Egypt Media Roundup – Mar 13, 2014

03/13/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Former chief of staff Sami Anan declared in a press conference Thursday that he would not run in the upcoming presidential elections. The former military leader said that he had made the decision with full knowledge of the dangers and “conspiracies” surrounding the Egyptian state and the military institution. [Mada Masr, AhramRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

Egypt is among the worst countries in the world for women according to the latest figures. The World Economic Forum Global Gap survey ranks Egypt 125 out of 136 countries when it comes to the disparity between male and female quality of life. [Cairo Scene]

Security Sector

Egypt’s army blamed the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood for an attack on an army bus which killed one officer and wounded three others in the capital on Thursday, violence underscoring growing security threats to the military-backed government. The Muslim Brotherhood strongly condemned the attack in an emailed statement, saying the targeting of army soldiers and civilians is a “heinous crime that requires a thorough and transparent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.” They accused the military-backed government of trying to implicate the Brotherhood in the attack for political reasons. [Reuters, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Mada Masr, J PostRead More..

Marginalized Groups

Security personnel at the state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) forcefully dispersed a sit-in protest of more than 20 workers from the federation’s headquarters Wednesday. [Mada MasrRead More..

Rights & Freedoms

A Cairo criminal court has extended the detention of a journalist working for Al Jazeera Arabic, while postponing the trial of three others from its English-language sister channel.

This week, the court extended Abdullah al-Shami’s detention for a further 45 days. Al-Shami has already been held for more than six months and has been on a hunger strike since January 23. [Al JazeeraRead More..

Economy

A loose-knit coalition of youth from across the country, concerned that the public debate over coal use has been dominated by powerful businessmen, gathered with environmental campaigners and representatives of non-governmental organisations in the Red Sea city of Hurghada to strategize and agree a grassroots campaign to reverse the decision to import coal. [Trust.org, All AfricaRead More.. 

Foreign Relations

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he hoped to decide soon on whether to restore the full $1.5 billion in American aid to Egypt. “We want this interim transitional government to succeed. We are committed to try to help make that happen,” Kerry told lawmakers at a hearing into the State Department’s 2015 budget request. [Ahram, Washington Times, Gulf NewsRead More..

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Legal & Political Institutions

Egypt’s presidential election may be pushed back

LA Times: Egypt may have to wait for presidential vote  

In this article: “Egypt’s presidential election, previously set for this spring, could be pushed back to midsummer, state media reported.

The office of interim President Adly Mansour was quoted as saying Wednesday that the new deadline for the vote was July 17. Previously, it had been mid-April.

Political parties have been arguing over a contentious new election law that rules out legal challenges to the results as determined by the country’s main electoral body. Critics call the measure unconstitutional, and the only declared candidate in the presidential race so far, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, says it casts doubt on the integrity of any vote.

Other delays have clouded the setting of an election timetable. The presumed front-runner, army chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah Sisi, has not declared his candidacy, though he is expected to do so.”

Egyptian army asks media to refrain from spreading rumors that could undermine status of the armed forces following allegations of Sisi’s election manifesto

Ahram: Egyptian army denies El-Sisi election manifesto claims

In this article: “The Egyptian army has denied its engineering authority is supervising the drafting of Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s election manifesto.

The claim was made in Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper on Wednesday.

The authority contributes to a variety of state projects and its responsibilities are non-political, the statement added.

It is El-Sisi`s personal decision whether he will stand for president and he will announce this at the appropriate time, the statement continued.

It also called on the media to refrain from spreading “rumours” that could undermine the status of the armed forces.

Media organisations must check the credibility of the news they publish, the statement instructed, and abide by the constitution.”

Security Sector

Two Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

Ahram: INTERPOL arrests two Egyptian Brotherhood leaders

Reuters: Egypt says two Brotherhood members arrested in the Gulf

Times of India: Egypt says two Mulsim Brotherhood members arrested in the Gulf

Al Arabiya: Egypt prosecutor: Two MB members arrested in Gulf

In this article: “Two Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Akram El-Shaer and Mohamed El-Qabouty, have been arrested by INTERPOL in neighboring Gulf states, according to a statement issued by the Egypt’s prosecutor-general on Wednesday.

El-Shaer, a former MP for the Suez Canal city of Port Said, was arrested in Saudi Arabia, while El-Qabouty was found in Kuwait.

According to the prosecutor’s statement, both Islamists leaders are accused of “committing terrorism, violence and inciting the killing of citizens.” They are also accused of plotting a raid on police stations in Port Said.”

Rights & Freedoms

Alaa Abd El Fattah writes: “everyone knows that the prisons are full of [political] dissidents”

Mada Masr: Everyone knows

In this article: “The state insists that its prisons are free of political detainees. But everyone knows that the prisons are full of dissidents held “temporarily” against a background of investigations all related to political conflict.

Everyone knows that most of the detainees will be released after some months without being referred to trial. And everyone knows that most of those sent to court will be found innocent. The majority of the prisoners sentenced in the first hearings will have their sentences quashed in later ones, and most of those finally convicted will not be convicted of serious crimes against lives or security; their convictions will be based on the ill-reputed, ambiguous articles in the widely interpretable law which the Egyptian government has long used to suppress opposition. Or they will be based on the crippling new Protest Law that transforms an administrative irregularity — while practicing a constitutional right — into a crime punishable with a custodial sentence. And of course everyone knows that these laws are unconstitutional.”