Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 17, 2014

06/17/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

The new government was sworn in today, and will retain many of the existing ministers, under the leadership of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. Mahlab was re-appointed by al-Sisi, despite his promise to resign upon the inauguration of a new president. [Al Jazeera, CTV, Ahram, The Republic] Read More…

Gender & Sexuality

YouTube has refused to remove the widely-circulated video which captured the sexual assault of a 42-year old woman in Tahrir Square during the celebrations following Al-Sisi’s inauguration. Despite pleas by the victim herself, which were directed to Al-Sisi when he visited her in her hospital bed last week, calls from Egyptian activists and Al-Sisi’s administration, YouTube has cited that its policy does not obligate the website to remove any videos in which the woman’s face is blurred. [Reuters, NY Daily News, Al ArabiyaRead More…

Marginalized Groups

A Coptic Christian teacher has been sentenced to six months in prison under charges of blasphemy, “overturning a previous sentence that only imposed a fine.” The teacher allegedly insulted Islam in front of her students, according to testimonies by three 10-year-olds who made complaints to their parents. [Al ArabiyaRead More..

Rights & Freedoms

Police confiscated the periodical published by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, stating it was  “part of a plan to overthrow the regime.” One thousand copies of the publication, which focuses on freedom of opinion and expression, were seized by police forces at the printshop. [Al Arabiya] Read More…

Security Sector

A police officer was killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, during an operation targeting five wanted Brotherhood members who were allegedly planning further attacks against the police. The wanted individuals were eventually arrested, two of them having sustained injuries from the clashes. [The Daily Star, The Tribune] Read More…

Economy

The Guardian reported that Egypt’s tourism sector has continued to decline in recent months, in the wake of almost daily terrorist activity in Sinai and frequent protesting in the cities. Concentrated efforts by Egyptian tourism officials to bolster Egypt’s tourism have entailed marketing campaigns directed at assuring tourists from major European countries that Egypt is safe again. These efforts have failed, and efforts have been redirected toward attracting tourists from other Arab countries, as well as smaller European countries such as Latvia. [The GuardianRead More…

Foreign Relations 

Egyptian security forces have been on high alert at the border with the Gaza Strip due to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas, according to Israeli officials and Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Security forces have been told to carefully check all those who pass through the Rafah border crossing, which was opened on Sunday in a very limited manner.” These kidnappings have inspired intensive Israeli military raids in Hebron resulting in the arrest of over 150 Hamas leaders “including the Hamas speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Aziz Duweik.” [Haaretz, The Washington Post] Read More…

 

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Salafist Nour Party chairman calls for repeal of protest law 

Ahram: Salafist leader demands repeal of protest law

In this article: Younes Makhion, the Salafist Nour Party chairman, has called for the repeal of the protest law, and for the release of “non-violent detainees.” He said that the removing the protest law will “have a huge impact on reducing the intensity of divisions among Egyptians,” said Makhion on Tuesday, adding that it would further encourage “national alignment behind the new leadership.”

 Al-Sisi issues decree forming the Supreme Committee for legislation reform 

Ahram: El-Sisi issues decree forming ‘legislation reform’ panel

In this article: Al-Sisi has formed a Supreme Committee for legislation reform, which will be tasked with “preparing, researching, and studying draft laws as well as decrees issued by the prime minister and president.” The committee will include representatives from the newly formed cabinet, Al-Azhar, the judiciary, and other legal experts.

Gender & Sexuality

 Basil El-Dabh calls for a restructuring of the discussions surrounding sexual assault 

Daily News Egypt: The first step to solving a problem [Op-ed]

In this article: El Dabh recounts the increasing rate of sexual assault and harassment Egypt has seen in recent months, and argues that the problem is less of a political one than it is a deeply-rooted societal one. While El Dabh is heartened by the government’s reaction to the most recent cases of sexual assault at al-Sisi’s inauguration, he explains that the cases of sexual assault must not be framed as freak accidents or crimes in isolation of the society in which they are perpetrated. “Treating each individual case in a vacuum under the ‘this is alien to Egyptian society’ rhetoric allows authorities to treat each as a single criminal case, but overlooks the patterns, deep driving forces, and prospect of future similar cases,” according to El Dabh.

 “We will sexually harass men” hashtag trending on twitter, creating controversy 

Telegraph: Egypt Twitter trend: hashtag ‘we will sexually harass men’

Al Jazeera: Egyptian women turn sexual harassment on men

In this article: A new twitter hashtag is trending in Egypt. Translated to English as “we will harass men” or “we will sexually harass men” was started by an Egyptian woman who wanted to start a new conversation on sexual harassment–but according to news reports, the hashtag has a satirical tone. The telegraph reports: “Some men have called the hashtag ‘immoral’ and ‘disgusting’. While one woman said; “you can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it”.”

