Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 2, 2014

This is an except

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Legal & Political Institutions

An Egyptian court has defended its verdict of life sentences for 492 Islamists and death sentences for 37 others. This particular court, located in Minya, has come under fire recently for its frequent sentencing of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates to death and/or life sentences. [SMHRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

Shoft Ta7rosh [I Saw Harassment] has issued a letter to Egypt’s incoming president, demanding that he prioritize legislation criminalizing sexual violence against women “rather than adapting to it.” Shoft Ta7rosh sends the letter after a law on sexual harassment was recently passed, which the group criticized, saying it lacks “deterrent” penalties. [Daily News EgyptRead More..

Rights & Freedoms

Recently the Interior Ministry’s plans to impose government surveillance on social media networks was leaked to Al-Watan newspaper, causing an uproar on social media. The Interior Ministry stipulated that it will “set up a monitoring instrument to deal with security risks on social media, which includes material posted that involves contempt of religion, spreading rumors, slander, inciting violence and rebellion, calling for protests and sit-ins, encouraging debauchery, and liaising with the enemy.” [Buzzfeed, Aswat Masriya, Mada MasrRead More..


Egypt will spend 70billion EGP more than the budgeted energy subsidies in the current fiscal year. [Al ArabiyaRead More.. 

Security Sector

A mob of “angry Islamists” allegedly burned down various shops in Luxor owned by Coptic Christians prior to a trial of a Coptic Christian accused of blasphemy. [APRead More..

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Legal & Political Institutions

 Mansour: National Anthem & Flag are “symbols of the state that must be respected and treated with veneration.” 

AP: Egypt criminalizes dishonoring anthem, flag

In this article: Outgoing President Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree criminalizing desecration of the Egyptian flag or not standing for the national anthem, which stipulate punishments of up to 1 year in prison and a $4,000 fine. Mansour was quoted as saying that the national anthem and flag are “symbols of the state that must be respected and treated with veneration.”

 Sisi & army planned for military seize of power before Mubarak’s ouster, say senior advisers to Sisi 

Telegraph:How Sisi plotted to save army rule even while Hosni Mubarak was in power

In this article: According to the UK’s Telegraph, senior advisers to Abdel Fattah al Sisi have reported that he and the army had drawn up blueprints for the army to seize power in case of a revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak, as far back as 2010. They say, “In late 2010, when the then General Sisi was head of military intelligence, he was asked by his then bosses, who had already decided he should be the next minister of defence under any political settlement, to prepare a study of Egypt’s political future.”

Rights & Freedoms

 NCHR granted approval to visit Abdullah Elshamy and Mohamed Sultan 

Aswat Masriya: Egypt: Prosecutor Allows Rights Council to Visit Hunger Striking Prisoners

In this article: Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights has announced that the prosecutor-general will allow them to visit the two political prisoners on prolonged hunger strikes, Abdullah Elshamy and Mohamed Sultan. The visits have not yet been scheduled, but the NCHR says that they plan to write reports on the visits.

 Al Jazeera journalist arrested from her home in Port Said on charges of Muslim brotherhood affiliation, and sending videos of Egypt to Al Jazeera network 

BBC: Female al-Jazeera journalist is arrested in Egypt

Ahram: Alleged Al-Jazeera journalist arrested in Port Said

In this article: Rasha Gafaar, a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera, was arrested from a flat in Port Said, where she was allegedly sending videos to an affiliate of Al Jazeera. The Interior Ministry stated that police raided Gafaar’s home, and seized a laptop, mobile phone, and other telecom equipment. Her material was allegedly aired by Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, which is banned in Egypt. The ministry also accused Gafaar of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and she was charged with filming empty polling stations during the elections.

 El Bernameg will not return to television, social media users express concern over censorship 

Egyptian Streets: Bassem Youssef’s show has been cancelled, will not return to television

In this article: Bassem Youssef’s satirical “El Bernameg” show will not be returning to television. Youssef commented on the canceling of the show, claiming that it will not be aired on any channels due to circumstances beyond his and MBC’s control. Many have expressed concern that the show was canceled because of the government’s close censorship of its content–which generally mocked the government and military–the show has been under investigation this year for threatening national security and stability during “desperate times.”

 Egyptian-Irish teenager detained in Egypt for 10 months, Ireland calls for his release 

Irish Central:Egypt ignores Irish calls to free Dublin-born teen from Cairo jail

In this article: The Irish government has called on Egypt to free Ibrahim Halawa, an 18-year old Ireland-born Egyptian who was arrested at a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration ten months ago. His family alleges that Halawa has been beaten and tortured, and they fear that he will be sentenced to death. His sister is quoted as saying, “Ibrahim is experiencing a horrific mental and physical torture within prison and is denied medical help.” An Irish government minister has sought a meeting with Egypt’s foreign minister, but they reported that the Egyptians were unable to “facilitate” a meeting.

 Liberal activist Safwan Mohamed arrested for possessing ‘No to Military Trials’ sticker and “insulting the armed forces” 

Ahram: Activist Safwan Mohamed arrested for owning sticker against military trials

Daily News Egypt:Activist arrested for possession of No to Military Trials pin

In this article: Egyptian police arrested Safwan Mohamed for “insulting the armed forces”. Mohamed, a leading member of the Constitution Party, was detained at a checkpoint in Alexandria when security forces found a “No to Military Trials” sticker on his bag.

 Prisoner uprising at Wadi al-Natroun prison subdued with police force 

Aswat Masriya: Fury erupts at Wadi al-Natroon Prison following death

Ahram:Prison riot under control: Police official

In this article: A prisoner uprising erupted at Wadi al-Natroun prison after a two-day protest following the death of a fellow inmate. “Reports of protests at the prison came out on Sunday via social media, with claims of police beating prisoners who are on hunger strikes and firing tear gas inside prison wards. The claims are unverified, due to restricted access to the prison.” However, police have denied any reports of police abuse and have insisted that the prison is operating according to modern human rights standards.

 Al Jazeera Trial: Prosecution witnesses provide contradictory testimonies 

Guardian: Al-Jazeera trial: prosecution witnesses contradict claims in written testimony

In this article: The journalist trials of Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, and Peter Greste resumed over the weekend, where a group of prosecution witnesses allegedly “contradicted several of their own major allegations provided to the court in written testimony.” The prosecution presented evidence and testimonies made by a committee of “technical experts from Egypt’s state television network” and under cross-examination the ‘experts’ revealed that they were unsure of the impact on national security that the journalists’ work had. “Defense lawyers argued this showed clear discrepancies between the committee’s oral and written evidence.”


 UAE to provide financial aid package for economic reform and development in urgent national agenda 

Al Monitor:Egypt banks on Gulf aid for economy

In this article: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb announced that Egypt will implement an urgent national agenda that requires $4.15billion in aid for economic reform and development. The financial package, supplied by the UAE, has confirmed UAE’s commitment to Egypt’s transition, according to Mehleb, and the UAE “has become a ‘national model’ that ‘translates the reality of the Arab synergies in the global arena.’”