Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 10, 2014


Legal & Political Institutions

In an interview with Aswat Masriya, Younis Makhioun, the head of the Salafist Nour Party, expressed his confidence that the party would be elected to approximately 20% of the seats in the next parliament. He also condemned the new parliamentary law, asserting that his party will join a political coalition to pressure for the amendment of the law. Concerning electoral lists and quotas, he noted that he believed them to be discriminatory because it forces individuals to vote for a woman or a Christian based on solely gender or religion, respectively. [Ahram, Aswat MasriyaRead More…

Gender & Sexuality

After the horrific occurrences of several mob sexual assaults during the “celebrations” of the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah al Sisi, Sisi has spoken out, calling on the Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim to “combat the country’s sexual assault epidemic.” Since the incidents, six suspects have been arrested in connection with the assaults, and three were jailed. The president then honored a police officer who rescued one sexual assault victim in Tahrir Square, where the celebrations were taking place. [Egyptian Streets, Daily Star Lebanon, Washington Post, Yanair-ar, Reuters, AP, Jeune Afrique-fr, AhramRead More…

Marginalized Groups

The Ministry of Endowments has renewed its warning to religious figures in Egypt, particularly those who do not have proper authorization to relay sermons in public place, to exclude talks of politics and/or political rhetoric from their sermons. [Aswat Masriya-ar]

Rights & Freedoms

Mohamed Soltan, an Egyptian-American who has been detained in Egypt since August 2013 and on hunger strike since January 2014, has reportedly been transferred to Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, where he is now in intensive care unit and the prison solidarity group, “Freedom for the Brave” claims he is “closer to a state of death than life.” [Daily News Egypt, Mada Masr, Freedom of the Brave, Ahram]

In another highly publicized political prisoner case of Abdullah Elshamy, who has been detained since August 2013 as well, and on hunger strike for nearly 150 days, from inside the prison, Elshamy has released a note, describing conditions in solitary confinement. Addressing his struggle to uphold freedom of the press, he writes, “I want every journalist in the world to know that they have the absolute right to cover any event as they see it with full transparency and leave the viewer or reader to judge what they see. And I want every person to know that no one has the right to restrain their freedom with no guilt or crime. I have delivered my message and I end my words with an assertion that I am continuing ahead in my battle, I will either get my full freedom or someone will continue my battle after I’m gone. And again, freedom is destined for those who stay loyal to it.” [Facebook] Read More..  

Security Sector

Egyptian authorities have put the Al-Arish port in North Sinai under military control, after transferring the assets from the civilian-run agency to the military this week, citing national security reasons as the justification for the change. “Egypt’s national security requires that the port be under the control of the armed forces due to its sensitive location,” the head of the Port Authority of Port Said, retired major general Ahmed Sharaf, explained in an interview with Reuters. [Ahram]


Newly elected president Abdel Fattah al Sisi has revealed his economic plan for his presidency. The plan seeks to support small and medium enterprises as well as calling on Egyptian businessmen to contribute to Egypt’s economy via investments. Sisi particularly noted, “Egypt has long suffered from an economic deterioration and the absence of justice and equal opportunities,” and he will work to reboot the economy to its full capacity. [Daily News Egypt]

Foreign Relations

Ethiopia’s foreign minister has iterated that Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan will resume talks and work on a “new era of relationships..and new trust.” In a summit due to take place later this month, the three countries will address the issues surrounding the construction of the Renaissance Dam along the Nile. [Ahram]



Legal & Political Institutions

 Human Rights Watch & Amnesty International join forces to call on Sisi to put an end to rampant human rights abuses 

HRW: Egypt: New Leader Faces Rights Crisis

Ahram: El-Sisi should end ‘rampant abuses’: Amnesty and HRW

In this article: Human Rights Watch joined forces with Amnesty International to release a statement addressing the newly elected president, Abdel Fattah al Sisi, calling on him to seriously reconsider the state of human rights in Egypt. The statement read, “Instead of addressing the urgent need for reform, Egyptian authorities have spent the last year engaging in repression on a scale unprecedented in Egypt’s modern history…Now that President al-Sisi has formally taken the reins of power, he should put an end to these rampant abuses.”

