EgyptSource Special News Roundup: Eye on June 30

Rabaa al Adaweya DNE.jpg

Follow live updates of June 30 protests on EgyptSource and Ahram Online


As President Mohamed Morsi completes his first year in office, Daily News Egypt takes an in-depth look at key events and milestones involving the judiciary, security, Sinai, tourism, foreign affairs, the economy, protests, and human rights. Other topics that have been looked at in-depth including the IMF loan, Morsi’s achievements, economic achievements and failures

Also of Interest:
In his own words: President Morsi’s first year of key, bizarre quotes | Ahram Online
Egypt: One year of Mohamed Morsi | AJE


Thousands continue pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa al-Adaweya Mosque
Supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, who belong to Islamist movements, continued their sit-in in front of Rabaa al-Adaweya Mosque for the second day in the row on Sunday and blocked all the main and side roads leading to their location, after declaring an open-ended sit-in on Friday.  The protesters placed metal and wooden barriers at the entries to prevent vehicles from passing through the area, causing a traffic conjunction, reported the state news agency. On Saturday, where thousands were gathered at the mosque, the demonstrators, only men, continued to sing, dance and chant in support of the Brotherhood-fielded president. Donations were collected for the Free Syrian Army, while a field hospital was also established, although no injuries were received. A few did seek medical care due to low blood pressure from the 35 degree heat. 

At the protest on Saturday, Amr Shamer, one of the volunteer security personnel, said, “There has not been a single incident of harassment, fighting or theft,” He added, “We trust in the military and police to protect our country. Our revolution is peaceful but we will protect ourselves from any attackers.” Thousands could be seen armed with wooden sticks for what they said would only be used in self-defense. Several demonstrators said they did not rule out the possibility of marching to the presidential palace, where the opposition is gathering for a protest in its call to oust President Morsi. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, 6/30/2013]

Also of Interest:
In Pictures: Thousands of president’s supporters call his legitimacy a “red line” | DNE
Egypt braces for storm of protest | Reuters, AP


Thousands flock to Tahrir for anti-Morsi protests
Thousands of anti-government protesters started to flock to Egypt’s iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo early Sunday morning—the first day of planned nationwide rallies and protest marches aimed at unseating Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. All the entries to the square have been blocked as protesters formed popular committees to prevent thugs and outlaws from entering Tahrir. Protesters in Heliopolis continued their sit-in by the presidential palace for the third day in the row on Sunday as an increase in the number of tents is now seen in the area. The protesters have closed Merghany Street to traffic and have placed cement blocks and wooden barriers in all directions before a podium which has been set in front of the Heliopolis Sporting Club.  

Sit-ins start across Cairo, in Alexandria and Sharqiya 
Protests kicked off on Saturday night as thousands converged to main squares in Cairo and governorates on Saturday night. Protests had already started in governorates such as Suez, Sharqiya, Menoufia and Gharbiya. Traffic in Egypt’s second-largest city, Alexandria almost came to a standstill in the late hours of Saturday after thousands of protesters held sit-ins in some vital districts. Tents have also been set up in Tahrir and at the presidential palace, while Rebel activists are staging a sit-in at Morsi’s residence in Sharqiya. Hundreds of protesters also rallied at the Ministry of Defense, where dozens have been sitting-in at the ministry for almost a week calling for early presidential elections and for the handing of power over to Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 6/30/2013]

Tamarod surpasses 22 million signatures
On Saturday, Egypt’s ‘Rebel’ campaign spokesman Mahmoud Badr announced that the initiative to force President Mohamed Morsi out of power had collected over 22 million signatures, surpassing its original goal of 15 million before June 30. Badr announced that the campaign had gathered 22,134,465 documented signature forms, adding that it had discarded over 100,000 incomplete forms. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, 6/29/2013]

Also of Interest: 
Ahram Online breaks down the playbook for June 30 anti-Morsi protests | Ahram Online
Artists to bring their touch to Egypt’s June 30 protests | Ahram Online
In Pictures: Tahrir tells Morsi to “leave” | DNE
Tahrir Doctors Society: Health Ministry ill-prepared for June 30 protests | Egypt Independent
Fearing bloodshed, rival Cairo protests steel selves for Sunday | Reuters, AP
June 30 Front forms operation rooms to monitor events | Aswat Masriya
Map of Cairo June 30 marches heading to Tahrir and Itihadeya | AMAY (Arabic)


