Egypt Media Roundup – Jul 8, 2014

07/08/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Several political parties in Egypt have reiterated their calls for President Sisi to amend the new parliamentary election laws to allow for a greater number of party list and bloc seats. According to Reuters, “the Wafd Party, Al-Masryeen Al-Ahrrar, Al-Dostour, The Popular Current, Al-Karama, The Social Democratic Party and Masr al-Karama said in a statement on Tuesday that designating only 120 seats to blocs is an obstacle to the democratic transition.” [Aswat MasriyaRead More…

Gender & Sexuality 

The National Council for Women yesterday announced the launch of a national strategy to combat violence against women in collaboration with several government ministries. The new strategy is “tripartite” consisting of “prevention, protection, and intervention” in violence against women. The NCW signed the protocol for this new strategy with the ministries of interior, social solidarity, youth, education, manpower and immigration, justice, endowments and health. [Daily News Egypt, Ahram] Read More…

Rights & Freedoms

President Sisi met with the head of the National Council for Human Rights, Mohamed fayek, to discuss how to improve the state of personal and political freedom in Egypt as well as the situation in Egypt’s prisons. Sisi noted that his priority was balancing national security with providing “the rights and freedoms that have long been sought by the Egyptian citizen before the revolutions of 25 January and 30 June.” Fayek brought up his concerns with the conditions of prisons and the NCHR’s inability to gain regular access to visit prisoners–to which Sisi assured that the NCHR would have “unfettered access to prisons.” [Daily News EgyptRead More…

Economy

The Egyptian military has offered use of its buses to transport civilians and to sell discounted food after the recent decision to raise food and fuel prices. The military spokesman noted that the military will provide “ample quantities” of food to help “alleviate the economic burden of the great Egyptian people.” [Daily Star Lebanon]

Security Sector

Egyptian police forces arrested four men who are suspected to have been involved in the 3 July 2014 bomb blasts at the Alexandria train station. The Ministry of Interior claims that the suspected are Muslim Brotherhood members. [Daily News Egypt]

Foreign Relations

The Egyptian government has denounced the recent Israeli raids in the Gaza Strip targeting Palestinians. Egypt “totally rejects and condemns all kinds of violence that results in the killing of civilians from the two sides.” Egypt also calls for an end to violence and ending the “collective punishment policy.” [Egypt SISRead More…

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Muslim Brotherhood spox son arrested for carrying images and videos of Brotherhood marches 

Aswat Masriya:Son of Brotherhood spokesman arrested

In this article: Egyptian authorities have arrested the son of Muslim Brotherhood spokesman mahmoud Ghozlan for carrying a telephone that held images and videos of Muslim Brotherhood marches. Yehia Ghozlan was transferred to prison after his trial to be formally charged, while his father, is currently wanted by the Egyptian authorities for incitement of violence during the protests of the summer of 2013.

Gender & Sexuality

 State-led Sexual Violence against women activists: tools of intimidation, repression, and shaming to silence opponents of the state 

Mada Masr:Sexual assault and the state: A history of violence

In this article: Mada Masr’s Sarah Carr chronicles the frequent and systematic use of sexual violence that state authorities use to target and intimidate women political activists. Carr refers to the past ten years of abuse, starting with Black Wednesday in 2005 in which state actors executed a public and organized assault on women protesters and then subjected them to the blame and shame that has unfortunately become the scapegoat of sexual violence in Egypt, rather than the perpetrator. Most striking of the article, is the testimony of  a prominent, unnamed political activist who has been subject to years of verbal and physical abuse by state security, including stalking, surveillance, blackmail, and rape. Carr says, “Society’s ignoring or belittling of the problem, its socially conservative attitude towards women and sex and a general atmosphere of repression all combine to allow security forces to commit sexual assaults with impunity. What better way to silence opponents in this patriarchal society, where a sex scandal is a huge social stigma, and where victim-blaming is the norm?” 

 Cairo University adopts anti-sexual harassment policy on campus 

HarassMap: Press release – HarassMap: Cairo University adopts anti-sexual harassment policy

In this article: Cairo University has adopted an anti-sexual harassment policy led by the Cairo university English department in conjunction with Harassmap, Basma, Nazra for Feminist Studies, and the Women and Memory Forum. The policy states, “no forms of sexual harassment will be tolerated at the university and that all incidents will be appropriately escalated according to specific guidelines set out in the policy. The policy also provides a framework for enabling students and professors to safely report sexual harassment.” Earlier this year, a young female student was assaulted by a mob of male students for allegedly wearing provocative clothing on campus. The university head blamed the student for her appearance, a sentiment that was reflected in Egyptian media as well.

Rights & Freedoms

 Street artists in Egypt bring light to social and political problems amidst growing concern over state crackdown on socio-political expression 

World Policy Blog: Street Art Illuminates Egypt’s Lingering Problems

In this article: World Policy Institute looks into how graffiti art emerged as a political commentary tool after the 2011 revolution. One graffitist, Adham Bakry says, street art is “ “another front that we were fighting. It was one of the most important tools in empowering people, in telling people not to be afraid, voicing our demands, making areas that were just full of graffiti — the protests areas. It just spread like a virus.” Another prominent graffitist, the Mozza, focuses primarily on women’s issues, her reason: ““probably because I am a woman and in a sense being a man is a kind of default, equal to being human. Being woman is always a special case of being a human you keep being reminded of all the time. Even this question, if I [had] drawn or painted men nobody would ever ask me, why do I paint men?”

Foreign Relations

 Egyptian government to hold donor conference to attract investment in housing, tourism, transportation and energy 

Daily News Egypt: Government plans ‘donor countries’ conference before year’s end

In this article: The Ministry of Planning will hold a “donor conference” in the coming months for a range of global actors to attend in order to attract investment in housing, tourism, transportation, and energy to Egypt. The government hopes to achieve a 3.5% growth rate during the current fiscal year which may help provide opportunities for youth employment. Last month, “King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud called for an international conference to provide economic aid to Egypt, a move welcomed by the Egyptian government. Arrangements for the conference are being made in collaboration with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”