Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 4, 2014



Legal & Political Institutions

The Parliamentary elections reform committee has reduced the number of seats in the House of Representatives from 600 to 540, which stipulates that 420 seats will be elected through individual seats and 120 others will be elected via the electoral list system, while 27 members will be appointed by the president. The  official spokesman of the committee said that the committee had worked on increasing the number of seats to “guarantee fair representation” but there was a “presidential desire” to reduce the number of seats. [Egypt Independent, Aswat MasriyaRead More..

Marginalized Groups

Board member of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade unions, Fatma Ramadan, announced that she has frozen her membership due to the union’s loyalty to the regime at the expense of the workers. [Mada Masr].

Rights & Freedoms

The lawsuit that the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights filed against the government to challenge the constitutionality of the protest law, was been postponed to June 17 by an Egyptian Administrative Court. [Daily News EgyptRead More..


Saudi Arabia has offered to host a donor conference for Egypt in order to “help Egypt overcome its economic difficulty.” King Abdullah said that “any country that did not contribute to Egypt’s future despite having the ability to do so would ‘have no future place among [Saudi Arabia].’” [Reuters, Egyptian Streets]


Legal & Political Institutions 

 National Alliance to Support Legitimacy to launch large revolutionary force as opposition to Sisi presidency 

Egypt Independent: NASL to declare launch of new ‘revolutionary entity’ within few hours

In this article: Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has announced that they will soon be forming a “large entity” that includes military-opposed revolutionary forces. The alliance has also organized marches and demonstrations in Cairo and Giza during president-elect Abdel Fattah al Sisi’s inauguration ceremony. Amr Abdel Hady, the alliance member, said, “it has been agreed with revolutionary forces to form new alliance that will be declared within few hours in a press conference to reject the military rule and voice demand of a democratic path that guarantees peaceful power transition at which all parties and political forces take part without exclusion.”

 Incumbent government to resign following Sisi’s inauguration 

Aswat Masriya:Egypt govt convenes Sunday to resign

In this article: The incumbent Egyptian government has announced that it will convene on June 7, the day of Abdel Fattah al Sisi’s resignation, to submit its official resignation. The new government will form shortly after the inauguration, with Sisi’s appointment of his cabinet and then, later, parliamentary elections.

Rights & Freedoms

 Abdullah Elshamy will appear in court for detention renewal or release June 5 

Mada Masr: Detention renewal session for hunger striking journalist tomorrow

In this article: Abdullah Elshamy, the AlJazeera journalist that has been in detention without charge since August 2013 and on hunger strike for over 100 days, will appear in court tomorrow for a judge to determine whether he will be released or have his detention renewed. In solidarity with Elshamy and another hunger-striking prisoner, Egyptian-American Mohammed Sultan, a group of social media activists have called on bloggers to dedicate today to highlighting their cases through their blogs.

 37 students given two year prison sentences for violating protest law, AFTE claims some defendants were arrested “randomly” 

Daily News Egypt: 37 students receive suspended jail sentences for violating Protest Law

In this article: The Mansoura Misdemeanor Court has handed 37 students two years in prison for violating the protest law. 32 of the defendants were released on 5,000EGP bail, and the other 5 were released on 10,000EGP bail. The students were charged with belonging to an illegal organization [the Muslim Brotherhood], for blocking traffic and roads, and for protesting without notice. The protest in reference was at University of Mansour in December 2013, where the students were allegedly arrested randomly according to the Association for the Freedom of Thought and Expression.

 Ahmed Maher writes a letter to John Kerry stating, “many of the young people who sparked the revolution are now jailed for defending democracy and human rights.” 

Washington Post: What really happened to Egypt’s revolution

In this article: Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Egypt’s Tora prison, writes that amidst all of the blame on the Muslim Brotherhood for “stealing” Egypt’s revolution, is that many “ignore the more recent fact that many of the young people who sparked the revolution are now jailed for defending democracy and human rights.” Addressing US Secretary of State John Kerry directly, Maher says, “No one can voice an opinion anymore, Mr. Kerry. When anyone speaks about the wrong direction the country is taking or the violations of human rights or the oppression that is increasing every day, the consequences are death or imprisonment or, at the very least, the tarnishing of one’s reputation in the media. Yes, there is a new constitution, but no one criticizes any of its articles because the authorities detained its critics before the constitution was passed. And yes, there were presidential elections last week, but everyone knew the outcome before the vote occurred, Mr. Kerry. And everyone knows that the vote has nothing to do with proceeding along the path of democracy. There is no path of democracy to begin with — it is all a comical farce.”

 American, Mohamed Soltan, in Egyptian custody for over 8 months appeals to President Obama in securing his release 

NYT: American Jailed in Egypt Appeals to Obama for Help

In this article: Mohammed Soltan, an Egyptian-American who has been in detention since August 2013 and on hunger strike for over 100 days, for documenting the events that occurred at the forced dispersal of Rabeaa al Adawiya last year, has released a video statement addressing US President Barack Obama, calling for his help in securing his release. Soltan said in the video: “I ask my government — the government of the United States of America — is my life not worth anything to you? Has the life of American citizens become worthless, or is it because my name is Mohamed?” If so, he said later, “this sets a precedent for the plight of the hyphenated American to be ignored, completely.”

 Human Rights Watch calls on Egypt to Repeal restrictive freedom of expression laws 

HRW: Egypt: Repeal Laws Used to Convict Author

In this article: Human Rights Watch calls on Egyptian authorities to end the persecution of writers and to repeal laws that limit freedom of expression, particularly those that ban the contempt of religion. “Rather than prosecuting Karam Saber for giving voice to poor farmers, authorities should bring Egypt’s laws into harmony with its new constitution and international obligations” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “Freedom of expression is at the heart of a tolerant, democratic society.”