Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 23, 2014

06/23/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

President Sisi confirmed that parliamentary elections will be taking place in the coming weeks. In a meeting with US Secretary of State Kerry, Sisi noted that Egypt will begin procedures to prepare for the elections before July 18. [Aswat Masriya, ReutersRead More…

Gender & Sexuality

A Cairo court has sentenced Adel Latif Abdel Fattah to one year in prison under the new sexual harassment law, for taking pictures of a woman on the bus who was sleeping without her knowledge. Abdel Fattah was arrested on June 20, and was apprehended by other bus passengers, who took him to the nearest police station and testified against him. He was sentenced to a year in prison with hard labor, and fined 3,000 EGP. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, AhramRead More…

Marginalized Groups

After a controversial op-ed was published in Al Masry Al Youm where academic Abdullah Nassar called for the mass execution of street children in Egypt, a group of activists in Alexandria filed a legal complaint against Nassar, accusing him of inciting murder, and demanded that Nassar pay 1million EGP to be put in a fund for the protection of street children. [Ahram

Rights & Freedoms

In the widely publicized “Marriott Terror Cell” case against three Al Jazeera journalists, the Egyptian court found Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, and Baher Mohammed guilty of “spreading false news” and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. The three were sentenced to seven years in prison, and Mohammed received an additional three years for possessing a bullet. 11 other defendants, who were being tried in absentia, received ten year sentences, and four defendants also received seven year sentences, while two [including the son of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El Beltagy] were acquitted. [Ahram, Reuters, Daily News Egypt, Egypt Independent, Guardian]

The sentences of the journalists has caused an international outcry, from several media outlets, government officials, and human rights organizations, who have condemned the ruling. The Australian foreign minister said, ““This kind of verdict does nothing to support Egypt’s claim that it is moving towards democracy” while the Dutch government and British government have summoned their Egyptian envoys to discuss the matter. [Ahram] Read More…

Security Sector

Egyptian military forces in the Sinai Peninsula killed eight Islamist militants and arrested 26 others during raids of militant hideouts in the northern Sinai village of Sheikh Zuweid. The raid also destroyed 21 “shacks and buildings” that were being used as “bases for terrorist attacks”. [Ahram

Economy

Egypt’s Minister of Finance has announced, in a meeting with the European Union ambassador in Cairo, that 55% of Egypt’s public budget will be allocated to social projects such as health, education, scientific research, and developmental projects. “Employee pensions and other social programs, such as minimum wage, will increase under the new budget,” Demian said. Other reforms which were not amended in the new budget are waiting for the Cabinet’s approval. [Cairo PostRead More…

Foreign Relations 

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a visit to Cairo, urged the Egyptian government to “safeguard freedoms and assure due process of law” while also annoucing that some of Egypt’s military aid will be released back to Egypt. Kerry said, after the meeting, that he and Egypt’s president, “ discussed the essential role of a vibrant civil society, free press, rule of law and due process in a democracy.” [Ahram, Aswat MasriyaRead More…

 

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Egypt’s PM says new cabinet marks beginning of “an era of transparency” in Egypt’s history 

Mada Masr: Prime Minister says Egypt’s Cabinet is transparent

In this article: Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb has announced that Egypt’s new cabinet “marks the beginning of an era of transparency in the nation’s history.” He said, “Each minister has started working on a specific program and soon the average citizen will see the changes.”  He also noted that the cabinet will work on finding alternative spaces for street vendors to set up, and that the government will distribute energy saving lamps.

 Mass death sentence upheld in Minya–International rights organizations condemn verdict 

Amnesty: Egypt sentences a further 183 people to death in new purge of political opposition

Daily News Egypt: Minya verdict ‘heinous crime unprecedented in history’: MB

AP: Egypt court confirms death sentences for over 180

Aswat Masriya: Egypt public prosecutor challenges mass death sentence

Reuters: Egypt upholds death sentence on Brotherhood leader, nearly 200 supporters

In this article: A Minya court sentenced 183 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death. The accused were sentenced under charges stemming from an attack on a police station in Minya last August, which killed one police officer and one civilian. Amnesty International commented on the verdict, saying: “In recent months Egyptian courts appear to have handed out death sentences at the drop of a hat, including in two mass trials based on flimsy evidence and deeply flawed proceedings,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “The verdicts in this case provide the latest example of the Egyptian judiciary’s bid to crush dissent. The Egyptian authorities must quash these sentences and order a fair retrial for all the defendants without recourse to the death penalty.”

 283 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced 1year to life imprisonment for July 2013 violence in Dakahlia 

Aswat Masriya: 238 “Brotherhood supporters” sentenced from 1 yr up to life

In this article: 283 Muslim brotherhood supporters received sentences ranging from one year to life imprisonment in connection with violence, vandalism, and “assaulting public properties” last July in Dakahlia.

 55 Muslim Brotherhood supporters receive reduced sentences in Cairo 

Aswat Masriya:Sentences of 55 Brotherhood supporters reduced to 2 yrs

In this article: A Cairo court reduced the sentences for 55 Muslim Brotherhood supporters from three to two years in connection with clashes that took place in Ramsis last August. Originally, the court sentenced 77, including 22 fugitives, to three years with labor for “causing chaos, disturbing traffic, and resisting arrest.”

