EgyptSource

On April 13, photos circulated in the Egyptian media of a book-burning ceremony. Several Ministry of Education officials can be seen in the pictures standing in a school courtyard, holding Egyptian flags and watching while a small pile of books turn to ashes in front of them. The books, reportedly from the school library, all dealt with Islamic matters; some were authored by Muslim Brotherhood leader and ideologue Sayyid Quttub.

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In 2007, blogger Karim Amer was sentenced to four years in prison on charges of insulting Islam and the president. It was the first instance in which Egyptian authorities targeted an individual on charges relating to online freedom of expression. Over the years, the public debate on online freedoms has grown, prompted by the advent of blogs dedicated to exposing human rights abuses, criticizing government policies, and calling for Egypt’s democratization.

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An obscure terrorist group identifying itself as the Execution Brigade has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Wael Tahoun, the chief investigation officer of the Matariya Police Station. The group said the attack was meant to avenge lawyer Karim Hamdy, who was found dead in his cell at the Matariya police station on February 24. 

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Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy announced that the parliamentary elections will not be held until after Ramadan, due to technical and security issues. "We are ‎back to square one again and I do not expect the poll to ‎be held anytime soon ahead of the holy Islamic month of ‎Ramadan [which is scheduled to begin on 18 June]," Heneidy told reporters on Wednesday.

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Dr. Mahmoud Dahroug, a man of over sixty, lives in a constant state of suspense, fearing he will be arrested to serve a five-year prison sentence issued against him late last year for being a Shiite. Most of his acquaintances have distanced themselves from him, and Dahroug spends his time reading and surfing the Internet at home. He only goes out when absolutely necessary.

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Egypt's former ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was given fifteen days of detention on Tuesday over new charges related to a massive sit-in held by his supporters after his ouster in 2013. Along with other defendants, Morsi is charged with inciting his supporters to commit murder, demonstrate and disturb the public peace.

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Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to twenty years in prison and a five year parole on Tuesday. He was convicted on charges of inciting violence, arresting protesters and physically abusing them, outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

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Egypt’s interior ministry said it would take “legal action” against what it said was an “unprofessional” news report in a private daily criticizing police practices, in a statement it released on Sunday. Al-Masry Al-Youm (AMAY) daily published on Sunday a seven-page series of reports highlighting what it described as the “coercive and arrogant” practices of police.

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Egypt’s parliamentary elections, originally scheduled to be held in March, have been on indefinite hold since the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled two of the parliamentary elections laws unconstitutional. A committee tasked with amending the three electoral laws regulating the elections—the Parliamentary Constituencies Law, the Political Rights Law, and the Parliamentary Elections Law—was formed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, after President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the government to amend the electoral laws in no longer than a month.

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The Antiquities Ministry's decision to demolish a Hellenistic-era archaeological site in Alexandria was carried out on Thursday, destroying the ancient ruins and leveling the area into a flat lot. The site of al-Abd Theater in Camp Shizar, which was discovered in 2013, dates back to the Roman and Hellenistic eras 323 BC and lies in a residential neighborhood just a block inland from the Mediterranean coast. 

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