Egypt Media Roundup – May 14, 2014

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Legal & Political Institutions

The Tamarod, or ‘Rebel’, movement has taken steps to form a political party. The group’s spokesman announced that they have begun collecting endorsements from members in order to establish a party. Tamarod recently announced its support for Sisi in the presidential elections. [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr]

The recently banned April 6 Youth movement, however, has called for a complete boycott of the elections, saying that the elections are merely “pav[ing] the way for the arrival of a dictator.” [Ahram, Mada MasrRead More..[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Security Sector

During clashes at Al Azhar University, security forces attempted to disperse the demonstrations by firing tear gas and firing birdshots at the crowds. At least four students were arrested, and several students suffered from eye injuries from the birdshots. [Press TVRead More..

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Rights & Freedoms

Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy, who has been detained without charge since August 2013, has been moved from Tora prison to an unknown location. Amnesty International projects that he “may have been subjected to enforced disappearance, which would put him at increased risk of torture and other ill-treatment.” Human Rights Watch is calling for the immediate release of Elshamy, saying, “Practicing journalism is not a crime. Egypt’s disregard for basic rights like free expression is nothing less than shocking.” [Amnesty, HRW, BuzzFeedRead More..



Reportedly, the blueprint of a project to link the Kingdom and Egypt with an electric power grid is in its final stages and the project may be offered for bidding by early next year, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Water and Electricity Saleh Al-Awaji has said. “The electricity link between the two countries may be realized in the next three years after the start of the execution work,” he added. [Saudi GazetteRead More.. 

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Legal & Political Institutions

 Baseera poll: Sisi’s popularly among people 50 years or older, and without higher education 

Mada Masr: Poll: Older generations and less educated more likely to support Sisi

In this article: In a new Baseera poll which asked 2,000 citizens, aged 18 and over, across all governorates, who they would vote for if the presidential elections took place tomorrow, showed interesting results. The poll showed that Sisi’s popularly is greater among those less educated, and less among those who have completed higher education. The poll also suggested that Egyptians over the age of 50 years old may be more likely to support Sisi. 87% of Egyptians plan to vote in the elections, while 9% said they will not participate and 4% are undecided.

 National Egyptian Movement Party announces support for Sisi presidency 

Aswat Masriya: Ahmed Shafiq’s party announces support for Sisi

In this article: Ahmed Shafiq’s political party has announced its support for presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al Sisi. The National Egyptian Movement Party, said on Tuesday that the party respects Hamdeen Sabahi for his courage to run the race, but does not believe he is the right man at this time, said the state news agency.

 Sabahi holds videoconference with expat voters, voting to begin abroad May 15 

Daily News Egypt: Presidential elections begin Thursday for Egyptians abroad

Al-Ahram: Egypt’s presidential candidate Sabahi speaks to expats via video conference

In this article: In the lead up to the opening up of polls for expatriate voting in the presidential elections, which will be held from May 15-18, presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi spoke to expat voters via videoconference, saying “We ask the Egyptians abroad to participate in future policies.”

 Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef cleared of insulting judiciary, still faces other charges 

Washington Post: Egypt Brotherhood leader clear of insulting judges

Ahram: Former Brotherhood leader acquitted of insulting judiciary


In this article: Former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef was cleared of his charges of insulting the judiciary in the press. Akef was arrested last year as a part of the government crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and still faces other charges of inciting violence. Akef will not be released despite his recent acquittal of that set of charges. The case against Akef stems from an interview he gave to a Kuwaiti newspaper when Morsi was in office in which he called the judiciary “corrupt,” threatening to force hundreds of judges into retirement.

 86 Morsi supporters sentenced to 5-10years in prison for murder, attempted murder, and rioting during July 2013 protests 

Ahram: 86 Morsi supporters sentenced up to 10 years in jail

In this article: The Alexandria criminal court sentenced 86 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to 5-10years in prison for charges related to murder, attempted murder, and rioting. The charges were related to clashes that occurred last July during Morsi’s ouster. The court also charged the defendants with torturing people inside the local mosque of Qaed Ibrahim – a rally point for pro-Morsi demonstrations – as well as possessing weapons, joining a banned group, throwing Molotov cocktails, killing nine people and injuring others.

Security Sector

 Gunmen kill police officer in attack in Sharqiya 

Daily News Egypt: Police officer, attacker killed in Sharqeya shootout

In this article: A police officer was killed in an attack by masked gunmen in Sharqiya. The attackers fired at Lieutenant Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed, who then exchanged fire with the gunmen, resulting in the death of the lieutenant and one of the attackers. Sharqiya has become a common attacking ground of police and security forces.

Rights & Freedoms

 Four students abducted over a month ago’s names found on list of terror suspects, prosecutor investigating MOI 

Mada Masr: Update: Prosecutor demands enquiry into Interior Ministry for kidnapping

In this article: Cairo’s prosecutor general ordered an urgent investigation into the Ministry of Interior for the kidnapping of four students. The students were allegedly kidnapped from various locations over a month ago, and their families recently discovered their names on a list of 200 people who are accused of being part of the terrorist organization Ansar beit al Maqdis. The students were listed as fugitives on the MOI list, and their families are insisting that the boys have no ties to the group.


 Egyptian pound hits record low due to food import bank auctions 

Mada Masr: Pound hits low as bank auctions US$1.1 billion for food imports

In this article: The exchange rate for the Egyptian pound reached a record low when the Central bank of Egypt made $1.1billion USD available for food importers. The cut off price offered by the bank weakened the pound. After expending billions of dollars in foreign reserves in an attempt to defend the pound, the Central Bank introduced currency controls in December 2012. By setting the sale price for dollars, it is able to directly control the official exchange rate.

Foreign Relations

BBC: West “misunderstood” Egypt crises — foreign minister

Mada Masr: Foreign Affairs Minister defends Egyptian judiciary during UK visit

In this article: In a visit to the UK, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy reiterated Egypt’s unwillingness to face Western critique over recent developments in Egypt, stating, “the West risks losing the Egyptian people.” Fahmy rejected claims that Egypt is reverting back to autocracy and “set the record straight” on recent mass death sentences and the detention of journalists and other political prisoners. “The courts will decide,” said Mr Fahmy, adding: “If they are found innocent I will be very happy to see that result.”