A fact-finding committee formed to investigate events in Egypt since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi announced on Wednesday that a total of 693 civilians and ten policemen died when security forces dispersed pro-Morsi sit-ins in greater Cairo on August 14, 2013.


Raba’a leaders responsible for sit-in’s victims says fact-finding committee
A fact-finding committee formed to investigate events in Egypt since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi announced on Wednesday that a total of 693 civilians and ten policemen died when security forces dispersed pro-Morsi sit-ins in greater Cairo on August 14, 2013. Dispersal of the sit-in at Raba’a al-Adaweya square in eastern Cairo left 607 civilians and eight policemen dead; the smaller protest at Nahda square in Giza saw the death of eighty-six civilians and two policemen, the committee said in a press conference on Wednesday. Committee head Fouad Abdel Moneim Riad said the first death during the Raba’a dispersal was that of a policeman. He added that attacks against security forces came from all directions, which caused security forces to “lose their focus” leading to a reaction which left a large number of victims. Riad noted that the large death toll could have been avoided. The report also investigated other incidents in the period July 2013 – July 2014, including the clashes at the Republican Guard in June 2013, the torching of churches and assaults against Christians, university violence, assassination attempts, the situations in the Suez Canal and Sinai, and incidents of torture and terrorism. The report stated that sixty-four churches were attacked nationwide in response to the dispersal, including fifty-two that were torched, that 140 Copts were abducted, and 402 Coptic properties were attacked. The committee offered a series of recommendations, including compensation for victims killed in clashes who were not found guilty of inciting violence and the amendment of the protest law. The committee also called on police to reconsider the use of birdshot, and that the police academy should highlight and stress the respect of human rights in its curriculums. The full text of the report can be found here. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/26/2014]

Cabinet approves ‘terrorist entities’ draft law
The cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft law detailing the offenses necessary for a group or organization to be labeled a “terrorist entity.” The draft law, which has now been handed to the presidency for consideration, would ensure that any group “practicing or intending to advocate by any means to disturb public order or endanger the safety of the community and its interests or risk its security or harm national unity,” according to Article 1 of the draft law. The first article of the draft law also stipulates that a group can also be listed as a terror organization if it carries out or endorses “damage to the environment or natural materials”, or affects “telecommunications or land, air and sea transportation”, including the public transportation system.  A group could also be listed as a “terrorist entity” if it “occupies public or private buildings, and public facilities.” The law also gives the same status for “houses of worship, government buildings, hospitals, scientific institutions and diplomatic and consular missions, or regional and international organizations and bodies in Egypt.” Article 2 of the law stipulates that the Prosecutor General has the power to create the list and “insert the entities provided for in Article 1” of the law and pass it to the Cairo Court of Appeals to consider the listing. The court would convene once a year to consider the cases. The full text of the draft law in Arabic can be found here. [DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/26/2014]

Also of Interest
Cabinet approves death penalty as punishment for kidnapping | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Special forces, explosive experts to be deployed November 28: Interior ministry | DNE
Airports secure to face emergency on November 28: Aviation minister | DNE
Islamist opposition to set on Friday protests as of dawn | Egypt Independent
Health ministry launches plan to face November 28 protests | SIS


Thirteen Egyptians charged with forming ‘terror cell’ linked to Islamic State
Egypt’s top prosecutor on Tuesday referred thirteen alleged militants to criminal court on charges of forming a “terrorist cell” targeting police and army forces, a statement from the prosecutor’s office said. The cell, allegedly based in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, is linked to the militant group of the Islamic State, which has claimed control over large swaths of Syria and Iraq. The defendants – six arrested and seven on the run – include teachers at Al-Azhar Islamic University, as well as students, employees and doctors. The group is also allegedly charged with inciting against the government, considering the president an infidel and inciting attacks against security forces and Christians and their property. [Ahram Online, 11/25/2014]

Court sentences Brotherhood supporters to life in absentia
The Beheira and Zagazig Criminal Courts sentenced on Tuesday approximately two dozen alleged Muslim Brotherhood members to prison in two separate trials involving violence related charges. In the northern coastal governorate of Beheira, fifteen were sentenced to life imprisonment after being tried in absentia, state-run MENA reported. In Egypt, people found guilty in absentia are automatically handed the maximum sentence and are retried once they are arrested. Their charges included inciting violence, rioting and violent protest. In a separate trial, another nine were sentenced to prison in Zagazig in Sharqeya governorate, with sentences ranging between three and fifteen years, with eighteen acquitted of all charges. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, 11/26/2014]