 27 Al Azhar students sentenced up to 7 years for University riots last October 

Aswat Masriya: Egypt court sentences 27 Azhar students to up to 7 years

In this article: A Cairo court sentenced 27 Al Azhar students to varying sentences–14 were given seven year prison sentences with labor, two received one suspended year each, 10 minors were given three year sentences, and the last was sentenced to five years–all in connection with Azhar university riots last October. The defendants were charged with violating the protest law, using force against civilians, and vandalizing the university.

 64 Jan 25 protesters acquitted by Cairo Appeals Court 

Ahram: Cairo court acquits 64 protesters on rioting charges

Daily News Egypt: 64 revolutionary anniversary detainees acquitted

In this article: A Cairo court acquitted 64 protesters, who had originally been sentenced to two years in prison for violating the protest law, and were acquitted on appeal. The defendants were arrested on January 25, 2014 in Cairo’s Al-Azbakeya district.

Gender & Sexuality

 Tahrir Mob Assault Trial to begin on June 25 

Ahram:Egypt to hold first trial of 12 Tahrir sexual harassers Wednesday

Daily News Egypt: Tahrir mass assault trial scheduled for Wednesday

Egypt Independent: Trial of 12 sexual harassers to start on 25 June

Aswat Masriya:Egypt to hold first trial of 12 Tahrir sexual harassers Wednesday

In this article: A Cairo court will hold the first trial of the 12 defendants accused of sexually assaulting women during the celebrations that took place in Tahrir Square following President Sisi’s inauguration. The 12 defendants are accused of kidnapping the victims, sexually assaulting and torturing them, and attempted murder and rape.

Rights & Freedoms

 Dozens arrested for violating protest law–ANHRI releases report with full list of detainees 

Aswat Masriya: Egypt detains 24 for protesting against protest law

ANHRI:Egypt: Security Forces Arrest Protesters & Journalists in an Anti-Protest Law March

Mada Masr: Interrogations begin for 24 detained protesters

Aswat Masriya:UPDATE | Police break up anti-protest law demonstration in Cairo

Ahram: Cairo demo against protest law dispersed by police

Open Democracy: Egypt’s police: a department of thugs

EgyptProtests Blog: Testimonies about the attack on the June 21st Anti Protest Law march in Cairo

In this article: During protests that took place in solidarity with detained political activists in Egypt, police forces arrested 23 people “for protesting on Saturday against the country’s protest law.” The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information released a list of the activists who are currently being interrogated by Heliopolis prosecution, and condemned the arrests of the activists.

The activists in detention are: 1) Sana’a Saif; 2) Mohamed Ibrahim; 3) Moatez Mohamed Mansour; 4) Salwa Aboud Ali; 5) Yara Refaat Mohamed; 6) Mohamed Al-Saeed Al-Sayyed; 7) Fekrya Mohamed Mohamed; 8) Amr Ahmed Mohamed; 9) Mohamed Ahmed Youssif; 10) Hanan Mustafa Yousif; 11) Nahed Sherif Abdel-Hamid; 12) Islam Tawfiq Mohamed; 13) Ahmed Samir Mahmoud; 14) Mohamed Anwar Mosad; 15) Mahmoud Hossam Hussein; 16) Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Saeed; 17) Islam Mohamed Abdel-Hamid; 18) Bassam Mohamed Ali; 19) Yasser Saeed Fadl; 20) Karam Mustafa Yasin; 21) Moamen Mohamed Radwan; 22) Saeed Ibrahim Mahmoud; and, 23) Mohamed Al-Sayyed Al-Arabi.

Economy

 World Bank, French Agency for Development, EU to invest over $600million in natural gas in Upper Egypt 

CairoPost: World Bank to fund $500M natural gas project in Upper Egypt

In this article: The World Bank plans to set up a $500million fund to encourage natural gas use in Aswan, Minya, and Assuit governorates. The French Agency for Development and the EU will contribute an additional $150-200 million to the project, which will begin in July. “The goal of the project is to provide temporary and sustainable job opportunities and promote sustainable development,” according to the World Bank’s deputy regional manager, Hisham Abu Daqah.

Foreign Relations

 UK Foreign Secretary condemns Al Jazeera journalists’ prison sentences, summons Egyptian ambassador 

Ahram:UK to summon Egypt envoy over ‘unacceptable’ journalist sentences: Foreign Secretary

Daily News Egypt: Britain summons Egyptian ambassador over Jazeera verdicts

Aswat Masriya: UK summons Egyptian ambassador over jailed Al Jazeera journalists

In this article: The UK’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has summoned the Egyptian envoy to discuss the recent verdicts of Al Jazeera journalists. Hague said, “I am appalled by the guilty verdicts handed down today against Egyptian and international journalists in Egypt,” and calls on the Egyptian government to reconsider the jail terms for the journalists, and review the case as “a matter of urgency.””I am particularly concerned by unacceptable procedural shortcomings during the trial process, including that key prosecution evidence was not made available to the defence team. Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of a stable and prosperous society,” Hague said in the statement.