Egypt Media Roundup – May 19, 2014

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Legal & Political Institutions

The European Union will officially observe the Egyptian presidential elections, despite the complications the observer mission faced in entering the country, when Egyptian authorities refused to allow the telecommunications and medical equipment into the country. The EU mission has adjusted their mission, but emphasized that the equipment that they brought to Egypt was “standard equipment that has been used in over 100 mission…[which] poses no threat to Egyptian sovereignty. It is used for usual communication between people.” [Ahram, WSJ, LA Times, Reuters, Mada Masr, Middle East Eye, Daily News EgyptRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

Egyptian streets speaks about the importance of women standing up for themselves in the face of sexual harassment. They write, “Would you want your daughter to grow up looking over her shoulder because she has always felt unsafe or victimised by men and that the system of law that should protect her fails miserably? Silence will slow progress.” [Egyptian StreetsRead More..

Security Sector

A homemade bomb exploded near Ain Shams University during a student protest, injuring six people. The bomb was thrown at the Students Against the Coup protesters, and the bomb was loaded with nails and cement, injuring six protesters. [Mada MasrRead More..


The Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban communities launched the first phase of the Egypt 2052 Urban Development plan, which seeks to development that city of Alamein–which can house a projected 30million people over the next 40 years. [Egypt IndependentRead More.. 

Foreign Relations

During a meeting with a European-American delegation in Cairo, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy stressed that Egypt is willing to negotiate with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam project. Ethiopia’s foreign minister has also publicly proclaimed that Ethiopia is “committed to genuine negotiations with Egypt.” [Ahram, Daily News Egypt, Al MonitorRead More..

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Legal & Political Institutions

 169 Muslim Brotherhood supporters acquitted after being charged in connection with protests last summer 

Reuters: Egypt court acquits 169 Brotherhood supporters

Ahram: Cairo court acquits 169 Morsi loyalists

In this article: 169 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were acquitted after being charged with illegal protesting last August. The 117 of the group that were detained will be freed, while the others had already been released. According to Reuters, “further details on the ruling were not immediately available.”

 170 Muslim Brotherhood supporters convicted in Cairo & Kafr El Sheikh 

AP: Egypt Courts Convict 170 in Mass Trials

In this article: A Cairo court and a court in Kafr el-Sheikh sentenced a total of 170 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death or imprisonment. The Kafr el-Sheikh court handed verdicts to 127 people for storming a church, police station, and sports stadium and were given 10 year sentences. Five of the accused were minors, who were given one-year suspended sentences. The second mass sentencing, in Cairo, handed 15-year prison sentences to 37 people for attempting to destroy a subway station last year. A 16 year old old was convicted and given a three year prison sentence and a fine.

 31 Egyptian Social Democratic Party members join Free Egyptians Party–hints at full merger from FEP head 

Ahram: Egyptian Social Democratic party members join Sawiris’ party

Ahram: ‘El-Sisi is the right man’: Ayman Aboul-Ela

In this article: 31 members of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party have joined the Free Egyptians party, including Emad Gad, and Ayman Abou El-Ela, who also spoke publicly on his support for presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al Sisi. Gad and FEP head, Ahmed Saeed also mentioned that a full merger is in the works between the two parties, during the press conference announcing the new members.

 Foreign Ministry projecting 265,000 Egyptian expats voted in presidential elections 

Egypt Independent: Foreign Ministry: 265,000 Egyptian expats cast their votes until Sunday afternoon

In this article: As expat voting for the presidential election wraps up, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry claims 265,000 expatriates have cast votes in their preliminary court. Voters worldwide cast their votes for presidential contenders Abdel Fattah al Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahi, with high media coverage due to the contention surrounding this election.

 Egyptian artists & intellectuals: Sabahi exhibits awareness of the status of culture in Egypt 

Ahram:Egypt’s intellectuals content after Sabahi meeting

In this article: Sabahi met with a group of Egyptian artists and intellectuals to encourage them to participate in voting for president next week, saying, “I respect, sympathise and understand those speaking of boycotting, I find no point of it at the moment.” Sabahi was well-received by the group, who expressed that Sabahi exhibits awareness of the status of culture in Egypt. Sabahi’s rival contender, Sisi also met with a group of artists in Egypt, most of whom–according to other media sources, “were high-profile actors and actresses.”

 Youth members of Muslim Brotherhood considering using “forceful retaliation” if Sisi is elected 

Reuters: Egyptian Brotherhood split on using force as Sisi poised to rule

In this article: Young activists involved with the illegal Muslim Brotherhood group are contemplating “forceful retaliation against a state crackdown on their movement” if Abdel Fattah al Sisi is elected. A youth leader in Alexandria stated, “Even protests are not working. They are getting smaller because security forces attack us. We really have no strategy,” he said, asking not to be named as he is wanted by the authorities. Sisi plans to completely abolish the Muslim Brotherhood if he is elected, and is widely regarded by the group as the main facilitator behind the deaths and crackdown on its members.