MOI, Military secure streets ahead of protests 
The Ministry of Interior tightened security around the parliament, the interior ministry, and Egypt’s cabinet headquarters in anticipation of demonstrations on Sunday. According to the state’s news agency MENA, roughly thirty-five central security vehicles, six armed vehicles, and four fire engines have been deployed in the vicinity of Tahrir Square to protect these institutions. Two military apache helicopters were also seen flying overhead in Tahrir.  Military forces currently deployed nationwide are aimed at protecting Egyptian citizens and property, armed forces spokesman Ahmed Ali declared Friday. "These measures are being taken to avoid a 28 January 2011 scenario," Ali told Egyptian state news agency MENA, referring to violence that ensued during Egypt’s 2011 mass protests that eventually ousted president Hosni Mubarak. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 6/30/2013]

Anti-Harassment groups gear up for June 30 protests
Anti-harassment organizations and movements have announced their plans in preparation for June 30 protests at the presidential palace. Tahrir Bodyguard, Fouada Watch and Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment (OpAntiSH) have been busy for the past week recruiting volunteers and training them to fight sexual harassment. These movements have announced they will be working on the streets outside the presidential palace on June 30. Their activities include protecting female protesters, spreading awareness and helping women in cases of harassment during protests. OpAntiSH announced that five cases of harassment, including an attack on a foreign correspondent, took place on Friday during a mass protest in Tahrir, with Nazra for Feminist Studies qualifying in a statement that “all five cases were mob assaults.” [DNE, Egypt Independent, 6/29/2013]

Seven Dead, 606 injured in four days of political clashes: Egypt’s health ministry
Egypt’s health ministry reported seven deaths and 606 injuries Saturday from intermittent clashes between President Morsi’s supporters and opponents since Wednesday throughout six governorates in the run-up June 30 protests. Of those injured, 480 have already been discharged from hospitals and others are still receiving treatment, the ministry added. Three deaths occurred in Mansoura, two in Alexandria, one in Zagazig and one in Port Said. Andrew Pochter, 21, from Chevy Chase, Maryland, died after being stabbed in the chest on Friday in the coastal city of Alexandria. His family said in a statement Saturday that he was stabbed by a protester while observing the demonstrations. Fourteen year-old Ahmed Metwaly was also among those who died in Alexandria, after sustaining wounds during clashes on Friday.  [Ahram Online, SIS, Reuters, 6/29/2013]

Muslim Brotherhood, FJP offices attacked throughout Egypt 
Offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in different Egyptian governorates were reportedly raided and torched on Friday. Eyewitnesses reported that anti-Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood protestesr attacked the Brotherhood’s and its party’s headquarters in Alexandria, Kafr al-Sheikh, Beheira, Daqahliya and Sharqiya. Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad accused the police, members of the disbanded National Democratic Party and people whom he called thugs of attacking eight FJP and Brotherhood headquarters. An FJP statement blamed “Mubarak regime thugs” and “NSF saboteurs” for the attacks.  

Early Sunday, a number of offices of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, were torched by protesters indignant towards the ruling regime. Protesters in Beni Suef city torched FJP offices hours before mass nationwide anti-regime protests are due to take place. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent,  6/30/2013]

Pro-Morsi protesters detained for possession of weapons
The Prosecution in Cairo’s al-Marg ordered fifteen suspects detained pending investigation concerning illegal possession of weapons and ammunition. The suspects were arrested on Friday at a checkpoint in al-Marg. They were reportedly coming from Tanta City in Gharbiya governorate and were headed to Rabaa al-Adaweya Square in Nasr City to participate in a demonstration supporting President Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile, security forces in Qalubiya governorate on Friday arrested ninety Islamists carrying sticks, Molotov cocktails and gasoline cans en route to a Cairo rally supporting President Mohamed Morsi in Nasr City. A bus and three micro-buses loaded with the ninety Islamists carrying weapons were seized by security forces in collaboration with popular committees at the Kafr Shokr checkpoint, a Qalubiya Security Directorate statement said Friday. Other reports of the arrest have placed the number of detainees at thirty-seven. [Egypt Independent, 6/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Violence flares in Egypt as rival protests approach June 30 showdown | Ahram Online
Port Port Said explosion probably homemade explosive: Security source  | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, Reuters


