of expression