Egypt Media Roundup – Mar 31, 2014

03/31/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

Egypt’s presidential elections will take place on May 26 and 27, Egyptian media reported Sunday, citing an announcement by the country’s Presidential Elections Commission. [CNN, NPR, SMH, LA Times, Daily News Egypt, Channel News AsiaRead More..

Gender & Sexuality

Women’s organizations and human rights groups call for a national strategy to combat violence against women–including all forms of sexual violence. [NazraRead More..

Security Sector

An Egyptian soldier was killed on Sunday when militants attacked the bus he was driving in the town of Al-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula, the military said in a statement posted on Facebook. An army source told Reuters the bus was transporting police officers, three of whom were wounded. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. [AP, Reuters, AhramRead More..

Rights & Freedoms

A Cairo criminal court adjourned the trial of a number of Al Jazeera journalists, imprisoned on charges of aiding of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, on Monday for the fourth time. The court denied bail for the defendants for the second time, adjourning the trial to 10 April. [Ahram, APRead More..

Economy

That Egypt is in the grips of a severe energy crisis is no longer a matter of dispute. But a recent roundtable on energy efficiency highlighted tensions between government officials and outside actors as to how the problem should be resolved. At the March 26 event, organized by Egypt Oil and Gas magazine under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, government representatives were keen to promote the efforts of their agencies, while academic and industry experts decried Egypt’s lack of a unified energy strategy and called for clearer standards and better regulation. [Mada MasrRead More.. 

Foreign Relations

President Obama, a White House aide said Friday, wants “stability” in Egypt but believes “that stability ultimately is going to be best served by Egypt following through on its commitment to transition to free and fair elections and democratic governance.” In theory that put him at odds with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who in the name of stability has put billions behind the regime of Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi since it staged a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi in July. [Washington Post

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Legal & Political Institutions

Following Sisi’s presidential candidacy announcement, “vote for the pimp” hashtag surfaces on Twitter

Al Jazeera: Sisi mocked in Egypt Internet campaign

BBC: Egypt Anti-Sisi hashtag sweeps Twitter

In this article: “Opponents of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have launched an Internet campaign against his bid to become the Egyptian president, leading to calls from the pro-Sisi camp for a ban on social media.

The Twitter hashtag, roughly translated from Arabic as “Vote for the Pimp,” is being used on Facebook and Twitter in several languages to mock Sisi’s announced plans to run in the presidential poll set down for April.

According to the tracking website, Keyhole, the hashtag achieved more than 100 million impressions within days of creation, and generated tens of thousands of messages on Twitter. Keyhole states that 23 percent of the hashtag’s impressions came from outside Egypt.

“The power cuts four times a day, therefore #vote_for_the_pimp,” read one of the tweets.

The word “pimp” is extremely offensive in Egyptian culture, but its use also mockingly references the North American meaning: showy, impressive, the boss of a gang.

It comes in response to pro-Sisi hashtags over the past months, including “I will vote for Sisi” and “Complete your good deed”, reflecting the general’s soaring popularity among many Egyptians.”

33 Morsi supporters sentenced 6years in prison over clashes last December

Star Tribune: Egyptian court hands down 6-year prison terms for 33 supporters of ousted Islamist president

In this article: “Egyptian officials say a court in Alexandria has sentenced 33 supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to six years in prison each over clashes with opponents last December. Judicial officials say the court in the Mediterranean city on Monday also fined each defendant 50,000 Egyptian pounds (about $7,100). The officials spoke on

Gender & Sexuality

Video: Schoolchildren voice their views on street harassment

Dignity Without Borders: Why do you think women get harassed in the streets of Egypt?

In this video: Young schoolchildren are interviewed about sexual harassment.

Security Sector

53 nations in UNHRC signed support statement for Egypt’s ‘War Against Terrorism’

Daily News Egypt: 53 nations pledge support for Egypt’s ‘war against terrorism’

In this article: “Fifty-three nations in the United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC) signed a statement for support of Egypt’s “war against terrorism, strengthening of democracy, and its rejection of any foreign interference in its internal affairs”.

Spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, Permanent Saudi Representative to the UN Faisal Trad pledged “support of the political process in Egypt following the popular and historic 25 January Revolution and the correction of the path, which began with the Revolution of 30 June, which was based on the will of the immense popularity,” reported official Saudi state news SPA.

“Egypt is facing, according to various criteria, the challenge of terrorism.  The same terrorism that the international community agreed in the past decade to confront collectively through the United Nations Action to Counter Global Terrorism,” said the statement.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty said that signatories include nations across the Middle East and countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.”

Rights & Freedoms

Two killed in clashes in Ain Shams on Friday–1, a young female journalist

Egyptian Streets: Egyptian Journalist Killed During Anti-Government Clashes

In this article: “A 23-year-old female journalist working for private newspaper El-Dostour and a 25-year-old Coptic Christian were killed during violence at Ain Shams in Cairo on Friday.

Mayada Ashraf, a young editor at El-Dostour, was shot dead in Cairo’s Ain Shams during violent clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and security forces. The clashes left 22 injured and five dead, according to the Ministry of Health

In response to the death, Egyptians have expressed outrage online using the hashtag “#ميادة_أشرف (#MayadaAshraf),” which is currently the top trending hashtag in Egypt.”

Video: Allegations of torture and abuse emerge within Egypt’s prisons

BBC: ‘Beatings and abuse’ claims in Egypt custody

In this video: “Brutal beatings, sexual abuse and electric shock torture are taking place in detention in Egypt, according to testimonies gathered by the BBC.

The accounts cannot be independently verified, but human rights campaigners say there is systematic torture in custody.

Since the army ousted the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July, an estimated 20,000 people have been rounded up in a massive crackdown on dissent.

A growing number have emerged from police stations and prisons with serious allegations of torture – claims the military-backed government denies.”

Two killed in University protests

CBCNews: Egypt police storm Al-Azhar University to disperse student protest

In this article: “Two students killed in clashes with police at the Islamic Al-Azhar University in Cairo on Sunday, state news agency MENA reported, quoting university officials.

Egyptian riot police fired buckshot and tear gas at pro-Muslim Brotherhood university students who threw stones at them outside the university, as anti-government student protests continued for a second week.”

Economy

Egypt’s pound strengthened marginally, after 2 weak sessions

Reuters: UPDATE 1-Egyptian pound strengthens slightly at central bank dollar sale

In this article: “Egypt’s pound strengthened marginally against the dollar at a central bank dollar sale on Monday after weakening at the previous two sessions, and also firmed slightly on the black market.

The central bank sold $38.3 million to banks with a cut-off price of 6.9575 pounds, compared with Thursday’s 6.9576 pounds.

Dollar shortages have been fuelling a thriving black market. A trader on the parallel market said the dollar traded at 7.39 pounds on Monday, up slightly from Sunday’s rate of 7.40. The dollar traded at 7.42 pounds on the black market on Thursday.

The pound has been under pressure during three years of political turmoil. Egypt’s foreign currency reserves stood at about $17.3 billion pounds in February, down from $36 billion before the uprising that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak’s in 2011.”