EgyptSource

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom for the fifth year in a row is recommending that the State Department categorize Egypt as a “country of particular concern” subject to sanctions. The Obama administration has repeatedly ignored that advice, and even those lawmakers most invested in the issue of religious freedom hope to keep it that way.

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As the season of migration via the Mediterranean begins, public policy discussions by Egyptian authorities on Syrian refugees have become increasingly important. Since the start of the year, over 1,750 refugees have died making the treacherous journey, attempting to leave the coasts of Africa for a better future in Europe. Syrians by far outnumber any other nationality taking this risk. In Egypt, there were an estimated 300,000 Syrian refugees in 2014, 136,245 of whom are officially registered with UNHCR.

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Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi witnessed on Thursday the signing of a security cooperation agreement with Spain during his visit to Madrid. The agreement, which regulates cooperation between the two states in the field of security and combating crime, was signed by the Egyptian Foreign Minister and the Spanish Interior Minister, reported state television, citing the state agency MENA.

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Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidi said the Legislative Reform Committee has discussed amendments to the Prisons Act. Article 38, which gives a prisoner the right to send letters and receive visits, would be amended to include the right to make telephone calls as well.

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A Cairo criminal court has acquitted journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziyada, after he spent more than 486 days in pretrial detention. The court acquitted twelve other defendants and sentenced sixty-three others. The sixty-three sentenced defendants received prison sentences ranging from a year to seven years’ hard labor. 

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It’s just past three o’clock in December and the Dot Masr office is bustling. Dozens of twenty-something Egyptians tap away at desktop computers in the website’s open newsroom in the two-story office in Garden City, Cairo — prime real estate. 

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The Administrative Court of the State Council referred on Tuesday the lawsuit filed by Samir Sabry to the State Commissioner's Authority, seeking a legal opinion. In the lawsuit, Sabry demanded that the President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi form a fact-finding committee to prepare a report on corruption crimes committed under former President Hosni Mubarak. 

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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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