Egypt Media Roundup – Mar 19, 2014

03/19/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Head of Central Auditing Organization (CAO) Hisham Geneina said that there is no real financial supervision of the interior ministry and that CAO auditors were mistreated upon attempting to complete inspection at the ministry. “The Ministry of Interior mistreated CAO auditors in a very bad way when they went to inspect the ministry’s financial matters, one of the auditors was personally searched in a humiliating way,” Hisham Geneina told Al Shorouk newspaper on Tuesday, in a long two part interview. The Head of CAO also revealed that the CAO auditors and officials were not given access to the financial records and files of the ministry. [Shorouk News-arabic, AhramRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

A case of mass sexual assault on a female student at Cairo University on Monday has led to a storm of accusations on TV channels and social networking sites.

This alarming incident has also raised questions and concerns regarding Egyptian society’s toleration of sexual harassment and its apparent acceptance of physical assaults on women nationwide. A Facebook campaign was launched as a retort to several of the TV channel accusations against the student. [Mada Masr, Buzzfeed, Ahram, Guardian

Security Sector

Two Egyptian army officers were killed on Wednesday in a shootout with members of a Sinai-based Islamist militant group, the Interior Ministry said. It said five militants were killed and four arrested when the military and police raided a bomb and weapons storage facility. The fighters belonged to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, one of Egypt’s most active militant organisations, the ministry said. Security sources said gunfire erupted during a raid on a militant safehouse where the men were hiding in Qalubiya province, north of Cairo. They said an army colonel and brigadier general, both bomb disposal experts, were killed. [Reuters, Ahram, Daily Star Lebanon, Al Jazeera, Daily News EgyptRead More..

Marginalized Groups

A Muslim Brotherhood-led political coalition was forced to cancel a planned press conference on Tuesday after security forces stormed the venue where the event was due to take place. The Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) has called for a new wave of protests to start on Wednesday, the third anniversary of the 19 March 2011 national referendum the Brotherhood had supported. [Ahram, Ikhwan WebRead More..

Rights & Freedoms

Sixteen out of a total of 19 Egyptian human rights organizations submitted a report on Tuesday about the state of human rights in Egypt over the past four years for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present at the second session of the Universal Periodic Review of Egypt.

The review will begin 27 October and end 7 November. The report monitored the extent to which successive Egyptian governments respected human rights, including the right to life, economic and social rights, political participation and security practices, which were the subject of the majority of the report’s recommendations, as well as mechanisms to hold violators accountable. [Egypt Independent, Daily News EgyptRead More..

Foreign Relations

Al Monitor: What is the US discussing with the Muslim Brotherhood?  

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Legal & Political Institutions

High Election Committee considering holding presidential elections over two days

Egypt Independent: Election committee mulls holding presidential elections over two days

In this article: “Senior judicial sources at the High Election Committee on Tuesday said the committee is mulling holding the upcoming presidential elections over two days.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said the committee is meeting in two days to develop the electoral process schedule and determine the candidacy opening date. Candidates must obtain the signatures of 25,000 citizens that are eligible to vote.”

Wasat Party member makes rogue statement proposing to end political crisis in Egypt by releasing Morsi and other detained supporters

Ahram: Pro-MB Wasat Party rejects member’s proposal to end Egypt’s political violence

In this article: “A leading member of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Wasat Party has proposed an initiative to end Egypt’s ongoing political crisis in which detained supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi would be released in exchange for an immediate halt in street protests.

In an interview Tuesday with private TV channel Al-Hayat, Tarek El-Malt said that ending the street protests would also depend on the return of banned pro-Brotherhood TV channels and the transparent announcement of the findings of a committee tasked with investigating the violence and killings in Egypt since the 2011 uprising.

However, El-Malt’s proposal was rejected by the Wasat Party, which released a statement on Wednesday saying that El-Malt’s plan didn’t reflect the party’s views.”

Carter Center proposing civilian oversight to Egypt’s military

Mada Masr: Carter Center proposes civilian oversight of military

In this article: “The Carter Center proposed amendments to the newly passed Constitution in a statement Wednesday, suggesting a step-down from what it called “extraordinary privileges” handed to the military and judiciary.

