The Week in Egypt [May 5, 2014]

Catch up on the latest out of Egypt every week, with analysis, news updates, photos, videos, and more.

Quote of the Week

“It is an appalling abuse of the justice system . . . It shows a dictatorship run amok.” Senator Patrick Leahy on a recent verdict against 683 Egyptians sentencing them to death.

Egypt in the News






On EgyptSource

On Death Sentences and Bans by Amr Hamzawy
Bassem Sabry Remembered by Mohamed El Dahshan
FACTBOX: Backlash Over Egypt’s Mass Trials
Proven Guilty: Egypt’s Judiciary and the Undermining of Democracy by Ryan Suto
What Tony Blair’s Views Say about Britain’s Foreign Policy by Tom Dale
A New Phase of Counterfeiting Cognizance by Amr Hamzawy


For Bassem | Sara Carr, Mada Masr

“Dead protesters are viewed as martyrs but death has become too easy and lives too cheap, names on a spreadsheet. Death was everywhere and yet so remote. Gradually, clashes, and death during clashes, have become just another everyday reality. In Egypt people die anonymously in car crashes and on sinking ferries and in universities and in protests, that’s just the way it is.”

“But death is not a hitman for hire, and the dead can’t keep score. A person is most vulnerable when they stop caring, stop looking, when they forget the lesson of the past three years; death is everywhere, and to ignore it, or delight in it, is to do so at one’s own risk. Bassem’s untimely death re-awoke some part of our collective conscience that had been switched off, particularly in the past year. He reminded us that to belittle death is to belittle life because they are one continuum, and that the moment when death stops being a tragedy is when life becomes one.”

An Egyptian Voice of Dissent Is Muffled, but Not Silenced | Mayy El Sheikh, New York Times

“When Mr. Morsi was elected president and the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, Mr. [Belal] Fadl wasted no time turning his pen against the country’s new elite, writing that they “read the events with their bottoms, not their minds.”

Though he initially supported the protests last June to remove Mr. Morsi from office, and even cheered when the military did so, Mr. Fadl quickly noticed similarities between the two governments.

“God knows, I detest you,” he said, addressing the Muslim Brotherhood in a column he wrote after the military takeover. But he noted that he was nonetheless compelled to defend the rights of Islamists against the government’s repression. “I detest you exactly like I detest those who kill you in cold blood,” Mr. Fadl wrote. “I detest you all because you are exactly the same as each other.”

Video of the Week: 

Nabil Fahmy responds to Charlie Rose’s question on the Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed, currently facing trial in Cairo.

On Twitter: Courts ban April 6 Movement

On Monday the Cairo Court of Urgent Matters banned the activities of the April 6 Youth Movement. The youth activist group was accused of a litany of crimes including espionage, vandalism, and tarnishing the image of the state. The group is one of the few secular groups to remain outspoken in their criticism of the Egyptian government after June 30. They have been particularly critical of a protest law passed last November. 

Image: Photo of the Week: Demonstrators shout slogans with drums against the government and Egypt's former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi near El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo, April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh