Top News: Egypt Court Orders Mubarak Retrial on Charge of Killing Protesters

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will face a second and final retrial over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his thirty-year rule, a high court said on Thursday. Judge Anwar Gabri accepted the prosecution’s appeal and said Mubarak would be tried again on November 5 by the high court. He was not present at the court. The court upheld the acquittal of the other defendants in the same case, including ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly and six security aides. This decision is now final and cannot be further appealed. [Ahram Online , DNE , Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), 6/4/2015]


Egyptian political party questions authorities over alleged abduction of activists
A political party called on Egypt’s Interior Ministry late Wednesday to “immediately reveal” information regarding the alleged “abduction” of political activists during the past couple of days. Strong Egypt party, headed by former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, said in a statement that “raids and random arrests” carried out by Egypt’s security authorities are “not in line” with the state’s rhetoric on “respecting the law.” The Freedom for the Brave, a movement calling for the release of those detained for politically-motivated charges, said in a statement published on its Facebook page it was able to document ninety-nine cases of “forced disappearance and arrest without investigation” since April. [Aswat Masriya, 6/4/2015]


Public Prosecution orders arrest of Beni Suef blogger
The Beni Suef Public Prosecution on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Ayman Youssef Tawfiq, accused of defaming Islam and the Prophet, and requested the Interior Ministry find out whether the blogger operates his Facebook page himself. In early June, Tawfiq was accused of posting cartoons offensive to the Prophet Mohammed online, leading to the attack of Coptic homes in the village and the forcible displacement of five families from his village. On Wednesday, the families returned to their village following a local government-sponsored reconciliation conference. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said Wednesday that the return of displaced families to Beni Suef through a new customary session is an incomplete step, and will not solve the sectarian tension. In its statement, EIPR criticized the customary sessions, which “turned into a parallel judiciary lacking the minimum guarantees of fair trial and non-discrimination.” [Egypt Independent, 6/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian court adjourns Al Jazeera journalists’ retrial to June 11 | Ahram Online
  • Defense Minister exempts 574 military installations from real estate tax | Egypt Independent
  • Sohag court sentences fifty-five Brotherhood supporters to three to ten years | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Siemens signs 8 billion euro power deal with Egypt
German industrial company Siemens signed an 8 billion euro deal ($9 billion) with Egypt to supply gas and wind power plants to increase the country’s electricity generation by 50 percent. The deal, signed during an official visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Germany, is Siemens’ single biggest order and gives a needed boost to its struggling gas and power division. Siemens said the installations, when completed, would add 16.4 gigawatts (GW) to Egypt’s national grid. The order includes twenty-four Siemens’ H-Class gas turbines, adding to the forty-eight Siemens has sold so far. They will power three new gas plants, which Siemens said would be the largest in the world. Orascom Construction (OC) said it would construct two combined cycle plants in consortium with Siemens with a total generation capacity of 9.6 GW. OC said its combined share of the contracts was 1.6 billion euros and would be financed by the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.  [Reuters, 6/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi invites German companies to invest in Egypt | SIS
  • Egypt begins marketing ten year US dollar bond | Reuters
  • Egypt bourse to move to next day settlement on June 11 | Reuters
  • World Bank President to visit Egypt in June | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Rights groups concerned over investigations into anti-torture judges
A number of NGOs and human rights organizations released a statement Wednesday criticizing the authorities’ interrogation of two judges and the questioning of lawyer Negad al-Boraie. The interrogations occurred in light of their submitting a draft law to combat torture. The joint statement was signed by eighteen organizations including: the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS); the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR); and El Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence. The two judges under investigation, Assem Abd al-Gabbar and Hisham Raouf, are accused of contributing to the drafting of an anti-torture law and their participation in a workshop organized by an “illegal organization,” in reference to a law firm called United Group. [DNE, 6/4/2015]

Egyptian lawyers plan to protest ‘police assaults’
The Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate on Wednesday called on its members to strike on Saturday in protest of “police assaults” on lawyers, citing an alleged attack by a police officer on a lawyer in the Damietta governorate. The police officer at the Fareskour police station in Damietta beat, humiliated, and was “intentionally scornful” of lawyer Emad Fahmy, the group Lawyers for Justice said in a statement released Wednesday night. Head of the Lawyers Syndicate Sameh Ashour said, “Egypt’s Interior Ministry insists on going backwards to pre January 25, 2011 policies and relinquishing the protection of citizens.” Fahmy has been hospitalized and had nine stitches in his head after the attack, Ashour said, adding that reports against the police officer and the Ministry of Interior were filed with the General Prosecutor. The sub-council of the Lawyers’ Syndicate in Damietta will also partially suspend work at the Fareskour District Court until investigations into the assault are concluded. The deputy head of the syndicate in Damietta, Diaa Eddin Dawoud, said the decision to suspend work is another form of protest against the lawyer’s assault. [Ahram Online, DNE , Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya , Cairo Post, 6/4/2015]
Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s Pope cancels weekly sermon after protest in church | Ahram Online
  • After lengthy closure, Cairo’s Tahrir metro station to reopen in days says official | Ahram Online
  • More rights groups join warnings of forced disappearances | Egypt Independent
  • Environmental talk considers effect of rising seas levels on Egypt | DNE
  • Seven floating hotels in Lake Nasser suspended for violating environmental law | Egypt Independent


Conscript, twelve militants killed in separate incidents in Sinai
A security conscript was gunned down and killed while on duty near the city of al-Arish in North Sinai on Wednesday, military sources said. Clashes also erupted between armed men and security forces south of Rafah, leaving twelve suspected militants killed, sources said. Those killed are believed to belong to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt’s most active militant group. [Aswat Masriya, 6/3/2015]

Also of Interest


Peter Greste says Australian government document could lead to acquittal
An Australian government document could be pivotal in ending Peter Greste’s legal ordeal and pave the way for his acquittal on terror charges in Egypt. As the retrial of the Al Jazeera journalist and his colleagues Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed reaches its closing stages with Greste in absentia, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs sent a letter to Cairo Criminal Court stating that journalist Peter Greste was accused of crimes in Egypt that are not punishable under Australian law. The letter added that there was no legal reason to include Greste in the ongoing case in Cairo. Following a session on Wednesday, the trial was adjourned to June 11. [The Guardian, 6/4/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi discusses Middle East issues with German FM | SIS
  • Egypt’s chief of staff meets Greek chief of Hellenic National Defense General Staff | Ahram Online, SIS  
  • USAID concludes four-year small and medium-sized enterprises program | Egypt Independent
  • Court to consider claim demanding recovery of Nefertiti statue from Germany on Thursday | Egypt Independent