Egypt Media Round Up – Feb 7, 2014

02/07/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

An Egyptian court on Thursday accepted a prosecution appeal in the Port Said football killings case, meaning that 64 defendants in the case will be retried. The Court of Cassation also rejected nine appeals from other defendants. The case charged defendants with the murder of over 70 Ahly club football fans in February 2012 at an Egyptian league match in the city of Port Said.Read More..  [Ahram]

Security Sector

A group called “Walla3” has claimed responsibility for the Friday morning bombing of a police checkpoint in Giza which killed one and injured six. Around 2 pm, the group posted on their official Facebook page that the attack was the first in a series of actions they would take against “the deep state.”[Mada Masr, Arab News, Now, Al Akhbar, BBC, Ahram]

Marginalized Groups

The Anti-Coup Alliance, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups demanding the return of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, called for more demonstrations on Friday. Marches on Friday took place in various neighbourhoods in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities across the country under the banner “the people complete their revolution”.Read More.. [Daily News Egypt]

Rights & Freedoms

The Egyptian filmmaker from El Arish, the American translator and the British journalist were in a block of flats full of diplomats, but after a few hours Hodge and Meneai were taken away, later accused of “spreading false news” to foreign countries and “threatening the stability of the state.” Similar charges have been leveled against professional journalists. According to lawyers, investigators are concerned by the fact Meneai had footage of the 2011 revolution and last summer’s Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins on his laptop and camera. Read More.. [Al-Monitor]

Economy

In an interview with USA TODAY, Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal says the nation’s interim leaders are trying to pull the economy out of its slump and smooth challenges ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections expected to be held this year. “From the economic front, we are trying to ease the problems, do some policy adjustments and pave the way for more sustainable development down the road,” Galal said. “We are trying to make it easier for the new government in dealing with the economy.” [USA Today]

Foreign Relations

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “very concerned” about “increasing restrictions placed upon journalists and the media in Egypt.” In a press release issued on Thursday, Hague highlighted the indictment of a group of Al-Jazeera journalists, two of whom are British. Read More..[Daily News Egypt, UK GOV]

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Legal & Political Institutions

Strong Egypt Party intends to contest Sisi as president, potentially announce its own presidential candidate

Ahram: EXCLUSIVE: Abul-Fotouh: ‘I won’t engage in political cosmetics’

Summary: In an exclusive interview with Ahram Online, the Strong Egypt Party head proposes a presidential team under the leadership of a ‘trusted and neutral’ figure to avert otherwise inevitable political turmoil. Today, Abul-Fotouh is set to decline a proposal tabled by his supporters, who are not at all confined to the membership of the Islamist-oriented Strong Egypt Party, for him to contest El-Sisi, who increasingly seems set to ascend to the top executive job with the announced support of the military institution along with old and new liberal parties. “I am not set to take part of any political cosmetics here. The decision would be announced through the secretariat of the party. But this is where I stand,” Abul-Fotouh told Ahram Online.

Marginalized Groups

Doctor’s Syndicate to discuss whether to continue strike

Ahram: Doctors Syndicate emergency meeting postponed, no decision yet on strike 

Summary: An emergency meeting called by the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate regarding an ongoing doctors strike in the country was postponed on Friday after not enough members showed up. Only 300 members showed up for the meeting. Syndicate rules require that 1000 members be present for a general assembly meeting. The syndicate’s secretary-general Mona Mina said that the meeting was intended to discuss whether the doctors’ partial strike should be continued or temporarily halted, but no decision could made without the minimum number of required participants. State doctors have been striking two working days every week to demand higher wages and better working conditions. The partial strikes will continue until the next syndicate meeting, now scheduled for 21 February.

Rights & Freedoms

Egyptian in the top worst places to be a journalist–many arrested on terrorism charges, detained with no hope of fair trial

Washington Post: In Egypt, a muzzled media as the military vilifies journalists

The Guardian: Al-Jazeera reporter – journalism is not terrorism and I’m not a terrorist

Summary: Last year, Egypt was among the top 10 jailers of journalists and was the third-deadliest country for the media, the committee reported. Currently, 10 journalists are behind bars. Five have been killed since July, with the government or military suspected of involvement in at least four of the deaths. These attacks are part of a coordinated strategy by the military-led government to bring back Mubarak-era repression, using the legal system to stifle critical voices.

Artists of the Revolution: Ramy Essam, Hajar Salah, Bassem Youssef–alternative art

Al Monitor: Egyptians resist through art

Summary: During the January 25 Revolution, several talents in the various fields of art emerged. These art forms served as a means to stimulate demonstrators throughout the 18 days of protests in Tahrir Square, transforming the harsh cold weather of January and February into warmth, as the enthusiasm for songs, drawings and caricatures was ignited. Those who created this art called it “alternative art.”

Foreign Relations

In an attempt to quell media attention surrounding arrests of journalists, FM Fahmy asserted that Egypt welcomes foreign press

Daily News Egypt:Egypt welcomes foreign press: Fahmy

Summary: Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy told Dutch media that Egypt is open to foreign journalists as long as they work within Egyptian law.

Speaking in a press conference with his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans on Thursday in the Netherlands, Fahmy said, “We welcome foreign press, we provide them with assurances of press freedoms and guarantees for their safety, given that they should pursue their efforts [with]in the law.”

European Parliament plenary address focused on finding a solution to end violence in Egypt and increase rights & freedoms for all

Euro Parliament: Egypt: end violence and engage with reconciliation, say MEPs

Summary: MEPs urged all the political actors and security forces in Egypt to show the utmost restraint and avoid provocation and further violence, in a vote on Thursday. The interim authorities and security forces must ensure the security of all citizens and commit to dialogue and non-violence, and to respecting their obligations, they said.

They called for an immediate end to all act of violence, harassment or intimidation against political opponents, journalists, trade unions and civil society representatives. The interim government must guarantee that these actors, both domestic and international, can operate freely in the country, said Parliament.