Egypt Media Roundup – Mar 24, 2014

03/24/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Minya Criminal Court in its second session sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death for violence following the dispersal of the Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins last August. The defendants were handed down the sentences for storming and burning the Matay police station in Minya, killing a police officer, attempting to kill two others, stealing weapons and releasing inmates, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported. [WSJ, Daily News Egypt, Global Post, Hurriyet, Mada Masr, Guardian, CNN, Amnesty, Buzzfeed, BBC, ITV, NYT, Boston HeraldRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

Police have confirmed they are assisting an investigation into the alleged rape of a British woman in a luxury hotel in Egypt. The woman, in her 40s, has reported that she was sexually assaulted by a guard who had escorted her to her room at the hotel in Sharm-el-Sheikh. [BBC, Independent, GuardianRead More..

Security Sector

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters announced Monday that it would decide whether to categorise the Sinai militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis as a terrorist organisation on April 14. [Daily News Egypt

Marginalized Groups

Gilead Sciences, facing mounting criticism over the high price of its new hepatitis C pill Sovaldi, has offered to supply the medicine to Egypt at a 99 percent discount to the U.S. price. Amidst Egyptian army reports that they have found the miracle cure for the disease, Mohamed El Dahshan addresses the grave nature of the matter, “This purported medical discovery deeply concerns millions of Egyptian families, with 165,000 new cases yearly – 70 percent of which are related to the poor healthcare system.” [Reuters, Atlantic CouncilRead More..

Rights & Freedoms

An Egyptian court on Sunday ordered the release on bail pending trial of a prominent activist, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, charged with breaking a new law that heavily restricts protests, after he spent nearly four months in jail. [US News, LA Times, Al Jazeera, USA TodayRead More..

Economy

According to Hafez El Salmawy, managing director of the Egyptian Electric Regulatory Agency, Egypt will lack at least 20% of the natural gas it needs to properly power its electricity plants this summer. As energy usage spikes in the heat, these outages will become longer and more frequent. In desperation, the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) is turning to Israel, a former export destination of Egyptian gas. [Al MonitorRead More.. 

Foreign Relations

Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdul Muttalib said that Egyptian support for technical cooperation projects for the development of the Upper Nile have not stopped. According to him, Egypt is continuing with its bilateral projects in Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan, and even in Ethiopia. However, because of legal problems, it is a different matter when it comes to the cooperation projects that were being carried out under the umbrella of the Nile Basin Initiative. [Al MonitorRead More..

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Legal & Political Institutions

Egypt’s Coptic Pope: “Egyptians see [Sisi] as a savior and hero of the June 30 revolution”

Al Jazeera: Egypt Coptic pope backs Sisi presidential bid

In this article: “Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has said that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has a “national duty” to stand for president in upcoming polls.

“Egyptians see him as a saviour and the hero of the June 30 revolution,” Tawadros said during an interview with Kuwait’s Al-Watan TV channel on Saturday. He referred to last summer’s mass protests against former President Mohamed Morsi, who was overthrown by the military.

Sisi, currently the country’s army chief and defence minister, has the “discipline” necessary to lead the country, Tawadros said.

The pope also added, however, that “everyone has the freedom of choice to choose who they see fit to become their leader.”

Gender & Sexuality

HA Hellyer writes: “Sexual harassment was not always at the level it is now – but as it becomes more acceptable, it becomes more widespread”

Al Arabiya: Egypt’s growing tolerance of harassment towards women

In this article: “It is not simply about the way in which a woman dresses that provokes harassment – the data shows clearly that substantial numbers of victims were wearing very conservative clothing, including the headscarf or even the face veil. The presence of the woman, it seems, is enough in and of itself. Rather, it is about the choice that the woman exercises on the one hand, and the tolerance of society to allow others to question those choices on the other.

That problem does not simply exhibit itself in how women are told to put more clothes on – but also about what they ought to take off. The woman’s autonomy to wear what she sees fit – and society’s tolerance to ensure that whether or not it is approved of or not, she ought not to be penalised in certain ways – is at the root of this.”

Marginalized Groups

The remnants of the original revolution live on, on Egyptian university campuses

The Daily Beast:Egypt: The Revolution’s Last Stand

In this article: “Thousands of these young men and women held rallies across Egypt last week. They demanded the release of classmates jailed during the first semester. They called for an end to the torture of prisoners, and they demanded trials for members of the security forces who had slain students within the precincts of the country’s universities.

