Egypt Media Roundup – May 21, 2014

05/21/2014 . By TIMEP

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TOP STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

Former President Hosni Mubarak, along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, were sentenced to 3 and 4 years, respectively, for embezzling $17.6million in public funding for personal use. The three were also given $3million fines, and are ordered to repay the original funds that they embezzled. Mubarak also faces charges of abusing power and conspiring to kill protesters during the 2011 uprisings, for which he will be tried separately. [BBC, Reuters, Daily News Egypt, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, Mada Masr, VOARead More..

Gender & Sexuality

Egypt’s first ever trial to convict a doctor who performed female genital mutilation on a young Egyptian girl, will take place on Thursday 21 May. The doctor, who is accused of killing Sohair al-Bata’a in a botched FGM procedure in 2013, will face trial alongside Sohair’s father, who is charged with complicity in her death. [The Guardian]

Rights & Freedoms

Al Jazeera is appealing to world powers to intervene in the unlawful detention of one of their journalists, Abdullah Elshamy, who has been detained in Egypt without charge for 280 days, on hunger strike for 121 days, and was recently moved to solitary confinement, where he faces troubling prison conditions. Recipients of the letter included US Secretary of State John Kerry, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, and UN human rights chief Navi Pillay. [Al Jazeera, VOARead More..

Security Sector

An office building at Al Azhar University was allegedly started by a “number of unidentified assailants” who threw Molotov cocktails at the building, causing it to erupt in flames. Other parts of the university have been vandalized in the past, and recent attacks follow the university’s recent decision to expel 139 students over the last semester. [Mada Masr]

Foreign Relations

Egypt’s contentious relationship with Qatar since former President Morsi’s ouster last year may have a negative effect on Egypt economically, as Qatar was one of the primary providers of financial and energy assistance to Egypt. Now, with Egypt banning the Muslim Brotherhood and systematically imprisoning Al Jazeera journalists, there is little hope for a rekindling of the Egypt-Qatari relationship at the brink of Egypt’s energy crisis this summer. [Washington PostRead More..

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MORE STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

 155 Muslim Brotherhood supporters given jail terms ranging from 3years- life 

Aswat Masriya: Egypt court jails 155 Brotherhood supporters

Reuters: Egypt court jails 155 Brotherhood supporters

Al Arabiya: Egypt court jails 155 Brotherhood supporters

In this article: An Egyptian court handed jail terms to 155 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in a case related to violence in Mansoura after the ouster of former president Morsi. The defendants were charged with instigating violence and chaos, and for belonging to an illegal organization. 54 of the defendants were given life sentences while others were sentenced to 3-10 years in prison.

 The ‘Mansoura girls’ handed 2-3 year sentences, Human Rights Monitor calls for their immediate release 

Daily News Egypt:‘Mansoura girls’ handed 2 and 3 year sentences

In this article: Dubbed as the ‘mansoura Girls’, Abrar al-Anany, Menatullah al-Belehy, and Yousra al-Khatib, were sentenced to between 2-3 years in prison for illegal protesting. The three were arrested in November when security forces “invaded Mansoura University” firing birdshots and tear gas at students. Human Rights Monitor submitted a complaint to the United Nations calling for the immediate release of the three women, claiming that the girls were verbally and physically attacked while in detention.

 Parliamentary Draft law finalized by committee 

Aswat Masriya:Parliamentary Law: at least 24 seats for women, same for Christians

Daily News Egypt: Draft Parliamentary elections law finalized

In this article: The draft law for parliamentary elections and political participation was finalized by the committee headed by the minister of transitional justice. The draft law states that the new parliament will have 600 seats, 30 of which are appointed by the president, 480 of which are elected individually, and 120 who will be elected through electoral lists.

Rights & Freedoms

 Egyptian Human Rights Organizations: the protest law was “created especially to target and punish the opposition and those who highlight ongoing human rights violations”. 

Daily News Egypt:Groups condemn Alexandrian activist’s imprisonment

In this article: A prominent activist and lawyer Mahienour El-masry was handed a prison sentenced of 2 years in prison for taking part in a protest in solidarity with torture victim Khaled Said in December of 2013. A group of 18 human rights organizations, including AFTE, The Hisham Mubarak law center, EIPR, and ECESR condemned El-masry’s imprisonment in a joint statement, stating that the protest law under which El-Masry was convicted was  “created especially to target and punish the opposition and those who highlight ongoing human rights violations”.

Foreign Relations

 FP: The US should use the upcoming elections to ‘reinvigorate’ its relationship with Egypt 

Foreign Policy: Why Egypt’s Elections are a Change for the US to hit Reset

In this article: Washington has the opportunity to use the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt to “remedy its missteps over the last few years” to reset its relationship with its long-time regional ally. The article explains Egypt’s strategic position in the region and how the US should not dismiss Egypt’s importance, particularly considering Egypt’s recently established relationship with Russia. As a first step, the US should “release other systems that Egypt has requested. It can authorize targeted economic assistance that Egypt desperately needs, and encourage American companies to invest in Egypt. Finally, it should welcome the winner of the upcoming elections and invite him to Washington, as it has invited Egyptian leaders for the past four decades, cementing an alliance that has been crucial to America’s long standing central role in the Middle East.”

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