 Sabahi’s modest campaigning at less than LE100,000 while Sisi’s campaign advertising costs reach LE12million 

Ahram:Kites for Sabahi, planes and jet skis for El-Sisi

In this article: Sabahi’s campaign, which has targeted youth and Egyptian activists, is overshadowed by Sisi’s big spending campaign. Sabahi, according to his advertising director, has spent less that LE100,000, while Sisi has already surpassed LE12million. Sabahi recently launched a campaign called “Ideas Have Wings” targeting youth by flying kites with his campaign poster on it in Cairo, and last week Sabahi supporters formed human chains in support of the candidate. Sisi, on the otherhand, has not made any public appearances, but he hired an airplane to carry a poster of him across the country, in Alexandria, he hired boats and jet skis to carry photos of him to rally support.

Gender & Sexuality

 Targeted crackdown on homosexuality in Egypt–11 arrested this month, 77 arrested since 2012 

Gay Star News: Police arrest 77 in gay crackdown in Egypt

A Paper Bird Blog: Brutal gender crackdown in Egypt: The tomorrows that never came

In this article: Since 2012 77 people were arrested for homosexuality, this month alone, 11 people were arrested–5 people on charges of “sexual depravity”, and among the group of six arrested separately were several transsexuals. The crackdown has gained attention due to its frequency, where several legal experts have noted a targeted crackdown on gays, including heavy sentences and torture in detention as well as media coverage that uses inflammatory and sensationalist language to describe the arrests. “Police reportedly allowed journalists to video detainees and in some cases their full names and photos were published in stories.”

Security Sector

 Two policemen killed by unidentified assailants in Minya 

Mada Masr: Two policemen shot dead in Minya

Ahram: Two policemen killed in Minya

In this article: Two policemen were killed by unknown assailants in Minya while returning home via motorcycle. Mohamed Ali Manfouz and Ahmed Farouk were shot by unidentified gunmen on their way home–this attack is one of many that have targeted policemen all over Egypt.

 Judges send warning to MOI for failure to intervene in prosecutor kidnapping 

Ahram: Judges warn interior minister over kidnap failures

In this article: Beni Suef prosecutor Ahmed Omar Mohamed Breik was kidnapped in Damietta over the weekend by unidentified kidnappers. The kidnappers demanded ransom from Breik’s family, which was paid by his father, who accuses the interior ministry of failing to rescue his son. In light of the MOI’s inability to intervene in the kidnapping, “Judges and prosecutors have submitted a notarised warning to the Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and the head of security in Damietta.”

 Homemade bomb explosion near Sisi rally, wounding 2 civilians, 2 policemen 

CBN: Egypt: Homemade Bomb Hits El-Sissi Rally, 4 Hurt

In this article: At a campaign rally to support presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al Sisi in Cairo, a homemade bomb exploded, injuring four people including two policemen. This was the first reported attack of a campaign event during the recent election campaigns.  El-Sissi has not appeared in any election rallies, apparently for security reasons, restricting his campaign to television appearances and interviews.


 Egypt purchases 2.5million tons of local wheat in order to cut import costs 

Al Arabiya: Egypt buys 2.5 million tons of local wheat

In this article: Egypt has bought 2.5million tons of local wheat since last month, which is more than half of its goal for the year. Egypt, which is the world’s biggest wheat importer, paid local farmers the equivalent of $59.53 per 150kg of wheat, fixing the price to encourage farmers to grow more. Egypt seeks to increase domestic production in order to cut down its import bill.

 Egypt mandates daylight savings due to energy crisis–while dealing with blackouts and $5.7billion foreign energy debt 

Huffington Post: Egypt Sets Clocks Forward Amid Crippling Energy Crisis

In this article: The Egyptian government mandated daylight saving time recently “as a way to help reduce electricity consumption” in this period of frequent blackouts due to the impending energy crisis. Egypt’s energy crisis stems from its inability to provide enough energy to its population, alongside its heavy debt to foreign energy companies, totalling roughly $5.7billion.  “While the government’s decision to reinstate daylight saving goes into effect Friday, the clocks will be set back again in late June at the start of the Muslim holiday Ramadan. Then, they reportedly will be set forward again at the end of the holiday in July, and back again at the end of summer.”

Foreign Relations

 Egyptians arrested in Kuwait for holding pro-Sisi rally await deportation 

Al Akhbar: Kuwait to deport 15 Egyptians for pro-Sisi rally

In this article: Kuwait plans to deport a group of Egyptians who participated in an illegal rally in support of presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al Sisi. The Kuwaiti government restricts foreigners from holding political events, and public rallies are strictly regulated. “Kuwaiti newspaper al-Watan said on Sunday that the 15 were travelling by bus south of the capital on Saturday. They were seen beating drums and waving, the report said, and planned to join other Egyptians to express their support for Sisi before they were arrested by police.”