Egypt Media Roundup – Jul 28, 2014

07/28/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Rights

Following clashes in the village of Abu Zaabal in  the Qalyubia governorate, there have been reports of three deaths among protesters and four wounded policemen. The Health Directorate claimed that they were not notified of deaths during clashes.  [Ahram] Read More…

Rights & Freedoms

Alexandria’s General prosecution has ordered the release of 16 detainees, including university professors Sherif Farag and Mahmoud Abdel Wahed who were arrested in November 2013, and held since then without trial. The professors and 10 others were arrested on charges of violating the protest law, unlawful violence, attempted murder, belonging to the illegal Muslim Brotherhood, and vandalism, in connection with the violence that occurred at Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda Square last August.  [MadaMasrRead More…

Economy

The World Bank has approved a $500million loan which will fund the “Egypt Household Natural Gas Connection Project” will save Egypt $301.5 million annually by connecting 1.5million households to the natural gas grid. A statement released by the World Bank said, “switching households from highly-subsidised, mostly imported LPG, to locally-produced natural gas, will help lower the government’s bill, with each household representing a saving of US$201 a year.” [AhramOnlineRead More…

Security Sector

Egyptian armed forces have reportedly killed 14 Islamist militants and arrested 47 others during raids in the northern Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah. Troops also destroyed 18 shacks and buildings “used as bases for terrorist attacks” during the raids. [AhramOnline] Read More…

Foreign Relations

The Sudan Tribune reports that Sudan and Egypt have agreed to “promote military coordination in order to protect the countries’ joint borders against smuggling rings, as well as economic and security threats.” The talks between the two countries seek to secure the borders against threats including smuggling and human trafficking. [All Africa] Read More…

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 President Sisi orders release of 354 prisoners on Eid al-Fitr 

AhramOnline: Egypt pardons 354 prisoners to mark Eid Al-Fitr

In this article: Ahram Online reported that in accordance with “the government’s frequent pardoning of prisoners during national holidays,” the prison department released 354 prisoners for Eid Al-Fitr. The prisoners were released on the order of President Al Sisi, who chose to pardon them to “mark Eid Al-Fitr and the anniversary of the 1952 revolution.”

 Eid al-Fitr prayer sermons, set by Ministry of Religious Endowments, reflect “political tension” 

AllAfrica: Egypt: Eid Prayer Sermons Echo Egypt Politics

In this article: According to Aswat Masriya, prayer sermons performed on Eid Al-Fitr “reflected the political tension” in Egypt. 3,000 spaces for prayer have been set by the Ministry of Religious Endowments, which stated that all sermons held in those designated areas must be “under its full supervision.” The government also issued a statement warning against using the areas for political campaigning.

Rights & Freedoms

 Post-Eid prayers, clashes erupt between Morsi supporters and Police in Alexandria and Qalyubia 

Mada Masr:Clashes erupt between Morsi supporters and police following Eid prayers

In this article: Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with security forces after Eid prayers both in Alexandria and the Abu Zaabal area of Qalyubia. According to Alexandria Security Directorate Head Amin Ezz, six protesters were arrested for alleged possession of weapons and anti-military flyers and four police officers were injured in the clashes. The National Alliance Supporting Legitimacy has accused the government of killing protesters during the clashes and cancelling Eid prayers in certain parts of the city prior to clashes with protesters.

 Pro-Morsi group calls for mass protests on anniversary of Rabaa and Nahda dispersals 

Cairo Post:NASL calls for protest on anniversary of Rabaa, Nahda dispersals

In this article: The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy declared its support of an organized protest to be held on August 14, the anniversary of the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins by security forces where hundreds of people were arrested and killed. The call was mainly aimed at “youth and students” after the dispersal of protesters on Monday Morning after Eid prayers where “several governorates witnessed marches affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

 Charitable organizations in Egypt feel the effects of the economic crisis–unable to recover after the revolution 

Ahram:Charities struggle during Egypt’s economic crisis

In this article: Since the inception of the January 25, 2011 revolution, Egypt has seen a drastic decline in donations and volunteering activity in charity organizations. In addition, scores of local and international NGO’s have been shut down on account of their politics or accusations from the state that proper permits which allow donations from certain foreign sources were not obtained. Funding from international sources has been at an even greater decline than domestic sources, and although charities often experience an increase in donations during the month of Ramadan and other Holy days, many organizations have felt an exceptional difference in the level of contributions since prior to the revolution. Amal Fikry, chairwoman of Al-Nour Wal Amal party notes: “The organisation is really struggling since the revolution. Most donors either left Egypt, are in jail, or simply cannot afford to help.” 

