Atlantic Council

EgyptSource

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged the United States and Europe on Thursday to help the Libyan army in its fight against Islamist militants now to save the country from requiring intervention on the scale of Iraq and Syria.

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday a presidential pardon for two of the three Al Jazeera journalists serving seven-year jail sentences in his country was being considered.

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A group of Egyptian human rights organizations issued a press statement November 18, inviting the ministry of social solidarity to participate in a serious and transparent dialogue to discuss the future of civil society in Egypt. The invitation comes a week after the expiration of the ministry’s deadline set for all non-governmental entities engaging in “civic work” to take steps to “legalize their status.” This essentially meant that organizations not registered under the 84/2002 Law on Associations and Foundations, the notoriously restrictive “NGO law” as it is commonly known, were expected to do so if they are to continue to operate.

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Small protests broke out in Downtown Cairo on Wednesday commemorating the third anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes. Security forces cordoned Talaat Harb Square with armored vehicles, eye-witnesses said.

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Any threat to police facilities “will be met with force and if necessary with live rounds,” ministry of interior spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said in an interview on Sunday.

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Executive authorities in countries around the world clamp down on civil society organizations when they wish to delude citizens about what’s really going on in society.  These authorities find it particularly convenient to suppress civil society when seeking to ensure silence about the ways in which the rule of law is being violated and rights and freedoms abused.

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Egypt’s prosecution referred on Sunday five al-Azhar University students to a military court on charges of attacking a vital state institution, after the Cairo Criminal Court announced that it lacks sufficient jurisdiction to rule in the case.

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Appropriations laws, which fund US federal government operations and programs such as foreign assistance, are byzantine documents to be sure.  But they matter a lot in US-Egypt ties because of the central role that aid, especially military aid, plays in the relationship.  The 2014 appropriations law includes democracy conditions on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Egypt that, while much less stringent than what US human rights advocates had sought, still hold up some military aid and have led to an unprecedented disruption to the FMF program.  Nearly a year after the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (“the 2014 law”), $728 million of the $1.3 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 FMF for Egypt has not been released. 

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On Thursday, the ministry of social solidarity launched a hashtag on social media sites. The hashtag is titled, “To protect our society, it’s our right to know civil society organizations’ sources of funding.”

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on Wednesday giving him the authority to transfer non-Egyptian defendants on trial or already convicted to be sent to their countries to be tried or serve their sentences.

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