Weekly Roundup – Feb 14, 2014

02/15/2014 . By TIMEP

TOP STORIES

Legal & Political Institutions

In a press statement, the Egyptian Socialist Democratic Party condemned alleged torture that took place at detention facilities where those arrested on the backdrop of the 2011 revolution’s third anniversary are kept. [Atlantic Council]

A European Union meeting of ministers of foreign affairs in Brussels resulted in a “series of strongly worded” recommendation to Egypt. In  their press release Egypt was criticized over the “absence of a fully inclusive process, the lack of attempts to overcome the polarization of society and the closing of political space for dissenting opinion before and during the referendum.” Amongst the other issues cited by the group is the lack of an investigation “to hold accountable those responsible for the deaths of hundreds since June 30 and the deepening rift between the pro-military government and the ousted Muslim Brotherhood.” In a response to the EU statement, Egypt’s foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Adel Aty referred to the statement as “contain[ing] some negative points that either exhibit a lack of European understanding of the situation in Egypt or a deliberate position to ignore the realities on the ground.” He added that “some of the points raised by the EU may amount to interference in sovereign matters.” [Mada Masr]

Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has been more open to ‘reconciliation’ with the old elite of the Mubarak era. The corrupt businessmen who funded Mubarak’s reign are now buying their way back into Egypt. [Foreign Policy]

Gender & Sexuality

Debasish Mitra highlights the plight of women in Egypt, noting: “Egyptians got rid of Mubarak, in a coup the military toppled the country’s first ever elected president promising the gullible teeming millions equality, fraternity, liberty and rule of law. Yet, women in Egypt continued to live in utter ignominy — as targets of not only lust but also of unspeakable violence and torture.” [Times of Oman]

Amal Elmohandes, Director of the Women Human Rights Defenders Program, Nazraa wrote a “concept paper” on the different practices of sexual violence against women giving a description of the practice and an example from its recent use in Egypt. Amongst the sexual violence practices described were virginity tests, rape, and sexual assault and Harassment. [Daily News Egypt]

In a letter to President Mansour, a number of organizations representing Egyptian women demand that the election law includes fair and equal representation of women in Parliament. [El Watan -AR]

Security Sector

Egyptian security forces have fortified their presence around the capital and in neighbouring Giza ahead of planned demos called for against the interim authorities by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.[Ahram]

Egypt’s state news agency says a drive-by shooting on a highway east of Cairo has left three policemen dead. MENA says the attack took place early on Wednesday as the three policemen were patrolling the Suez-Ismailia road. Unidentified gunmen opened fire from their car on the police vehicle and fled the scene. [Global NewsCBCDaily Star Lebanon]

Lelila Fadel writes that, estimates from the Egyptian Center of Economic and Social Rights are: 16,687 detainees estimated to be imprisoned, 4,482 dead in clashes, 198 number killed in armed attacks on police and army, these are the numbers since since the ousting of Morsi on July 3rd. She adds that “analysts say oppressive practices by the military-backed government have encouraged more extreme actions by jihadists — and they predict that the attacks on the state will likely grow.” [NPR] [Op-ed]

Egypt’s Interior Ministry has accused the ousted president’s Muslim Brotherhood group of forming a military wing to stage attacks on the security forces. [AP,AhramTIME]

Marginalized Groups

A 12-year-old boy was killed on Friday during violence that erupted nationwide pursuant to protests marking the six-month anniversary of the violent dispersal of the Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda Square protest camps. The boy was shot standing on his balcony in Minya–the victim’s family alleges that demonstrators fired the shot, while the FJP has accused security forces. [Mada Masr]

A Human Rights Watch report released today finds that Egyptian and Sudanese security officials have “turned a blind eye to allow convoys of kidnapped Eritrean asylum seekers reach Sinai between 2009-2012.” The report estimates that between 25,000-30,000 people were victims of trafficking in Sinai, and that the industry generated $622million in profit for the traffickers, and kidnapper randoms ranging between $1,000 to $40,000 per person.[ Al Jazeera, HRWDaily News Egypt]

Rights & Freedoms

Cairo Criminal Court acquitted police officer Mohammed Abdel-Moneim Ibrahim, commonly known as “Mohammad Al-Sunni”, in the case of killing protesters on 28 January 2011 at Al-Zawya Al- Hamra district. The defendant’s lawyer said there was “a lack of criminal intent”, since he was in a state of legal self-defence,  defence of his workplace “and society”. [Daily News Egypt]

A trial date for February 20 has been set for 20 journalists, amongst them the nine who work for Al Jazeera. The journalists face charges of “spreading false news and terrorism. 16 of the defendants standing trial are Egyptians, four are foreigners and three of which will stand trial as Dutch journalist Rena Netjes was able to flee the country.  Prosecutors are accusing the Al Jazeera news crew “of portraying Egypt in a state of “civil war” and “airing false news.” [Daily News Egypt, National Australia]

Economy

The Egyptian government welcomes its five year strategic cooperation plan with the Islamic Development Bank, inked in June during the Deauville Partnership investment forum as a memorandum of understanding, Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Araby said Wednesday. [Daily News Egypt]

Egyptian Oil Minister Sherif Ismail signed deals with Emirati energy company Dana Gas, Italy’s Edison and Irish exploration and production company Petroceltic. [UPI]

Foreign Relations

Vladimir Putin has wished Egypt’s military chief victory in the nation’s presidential vote, even though he has yet to announce his bid – demonstrating Russia’s desire to expand its military and other ties with a key US ally in the Middle East. [The GuardianAhramBBCNYTUSAToday]