 Dozens of detained students released on Eid–Eid pardons do not include protest-related detainees 

Daily News Egypt: Prosecutor general orders release of 45 students for Eid

Mada Masr:Sisi’s Eid pardons exclude protest-related crimes

In this article: 45 students were released for Eid Al-Fitr on the order of the prosecutor general. According to a statement released by the prosecutor general’s office, they were released to safeguard their educational and academic future. 53 others were also released, specifically those “with health and humanitarian issues, bearing in mind their health and social circumstances.” The statement also discussed the prosecutor general’s intention to consider the cases of “all those preventively detained in cases of rallying.”

 Dominic Kane, tried in absentia in Al Jazeera trial, speaks of his “burning sense of injustice” 

Press Gazette:Convicted in absentia, sentenced to ten years in Egypt prison: British Al Jazeera journalist tells of ‘burning sense of injustice’

In this article: Press Gazette reports the struggles faced by British Al Jazeera journalist Dominic Kane, who was one of several journalists convicted and sentenced to ten years in absentia. The injustice of their conviction by Egyptian court has deeply affected not only the Al Jazeera journalists currently imprisoned, but also those who were convicted in absentia. Kane and his colleagues cannot safely travel to approximately 75 Middle Eastern, Gulf and African countries, for fear they will be detained and sent to Cairo. Because Kane has been charged with terrorism in Egypt, he will find it difficult to enter countries like the United States which have visa entries and significant entry restrictions related to terrorism charges. In addition to limiting the mobility of these journalists and their capability to do their jobs, the charges of terrorism will remain on their records unless they are acquitted or pardoned by President Al Sisi.

 Al Jazeera journalists have been denied Eid al-Fitr presidential pardons 

Globe & Mail:Jailed journalist Mohamed Fahmy denied presidential pardon in Egypt

In this article: Mohamed Fahmy and the other jailed journalists from Al Jazeera English were not included on the list of presidential pardons for Eid Al-Fitr, devastating their family and friends. The imprisoned journalists will remain in detention, although their supporters will continue to lobby for their release. Fahmy’s family were “warned by lawyers that a pardon was a long shot,” particularly following Al Sisi’s statement that he would not intervene with the judicial ruling.

Security Sector

 Egypt’s Foreign Minister condemns the death of 23 Egyptian workers in Libya 

Daily News Egypt:Egypt mourns the death of 23 nationals in Libya shelling

In this article: The Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs condemned the deaths of 23 Egyptian workers in Libya, who were killed during the shelling of a Tripoli home by Libyan militants. The shelling was a result of fighting between the rival groups of Libyan militants, a conflict which has killed approximately 97 people in Tripoli.  The Egypt foreign ministry called for the Libyan government to “investigate the “atrocious” incident and notify it with the identities of those responsible.” Egyptian nationals have been advised to evacuate from Tripoli or from Libya altogether for their own safety.

 Shell fired by militants killed four children and injured five other individuals in north Sinai 

Ahram: Four children killed in shell attack in Sinai

Al Arabiya:Rocket kills four children in Egypt near Gaza border

In this article: A shell hit a home in north Sinai, killing four children and injuring five other people. According to a security source, the shell was fired by militants who were reportedly “targeting the Egyptian military.” The deaths are a direct result of “escalating attacks against security forces” by militants.

 13 more tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula were destroyed by the Egyptian military 

AFP:Egypt army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels

CairoPost:Egypt destroyed 13 Gaza smuggling tunnels: Military spokesperson

In this article: 13 tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula were destroyed by the Egyptian army, bringing the number of tunnels destroyed to a total of 1,639. The security operation being undertaken to “counter a rising insurgency” following Morsi’s removal “involves the destruction of these tunnels.” The destruction of these tunnels is reflective of Hamas’ deteriorating ties with Cairo, which is accused of “being involved in militant attacks inside Egypt.”

Foreign Relations

 Egyptian Army sent more aid supplies to Gaza through the Rafah border crossing 

AhramOnline: Egypt army dispatches more aid to Gaza

In this article: The Egyptian Army has declared that it will “continue to pump food and humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip” where over 1,000 people have been killed in the span of a twenty-day ongoing offensive by the Israeli military. Although Egypt maintains closed borders with Gaza, President and Commander-in-chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ordered “fifteen army trucks” with “50,000 boxes of food and supplies” through the Rafah border crossing on Sunday into Gaza. Few Palestinians have been granted access into Egypt from Gaza during this time.