 “Turning the tide on sexual violence requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach that tackles all forms of violence against women” 

HRW: How Egypt Can Turn the Tide on Sexual Assault

In this article: Rothna Begum of Human Rights Watch calls on the Egyptian government to take action on the reforms they promised. She claims that a comprehensive approach to violence against women is Egypt’s best option for combatting sexual harassment, starting with further legal reforms, a comprehensive national strategy, medical and psychological protocol for victims, and tailoring policy to mirror international standards such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which Egypt is signed onto. She writes, “President Sisi’s public statements since the inauguration day attacks are a positive first step.  However, turning the tide on sexual violence requires the implementation of a comprehensive and coordinated approach that tackles all forms of violence against women.”

Marginalized Groups

 Controversial Salafist leader Borhamy forbids viewing of World Cup 

Egypt Independent: Salafi leader Borhamy forbids Watching World Cup matches

Salafist leader Yasser Borhamy posted on an official website that Muslims are forbidden from watching the World Cup matches, due to the risk of prioritizing the daily matches over religious obligations. He also argued that the World Cup led to “admiring disbelievers.” Scholars from Al Azhar University refuted Borhamy’s claims, saying that football is a permissible form of entertainment in Islam.

Rights & Freedoms

 Appeal of protest law referred to Supreme Constitutional Court 

Ahram: Administrative court refers protest law appeal to constitutional court

Aswat Masriya: Egypt to decide legality of protest law in October

In this article: A Cairo administrative court has accepted the appeal of the protest law that was filed by lawyer Khaled Ali, and has referred the case to the Supreme Constitutional Court. Rights lawyer Khaled Ali filed a legal challenge against the protest law, saying it deprived citizens of their constitutional right to freedom of expression.

 Two Egyptian supermarket chains were closed on accusations of Muslim Brotherhood ties 

Reuters: Egyptian security forces seize Brotherhood leaders’ assets

Ahram: Two Egyptian supermarket chains closed for Brotherhood ties

In this article: Major retailers Seoudi and Zad were raided by security authorities on Sunday after a judicial committee was formed in 2013 to examine and confiscate assets of the Muslim Brotherhood. The owner of Zad market, which has 15 stores in Nasr City, is currently in jail. The owner of Seoudi was arrested in 2007 but later acquitted of charges of belonging to the Brotherhood.

 Al Jazeera journalist trial will reach final verdict June 23 

LA Times: Egypt announces verdict in Al Jazeera trial will come next week

Al Jazeera:Al Jazeera staff face Egypt verdict next week

In this article: After 12 court hearings, the Al Jazeera “Marriott Terror Cell” case will hear the final verdicts on June 23. In the latest court session, the three defendants’, Mohammed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohammed, lawyers gave their closing arguments. Fahmy addressed the court directly, stating that the prosecutor’s accusations of false reporting and harming national security were baseless, he said, “news channel do not bring down countries as some people claim.” If convicted, the three could face 3years to life in prison.

 Abdullah Elshamy and 13 other detainees, released due to medical conditions 

AJAM: Egypt to release hunger-striking Al Jazeera journalist Elshamy

In this article: Egypt’s prosecutor general has called for the released of Abdullah Elshamy after over 300 days in prison without charge and almost 150 days on hunger strike. The prosecutor claimed that Elshamy is being released due to health conditions, along with 13 others, but his charges will still be under consideration by the court.

Economy

 US firm Concilio Group considers Egypt as the site of its next solar energy project

Egypt Independent: US firm mulls solar energy investments in Egypt

In this article: Oliver Meissner, CEO of Concilio Group, says that Egypt exhibits high potential for successful renewable energy projects because of its climate, “which enables it to be among pioneers in the field.” Meissner’s proposed project would secure 300 megawatts of electricity per year for over 25 years in Egypt, and thereby attract other investments in the field.

Security Sector

 One Police officer killed, two suspects injured in Police ambush of “terrorist cell” 

Aswat Masriya: Police officer killed in Cairo in ambush on “terrorists”-MOI

In this article: Mostafa Mohsen, an Egyptian Police officer was killed today during a shootout in a police ambush on a “terrorist cell,” belonging to the outlawed group, the Muslim Brotherhood in South Cairo. This cell is believed to be link to “hostile acts against police in Cairo’s district of 15 May.” Two suspects were injured in the incident.

Foreign Relations

 An invitation for al-Sisi to the African Summit marks Egypt’s reincorporation into the African Union 

Ahram:President El-Sisi invited to extraordinary African summit

Daily News Egypt: Al-Sisi invited to African Union summit

In this article: After Egypt’s membership in the African Union was suspended as a result of the July 3 coup, the completion of al-Sisi’s transitional roadmap will allow Egypt to rejoin the union. Al-Sisi has received an invitation to the AU-organized African Summit from Burkina Faso’s leader Blaise Campaore. The conference will focus on unemployment and poverty eradication in Africa.