Egypt Media Roundup – Aug 8, 2014

08/08/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi has announced that he will not run in the upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections. During an interview on the private satellite channel Al-Nahar, Sabbahi spoke about the Democratic Current, a political front he is engaged in establishing, the possibility of an electoral coalition the front seeks to establish “on a possible shared party list with the liberal Free Egyptians Party…and liberal Wafd party.” Sabbahi expressed that he would support “anyone who supports the line of 25 January and 30 June.”   [Ahram OnlineRead More…

Economy

An analyst based in Cairo reported to Ahram Online that the bourse reached price limits from before the 2011 revolution, resulting in a removal of precautionary measures. The index EGX30 increased 1.16%, with the daily stock turnover recorded at LE1 billion. Also, the EGX70 broader index increased by 0.56%. Eissa Fathy with the securities division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce called the stock improvement the result of “continuing confidence in Egypt’s economy following the latest measures taken by the government.” Fathy also stated that the liquidity of the market mainly resulted from the return to “pre-2011 price limits in Thursday’s session.” [Ahram OnlineRead More…

Rights & Freedoms

Omar Hazek, an Alexandrian poet who published his first collection of poems five years ago entitled “I believe the Winter’s Sun,” is currently serving a sentence of two years in Alexandria’s Borg al-Arab prison for illegally protesting. Hazek had been writing a book about life in Alexandria after the revolution, but was arrested for protesting the Khaled Saeed trial in November 2013 with Maheinour al-Massry and several others prior to its publication. He has been increasingly eloquent about his political views since the January 2011 revolution, publishing his first political poem “I Tear Down the Poem Over You,” a tribute to Khaled Saeed and Federico García Lorca. Hazek is part of a new generation of political artists and writers who exhibit far more confidence and inspiration after the 2011 revolution despite growing censorship of freedom of expression.  [Al Jazeera America

Security Sector

The government of Egypt began an official campaign to end militant activity in the Sinai Peninsula. According to state-run MENA agency, eleven “extremists” were killed, three tunnels destroyed, and one SUV vehicle captured over the past 24-hours in the region of Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid. Al Shorouk news also reported the destruction of “11 houses and 12 private hut armed elements” in the Egyptian government’s effort to crack down on terror activity in the region. [Al Shorouk, Aswat MasriyaRead More…

Foreign Relations

The governments of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United States have issued a joint statement requesting for all parties involved in Libya to enact an immediate ceasefire and reintroduce safety and stability in the country. The joint proposal condemns the humanitarian crisis in Libya and the interference of external entities to the democratically-elected government, especially during Libya’s transitional phase. The North African governments and the U.S. condemn violence exhibited in the country, and all political urge factions to engage in an open dialogue. [All Africa] Read More…

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Egyptian lawyer sues to allow children to be prosecuted as adults 

Al Arabiya: Egypt Lawyer sues Sisi to amend child law

In this article: Lawyer Samir Sabri filed a lawsuit against President Abdel Fattah al Sisi to demand the amendment of Egypt’s child law to allow children to be prosecuted as adults. Despite Egypt’s earlier adoption of the U.N.’s International Treaty on Children Rights and recent amendments made to the child law in 2008, which raised the age of prosecution from 15 to 18, Sabri stated that children as young as 12 who commit murder or rape should be given harsh sentences. Sabri identified a main problem to be the manipulation of children, particularly those living in poverty-like conditions to commit acts of theft or murder seeing as their maximum penalty for those under the age of 18 is 15 years in prison. According to Sabri, such “street children” need to be punished. Sabri proposed that children should be given juvenile detention for such cases and executed or given life imprisonment once they reach the age of 21 to which Secretary General of the Egyptian Coalition for Children’s Rights called the proposal “outrageous” and “a form of torture.” The case is expected to be heard on October 14, 2014.

