Egypt Media Roundup – Apr 7, 2014

04/07/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Mortada Mansour has announced his candidacy for president, now the third candidate behind Field Marshal Sisi and Hamdeen Sabahi. The lawyer and head of Zamalek sports club has asserted that his electoral program will involve ending all strikes and protests in Egypt by jailing strikers who do not cooperate. He plans to call for a constitutional amendment to restore full powers to the president, and to amend the Camp David Accords to allow the army to be fully deployed in Sinai. Mansour also announced his support for religious freedom, given that Egyptians can only belong to Abrahamic faiths. Mansour’s political agenda also included his plans for ending thuggery and sexual harassment and maintaining strict censorship. [Daily News Egypt, KingFut, World Bulletin, SBS, Ahram, Huffington PostRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

An Egyptian court has sentenced four men to eight years in prison for “practising homosexulity”. The men were accused of deviant behavior following their arrest. [Daily Star Lebanon, Masrawy-ar] 

Security Sector

Mohamed El-Zawahri, jihadist Salafist and brother of Al Qaeda leader Ayam El Zawahri, alongside 67 others, was referred to Egyptian court on accusations of orchestrating terrorism attacks in Egypt. They were charged with aiming to “declare the state an infidel and to forcefully change the regime.” [Ahram, SBSRead More..

Marginalized Groups

A deadly feud between an Arab Bani Hilal tribe and Nubian Daboudia clan in the Aswan province erupted last week over the harassment of a girl. According to the Associated Press, fighting continued while Egyptian security forces did little to stop it, resulting in 24 deaths and dozens of injuries. The Ministry of Interior announced that it has arrested three members of the Bani Hilal tribe involved in the clashes. While military and police patrols have been deployed to maintain peace–a truce between the tribes has been brokered. [Ahram, Daily News Egypt, Guardian, Turkish Press, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNN, NYT, Al Jazeera

Rights & Freedoms

An Egyptian court has upheld the three-year prison sentence of April 6 Youth Movement’s Ahmed Maher, Mohammed Adel, and activist Ahmed Douma–who were found guilty last December of crimes under Egypt’s controversial Protest Law. [Mada Masr, Jeune Afrique-fr, Aswat Masriya, Ahram, BBCRead More..

Economy

The Kuwaiti oil minister has stated that Kuwait is in talks to renew oil supply contracts to Egypt, and is looking for potential investments in Egypt’s energy sector. [ReutersRead More.. 

Foreign Relations

EU Foreign Policy chief, Catherine Ashton has planned a visit to Egypt ahead of upcoming presidential elections. Ashton will be meeting with high ranking officials and Egypt’s foreign minister to discuss bilateral relations with the EU as well as presidential elections. [Ahram

______________________________________________________________

Legal & Political Institutions

15 civil society organizations have applied to monitor presidential polls

Egypt SIS: Social Solidarity: 15 organizations applied for following up presidential polls

In this article: The Minister of Social Solidarity has received 15 applications from Egyptian civil society organizations wishing to follow up the presidential elections. The ministry has set up operations to issue permits for the organizations.

Wafd party backs Sisi presidency, asks Sisi “turn constitution into a national project”

Reuters: Liberal Wafd party backs Sisi’s bid for presidency

In this article: Egyptian liberal Wafd party has announced its support for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidential bid. Wafd Chairman Al-Sayed al-Badawy, in a press conference, called on Sisi to “turn the constitution into a national project” and meet the demands of the Egyptian people. Badawy claims that Wafd will not be silent if Sisi does not fulfil his promises.

Security Sector

Interior ministry breaks down their classifications of Muslim Brotherhood involvement in terrorist attacks in Egypt

Ahram: Brotherhood using Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani fighters: Interior ministry

In this article: The interior ministry alleges that the Muslim Brotherhood has been using mercenaries from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt. The spokesperson claimed that there are two types of terrorism in Egypt: the first are militant groups with external fighters who have been responsible for the security directorate bombings and the Sinai attacks. These groups include Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, and others. The second type of terrorism group is the Muslim Brotherhood, who are responsible for unrest across Egypt, particularly clashes between security forces and students supporting Morsi. The spokesperson claims, “The Brotherhood are doing all they can to spread chaos all over the country.” The Brotherhood has denied links to any attacks and often condemns the violence committed in the attacks.

Libyan armed groups detain 50 Egyptians in Libya–released after negotiations with armed groups, tribal leaders, and Egyptian military intelligence.

Daily News Egypt: Egyptian truck drivers in Libya freed

Ahram: Armed Libyans detain 50 Egyptian trucks, drivers

Ahram: Libyan gunmen free detained Egyptian trucks

In this article: Fifty Egyptians were released from the custody of Libyan armed groups, who were being held in Libya’s AjDabiya district, Omran Ambewa. After negotiations with the armed Libyans, military intelligence, and tribal leaders, the truck drivers were released and Egypt stressed the travel warning of Egyptians traveling to Libya.

Rights & Freedoms

Three Al Jazeera journalists prison stay reaches 100 days, the 4th AJ journalist at six months

Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera journalists spend 100 days in jail

In this article: Jailed Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed have been detained for 100 days. The Al Jazeera network called on the international community to continue supporting the release of the journalists and promoted the #FreeAJStaff hashtag. Abdullah al-Shami, the fourth jailed Al Jazeera journalist, has been in prison for over six months, and has been on hunger strike since January 23.

April 6 Youth Movement calling for march to presidential palace following upheld verdict for Maher, Adel, & Douma

Ahram: April 6 march to presidential palace to protest court verdict against activists

In this article: The April 6 Youth Movement has announced a march to the presidential palace following the upheld verdict of three year prison sentences for activists Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel, and Ahmed Douma for violating Egypt’s protest law. The march will also call for the cancellation of the protest law.

Economy

Egypt to reclaim land in Western Desert for agricultural development

Daily News Egypt: Timetable set to reclaim 40,000 acres from Western Desert: Ministry of Agriculture

In this article: The Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has announced that the ministry plans to reclaim land in the Western Desert. 40,000 acres are set to be reclaimed by Egypt, and allocated for agricultural development, whilst stressing the importance of using renewable energy sources in the process.

Egypt military signs deal with UAE developers to create ‘exclusive’ community in Emaar Square

The Guardian:  From Tahrir Square to Emaar Square: Cairo’s private road to a private city

In this article: UAE developers have signed a deal with Egypt’s defense ministry, clearing the way for the construction of Emaar Square to develop uptown Cairo into Dubai-style mixed-use development: exclusive residential units, golf course, open-air luxury shopping, etc. Egypt’s defense ministry is Egypt’s largest landowner and manager based on a presidential decree allocating the military the right to manage all undeveloped non-agricultural land. The development of Emaar square will likely require the “cleansing of poor homeowners in the Jabal al-Ahmar area”–likely meaning, forced eviction of residents by the military.

Egyptian Company for Road Projects: 500million EGP venture to manage and maintain Egypt’s roads

Daily News Egypt: EGP 500m capital allocated for Egyptian Company for Road Projects: Minister

In this article: The Minister of Transportation has begun operations on 500million EGP road projects with the Egyptian Company for Road Projects. The newly established Joint-stock company will manage and maintain expressways in Egypt, and handle cargo and passenger transportation services on the roads. “The capital of the company is 100% Egyptian,” an official statement from the Ministry of Transportation said.