Egypt Media Roundup – May 5, 2014

05/05/2014 . By TIMEP

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TOP STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

Both presidential candidates, Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Fattah al Sisi, officially launched their electoral programs. Sisi has publicly vowed to “protect all Egyptians and Islam” if he is elected. Sabbahi reiterated his desire to repeal the protest law and pardon political prisoners. A Baseera poll asking preference for either candidate showed that 72% of those polled support Sisi, 2 % support Sabbahi, and 22% were undecided. [Al Bawaba, Mada Masr, Ahram, The GuardianRead More..

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Gender & Sexuality

A young girl was abused on the streets by a group of harassers, and her father retaliated against her instead of the harassers, claiming, that the girl’s clothing provoked the attack while bystanders defended the girl, saying she should not be to blame. Shorouk consulted a psychologist on the matter, who said, that the father’s reaction was due to the fact that he felt helpless in the situation, so he blamed the daughter instead of the harassers. [Shorouk-ar] 
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Marginalized Groups

Al Azhar University has expelled 76 students over “alleged involvement in riots.” 36 female students and 40 male students were expelled following a sustained period of campus unrest and anti-government protests. The decision was made after “the investigation proved the students took part in activities which violate university regulations.” [PressTV, Mada MasrRead More..

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Rights & Freedoms

No progress was made in the cases of detained Al Jazeera journalists. In the case of Mohammed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohammed’s detention, the judge once again refused bail to the three journalists and adjourned their case to May 15. Additionally, Al Jazeera Arabic journalist Abdellah ElShamy, who has been detained without charge since August 2013, demanded his immediate release–judges then extended Elshamy’s detention by another 45 days. [The Guardian, Al JazeeraRead More..

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Security Sector

Ansar Beit al Maqdis has claimed responsibility for the two suicide bombings that killed one soldier and wounded nine others in Sinai on Sunday. The group posted online, “We will not rest until we achieve retribution for the blood and honor of the Muslims.” [AP, AhramRead More..

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Economy

Egypt announced plans to invest up to $1billion in solar energy projects in the coming years. This announcement comes amidst reports that Egypt has received $6billion worth of free fuel lifeling to help the impending energy crisis over the summer. [Clean Technica, Reuters, Daily News Egypt, Egypt-BusinessRead More.. 

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Foreign Relations

The Egyptian foreign ministry, in a recent visit to Washington, stressed “the importance of equality and non-interference” from the US in Egypt relations. Egypt’s stance comes after many reports of a strain in the two countries’ relations, and after US aid to Egypt was under scrutiny by US lawmakers. [Daily News Egypt, Ahram
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MORE STORIES

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Legal & Political Institutions

 102 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to 10 years for “killing and inciting violence” 

Daily Sabah: EGYPT SENTENCES 102 BROTHERHOOD MEMBERS TO 10 YEARS

Reuters: Egypt court sentences 102 Islamists to 10 years in jail

LATimes: 102 Muslim Brotherhood backers get 10 years in prison in Egypt  

In this article: 102 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to ten years in prison on charges of “killing and inciting violence.” The verdicts related to deaths that occurred during clashes with security forces and pro-Morsi supporters last July. Only 35 of the defendants were present for the court hearing, while the others were tried in absentia.

 Mubarak trial postponed to May 10. “Trial of the Century” 

Daily News Egypt: ‘Trial of the century’ postponed

In this article: Hosni Mubarak’s trial was postponed by the Cairo Criminal Court to 10 May. Mubarak’s trial, alongside his two sons, former Minister of the Interior, and six aides, are being tried on charges of “inciting, agreeing to, and aiding in the killing of protesters during the 25 January Revolution.” The defendants also face charges of “spreading chaos in the country” and “creating a security vacuum.”

 Pope Tawadros II: Church will not support either candidate in presidential elections 

Ahram: Church not for any candidate in Egypt’s presidential polls: Coptic pope

In this article: Egypt’s Coptic Pope Tawadros II has stated that the church will remain neutral in upcoming presidential elections. He stated, “I ask each citizen, Christian or Muslim, to read each electoral candidate’s program and choose who he wants to be president.” Tawadros had previously supported a “yes” vote in the constitutional referendum, which he called “participation for the good of Egypt” and not a political move.

 Nour Party, Conference Party, and Tagamoa Party to back al-Sisi in presidential race 

Ahram: Salafist Al-Nour party backs El-Sisi in presidential race

Ahram:Conference, Tagamoa parties to coordinate in backing El-Sisi

In this article: Three more political parties have publicly announced their support for presidential candidate al-Sisi. The socialist Tagamoa Party and liberal Conference as well as Salafist Nour party have all announced their support for Sisi. The Nour party, a previous ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and the second largest representation in the previous parliament revealed their decision after the party’s supreme council held a meeting to dicsuss.