President Morsi meets defense, interior ministers ahead of June 30 protests
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi met with Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi Saturday to discuss plans to secure protest and strategic locations, reported Egyptian state news agency MENA, prior to the widely-anticipated anti-government demonstrations slated for Sunday. In his meeting with al-Sisi, Morsi discussed the ministry’s plan to secure vital and strategic state facilities, protect the people, and secure the borders. An Egyptian political figure proposed to Morsi an initiative that would bring al-Sisi in as interim prime minister for six months, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday. The unnamed politician told the news agency that the proposed government would arrange for parliamentary elections as soon as possible, oversee an economic reform program, and champion national reconciliation efforts. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Morsi insisted there will be “no second revolution”. The Egyptian president rejected calls for early elections and warned that his early removal would only lead to chaos. [Ahram Online,  Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 6/30/2013]

Morsi in late meeting with Islamist parties Saturday: all protests should be peaceful
The Egyptian presidency announced that President Mohamed Morsi met with a number of representatives of Islamist powers and parties in Egypt late Saturday to discuss the latest developments in the country. According to a statement the Egyptian presidency published late Saturday on its Facebook page, Morsi underlined the importance of the peacefulness of protests, adding that there were no compromises in applying the law on everyone equally. From their part, representatives of Islamist parties reaffirmed their support for Morsi and his legitimacy as president. [Ahram Online, 6/30/2013]

Secular MPs resign from Shura Council; Press conference held on post-June 30 plans
Nine MPs declared their resignation from the Shura Council Saturday at an anti-Morsi Rebel campaign press conference held at the Press Syndicate. The resignations came one day before mass rallies expected to take place on June 30. Meanwhile, several political activists, parties and factions held a press conference and issued a statement on Saturday outlining their plans for the post-June 30 period. The conference included the 6 April Youth Movement, the Popular Socialist Coalition, and Youth for the Freedom and Justice Movement, as well as former presidential candidate and labor syndicate lawyer Khaled Ali. Ali outlined a roadmap for transition, including demands for a panel of government experts that would be responsible for leading the transitional period. It also called for the head of the Supreme Constitutional Committee to become the “acting president.”  Founders of the opposition coalition the National Salvation Front (NSF), Hamdeen Sabbahi and Mohamed ElBaradei, released video messages urging Egyptians to take to the streets on Sunday to press for early presidential elections. In a joint statement released on Friday, prominent political parties and figures announced that the June 30 protests would be peaceful, while Tamarod accused President Morsi of spreading bloodshed. The statement stressed that the objective of the June 30 protests is to revolt against injustice, oppression, poverty and degradation. [Ahram Online, DNE, 6/29/2013]

Egypt Islamist coalition urges opposition to break from Mubarak regime figures
Egypt’s newly-formed National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy, an umbrella group of 40 Islamist parties and groups led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, called on opposition leaders to condemn ongoing political violence and "break ties with corrupt figures" of the Mubarak regime. They blamed recent deadly clashes in Egypt on opposition forces that have been calling for the fall of President Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile, Yousry Hammad, deputy head of the Salafist al-Watan Party, announced Saturday that his party will not be taking part in any rallies in support of President Mohamed Morsi in the coming days, to avoid being dragged into violence. Hammad further denounced on his Facebook page the violence that took place Friday, claiming that it was carried out by “unknown elements” who are attempting to frame other groups. [Ahram Online, 6/29/2013]

Egypt prosecutor-general opens investigations against opposition figures
Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdallah ordered Saturday the investigation of complaints filed against a number of opposition figures accused of "conspiring to overthrow the regime" in planning widely anticipated anti-government rallies Sunday, June 30, judicial sources tell Ahram Online.  Aswat Masriya reported that the office of Hassan Yassin, assistant to the prosecutor general, will compile all filed reports, most of which are against political figures and party heads, including Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa, al-Sayed al-Badawi, Hamdeen Sabbahi, Mamdouh Hamza and Mahmoud Badr. Yassin’s office also started compiling reports filed against the Tamarod campaign, which has been collecting signatures on petitions to withdraw confidence from President Mohamed Morsi.  [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 6/29/2013]

