Egypt Media Roundup – Jul 23, 2014

07/23/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

President Sisi today gave a speech marking the anniversary of the 23 July, 1952 revolution which deposed Egypt’s monarchy. In the speech, Sisi spoke of Egypt’s role in promoting diplomacy over violence in the Gaza strip, and Egypt’s repeated calls for a ceasefire to allow borders to reopen for medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the victims of the violence. However, Sisi said “he did not wish to discuss the details of the truce proposal…so as not to affect the negotiating process.” [Aswat Masriya, Al Masry Al Youm, Egyptian Streets, AhramRead More…

Rights & Freedoms

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has released a statement raising concerns with the government’s lack of action in guaranteeing the rights of the poor to adequate housing since the adoption of the new consitution. According to EIPR only 0.5% of the 11.2billion EGP allotted to investments and subsidies for housing projects in the new budget will likely help the poor. [EIPR, Daily News EgyptRead More…

Security Sector

The Egyptian armed forces have revealed the details surrounding the investigations into the murders of 22 Egyptian border guards last week. According to the military spokesman, the attack was conducted by 20 armed men in heavily armed vehicles. The military also claims they have identified the gunmen, but did not release any further information as to their identities. [Ahram, Mada Masr]

Economy

Egypt’s economic ministers have approved the increase in subsidies for private and state-owned spinning companies to purchase Egyptian cotton. The new rates will be 350 EGP per quintal, up from 200 EGP. The increase is meant to encourage domestic industries to purchase Egyptian cotton and support local agriculture. [AhramRead More…

Foreign Relations

US Secretary of State John Kerry, and his Egyptian counterpart Foreign Minister Shoukry held a press conference yesterday on the issue of ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Kerry noted, “The loss of lives and the humanitarian impact is really heartbreaking, and we’re joining our international partners in reiterating our call for an immediate end to fighting and a return to the cease-fire that was reached in 2012. But just reaching a cease-fire clearly is not enough. It is imperative that there be a serious engagement, discussion, negotiation regarding the underlying issues and addressing all of the concerns that have brought us to where we are today.” [State.govRead More…

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Democratic Current holds meeting to discuss upcoming parliamentary election platform 

Egypt Independent:Democratic Current meets to discuss election platform

In this article: The parties belonging to the Democratic Current held a meeting with former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy to discuss their platform in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Sabahy, head of the Popular Current, stressed that he intends to engage in alliances that support the goals of the Jan 25 revolution, and will not align with the Muslim Brotherhood or Mubarak supporters [referencing here, the National Democratic Party]. The alliance also discussed an economic platform that would benefit low-income families, and “Constitution Party spokesperson Khaled Dawoud explained that the government should cancel subsidies for energy-intensive factories, rationalize its spending, recover money siphoned abroad and impose progressive taxes rather than burdening the less fortunate.”

 Rabaa police torture trial adjourned to August 4 

Egypt Independent:Rabaa torture trial adjourned until 4 August

In this article: The trial of Muslim Brotherhood heads Mohamed Beltagy and Safwat Hegazy for allegedly kidnapping and torturing two policemen during a Muslim Brotherhood sit-in last August, has been adjourned to August 4. The trial today allowed the defendants family members to attend, and AMAY reported that many gathered around the cage, “flash[ing] the Rabaa al-Adaweya salute.” Beltagy allegedly said “in a loud voice” that “We are ready for the gallows and for the sentences, but we hope [Sisi] will solve the local and foreign problems.”

Rights & Freedoms

 Over 80 people have died in police custody over the past year–part of a culture of prisoner abuse and neglect 

CS Monitor:Egypt: Deaths in police custody, once a spark for revolt, now met by shrugs

In this article: More than 80 people have died in police custody over the last year, according to Wikithawra, and where, in 2011 after the murder of Khaled Said by two police officers this kind of treatment sparked mass uproar, CS Monitor argues that recent brutal practices by police go largely unnoticed. “Rights groups fear that many more people will die in custody. They point to a deep-rooted culture of prisoner abuse and neglect that was barely touched by the reforms enacted under Mubarak’s successors.”

 Presiding judge in Al Jazeera trial issues statement explaining that the journalists were encouraged by the devil to falsely report on Egypt 

The Guardian:Egyptian judge accuses al-Jazeera journalists of being in league with devil

In this article: The judge who presided over the case of the three Al Jazeera journalists’ case–ultimately sentencing them to 7-10 years in prison– released a lengthy explanation of his verdict. The judge noted that “the devil encouraged them to use journalism and direct it towards actions against this nation”. He also claimed that the evidence presented [which was deemed largely irrelevant to the charges by most observers]  “served the interests of one of the banned terrorist groups [the Muslim Brotherhood], by showing the country – contrary to the truth – in a situation of chaos and upheaval, [and] by portraying it as a lost country suffering from division and internal fighting”.