Egypt Media Roundup – Apr 23, 2014

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Gender & Sexuality

An Egyptian doctor will stand trial tomorrow for crimes related to the death of a young girl whose FGM procedure he performed in June 2013. This will be the first ever prosecution for FGM in Egypt. [Al Jazeera America

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Security Sector

The US has agreed to deliver 10 Apache helicopters that the US has had in custody since last year, relaxing a partial suspension on military aid. “We believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement, recounting Hagel’s conversation with Egyptian Defense Minister Colonel Sedki Sobhi. [The Guardian, AP, Reuters, NPR, Middle East Eye, Washington Post, AhramRead More..

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Rights & Freedoms

Egyptian activists continue demonstrations today calling for revocation of the protest law and release of political prisoners. Activists plan to organize human chains at the Ittihadiya presidential palace, and will culminate in an open-ended sit-in on April 26. [Ahram, Daily News EgyptRead More..

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Egypt’s Petroleum Minister spoke about Egypt’s oil allocations, saying that Egypt receives roughly $700million of oil aid monthly from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait. [Egypt Independent
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Foreign Relations

In a speech on the Middle East today, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair reiterated his support for the Egyptian military in the overthrow of former president Morsi last year, calling it “the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation” from the Muslim Brotherhood. Mehdi Hasan of the Huffington Post points out the gaping holes in Blair’s seemingly blind support for Egypt’s military regime, saying “”We should support the new [Egyptian] government and help,” he declaimed. Help and support with what exactly? Gunning down unarmed protesters? Forcing ‘virginity tests’ on female protesters? Arresting and detaining foreign journalists?” [Huffington Post, GuardianRead More..

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Security Sector

 Security official killed in homemade car bomb attack in 6th October City 

Mada Masr: Officer killed by car bomb in 6th of October City

In this article: A security official was killed in a car bombing in the 6th October City. The officer was killed when a homemade bomb attached to his car exploded. Another central security officer was also killed on Wednesday during a security operation in Alexandria. According to the ministry, wanted individuals opened fire on police forces as they were approaching a terrorist den. Both the officer and one of the targeted individuals died in the crossfire.

Rights & Freedoms

 Former Culture Minister on Egypt PM’s interference in censorship issues: “The Premier has no right to suspend the screening of the film” 

Index on Censorship: Egypt: Prime minister suspends controversial film

In this article: The Index on Censorship issued a statement detailing Egypt’s Prime Minister’s involvement in removing a film from theaters for ‘censorship’ issues. The PM led the cause to remove the film, causing the head of the state censorship board to resign, rejecting government interference in his work, and Former Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazy reminded the prime minister of a court ruling forbidding interference in the work of the independent censorship board. “The Premier has no right to suspend the screening of the film,” Abu Ghazy told AFP. Rights activists and groups have also expressed concern over the suspension of the film’s screening, saying the move is part of a wider clampdown on artistic expression in Egypt.

Foreign Relations

 US Sec. of Defense to Egypt Minister of Defense: “We are not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition” 

US Department of Defense: Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s Call with Egyptian Minister of Defense Col. General Sedki Sobhy

In this article: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Egyptian Minister of Defense Sobhi spoke on April 22, the read out is as follows: “Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke this afternoon with Egyptian Minister of Defense Colonel General Sedki Sobhy to inform him that Secretary Kerry will soon certify to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States and is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. These certifications are required to obligate fiscal year 2014 funds for assistance to the Government of Egypt.

Secretary Hagel told General Sobhy that we are not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition, and he urged the Egyptian government to demonstrate progress on a more inclusive transition that respects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Egyptians.

Secretary Hagel also informed Minister Sobhy of President Obama’s decision to deliver ten Apache helicopters in support of Egypt’s counterterrorism operations in the Sinai. The secretary noted that we believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security. This is one element of the president’s broader efforts to work with partners across the region to build their capacity to counter terrorist threats, and is the United States’ national security interest.”

 Egypt’s Foreign Minister and head of General Intelligence in Washington, D.C. this week 

Ahram: Head of Egypt’s General Intelligence to meet US secretary Kerry

Aswat Masriya: Egypt FM to meet counterpart in US, discuss relations

In this article: The Egyptian Foreign Minister and Egypt’s head of General Intelligence will be visiting Washington D.C. this week. Both will meet with Secretary of State John Kerry ti discussion bilateral relations and security issues in the region.