Egypt Media Roundup – Jul 17, 2014

07/18/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s prosecutor general referred 163 defendants related to the incident of Sidi Bishr massacre, that claimed 29 lives to the city of Alexandria’s Criminal Court. The defendants face several charges including “terrorism,” “murder,” and “attempting to topple the regime.” [Egypt Independent]

Gender & Sexuality

Survivors of sexual assault who went to Tahrir Square to support Al Sisi’s presidency are disenchanted with the government response to their ordeals. One survivor, a mother of three, stated, “I want him [Al Sisi] to bring us our rights.” Another survivor questioned the victim-blaming she has encountered as a result of her assault, an experience nearly identical to that of other survivors. She argued that “if it could happen to a woman wearing a niqab, what does this have to do with our clothing?” According to many sexual assault survivors, the government response to their attacks has been minimal.  [Mada Masr

Rights & Freedoms

The European Parliament passed on thursday a resolution urging the EU to take action against Egypt’s “various infringements on rights of the press and expression.” The resolution targets exports of “intrusion and surveillance technologies” as well as “security equipment and military aid to Egypt”. The EU parliament additionally expressed concern over cases violating human rights and freedom of the press in Egypt and the Egyptian judiciary’s role in “political persecution and repression.”  [Daily News EgyptRead More…

Security Sector

An attack on a security post in Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai, injured two soldiers. Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the post Thursday; it is unclear whether the assailants escaped or were apprehended. [Ahram Online]

Economy

British Petroleum (BP) oil and gas company announced an investment of $10billion into a natural gas project in Egypt. The project, which could meet 25% of Egypt’s domestic demand, was agreed upon in 2010 with Egypt’s petroleum ministry but was delayed due to “political instability and security concerns.”   [Mada Masr]

Foreign Relations

Hamas spokesman denies knowledge of the cease-fire truce agreement proposed by Egypt and announced by Israel as set to go into effect Friday 6AM Gaza local time.  Speaking on the cease-fire negotiations to AP, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri “expressed frustrations” with the “Palestinian factions” delay to accept a truce in the negotiation process. He added that Egypt’s desire is to “protect the palestinian people in Gaza,” is not a shared one by Palestinian factions. [Ahram Online, AP, Reuters

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Egypt approves prisoners pardon and  release 

Ahram Online: Egypt to pardon prisoners on anniversary of the 1952 revolution

In this article: In commemoration of Egypt’s 62nd anniversary of the 1952 revolution the government has approved the pardon and release of an unspecified number of prisoners on July 23rd.

Rights & Freedoms

 A detainee’s death in Alexandria is the fifth fatality in three days 

Mada Masr: Prisoner in Alexandria: From detention to death

In this article: Mahmoud Mohamed Saad Eddin, a prisoner in Alexandria sentenced to 15 years in the “events of Sidi Gaber” case alongside 63 defendants has died at the university hospital in Alexandria. Saad Eddin’s death is the fifth in three days according to the Freedom of the Brave campaign, a group that supports political prisoner detainees. Medical reports reveal that Saad Eddin’s health has deteriorated due to a diagnosis Hepatitis C infection which led to his death.  Commenting on the case, EIPR lawyer Reda Marei told Mada Masr that “84 deaths in detention have been documented since June 30, 2013” many of which he added “occurred as a result of deteriorating hygiene and living conditions and lack of health services, in addition to torture and the use of disproportionate power.”

 Egypt’s young detainees 

Mada Masr: I’m 18, in prison, pending investigation

In this article: Rasha Abdulla writes about one of the younger detainees in Egypt’s prisons.    Mahmoud Mohamed, 18 years old and detained under the Protest Law on the third anniversary of the revolution, and experiencing torture while in custody according to his brother. Abdulla details Mahmoud’s attempt to report  the inhumane treatment by Egyptian authorities to the judge, only to be returned to the Appeals prison without any ruling to prevent further abuse. Abdulla highlights that detainees young as Mahmoud arrested under the controversial protest law, and kept detained through “provisional detention” should not be in prison, rather in schools.

Foreign Relations

 Formation of an Egypt Caucus 

Al-Monitor: Egypt Caucus gets off to rough start

Rohrabacher: Rohrabacher, Sanchez to Co-Chair House Egypt Caucus

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA 48 District) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46 District) announced wednesday the formation of a bipartisan Congressional Egypt Caucus aimed to “further relations between the United States and Egypt’s newly elected government of President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi.” Both representatives spoke on the importance of the Caucus on Egypt, Rohrabacher stating that,“Egypt has been a staunch U.S. ally in the battle against terrorist tyranny,” and Sanchez citing the “need for more discussion and information about Egypt.” The caucus launch was however met with protest by anti-war protesters from the group Code Pink, who oppose US aid to Egypt on the grounds that it is supporting and perpetuating a military coup.