Ministry threatens private television channels with shutdown 
Egypt’s Ministry of Investment sent a letter to several private television channels including CBC, Dream and ONTV threatening them with immediate closure without awaiting a court ruling. The ministry based its threat on a previous administrative court ruling that entitles the ministry to shut down those channels in case of violations such as not committing to the ethics of dialogue, disrespecting objectivity and inciting violence. Meanwhile, al-Faraeen channel was abruptly shut down Thursday night in the midst of a live program hosted by the channel’s owner Tawfiq Okasha. During the broadcast Okasha called on viewers for help and protection against the Muslim Brotherhood. “Save me from the terrorists” he said, just minutes before the channel was shut down. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, 6/28/2013]

Also of Interest:
Calls for military coup do not represent ‘patriotic’ opposition: Morsi advisor | Ahram Online
NSF, Tamarod cannot stop June 30 protests: NSF coordinator | Ahram Online
NSF Youth publish Black Book of Morsi | DNE
Brotherhood under siege: Q & A with FJP advisor Gehad al-Haddad | Ahram Online
Judges’ Club to take legal action against Morsi for insulting judiciary | Aswat Masriya
Egypt’s Azhar Imam and Grand Mufti urge self-restraint on June 30 | Aswat Masriya, SIS
Awqaf Ministry urges citizens to protect sanctity of mosque | SIS
Carrying weapons in protests is wrong: Religious authority | Ahram Online
Mufti: Protests allowed so long as they do not affect national interests | SIS


United States urges Egyptians to ensure protests remain peaceful
Egyptian political leaders must take steps to ensure that demonstrations sweeping Cairo and other cities do not descend into violence, a top US official urged Friday. "In our opinion, all Egyptians have the right to express their opinions and concerns freely. We’ve urged the government to protect that right," acting deputy US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said. US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Egypt’s opposition parties and President Mohamed Morsi to renounce violence and engage in a constructive dialogue. "Obviously we are all looking at the situation with concern," Obama said, commenting on clashes in Egypt which killed three people, including an American student. He called on the parties involved to avoid violence, saying instability in Egypt could spill over into the surrounding region. [Ahram Online, Reuters, AP, State Department Press Briefing, 6/29/2013]

Israel, United States, Belgium, UAE warn citizens against travel to Egypt
Israel warned its citizens Saturday not to travel to Egypt ahead of protests on June 30. In a statement on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry called on citizens abroad, especially tourists, not to go to Egypt due to protests. The statement published by Israeli media recommended that Egyptian-based Israelis consider leaving Egypt. Meanwhile, the Obama administration on Friday warned Americans against all but essential travel to Egypt and moved to reduce the official US presence in the country amid fears of widespread unrest. The US State Department advised US citizens traveling to or living in Egypt to "defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time due to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest." The Belgian government has warned its people against traveling to Egypt, as more foreigners and diplomats are leaving the country. The Emirati Foreign Ministry has asked its citizens to avoid traveling to Egypt except in extreme emergencies due to security conditions. Australia’s travel alert for Egypt may be raised amid rising tension and mass protests calling for President Mohamed Morsi to step down. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel warning for Egypt is currently set at level two out of four, advising Australians to exercise a high degree of caution. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Egypt Independent, AAP, 6/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Amnesty calls on Egyptian police to exercise restraint on June 30 | Ahram Online
Obama tells Egyptians to talk, not fight | Reuters


Egypt court sentences Assiut railway worker to 10 years prison | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Reuters, AP
Police officer killed in militant attack in Sinai | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, Reuters
Mass resignations at al-Wasat party | DNE
Tarek al-Zomor elected new secretary general for Building and Development party | DNE
Egypt’s permanent delegate to UN: Egypt on right path | SIS

Photo: Daily News Egypt 

Image: Rabaa%20al%20Adaweya%20DNE.jpg