Egypt Media Roundup – Aug 6, 2014

08/06/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

12 supporters of former President Muhammad Morsi had their sentences upheld by a Giza court on charges of killing a police officer. The prosecution also charged the defendants with “forming an illegal group to disturb the rule of law, attack security forces and target public installations.” The court also handed down sentences of life in prison to 10 other defendants, while acquitting another. The defendants were charged following the sit-ins in August 2013 during which they allegedly attacked a police station in Kerdasa, and are charged with killing the deputy head of Giza security, Major General Nabil Farrag. The defendants may appeal the verdict. [Ahram Online, Aswat MasriyaRead More…

Economy

The large influx of Egyptians fleeing civil unrest in Libya and returning to Egypt has prompted a growing concern of a likely increase in unemployment levels in Egypt which have exceeded 13%. According to the Libyan Ambassador in Cairo Mohammed Fayez Jibril, approximately 1.5 million Egyptians are currently working and living in Libya, and up to 200,000 cross into Libya illegally each year for work. Egyptians are generally paid significantly more for unskilled labor in Libya than in Gulf states, and Egypt contributed approximately $12 billion to Libya’s infrastructure along with other sectors of development. Head of the Libyan-Egyptian Business Council, Nasser Bayan, has predicted that “there will be a 60% decrease in Egyptian investments in Libya this year” due to its deteriorating state.[Daily News EgyptRead More…

Marginalized Groups

Mada Masr reported “a new wave of sectarian violence” in the Yaacoub village of the city of Minya. Christians in the village reported that Muslims attacked Christian houses with Molotov cocktails after it was announced that one home would be transformed into a church. Al-Ahram on the other hand, reported that two kids were arguing when their Christian and Muslim fathers intervened and began to argue with one another. One of the men, Nabil Awad, was reportedly hit on the head during the violence whereupon security forces arrived at the scene and arrested 11 people from both sides. Priest Morcos announced that the conflict has receded and suggested Christians in the village to submit an application for approval to build a church according to village regulations. [Mada Masr]

Gender & Sexuality

Women for Women and the Alliance for Arab Women have featured a variety of lectures that discuss topics related to “women’s rights and culture.” President of the Alliance for Arab Women Hoda Badran “stressed” the importance of the inclusion of women in politics and society urging the women in “high positions” to be “role models.” In Egypt only 2% of positions in the Egyptian Parliament are filled by women, demonstrating the pressing issue of unequal representation of women and women’s issues in Egyptian politics and society. [Daily News Egypt]

Rights & Freedoms

A Cairo Court today has “renewed” the detention of prominent activist Alaa Abdel El Fattah and two co-defendants in relation to the the Shura Council case. The case was adjourned until September 10, when defendants will be able to offer eyewitness accounts. Five defendants charged in the same case did not attend the retrial and were reissued their previous verdict, while seventeen defendants were “released pending further investigations.” According to Mada Masr journalist Lina Attalah, the defendants were placed in a “glass dock” during the trial, which prevented them from communicating freely with journalists and respective lawyers. Abdel El Fattah and 24 co-defendants were sentenced to “15 years in absentia, five years’ probation, and a fine of LE 100,000,” in June. [Mada Masr]

Security Sector

Security officials in the province of Marsa Matrouh collided with alleged smugglers or militants, indicated differently by various sources, on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 during an attempt to flag down a vehicle suspected of carrying weapons and explosives. The clashes resulted in the death of five policeman and four alleged smugglers, which according to security forces occurred after smugglers had “opened fire on police” and “security forces had returned fire.” The attack took place at an approximate distance of 400km east of the Libya border. Security forces have reported that militant activity near the Egyptian-Libyan border has been on a rise due to the quickly deteriorating state of Libya and strengthening of its militant factions.  [ Reuters, Cairo Post, Ahram OnlineRead More…

Foreign Relations

The 72-hour ceasefire agreed upon by Gaza and Israel also includes incoming aid from the UN and Israel, as well as an opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt to facilitate the distribution of humanitarian assistance and aid and the transfer of refugees into Egypt. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Badr Abdel Atty, humanitarian aid from all sources is welcome to cross the Rafah border at this time. The Egyptian government has delivered approximately “1,200 tonnes of medical aid and foodstuffs” while 3,500 people have crossed from Gaza into Egypt and another 2,000 have travelled to Gaza from Egypt for assistance purposes. [Daily News EgyptRead More…

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Ahram Online: 3 female Morsi Supporters sentenced to life in jail

Al Ahram: Cairo Criminal Court sentences 3 girls to life in prison for possession of  weapons and inciting violence Hadaeq El Qobba [AR]

In these articles: Three female detainees and alleged affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced in a Cairo Criminal Court to life sentences.  The women were convicted on several charges including, the  possession of weapons and ammunition without a license, incitement of violence, and belonging to a banned group during  incidents in Hadaeq El Qobba following the dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda last August.

