Egypt Media Roundup – Jun 30, 2014

06/30/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Egypt seeks to restrict mosque sermons during the month of Ramadan to include only topics of faith and morality. Egypt’s top state official in charge of religious affairs noted that Egypt is working toward “trying to restore morals” as religious speech had previously been “hijacked” for political purposes. [TIME, Press TVRead More…

Marginalized Groups

Deadly clashes broke out last week between tribal clans in Aswan. Allegedly, clashes broke out between the Bani Hilal and Daboudiya tribes, resulting in two deaths. the Ministry of Interior is claiming that the clashes did not occur between the two tribes, who witnessed violence resulting in over 20 deaths earlier this year over tribal tensions. [Daily News Egypt]

Gender & Sexuality 

Egyptian television station Hara TV 3 is putting on a series of interactive theatre sketches across Egypt as a part of an awareness campaign to bring to light issues surrounding female genital mutilation. [Ahram] Read More…

Rights & Freedoms

The Heliopolis misdemeanor court postponed the trial for the 24 activists charged with violating the protest law to September 13. The 24 activists were arrested at a demonstration calling for an end to the protest law, and were charged in violation of the law–the activists have been denied bail despite multiple calls from rights organizations to release the detainees. [Daily News Egypt]

Another activist in prison for violating the protest law–Alaa Abdel-Fattah plus 25 others were sentenced to 15 years for breaking the law–has scheduled a hearing for July 22 for the retrial of his and the 25 other activists’ cases. [Ahram, Daily News Egypt, Aswat Masriya]

In another highly publicized case regarding detained activists under the protest law–Mahienour Elmasry, who was convicted along with 7 others for organizing an illegal protest, to 2 years in prison, will hear the verdict of her appeal on July 20. [AhramRead More…

Economy

Egypt announced a series of cuts in the energy subsidy sector for the 2014/15 fiscal year in a move to reduce the country’s deficit. “Some 40 billion pounds ($5.59 billion) worth of savings were made by curbing planned spending on energy subsidies to 100.3 billion pounds in the next fiscal year, Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian told a news conference.” [Reuters]

Security Sector

Three explosions killed two police officers and wounded others on June 30, 2014, on streets outside the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in Heliopolis, Cairo. Two other bombs were defused at the site. Reports offered different number of injuries, ranging from three to “at least six.” Col. Ahmed Amin Ashmawy and Lt. Col. Muhammad Ahmed Lotfy, explosives experts in the Cairo Civil Defense Administration, were killed in the attacks. Last week, after a series of explosions in Cairo Metro stations, terrorist group Ajnad Misr [“Soldiers of Egypt”] issued a statement condemning those bombings but warning pedestrians to stay away from the Ittihadiya Palace Grounds. Neither Ajnad Misr nor any other group has formally commented on today’s bombings at this time. Tahrir Square was closed as a security precaution after the explosions. [Reuters]

MORE STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

 Egypt State Information Service reports on June 30 celebrations at embassies 

Egypt SIS:Egypt’s embassies celebrate June 30 first anniversary

Ahram:30 June was a victory, says Egypt PM

In this article: Egypt’s State Information Services reports on the celebrations taking place at Egyptian embassies worldwide on the first anniversary of June 30. Celebrations took place in Spain, China, Finland, and the Congo according to Egypt SIS.

 Pro-Morsi groups calls for Intifada on July 3 against Egyptian armed forces 

Daily News Egypt: Pro-Morsi campaign calls for 3 July ‘uprising’

In this article: The People Defend President Mohamed Morsi campaign has called for an intifada on July 3, the first anniversary of Morsi’s ouster. The group has released a statement condemning the Egyptian armed forces of “conducting the ruin, failure, and fall of Egypt.” The group added that “the fig leaf will fall for those who hate Egypt and its people who exposed the people”, as well as those who conducted “deliberate smear campaigns since Morsi rose to power”.

 51 Muslim Brotherhood supporters arrested during Friday protests all over Egypt 

Daily News Egypt:51 arrested during Friday protests

In this article: The Ministry of Interior has reported that Egyptian security officials arrested 51 Muslim Brotherhood supporters during Friday prayer protests. The arrests took place in Cairo, Giza, Fayoum, Baheira, beni Suef, Minya, and Qena, and six were caught with weapons in Ain Shams. The protesters were arrested for violating the protest law.

Gender & Sexuality

 Egypt’s LGBT community facing intense crackdown under Sisi’s police state 

Daily Beast: Al-Sisi’s Egypt Is Worse For Gays Than The Muslim Brotherhood

In this article: Egypt is experiencing its worst crackdown on the gay community since the Mubarak era. In under a year, dozens have been arrested and at least 18 have been jailed for “sexual deviance”, “debauchery” and “insulting public morals”–with many other cases either undocumented or unreported. The resurgence of Egypt’s police state has made it impossible for Egypt’s LGBT community to live normally in public spaces in Egypt, causing long-term implications such as a rise in HIV/AIDS if the community is driven so underground that prevention and awareness of STIs are undermined.

 Tahrir mob assault trial resumes–defendants plead innocent 

Aswat Masriya:Egypt resumes trial of 12 Tahrir sexual offenders

In this article: The trial of 12 defendants who are charged with sexual assault, torture, attempted murder and rape in connection with the mob sexual assaults that took place during President Sisi’s inauguration resumed. All 12 defendants pled innocent to the charges against them. The defendants face sentences of ranging to life in prison if convicted.

Rights & Freedoms

 EIPR condemns continued detention of activists, says arrest procedures unlawful 

Daily News Egypt:NGO ‘shocked’ at continued detention of anti-Protest Law demonstrators

In this article: The Egyptian Initiative for Personal rights issued a statement condemning the arrest of 24 activists for violating the protest law during an anti-protest law demonstration. EIPR claims that the arrest of the activists has been “characterised by a lack of transparency and respect for due process rights.” 23 of the 24 activists are still in detention, and, after a hearing yesterday, the trial was postponed to September, and the activists will remain in detention until that time as the request for bail was denied. However, a request by lawyers to see and verify the validity of the evidence against the defendants was granted by court.

 UN Human Rights experts “outraged” over mass death sentences in Egypt 

UNHCR:Egypt: UN Experts “outraged” at confirmation of 183 death sentences

In this article: Several United Nations human rights experts have expressed concern over the confirmed death sentences of 183 people in Egypt. The statement said, “The imposition of mass death sentences following blatantly unfair trials and for crimes that may not be punishable by death constitutes a staggering violation of international human rights law,” the experts said.” The experts also expressed “alarm” over the use of the death penalty as a tool to crush political dissent.

 The Protest law in Egypt–a “draconian” tool to squash dissent 

Mada Masr: The Protest Law: Fear, not order

In this article: Timothy Kaldas unpacks the trumped up charges that Egyptian authorities have been charging activists with in an attempt to completely squash political dissent in Egypt. He notes that the Egyptian government’s defense of the protest law has been to point out other countries’ laws regulating protests–though they fail to acknowledge that very few countries respond to illegal protests with long-term prison sentences with no chance of bail. Kaldas also notes, “The official punishments for the law are only one problem with the law and its implementation. It has become a regular habit of officials to add an array of often absurd and baseless charges to the charge sheets of those arrested.”