Also of Interest
First hearing challenging Protest law December 14 | DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Controversial preacher detained fifteen days over violence charges | Ahram Online
Alaa Abdel Fattah’s Shura Council trial postponed to December 4 | EGYNews (Arabic)
Appeal on decision to seize Brotherhood assets postponed to January 6 |EGYNews (Arabic)
Morsi espionage trial postponed to December 6 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


IMF mission welcomes Egypt reforms, urges flexible exchange rate
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the Egyptian economy has begun recovering through the implementation of structural reforms. The IMF also urged the government to employ a more flexible exchange rate to boost investment. If the positive developments continue, Egypt’s economy is expected to grow by 3.8 percent in the new fiscal year. The IMF estimates that Egypt’s budget deficit will reach about 11 percent of GDP in 2014/15, as measures yielding about 2.5 percent of GDP have already been approved. [Ahram Online, AP, Reuters, Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 11/26/2014]

Also of Interest
Growth rate rises with 6.8 percent in first quarter alongside IMF visit | DNE
Egyptian government takes actions to lure foreign investments | DNE
Upgrading Egypt’s economic outlook stimulus for investments, growth rate | DNE
General picture of the Egyptian economy mixed during IMF visit | DNE
Government hopes to pay full debts owed to foreign partners over coming six months | DNE
Tracking financial assistance to Egypt | DNE
Extensive amendments to trade law necessary: Industry minister | DNE


Clashes erupt at universities in Minya, Assiut
Clashes broke out on Wednesday between students and security forces at Minya University. According to eyewitness reports, students threw Molotov cocktails at security forces outside the university campus, and police responded with tear gas. Meanwhile, at Assiut’s Al Azhar University, similar clashes broke out as students rallied in demand of the release of their detained colleagues. An eyewitness told Aswat Masriya that clashes broke out after students set fire to a security room and motorcycle. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 11/26/2014]

Also of Interest
Rights group condemns rejection of detention appeal by Mohamed Mahmoud protesters | Egypt Independent
Journalists Syndicate refutes alleged slander of Armed Forces by HR lawyer | Mada Masr


Three policemen, five militants killed in separate incidents in Sinai  
Two police officers and a conscript were gunned down by unknown assailants while driving near al-Arish Police Station in North Sinai on Wednesday, the ministry of interior announced. The ministry mourned the policemen’s death in a statement, saying they have “sacrificed their lives for the nation.” Meanwhile, the Egyptian army resumed air operations in the Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, reportedly killing five members of the militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and injuring four others. The operation was conducted by Apache aircrafts in the south of Sheikh Zuweid, North Sinai, targeting two houses where jihadist extremists from the areas of Goura and Moqata’a were based, security sources said. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 11/26/2014]


UN adopts resolutions presented by Egypt
Egypt’s representative at the United Nations Amr Abu al-Atta presented two resolutions during the 60th plenary session of the United Nations, with both adopted by the General Assembly on Tuesday. The first resolution addressed the Palestine situation, highlighting recent issues in East Jerusalem, the second referred to the Syrian Golan Heights, according to UN documents of the resolutions. Concerns were raised regarding the issue of settlers and “Israeli excavations” in the text of the first resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 144 in favor, six against and ten abstentions. Concerns were raised in the second resolution regarding Israel not withdrawing from the area, “contrary to the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.” The resolution also stressed the “illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and other activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967.” The resolution was adopted by a vote of 99 in favor, six against and fifty-seven abstentions. [DNE, 11/26/2014]

Egypt and UN to expand food aid in fight against child labor
The World Food Programme (WFP) pledged on Tuesday to expand an aid program in Egypt that helps poor families keep their children in school and out of the workforce. The program, aimed at combating child labor, currently assists more than 100,000 children and some 400,000 family members, but it remains unclear how many new participants will join them following the meeting between WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [Reuters, 11/25/2014]

Sisi, Hollande hold counter terrorism talks
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his French Counterpart Francois Hollande agreed to cooperate in efforts to counter terrorism, resolve the Palestinian situation and support the current Iraqi government. In a joint press conference held in Paris, Sisi noted his discussions with Hollande were “fruitful” and reflected unified opinions regarding bilateral, regional and international relations. Addressing the situation in Syria, they discussed the importance of reaching a political solution to end the conflict while protecting the state’s institution. However, the two presidents “shared concerns” about negative developments witnessed in Libya. Sisi said that Libya could become “fertile soil” for extremist groups exploiting the period of insecurity the country is going through. Hollande and Sisi were also expected to go over military cooperation deals that are already in progress, including a €1 billion contract to furnish four Gowind battleships to the Egyptian Navy. [DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), France24, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), AFP, 11/26/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt opens Rafah border crossing to admit Palestinians into Gaza | DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters
Egypt’s FM to visit Khartoum for Arab-Russian forum | Ahram Online