Economy

 Workers returning from Egypt may increase Egyptian unemployment rate 

Daily News Egypt: Egyptian workers leaving Libya increases unemployment in Egypt: Chambers of Commerce official

In this article: According to Hamdy Imam, the Recruitment Division chair of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, an influx of Egyptian workers from Libya will increase unemployment in Egypt.  Preliminary figures show that more than one million Egyptian workers were employed in Libya, and their return to Egypt will put a greater strain on the Egyptian economy. Egyptian workers that are returning from Libya are typically unskilled laborers, a group that tends to be unemployed in Egypt. The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics has tallied Egyptian unemployment at 13% for the total labor force of 26 million, as of May 2014.

 Egypt launches campaign to promote tourism 

Egypt Independent: Campaign in Europe to promote tourism

In this article: Minister of Tourism Undersecretary Ahmed Shoukry announced the launching of “a promotional campaign” in six European countries including Russia, Germany, England, Italy, Poland, and Ukraine. The campaign is designed to increase tourism in Egypt and restore the 25 percent loss of tourists since the beginning of 2014. The campaign which is designed to increase exposure to the beauties of Egypt and to attract tourists, will mainly focus on “cultural tourism” and be promoted via the “internet and in international fairs.”

Security Sector

 Israel and Egypt may be cooperating to strike militants in Sinai 

Al Monitor: Did an Israeli drone strike militants in Egypt?

In this article: A report in Al-Monitor raises the possibility of Egyptian-Israeli cooperation in confronting jihadist groups in Sinai. Eyewitnesses in Sinai claim that an “Israeli drone” was involved in targeting a car allegedly used by “terrorists” on July 23, 2014 in the Muqata region, 5 km from the border with Israel. The terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis stated that Israel is responsible for “targeting its members.” According to Al Monitor, a sheikh from the Sinai area also stated that “Israel intervened and assassinated some of [the terrorists] inside Sinai.” Al Monitor concludes with the observation that “Israel is coordinating with the Egyptian military to combat terrorist groups in Sinai, though this cooperation is not publicized.”

 Sources claim that Marina “terrorists” were innocent 

Mada Masr: Sources say Marina suspects killed by police are innocent

In this article: Security forces killed four suspects near the Marina tourist resort, which are “innocent civilians,” according to sources. The Interior Ministry spokesperson continues to assert that the suspects killed were terrorists, who had instigated the shooting at the checkpoint where they were shot. However, a former parliamentarian Hesham al-Akary stated that “those killed by police were innocent civilians, including two Libyan citizens.” Abd al-Salam Ragheb, a former Nour Party Member of Parliament in Matrouh, “condemned the accident in a statement on his Facebook page” as well as calling for an apology from the security forces and an official investigation.

Foreign Relations

 Palestinian and Israeli delegates meet in Cairo during 72-hour ceasefire truce 

Ahram Online: Egypt’s Intelligence chief meets Palestinian delegation on Gaza negotiations

In this article: Egypt’s intelligence chief Mohamed Farid el-Tohamy has convened a second meeting in Cairo with the Palestinian delegation and Israeli delegation, which have allegedly arrived to Cairo late on Tuesday to resume potential peace negotiations. The Palestinian delegation includes representatives from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front, and the Popular Front while an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chief of Shin Bet security agency and head of the political bureau at the Defense Ministry are attending on part of Israel. Israeli military spokesman has declared that the main effort of destroying underground tunnels has been achieved, signalling a greater potential for peace talks to resume.

 John Kerry speaks positively about Egypt’s economic reform efforts and involvement with Gaza 

Daily News Egypt: Egypt’s economic reform plans ‘succeeding’: Kerry

In this article: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Egypt for their efforts in convening peace talks between Israel and Palestinian delegates, as well as formulating plans for the future that would help to stabilize the Egyptian economy, develop Egypt’s infrastructure, and increase job opportunities, particularly for the youth. Commentary regarding Egypt’s perceived success came after Kerry met with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb during his visit to Washington D.C. for the U.S.-African Summit.