Legal & Political Institutions
The Salafist Nour Party has rejected the “widespread criticism” of the Party’s support for newly elected president Abdel Fattah al Sisi. They say, “we decided to support Sisi given his long experience in dealing with state institutions. We did not want yet another president who would clash with state agencies.” [Al Monitor]
Gender & Sexuality
President Abdel Fattah al Sisi visited one of the victims of the horrific mob sexual attacks during the Tahrir Square inauguration celebrations. Sisi visited the victim in the military hospital where she is being treated for her injuries, where he reportedly apologized to her and said “We’ll get you your rights.” Reactions to Sisi’s visit have been mixed–Egyptian media has largely been supportive of Sisi’s efforts to address sexual violence, but many women’s rights groups equate the visit to a bid to get positive press coverage of the president. [Sky News, Mada Masr, YouTube, Ahram, Egyptian Streets, Tahrir News Network] Read More…
Rights & Freedoms
Alaa Abdel Fattah, a prominent anti-Mubarak activist, was sentenced alongside 24 others to 15 years for violation of the protest law. The group was tried in absentia, while Alaa was deliberately kept from attending his own trial to challenge the verdict. Alaa’s father and lawyer noted, “I believe Alaa was arrested today to keep him in custody during the period of challenging the verdict,” he said, adding that the process of challenging the verdict and appealing it could take up to years. [HuffPost, Daily News Egypt, Ahram, Egyptian Streets, Reuters] Read More..
Forbes writes on Sisi’s long to-do list of economic reform, particularly focusing on Egypt’s fuel subsidy program, nothing that fuel subsidies take up about 75% of the government’s subsidy budget. However, “even if el-Sisi is able to introduce plans to address Egypt’s subsidies, domestic production and energy sector debt, he will still have to deal with the politically prickly issue of purchasing gas the Eastern Mediterranean’s newest energy actor, Israel.” [Forbes] Read More…
The Turkish president has congratulated Sisi on his presidency, as well as the US president, who noted, also, that he wanted to “convey his commitment to working together to advance the shared interests of both countries.” [Reuters, Andalou Agency] Read More...
Gender & Sexuality
TV presenter who “laughed off” sexual assaults in Tahrir Square suspended from Tahrir TV
Al Masry Al Youm: [AR] TV Anchor who “laughed off” mob assaults in Tahrir suspended
In this article: The television presenter who inappropriately made light of the mob sexual assaults that took place in Tahrir Square during Sisi’s inauguration celebrations was suspended from her television program. Maha Bahnassy, on live television, justified reported sexual assaults, saying “the people are happy, they are having fun”–a comment which provoked widespread outrage from women’s rights activists, social media, and the press. Bahnassy’s employer, Tahrir TV, apologized for the comments and iterated their commitment to defending women’s rights and raising awareness about sexual violence.
Women in Egypt fight social stigma to speak out about sexual violence
Atlantic Council:The Stigma of Sexual Harassment: Egypt’s Uphill Battle
In this article: Women’s rights advocates have created a popular campaign calling for the Egyptian government to take serious action against the plague of sexual violence in Egypt. Following the multiple sexual assaults that took place in Tahrir Square during Sisi’s inauguration celebrations, international and local media coverage highlighted the voices of women’s rights activists and victims of sexual violence. “Those who insulted me and called me a liar, did you come to understand what gang rape means?” Yasmine Al Baramawy, who was assaulted more than a year ago during a demonstration in Tahrir Square, wrote on Facebook. Other activists, like Baramawy, are fighting social stigmas to speak out about their experiences and motivate the government to take the crime seriously.
Rights & Freedoms
Egypt’s social media monitoring to be implemented soon–security personnel to receive training shortly
In this article: The controversial social media surveillance policy that was recently leaked to an Egyptian newspaper, will reportedly be implemented soon–Egyptian authorities will begin training security personnel to implement the policy. The Minister of Interior was quoted as saying, “The new system enables security apparatuses at the ministry to observe dangers [in social media]”–the system will be able to search for items that “indicate planning of illegal activities.” The MOI also noted that the monitoring instrument will track public opinion, but this will have “nothing to do with limiting freedoms.”
Abdullah Elshamy’s pre-trial detention extended 45 days. Elshamy reaches 140th day of hunger strike, and 10th month of detention without charge
Aswat Masriya: Court renews detention of Abdullah al-Shamy and others
Daily News Egypt: Detention renewed for hunger-striking journalist
In this article: The pre-trial detention of Al jazeera journalist, Abdullah Elshamy has been extended an additional 45 days. Elshamy, who was arrested in August 2013 for allegedly using force against police, vandalizing public property, engaging in terrorist acts and threatening national security, has been held without charge for 10 months, and has been on hunger strike for 140 days.
Mahienour Elmasry writes from prison: “The regime is the one who should ask for amnesty from the people”
Mada Masr: We shall continue
Daily News Egypt: Mahienour El-Massry refuses ‘any kind of amnesty’ from the government
In this article: Mahienour Elmasry, a prominent human rights activist and lawyer, was arrested in December 2013 for violating the protest law and sentenced to 2 years in prison. She writes from prison, ““The regime is the one who should ask for amnesty from the people…I refuse to leave my confinement until the Protest Law is abolished.” Elmasry has refused to accept amnesty from the government, and criticized Sisi for promising to take back “martyr’s rights” when so many innocent people live out their years behind bars.
Nassef Sawiris opens investment fund to target growth opportunities in Egypt
In this article: Nassef Sawiris has formed an investment firm that will seek to target growth opportunities in Egypt. Sawiris’ company, Nile Holding Investments, will contribute $75million to a $300million private equity fund that will target consumer-related industries. “I am confident that Egypt is positioned to achieve exceptional economic growth in the years to come, attracting direct investments in key sectors which continue to offer substantial investment opportunities,” said Sawiris.
Iran seeks to restore diplomatic ties with Egypt
In this article: An Iranian diplomat has expressed interest in restoring diplomatic relations with Egypt. “We consider a strong Egypt a strong Iran, and that Egypt’s security is Iran’s security,” he said, adding that “this [relationship] would increase security and stability in the whole region.”