 Sisi’s Luxor campaign offices attacked by unidentified assailants 

Mada Masr: Sisi campaign office attacked in Luxor

In this article: According to EGYNews, presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al Sisi’s campaign offices in Luxor were attacked by three unidentified assailants. The offices were broken into by attackers wielding sticks and an electric taser, and one campaign member sustained severe wounds and fractures. The police have launched an investigation into the attacks, not much is known as of yet.

Security Sector

 Egypt’s MOI to seek police armament outside of US and EU 

Daily News Egypt: Egypt seeking alternative sources for police armament

In this article: Egypt’s minister of interior has announced that Egypt will be seeking alternative forms of armament for police and security forces, particularly stressing that they will be seeking sources outside of the US and the EU. “Ibrahim attributed the delay in providing police forces with armament to the ban issued by the United States and European Union on exporting arms to Egypt, denying that financial reasons were the cause.”

Marginalized Groups

 Egypt to investigate alleged MERS death in Port Said 

Egyptian Streets: Deadly MERS Virus Strikes Egypt

The Daily Star Lebanon:Egypt probing suspected MERS coronavirus death

Reuters: Egypt investigates suspected MERS coronavirus death

In this article: Investigations have been launched into a suspected MERS death in Port Said. Allegedly, an elderly woman died from the virus after returning from an Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. This would be the first death from MERS in Egypt. 

Rights & Freedoms

 Formerly detained documentary filmmaker, Hossam Meneai, speaks of his experience in Egyptian prison 

Al Jazeera America: PERSONAL ESSAY: FIGHTING A WRONGFUL ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT IN EGYPT

In this article: Hossam Meneai, an Egyptian documentary filmmaker who was arrested alongside American, Jeremy Hodge, on charges of “spreading false information” about Egypt shares his personal recollection of his three week detention in prison. He describes the abuse he encountered from police officers and guards. He was frequently moved from cell to cell and prison to prison during his detention, and described one conversation with a guard, saying, “He explained that new arrivals there were not allowed into the general population until they received one of the white uniforms worn by inmates in Egypt’s jails. Because of shortages, prisoners such as myself who would have arrived without the uniforms, would be stripped down to their underwear and forced to stand (and sleep) in a space of roughly 12 inches by 12 inches in a group cell until another inmate is released and a uniform is made available. New arrivals are then subject to mass beatings by prison guards using sticks, electrical wires and other items of torture.”

 Egyptian-American Mohammed Soltan on eighth month of imprisonment, and +100 days of hunger strike 

Washington Post: Egypt: American on hunger strike in Cairo prison

In this article: An Egyptian-American citizen, Mohammed Soltan, currently imprisoned in Egypt, awaits his trial for “terror and conspiracy-related charges in connection with his paritcipation in demonstrations against the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last summer” on hunger strike. Solton allegedly began his hunger strike in January, and has been detained for eight months. In smuggled notes about prison conditions, Soltan writes: “No visits, no food, no one knows where we are,” Soltan wrote of the first two weeks after he was arrested and being ferried through Egypt’s prison system. “Stripped to our boxers and beaten by 100+ officers while handcuffed,” he wrote in a report to mark 100 days since his arrest, which was posted on the Free Soltan Facebook page. “Food gets thrown at our door.”

 Al Azhar student Ahmed Abdel Sattar dies from gunshot wound sustained during clashes with security forces on campus 

Ahram: Al-Azhar student dies from gunshot wounds

In this article: Ahmed Abdel-Sattar has succumbed to injuries sustained during protests last week at Al Azhar University. The student was shot in the head last Wednesday during clashes with security forces on campus and has been in a coma since then.

Economy

 “We Miss You” campaign targeted at attracting wealthy investors to Egypt and reviving tourism 

Reuters: Egypt announces plans to revive flagging tourism sector

WSJ: Egypt Launches “We Miss You” Ad Campaign To Lure Back Visitors

In this article: The Egyptian tourism ministry has announced ambitious plans to revive Egypt’s long-suffering tourism sector. Government data shows that tourism revenue in Egypt dropped 43% in the first quarter of 2014, amidst frequent bombings, protests, and political instability. The Tourism minister says, “our plan is to attract more than 25 million tourists by 2020. Revenues generated will double from the 2010 peak of $12.5billion to $25billion within the coming 6 years.” The tourism minister is in Dubai to launch the new “We Miss You” campaign to encourage tourists and wealthy investors to visit Egypt.

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