Egypt Media Roundup – Jul 9, 2014

07/09/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

The Egyptian government has formed a fact-finding commission to investigate the violence that took place since the 2013 ouster of former-president Muhammad Morsi resulting in hundreds of deaths, injuries, and arrests. The commission allegedly invited Amnesty International to meet to “share information and evidence of rights abuses taking place between 30 June 2013 and 30 June 2014.” The commission claims that Amnesty neglected to respond to the request, while Amnesty denies that any offer was made by the commission at all. [Daily News Egypt, AhramRead More…

Rights & Freedoms

Activist Ahmed Douma, who is currently serving a prison sentence for violating the protest law, returned to court alongside 268 other defedants to face trial on charges related to the clashes that took place in front of the Cabinet building in December 2011. The defendants face charges of vandalism, assaulting police and military, illegal protesting, resisting arrest, blocking traffic, weapons possession, and attempting to break into the Interior Ministry building. The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the trial to August 4 in order to hear the remaining testimonies. [Ahram, Mada MasrRead More…

Economy

After the release of the 2014/15 fiscal year budget, Mada Masr analyzed the differences and similarities between this year and the past year’s budgets, finding that, spending did not significantly decrease. “There is little variation in the proportion of funds dedicated to each major category [subsidies & social benefits 30%, wages & employee compensations 26%, interest 25%, investment 9%, goods & services 4%, other 6%] of expenditure”–compared with last year’s: subsidies & social benefits 31%, wages & employee compensation 25%, interest 24%, investment 11%, goods and services 4%, and other 5%. [Mada MasrRead More…

Security Sector

Due to continued violence and Israeli airstrikes on the border of Gaza, the Egyptian authorities declared a state of emergency along the border. Several airstrikes over the past few days have resulted in multiple deaths in the continued conflict with Israeli forces and Palestinian militants–affecting several civilians on both sides of the conflict. According to Mada Masr, the Egyptian armed forces spokesman has claimed that the decision to keep the border between Egypt and Gaza closed is a political, not a military move–adding that the area has been fully secured by Egyptian military forces. [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr] Read More…

Foreign Relations

The African Union’s African Court on Human and People’s Rights has announced that it is unable to pursue review of the lawsuits of violations against human rights in Egypt because it lacks jurisdiction in this area. In June, a group of Egyptians filed complaints to the court to investigate President Sisi, Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyed, Pope Tawadros II, MOI Mohamed Ibrahim, former-president Adly Mansour, and former public prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud for committing crimes against humanity, torture, and other violations of the UN Charter on international peace and security. [Egypt Independent]

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Morsi’s espionage trial to resume in a closed court at Police Academy 

Mada Masr: Morsi espionage trial resumes

In this article: The Cairo Criminal Court will resume the trial of former president Muhammad Morsi alongside 35 other Muslim Brotherhood members who are undergoing trial on charges of spying on Egypt with foreign entities abroad. “The case is being held in a closed session at the Police Academy” in a closed court. The prosecution has accused the defendants of “revealing national security secrets, and coordinating with jihadi groups in Egypt to prepare for terrorist operations in the country.” 20 of the defendants are jailed on a “precautionary” basis, including Morsi and other senior Brotherhood members–the other 16 are fugitives.

 50 Muslim Brotherhood supporters receive 5 year prison terms for illegal protesting, rioting 

Ahram: 50 Morsi loyalists sentenced to 5 years for illegal assembly, rioting

Aswat Masriya:Court sentences 50 Brotherhood supporters to five years in jail

Daily News Egypt: 50 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to 5 years imprisonment

In this article: An Alexandria misdemeanor court has sentenced 50 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to five years in prison for illegal assembly and inciting riots in Hannoville in Alexandria in May 2014. According to the defense, “the verdict was issued without a pleading hearing even though ten defense lawyers were present in court.”

 Brotherhood-affiliated supermarkets partially re-open 

Ahram: “Brotherhood” supermarkets partially re-opened after government seizure

In this article: Egyptian authorities who are currently appraising the frozen Muslim Brotherhood assets have announced the reopening of 60% of Zad supermarkets, and that the government “trusteeship” of the Seoudi’s Zamalek and Mohandiseen branches has ended as well. The government had “seized the funds of 737 Brotherhood leaders in addition to placing the management of 1,050 NGOs and some 81 schools believed to be affiliated with the group into a government trusteeship.” The reopening of the supermarkets comes after huge losses of over 20million EGP during the closure.