Economy

 World Bank report points to overoptimistic expectations as potentially misleading 

Ahram Online: World Bank says overoptimistic forecasting may lead to MENA policy errors

In this article: A report by the World Bank argues that growth forecasts for the Middle East and North Africa are “potentially misleading” to observers and governments. The report warns “policymakers in the region of the consequences of predictions which are overoptimistic” especially following the events of the Arab Spring. The report further outlined the structural problems which are likely to affect the economic growth of the seven Middle Eastern and North African countries discussed. Specifically, the report references high unemployment, corruption, nepotism, widespread poverty, an increasing deficit, a weak private sector, and decreasing foreign reserves as “structural breaks that sometimes drive an economy.”

 Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri donates to the Long Live Egypt fund 

Ahram Online: Egypt’s foreign minister donates part of salary to El-Sisi’s fund

Aswat Masriya: Egypt’s foreign minister donates part of salary to el-Sisi’s fund

In these articles: Sameh Shoukri, the foreign minister of Egypt, donated “half a month’s salary” to the fund established by President Sisi with the intention to “aid the country’s ailing economy.” Shoukri donated the portion of his salary as part of the ministry’s initiative to encourage its employees to make contributions. According to the ministry, the council of assistant ministers matched Shoukri’s contribution. The fund, known as the Long Live Egypt fund, has received donations from President Sisi amounting to LE500,000, as well as LE20 million from Cairo University. The prime minister has also pledged half of his monthly salary and a portion of his personal wealth to the Long Live Egypt fund. Sisi has called repeatedly on Egyptian businessmen to contribute to the fund, and “expressed his disappointment on the modest participation” from the business sector.

 President Sisi visits dig site for new canal 

Ahram Online: El-Sisi makes visit to Suez digging site

In this article: President Sisi visited the site of the planned waterway that will be built parallel to the Suez Canal. The visit was intended to check on the digging progress. Sisi has announced that the digging process “will be finished by mid-2015,” a timeframe which has surprised international observers.

Security Sector

 Muslim Brotherhood members arrested for inciting violence and attacking police 

Al Masry Al Youm: Arrest of 44 Muslim Brotherhood members on violence charges in 6 governorates [AR]

In this article: 44 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested on charges of inciting violence and attacking police across six governorates in Egypt. 22 of the men arrested were from Fayoum, 9 from Beni Suef, 5 from Minya, 4 from Giza, 2 from Al Sharqiya and another 2 from Qena. Three of the arrested were wanted in relation to the torching of City Council in Giza, 22 are wanted for storming a police station and stealing firearms as well as attacking a Church in Fayoum.

Foreign Relations

 Palestinian and Israeli officials fail to arrange permanent ceasefire 

Reuters: Egypt urges resumption of Gaza truce, talks over outstanding issues

Mada Masr: Israel leaves faltering Cairo ceasefire talks, air strikes resume in Gaza

In this article: Palestinian and Israeli delegations met during the recently expired 72-hour ceasefire truce in Cairo, only to announce that further agreements for a permanent ceasefire between the opposing sides had not convened. Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that a majority of Palestinian demands had been met by Israeli officials, but that Palestinian authorities would not agree to a permanent ceasefire until Israeli officials agreed to lift the siege on Gaza. Sources revealed to Al-Arabiya that Israel “insisted on the disarmament of Hamas” before aiding reconstruction in Gaza, a proposal which was shot down by Hamas who said it was “contradictory to its mission as an armed resistance movement.” Egyptian authorities have announced an opening of the Rafah border crossing to Gaza in order to admit Palestinians seeking emergency medical attention. Since the expiration of the 72-hour ceasefire truce, one child has been killed and 11 others wounded in Gaza.

 New British Ambassador to Egypt arrives to Cairo 

All Africa: Egypt: Newly Appointed British Ambassador Arrives in Egypt

In this article: Egypt’s state-run MENA agency reported that newly appointed British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson has arrived and officially succeeded Britain’s previous  Ambassador, James Watt. Casson was also a prior Deputy Ambassador to Jordan and said that “Britain has a deep interest in Egypt’s political, security, and economic success.”