The Constitution should also grant more guarantees for basic rights in Egypt, the statement warned.

The Carter Center, a human rights NGO operating in Egypt which was founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, said in its statement that the new Constitution made some progress regarding human rights. At the same time the center suggested 11 amendments aimed at strengthening the protection of human rights and to “hold the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the judiciary accountable to the people.”

Security Sector

26 people sentenced to death for involvement in terrorism

Ahram: Egypt sentences 26 to death for terrorism offences

In this article: “A Cairo criminal court has sentenced 26 people to death and one person to 15 years in prison for terrorism offences.

The defendants were tried in absentia on charges including planning attacks on ships passing through the Suez Canal, manufacturing missiles and explosives to carry out attacks, monitoring and planning to attack security targets, and possession of guns, automatic rifles, explosives and ammunition.

Investigations showed the defendants were calling for attacks on army and police personnel, Christians and tourists, all of whom they deemed infidels.

They also called for attacks on churches, the public and private property of Coptic Christians, public facilities, foreign and petroleum installations, and the Suez Canal.”

Egypt-Gaza relations strained as Hamas rebukes Egypt’s blockade

J-Post: Hamas calls Egypt blockade a ‘crime against humanity’

Gulf Times: Hamas slams Egypt’s Rafah border closure

In this article: “The Palestinian militant group Hamas on Tuesday called Egypt’s curbs on movement through its crossing with the Gaza Strip a “crime against humanity”, in an unprecedented rebuke of its Arab neighbor that further frays their worsening ties.The closures, that Egypt says were introduced because of security concerns, have cut off imports of medicine and aid to the impoverished coastal enclave and prevented travel by thousands of Gazans and patients seeking treatment abroad.”Egyptian authorities’ insistence on closing the Rafah crossing and tightening the blockade of Gaza … is a crime against humanity by every criteria and a crime against the Palestinian people,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Islamist movement which rules Gaza. A Hamas said official on Tuesday Egypt had, for the fist time, in the last few days cut off contacts with the Gaza government because of the dispute over the crossing, which Egyptian officials did not immediately confirm to Reuters.”

Marginalized Groups

100,000+ workers on strike in Egypt,creating problems in the healthcare and transportation industries, but no sign of relent unless government meets demands

PressTV: Workers’ strikes bring Egypt to standstill

In this article: “Approximately 100,000 postal workers, bus drivers, government employees, street cleaners, field surveyors and medical professionals recently held a nationwide strike, costing the Egyptian government 100,000 dollars.

Doctors and pharmacists have also threatened to expand their partial strike if the government fails to meet their demands.

“There’s a problem concerning the hospitals. All the hospitals are wrecking everything. They’re wrecking the essentials: essential drugs, the essential treatment, the humanity treatment. The humanity treatment is absolutely absent in all the government of health,” said a resident.

This is while Prime Minister Mahlab asked the strike be suspended for three months while negotiations aimed at ending the work stoppage were underway.

Experts say the strike will likely continue, since workers have been calling for reforms over the past three years after the ouster of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.”

Rights & Freedoms

Opposition groups call for human chains all around Egypt in protest of those unjustly detained

Ahram: [AR] April 6 and a strong Egypt organize human chains nationwide to demand the release of those arrested

In this article: Opposition groups in Egypt issued a joint statement on Wednesday calling for the formation of human chains in Cairo and Giza, on the 6 October bridge, all around Cairo, and Al-Ahly. The groups will also be organizing other chains in Alexandria, Menoufia Damietta, Dakahlia, Assiut, Port Said, among others. The main groups participating will be the Revolutionary Socialists, April 6 Youth Movement, April 6, the Democratic Front, Youth for Justice and Freedom , student resistance movement, a Hakmohm party, and Strong Egypt party.

Young boy killed by gunshot during clashes between police and protesters

Reuters: Boy killed in clashes between Egyptian police and protesters – official

In this article: “A 13-year-old boy was shot dead on Wednesday in clashes in the south of the country between the Egyptian police and protesters supporting deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, a ministry official said.

“Amr Aly Mohamed was killed by a gun shot during clashes between police and protesters,” said Ahmed Anwar, deputy head of the Ministry of Health for the city of Beni Suef.”