Rights & Freedoms

 EIPR: NGO law in violation of Constitution, makes same mistakes as Morsi-era NGO law 

EIPR: Proposed Government Law Makes NGOs Subordinate to Security and Ministry Control

In this article: The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has expressed concern over the new law placing NGOs under government subordination. According to EIPR, the new law “seeks to place civil society under close surveillance and control its activities, in utter disregard for Article 75 of the 2014 Constitution, which states that civic associations should be able to operate ‘freely’.” EIPR also states that the law makes several of the same mistakes that the same laws under former-president Morsi did, such as giving the government “broad authority to regulate the activities of civil associations by controlling their funding” and the ability to reject international organizations operation in Egypt.

 ECSR Report on protests in 2013: Muslim Brotherhood protests contributed to decline of social, economic, and labour protests post-Morsi presidency 

Daily News Egypt:5232 social, economic and labour protests held in 2013: ECESR

In this article: According to a report prepared by the Egyptian center for Economic and Social Rights, Egypt witnessed 5,232 “socio-economic” protests in 2013, of which 82% of them were held before the ouster of former-president Morsi. The report conveys that “The Muslim Brotherhood protests held since July against Morsi’s ouster could have contributed to the decline in social, economic, and labour protests in the second half of the year.” The report also states that the socio-economic protests and the reasons behind them did not receive due attention from Egyptian officials.

Economy

 After hiking fuel prices, Egypt government does damage control to contain anger toward increased prices 

CS Monitor: Higher fuel prices test Sisi’s patriotic pitch to struggling Egyptians

Daily News Egypt: Government moves to contain anger toward price increases and control markets

In this article: After the increase in fuel and food prices alongside ratification of the new budget, Egypt experienced backlash from taxi and microbus drivers as well as many others affected by the increase. Following the announcement, several protests took place all over Cairo and the rest of the country in light of the new transportation tariffs. As a result, the Prime Minister has tasked the government with “intensifying traffic and security campaigns to control traffic violations and prevent passenger exploitation,” referring to the increase in taxi and bus fares that resulted from the fuel hikes. “We aim to control random parking and are studying the presence of alternative locations for parking,” Mehleb said.

 President Sisi’s ‘Long Live Egypt’ Fund has generated over 400million EGP in donations 

Daily News Egypt: ‘Long Live Egypt Fund’ receives over EGP 400m in donations

In this article: The ‘Long Live Egypt’ fund, which was created by President Sisi to solicit external donations to help Egypt’s economy, has exceeded 400million EGP after two weeks of operation. The Central Bank of Egypt, who is regulating the fund, noted that the latest donation came from a Saudi Businessman who contributed 214million EGP to the fund. President Sisi also donated half of his monthly salary to the fund.

 Ministerial Economic Committee to put 1.4billion EGP in public transport 

Daily News Egypt:Government to bolster transport system with EGP 1.4bn

In this article: The Ministerial Economic Committee has committed to putting 1.4billion EGP into the public transport system, including 1,200 more buses, to help ease transportation shortages after the announcement of the increase in fuel prices earlier this week. The committee’s statement explained that the money will “develop the public transportation system within the governorates and doubling its fleet, including nearly 1,200 buses.”

Security Sector

 11 Muslim Brotherhood members arrested on suspicion of forming terror cell in Beheira 

Mada Masr: 11 Brothers arrested for alleged terrorist operations

In this article: Egyptian authorities have arrested 11 members of the Muslim Brotherhood on suspicion of forming a terrorist cell in the governorate of Beheira. The accused were found with radio network equipment which they were allegedly using to broadcast to anti-Egyptian channels, and gunpowder, nails and wires which were allegedly to be used to create improvised explosive devices, according to the head of Beheira’s security. The accused were arrested from their homes in the city of Damanhour.

 Ansar Beit al-Maqdis distributes flyers in North Sinai calling for support 

Egypt Independent:Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis distributes anti-military flyers in North Sinai

In this article: According to Al Masry Al Youm, the terrorist organization Ansar beit al-Maqdis was distributing flyers throughout North Sinai calling for support of their organization from villagers under the pretense of “establishment of religion.” The flyers read, “if you were not with us, do not be against us.” The flyers also called for allegiance to the Quran and removing borders between Islamic countries.

 Bomb defused in Monufiya–no suspects apprehended as of yet 

Egypt Independent:Bomb defused in Monufiya

In this article: A bomb was defused in the Monufiya governorate near the Dabarky village, Menouf. Police were informed of the bomb when residents found a suspicious package near an electricity tower. “Authorities said the bomb included two iron pipes, screws and gunpowder. A timer was also connected to the package.”