 Sisi’s “Development Corridor” may not be the silver bullet to Egypt’s economic woes 

Atlantic Council: The Field Marshall Plan

In this article: The Atlantic Council unpacks Sisi’s plans for the Development Corridor, an urban corridor that is meant to run the length of Egypt with plans to build new super highways and railway structures to connect Egypt’s “current population centers.” The idea for the Development Corridor dates back to the 1980s, and presents concerns that in Egypt’s flailing economy, spending big may not result in success. “Sisi’s motivating impulse is understandable: mega solutions for mega problems, a massive public works project providing a Keynesian shot in the arm for a moribund employment environment, and a marquee undertaking to inspire national pride.” The plan ignores major obstacles such as lack of resources, agencies, and actors that will contribute to the corridor, as well as largescale financial support.

 Sisi accepts resignation of former president Adly Mansour’s presidential advisors 

Aswat Masriya: Sisi accepts resignations of presidential advisors

Egypt SIS: Sisi accepts resignation of Mansour advisers

In this article: Following the handing over of power from former president Adly Mansour to president-elect Abdel Fattah al Sisi, all of Mansour’s presidential advisors resigned, a move that Sisi immediately accepted. However, remaining in his post as Prime minister will be Ibrahim Mahlab, who has been tasked with forming a new government.

 Building on arable land is an “honor crime” per draft law by Ministers of agriculture and local development 

Ahram:Building on Egypt’s arable land is an honour crime: Ministers

In this article: Egypt’s agriculture and local development ministries have agreed on a draft law that criminalizes building on arable land–calling it an “honor crime.” The ministries approved legal sanctions against offenders of five years prison time and a fine of 200,000 EGP or more. “According to the official statistics, there have been a whopping 1.2 million cases of violations on arable land in the last three years, leading to the loss of 47,000 feddans”

Gender & Sexuality

 25 civil society organizations release joint statement condemning mob sexual assaults in Tahrir Square 

Daily News Egypt:500 victims of sexual violence since 2011: NGOs

In this article: Twenty-five civil society organizations released a joint statement condemning the mob sexual assaults that took place in Tahrir Square following Sisi’s inauguration. The group of organizations noted that at least 500 Egyptians have been victims of sexual violence since 2011, and on the day of Sisi’s inauguration, at least nine incidents of sexual assault occurred in Tahrir Square.

 Political Factions in Egypt “trade blame” over sexual assaults in Tahrir 

Mada Masr: Trading Blame over sexual assaults

In this article: Following the multiple reported sexual assaults that took place in Tahrir Square on the day of Sisi’s inauguration, multiple statements were released by various groups “trading blame” over the incidents. Mada Masr reports on the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups’ statements rejecting the sexual assaults “even if these women are supporters of Sisi’s ‘coup’ against the Brotherhood, they shouldn’t be attacked.” On the other hand, the National Council for Women issued a statement calling the assaults attempts to taint the celebrations of Sisi. “These immoral acts cannot be perpetrated by honorable Egyptians who were behind the January 25 and June 30 revolutions, where the squares of Egypt were filled with millions of people for a long time and there wasn’t one case of rape,” the statement claimed.

Anti-Sexual Violence Rally planned for June 14 in light of recent mob sexual assaults in Tahrir

Ahram: Anti-sexual harassment rally planned for Saturday to protest Tahrir assaults

In this article: A rally organized by various anti-sexual harassment and women’s groups will take place on June 14 to protest against the continued occurrence of sexual harassment and sexual violence in Egypt. The demonstration is sparked by the mob assaults that took place in Tahrir Square during Sisi’s inauguration, and will take place in front of the Cairo Opera House and is called “Walk like an Egyptian Woman.”

Rights & Freedoms

 According to the NCHR, the Interior Ministry refused permission to visit hunger-striking detainees, Soltan and Elshamy in prison 

Mada Masr: Rights council blames MOI for its failure to visit prisoners

Egypt Independent: NCHR denied prison visits

In this article: According to a statement released by the National Council for Human Rights, the Ministry of Interior rejected the NCHR’s requests to visit political prisoners on hunger strike, Abdullah Elshamy and Mohamed Soltan. The statement read, “the MOI did not provide NCHR with a date to visit both detainees, despite continued efforts by council members.”