Egypt Media Roundup – May 22, 2014

05/22/2014 . By TIMEP

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TOP STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has called on its supporters to boycott elections and increase protests during election days next week. The statement, which promoted the slogan ‘Boycott the Presidency of Bloodshed’, stated that the group will be displaying pictures of former president Morsi, and other political Islamist figures who have been detained since 2013. [AhramRead More..

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Gender & Sexuality

An Egyptian court postponed the trial of a doctor who performed a female genital mutilation operation that resulted in the death of a young girl. The trial will resume June 19. [Aswat Masriya

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Rights & Freedoms

Alexandria police arrested a group of activists and lawyers demonstrating in solidarity with Mahienour el-Masry and eight others who were recently jailed for holding an illegal protest last December. Alexandria security forces also broke into the Egyptian center for Social and Economic Rights to arrest more activists during a press conference that was being held to launch a campaign to free el-Masry and the eight jailed activists. [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, AhramRead More..

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Security Sector

The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters has officially labeled the militant group Ajnad masr, as a terrorist organization. Ajnad Masr has recently claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in Egypt including a Cairo University bombing, police officer shootings, and other bombings. [Ahram] 
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Economy

Egypt’s finance minister has stated that the recently announced increase in taxes for the wealthy will only be imposed for three years. The taxes, which will increase by 5% for those whose income exceeds LE1million per year, can be paid in cash or in kind in the form of raw materials or public services. [Egypt SISRead More.. 

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MORE STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

 Mada Masr unwinds the web of corruption behind Mubarak’s embezzlement case 

Mada Masr:The Mubarak mansions

In this article: Hossam Baghat delves into the details surrounding former president Hosni Mubarak’s corruption and embezzlement verdicts that were issued yesterday, one of many charges that the ex-president faces. The article looks at Amr Khedr, a low-level military official who worked as a personal military architect to supervise Mubarak’s renovations to his private residences, and eventually getting involved in the elaborate embezzlement scheme that funneled millions of dollars in public funding directly for Mubarak’s private use. The article then follows the prosecutor who uncovered the embezzlement scheme, and his procedure for getting Mubarak to trial, and then, to justice with a prison sentence, fine, and obligation to repay the funds that he had stolen.

 Sabahi, if elected, will immediately amend the protest law–if not elected, he claims he will not accept any executive positions 

Ahram:Sabahi: Egyptians will feel instant change if I am president

In this article: Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabahi has claimed that, if he were to be elected president, his first day in office he will amend the protest law that has jailed hundreds of activists. Sabahi says that amending the law “requires neither budget nor resources” and he will immediately take action because the law has been used “against peaceful protesters and activists who took part in the 25 January and 30 June uprisings.” Sabahi also stated that if he is not elected president, he may accept the position of prime minister if nominated by the parliament per the constitution, but will turn down executive positions.

Rights & Freedoms

 100+ activists sign on to letter demanding human rights investigation into political prisoners prison conditions 

Ahram:Over 100 activists petition to NCHR about jailed hunger strikers in Egypt

Aswat Masriya: Egyptian rights council to visit hunger-striken detainees

Mada Masr:Family of hunger striking journalist says he is forced to eat

In this article: A letter addressed to the National Council for Human Rights regarding the extremely poor conditions that political prisoners face as well as the extreme measures that some detainees resort to in order to demand basic rights was signed by over 100 political activists, journalists, and lawyers. The letter highlighted the cases of Abdullah el-Shamy, a journalist who has been detained without charge since August 2013 and on hunger strike since January, was recently moved to solitary confinement and has alleged he was force fed by prison guards as photos of him eating circulated on social media. The second case the letter highlights is Mohamed Sultan, an Egyptian-American who has been on hunger strike for over 100 days and whose health has seriously deteriorated.

 EIPR: prisoners in Al-Azouly prison are subjected to months-long forced disappearances and “inhumane conditions” including torture 

EIPR:The government must put an end to enforced disappearances and torture in al-Azouly Military Prison

In this article: The Egyptian Center for Personal Rights and the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture have released a joint-statement condemned the increase in reports of forced disappearance and torture of individuals in al-Azouly Military Prison. The statement outlines a pattern of abuse and undocumented abductions of prisoners who are suspected by authorities of terrorism-related offenses, with some disappearances lasting as long as 4 months or more, and others left in the prison facing “inhumane conditions without any contact with the outside world, where they are particularly vulnerable to torture and other ill treatment.”

 Al Jazeera trial produces another round of bizarre ‘evidence’–adjourned until June 1 

Al Jazeera:Al Jazeera staff appear in Egypt court

HuffPost: The Evidence Against Al Jazeera Journalists In Egypt Keeps Getting More Unbelievable

In this article: The trial to convict Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy, and Peter Greste on charges related to association with the Egypt-mandated terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, resumed today. The prosecution presented evidence to the effect of video and audio clips, and photos which were allegedly found in Greste’s belongings. One of the pieces of evidence was a popular pop song, a faked photo of Fahmy with a military official. The trial was then adjourned until June 1.

 Social media movement #FreeMansoura3 after verdict of ‘Mansoura Girls’ alleged involvement in university protests last November 

Al Jazeera: Netizens protest sentencing of Egypt’s ‘Mansoura Girls’

In this article: A social media movement started after the conviction of three Mansoura University female students who were handed jail sentences for their alleged involvement in protests last November. Using the hashtags #FreeMansoura3 and #الحرية_لبنات_المنصورة, or ‘freedom for the Mansoura girls’, netizens also demanded their release and demonstrated their support for the women.

Economy

 Sisi’s economic platform brings back a 30year old redevelopment plan with bigger goals and a bigger price tag 

Reuters:Sisi’s economic vision for Egypt: back to the future

In this article: Presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al Sisi has released his detailed, color-coded “Map of the Future” which is designed to attract investment and restructure Egypt’s economy and cities. However, “the idea is nearly 30 years old and was never implemented because of its high cost.” The program draws on practices from former-president Hosni Mubarak, which asserts the dominance of state institutions, including the army, to reinvigorate the economy. The main aspect of the economic platform, “involves the state building cities in the desert to enable a burgeoning population to live on 100% of the land.” His platform explicitly states, “The vision aspires to achieve unprecedented rates of development and effect a quantum leap in the Egyptian economy after the way is cleared by the new administrative and investment maps for the provinces,” the plan includes 48 new cities, eight airports, fish farms and renewable energy projects generating 10,000 MW of power with a tens of billions of dollars price tag.

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