EgyptSource

Over the past two weeks, Egyptians were not occupied with the daily terrorist attacks in Cairo, Sinai and elsewhere in which dozens were killed, or with regional wars in Yemen, Libya, and Syria. Instead, the heated debate on the airwaves and in newspapers was over a call by a prominent journalist for Egyptian women to publicly remove their veils. This move, he said, was a sign of protest against oppression by men, and decades of propaganda by political Islamic groups.

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State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, renowned for its pro-government stance, released a report Saturday slamming police abuses of power and negligence.

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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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