Egypt Media Roundup – Apr 30, 2014

05/01/2014 . By TIMEP

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TOP STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi announced his electoral program in a press conference–fulfilling the goals of the Egyptian people and pursuing Egyptian economic development are Sabbahi’s electoral priorities. Sabbahi has also publicly addressed the April 6 Youth Movement ban, saying, that the ban represented a serious “departure from July 3 roadmap, the path and democratic principles chosen by the Egyptian people on 25 January and 30 June.” [Aswat Masriya, AhramRead More..

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Rights & Freedoms

Bassem Sabry, a highly acclaimed Egyptian activist and writer passed away on Tuesday, April 29. An outpouring of love and support has swept social media and international media, displaying the impact that Mr. Sabry had on not only Egyptians, but all supporters of Egypt’s cause. The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Vox, Huffington Post, The Atlantic Council, and many others have expressed their sentiments about Mr. Sabry in heartfelt accounts of his life and work. Read More..

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Marginalized Groups

As the heavy crackdown on labor strikes continue in Ain Sokhna, where riot police fired tear gas at strikers on the Red Sea dock–several workers were injured and one was reportedly arrested. Labor groups and trade unions have denounced the crackdown in what they say is a continued campaign of heavy security crackdowns on striking laborers. [Aswat Masriya, Mada MasrRead More..

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Foreign Relations

Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, has put a block on the recent release of $650million in military funding to Egypt in light of the recent mass death sentences. “I’m not prepared to sign off on the delivery of additional aid for the Egyptian military,” Mr. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said on the Senate floor. “I’m not prepared to do that until we see convincing evidence the government is committed to the rule of law.” [NYT, Washington PostRead More..

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Economy

Despite Egypt’s recent initiative to repay government oil debt, the debts continued to rise at the end of March. “Arrears to foreign oil firms in Egypt reached $5.7 billion by the end of March,” Tarek El Molla, chairman of Egyptian General Petroleum Corp, said late on Tuesday. [AhramRead More.. 

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Security Sector

Amidst clashes allegedly between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and their opponents, five people were injured in Damietta when a house was torched; additionally, three protesters were arrested. [Aswat MasriyaRead More..

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MORE STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

 Lawyer responsible for saving dozens of defendants from harsh verdicts, among the accused in mass death sentencing 

Global Post: Egypt’s Atticus Finch: He defended the unpopular, now he’s in prison

In this article: The main opponent to “The Butcher” the judge who has gained notoriety for his speedy verdicts and mass sentencing of over 1200 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death penalties, Ahmed Eid is called Egypt’s “Atticus Finch” by the Global Post. Eid is responsible for saving over 60 defendants from “The Butcher’s” verdict, and ended up on the prosecution list himself. “Like the rest of those convicted in the two cases, Eid, 36, is accused of participating in violence that took place in the province of Minya in southern Egypt on Aug. 14 last year.” On March 24, Eid was among the 529 sentenced to death.

Security Sector

 Mansoura University protests turn violent–students torch police car 

Shorouk: [AR] Four injured during violent clashes at Mansoura University

Al Masry Al Youm: [AR] Mansoura university students torch police car

In this article: A group of students protesting against detention of political prisoners have torched a police car in Mansoura. The clashes at Mansoura University have turned violent with police called in to disperse protests.

Marginalized Groups

 Six additional suspected cases of MERS reported in Egypt 

Ahram: Six suspected MERS cases in Egypt: Health Minister

In this article: The Egyptian Minister of Health has reported six suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. These cases are in addition to the one confirmed case in Egypt. The health minister warned of the spread of the disease, particularly with Egypt’s proximity to Saudi Arabia, a country with a large number of diagnosed cases. 

Rights & Freedoms

 April 6 youth movement to appeal ban on group’s activities 

Ahram: Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement to appeal ban

Daily News Egypt: 6 April to appeal against ban

In this article: The April 6th youth movement and the Democratic Front, which was recently banned in a court ruling that ordered the closure of the group’s offices. “We will appeal the verdict before the administrative court,” said Sherif El-Hosary, head of the legal department of the Democratic Front. Members of the April 6 press committee have accused Egyptian authorities of trying to silence “all serious opposition, political forces and movements”, while leaving only “cartoonish opposition parties” for the purpose of propaganda.

 Youm7 journalist threatened by security forces at Al Azhar university–ANHRI condemns preventing journalists from field reporting 

Daily News Egypt: ANHRI condemns university security preventing Youm7 journalist from covering clashes

In this article: The Arab Network for Human Rights Information has condemned Al Azhar’s recent threats toward a Youm7 journalist covering protests. Israa Al-Sherbasy was at Al-Azhar University, where clashes had broken out but “university security raised weapons at her to force her to leave,” the human rights group reported. She was forced to ride a passing motorcycle. At this point, some students harassed her and ran after her but eventually she was able to escape. ANHRI said that the incident is another episode of the threatening and preventing of journalists doing their job covering clashes and protests by security forces is “a continuation of the maltreatment of journalists in order to prevent them from carrying out their job.”

 Policeman protest against detention of fellow colleague 

Egypt: Independent: Policemen protest colleague’s detention

Mada Masr: Police close stations nationwide to protest arrest of colleague

Police officers in Cairo today protested against the arrest of Abdel Hamid Darwish, who was arrested at Cairo Airport for allegedly leading protests condemning the transfer of a police officer who had been accused by a tourist of harassing her. Police forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesting officers at the airport.

Economy

 Arabtec to carry out “multiple acquisitions and mergers”–Company heavily invested in Egypt 

Ahram: Dubai’s Arabtec to carry out multiple acquisitions by 2018: CEO

In this article: UAE company Arabtec, which has opened up several development projects in Egypt said that the company will “carry out multiple acquisitions and mergers with attractive value to Arabtec in sectors with high profit margins” according to Chief Executive Hasan Ismaik.

 Director of electricity police reported to PM Mehleb 62,815 cases of stolen electricity 

Egypt Independent: Cabinet: 62,000 cases of electricity stealing

In this article: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb met with the director of the electricity police in Egypt to discuss the 62,815 cases of electric currents, cables, and lighting poles that were allegedly stolen. “The prime minister said such thefts will be punished by law,” a representative told Al-Mehwar channel on Tuesday.

Foreign Relations

 The German Foreign Minister condemns mass death sentences to Egyptian ambassador 

Aswat Masriya: Germany summons Egyptian ambassador over mass death sentences

In this article: The German government has summoned its Egyptian ambassador to discuss the recent death mass death sentences in Egypt. “The hundreds of death sentences make a mockery of what we understand to be democratic principles,” Foreign Minster Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement. “The Egyptian authorities are risking further destabilisation of their country and a cementing of political and social divisions ahead of the presidential elections in May,” he added, urging Cairo to repeal the death sentences.

 Cairo court will rule to brand Qatar as “pro-terrorism” country May 7 

Egypt Independent: Court to rule 7 May on lawsuit labelling Qatar a pro-terrorist country

In this article: With Qatar-Egypt relations strained due to political differences surrounding the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Jazeera tensions, a court for urgent matters in Cairo will rule on May 7 whether to brand Qatar as a pro-terrorism country. Lawyer Samir Sabry, who had brought the case against the Egyptian government and the Arab League’s Secretary General, argued in his petition that the state of Qatar hosts a number of fugitive terrorists, and had declined to hand them in to Egypt.

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