“Sixteen students have been killed on campus since September, five while being arrested—and another 1,347 have been arrested—since the coup,” says a young woman who goes by the nom de guerre Salma Saleh. She’s a campus leader at Cairo University for the anti-military group Students Against the Coup (SAC) and said she didn’t want her real name used because that would only increase the chance she’d be arrested.

While the students insist they will continue to expand their protests, they are facing government security forces and administrations in the state’s universities determined to put an end to the unrest. In February a judge rescinded a ban on police entering the campuses. Administrations have been dissolving elected student unions, suspending leading activists and firing professors who actively support them.”

Rights & Freedoms

After months in prison in dire need of medical treatment, Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy loses use of arm–Mansour promises treatment

CTV: Egypt’s president says jailed Egyptian-Canadian journalist will get fair trial  

Guardian: Al-Jazeera journalist jailed in Egypt loses full use of arm

Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera journalist gets Egypt medical aid

In this article: “Egypt’s interim president has said Al Jazeera English’s journalist, Mohamed Fahmy, will be given the “best treatment possible” for a fractured upper arm he suffered more than three months ago.

Fahmy’s family received a letter from Adly Mansour on Sunday in response to their pleas to help Fahmy, who has been in prison with the injury since December after being arrested along with two colleagues for “spreading false news”.

Mansour said he instructed the interior minister to follow up on Fahmy’s medical condition and provide “the best treatment possible”. He was taken to hospital on Sunday for tests, the results of which are expected on Monday.

“I want to reaffirm in this regard the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and my confidence that your son will get all his legal rights,” Mansour added.

The note was a response to a letter from Fahmy’s family, which said he had received little medical attention while in jail, and that his condition had worsened.”

Al Jazeera trial makes no progress–court adjourned to March 31, journalists denied bail again

Daily News Egypt: Bail denied, court adjourned for Al Jazeera journalists

In this article: “On Monday three journalists from Al Jazeera English were denied bail after a lengthy court session in Cairo’s Tora Prison, where they were being tried on charges that include spreading false news and belonging to a terrorist group. Their trial was then adjourned for a third time, and will resume 31 March.

Canadian-Egyptian bureau chief Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Australian correspondent Peter Greste, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed are among 20 defendants on trial for allegations that they “created a terrorist media network” specialised in producing fabricated video news stories, which then aired on Al Jazeera and CNN in an effort to tarnish Egypt’s reputation abroad, depicting Egypt as in the midst of a civil war.

Monday marked the third time the trio appeared in court. On 20 February, the case was postponed because the court did not have a translator for Greste, and was further adjourned on 5 March.”

April 6 Youth Movement claim protest law unconstitutional, begin campaign to revoke

Ahram: April 6 launch campaign to revoke protest law

In this article: “Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement launched a petition Saturday calling for the cancellation of the controversial protest law.

“The movement calls on all Egyptians to sign the petition which will be presented to the presidency and the cabinet,” read the movement’s statement, adding it will continue to pressure for revoking the law, and for the release of political activists charged with protesting illegally, using all media, political, judicial and popular means in a campaign known as “Free Egypt.”

The movement added that it has already held meetings with members of the Committee of 50, which drafted Egypt’s new national charter, and national figures and plan to move with all political forces in order to lobby for the cancellation of the law.”

Economy

Tourism Minister plans to make major changes to ‘totally collapsed’ tourism sector

Daily News Egypt: Egypt tourism totally collapsed, changes needed: Tourism Minister

In this article: “Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said on Saturday that the tourism sector is completely collapsed, adding that he plans to make great changes in management to improve conditions.

Zaazou told the state news agency that he is looking into legislative amendments to resolve the problems that the sector is suffering from.”

Foreign Relations

President Mansour attending Arab League Summit

Ahram: Egypt’s President Mansour in Kuwait for Arab League summit

In this article: “Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour travelled to Kuwait on Monday ahead of the Arab League summit scheduled to take place in the Gulf state over the next two days.

Arab leaders at the summit will discuss issues related to the Syrian and Palestinian conflicts and other issues concerning the region, said the Arab League’s secretary-general Nabil El-Araby, as quoted by Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website.

Mansour’s participation in the talks will focus on relations and cooperation with other Arab countries to overcome the region’s current dangers, reported Al-Ahram.”