Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 25, 2014

06/25/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

A group of political parties in Egypt have reiterated calls for amending the protest law that has led to the arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of activists and recently incited widespread criticism. A meeting between the parties [Constitution Party, Popular Social Alliance, Karama Party, Adl Party, Freedom Egypt Party, Popular Current movement] condemned police brutality against peaceful youth protesters and called for the immediate release of activists detained under protest law. [AhramRead More…

Gender & Sexuality

The first court hearing for twelve men who were arrested in connection with sexual assaults in Tahrir Square during the celebrations following President Sisi’s inauguration has been postponed to June 29. The defendants are charged with sexually assaulting, kidnapping, torturing, and attempting to rape and murder the female victims. The defendants face life sentences if convicted. [Aswat Masriya, Daily News EgyptRead More…

Rights & Freedoms

A Cairo court has ordered the 23 activists who were arrested for violating the protest law during a demonstration against the law, to a misdemeanor court. The defendants will go to trial on June 29. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram, Daily News EgyptRead More…

Security Sector

Bombs went off at Shubra al-Kheima, Ghamra, Ezbat al-Nakhl, and Hadayek al-Qubba metro stations in Cairo this afternoon–reports of six or more people were wounded in those explosions. Police report that two bombs exploded at Shubra. Reports emerged that one was a “sonic bomb” that reportedly caused no injuries–though the numbers of injuries continue to increase. The other bomb at Shubra went off from a backpack, which someone was wearing–the bomb injured its carrier–and police report that he is in custody and had pro-Brotherhood pictures on his phone. The consensus seems to be that three people, including the bomber, were wounded at Shubra. One injury was reported at each of the other stations; one report said four people were wounded at the three stations combined. Another two bombs went off outside Heliopolis Courthouse/Mahkama–initial reports claim were no injuries there and other reports claimed several injuries. Much of the details of the bystanders’ afflicted are unclear at this point. All bombs were described as “primitive” or “homemade”. Two devices, one outside Mahkama and one near Helmiyat al-Zeitoun metro station, were variously reported as having been defused or failed to go off. The Ministry of Interior was cited in several news reports claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the bombings, but they have yet to release any statements in an official capacity. [AP, Aswat Masriya, Shorouk, ABC, Reuters

Foreign Relations

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has instructed Egyptian embassies across the world to hold meetings with foreign officials to “present the statement issued by the Office of the Public Prosecutor concerning [the Al Jazeera journalists’ convictions to 7 years in prison]…[which] explains the intricacies of the case and orders of the Public Prosecutor’s office to refer the defendants to trial, as well as the charges leveled against both the Egyptian and foreign defendants.” Egypt’s attempt to justify the verdicts of the Al Jazeera journalists who were recently sentenced to 7-10 years in prison amidst widespread criticism of Egypt’s repression of free speech. [Egypt SIS]

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Sisi decrees presidential power to appoint university heads 

Egypt SIS: Sisi issues decree to amend provisions of university law

Ahram:Egypt’s El-Sisi reintroduces appointment of university heads and deans

In this article: President Sisi has issued a decree amending a law which regulates universities, thereby giving himself power to appoint heads of universities for four-year terms. “Article no. 43 stipulates that the faculty dean is appointed by the president, and might be sacked by him before the end of term if he or she failed to fulfill duties.”

 Interior Ministry allegedly pressures ban on television series that criticizes police corruption 

Egypt Independent:Interior Ministry pressures ban of series criticizing police

In this article: The Interior Ministry has allegedly “pressured” two privately owned television channels Mehwar and Al-Hayah to take down the “Ahl Iskinderiya” series–which addresses matters of police corruption prior to January 25 revolution. “Speaking on condition of anonymity to Al-Masry Al-Youm, sources said that instructions by Interior Ministry were given to MPC not to show the series.” The show’s lead, Belal Fadl, posted on Facebook that “no concrete reasons exist to prevent showing the series as the censor approved the shooting.”

Gender & Sexuality

 Prosecutor orders the arrest of sexual harasser in Zamalek 

Egypt Independent:Prosecutors order arrest of suspect harassing girl in Zamalek Club

In this article: Prosecutors in Zamalek have ordered for the arrest of a young man who allegedly harassed a girl at the Zamalek Sports Club. The young man allegedly touched the woman at the swimming pool, and was saved by club personnel when she screamed for help. The young man fled the scene.

Rights & Freedoms

 78 detainees acquitted from charges of violating protest law, yet to be released from detention 

Daily News Egypt: Acquitted revolution anniversary detainees yet to be released

In this article: The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights released a statement calling for the immediate release of 15 detainees from Alexandria and another 63 detainees from Cairo who were acquitted, but have yet to be released. The 78 detainees were acquitted from the cases of “Miami” and “Azbakeya”–both in connection with arbitrary arrests that took place on the eve of the January 25 Revolution anniversary and were accused of violating the protest law. “The Egyptian Center, while it values the appeal in both cases, expresses deep sorrow that the detainees have not been released until now… in addition to their  five month detention without any compensation for their time in prison, and especially for the cases of torture on the Azbakeya detainees during their detention period,” the statement read.

 Al Jazeera correspondent in Suez sentenced to 3 years in prison for incitement of violence, violation of protest law 

Egypt Independent:Al Jazeera correspondent in Suez sentenced to 3 years in prison, fined LE10,000

Ahram: Another Al Jazeera reporter given 3 years in jail

Daily News Egypt: Another journalist sentenced to prison

In this article: The Suez Misdemeanor Court sentenced Abdel Rahman Shahin, an Al Jazeera and Freedom and Justice newspaper correspondent, to three years in prison with labor for inciting violence, breaking protest law, and possessing literature that incites violence against the police and military. According to Al Masry Al Youm, “After the revolution, he was allegedly engaged in several attacks against youth outside the Freedom and Justice Party headquarters in Suez. He also incited against citizens and security personnel in Suez after 30 June revolution. He is involved in nine lawsuits over charges of inciting violence in Suez.”

 Hunger striking political prisoner, Mohamed Soltan, ordered to receive medical attention 

Daily News Egypt: Court orders hunger-striking detainee back to hospital

In this article: The Cairo Criminal Court has order Mohamed Soltan, an Egyptian-American who was detained in August 2013 and has been on hunger strike since January 2014, to go back to the prison hospital to receive medical attention for his condition. Soltan’s trial has been postponed to July 8, where the court will hear an eye witness testimony relating to Soltan’s charges of alleged involvement with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

ANHRI condemns police attack on Al-Watan photojournalist and colleagues

Daily News Egypt: NGO condemns assault on Al-Watan photographer

In this article: The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has condemned the assault of Al-Watan photojournalist by the police. Allegedly, the photographer was hospitalized following an altercation with police over illegal parking–20 policemen gathered and assaulted the photographer and her colleagues with “metal tools.” Ministry of Interior Spokesman Hany Abdel Latif described the incident as an “altercation” and said both the prosecution and interior ministry are investigating.