Top News: Cairo Airport Dismisses 120 policemen for Breaking Protest Law

A security source said Cairo Airport security charged 120 policemen with breaking the protest law and dismissed them for participating in a strike.

Egypt PEC says Sabbahi violated campaigning rules

Egypt’s Presidential Elections Commission plans to convene to discuss the punishment of Hamdeen Sabbahi for announcing his electoral program ahead of the official date for the campaigns to kick off on May 2, an official from the commission said. Sabbahi announced his vision in a press conference on Wednesday.  According to the constitution, candidates who breach the set campaign dates can be fined anywhere from EGP10,000 to 500,000. The PEC also accused privately own TV channel CBC Extra of violating the presidential elections campaigning rules for airing the Sabbahi press conference. The PEC also informed the minister of local development and the governor of Daqahliya governorate to remove all endorsement campaigns banners in the city of Mansoura which were spread before the start of the presidential campaigns. [Aswat Masriya, 5/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

Parties call for inclusion in amending laws to govern parliamentary elections | DNE
Sisi meeting with National Housing Council to discuss his vision on housing | Shorouk (Arabic)


Muslim Brotherhood’s guide Badie sentenced to one year in jail for insulting judiciary

On Wednesday, a Cairo Criminal Court sentenced twenty leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Wadi Natrun Prison case, including the current head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, Saad al-Hossainy and Saad al-Katatni, to one year in jail for insulting the judiciary and judges during the trial. Badie was already sentenced to death Monday by Minya Criminal Court in the Adawa Police Station case, where he was accused of killing a police officer and inciting violence, among other charges. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/30/2014]

Egypt court sentences sexual harasser to one year

An Egyptian court has sentenced a man to one year in prison and fined him EGP10,000 for a verbal sexual assault. The defendant, who is in his twenties, had harassed a woman at Dokki metro station before she headed to the authorities to file a report.  The court accused the harasser of attacking the modesty of the victim on Tuesday. Mostafa Mahmoud, from Nazra for Feminist Studies and the attorney of the victim, said that the rulings help in controlling the increasing cases of sexual harassment in Egypt. Five sexual harassers were sentenced last year. [Aswat Masriya, 4/30/2014]

Also of Interest:

Fact Finding committee receives complaints from April 6 and Brotherhood leaders in Tora Prison | AMAY (Arabic)


Egyptian leader hints at fresh privatization

Egypt’s interim president suggested Wednesday that the biggest Arab nation was open to resuming privatization, a move that could revive confidence in the battered economy after years of turmoil. “There is no selling of the public sector at a cheap price,” Adly Mansour said in a televised speech, hinting that the state could sell some of the hundreds of companies it owns. Privatization could send a positive signal to investors, who have been unnerved by chronic political turbulence and violence since Mubarak’s fall. The economy has suffered as a result, growing by only 2.1 percent in the last fiscal year. [Daily Star, DNE, 5/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

Private companies seek growth after stagnant period | Mada Masr
State committee to develop standards for coal use | Mada Masr
Police find more than 62,000 cases of energy theft | Mada Masr
Stock index rise 5.8 percent during April | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Egypt’s deficit hits 7.1 percent of GDP in first 9 months of FY13-14 | Ahram Online
Egyptian pound drops most in 11 months amid absence of Gulf aid | Bloomberg


ANHRI condemns university security preventing Youm7 journalist from covering clashes
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned on Tuesday Al-Azhar University security’s threatening and intimidation of a journalist for Youm7 private news service who had been trying to cover university clashes. On Monday, Israa al-Sherbasy was at Al-Azhar University, where clashes had broken out but “university security raised weapons at her to force her to leave,” the human rights group reported. She was forced to ride a passing motorcycle. At this point, some students harassed her and ran after her but eventually she was able to escape. [DNE, 4/30/2014]

April 6 protest court order banning group

Hundreds of April 6 Youth Movement members gathered on Wednesday in front of the Journalists’ Syndicate in downtown Cairo to protest a court’s decision to ban the group on charges of espionage and defamation. Also on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement urging Egyptian authorities to lift the ban imposed on this youth movement. The statement said that Monday’s court ruling was a “further attempt to silence dissent” adding “A judge’s gavel can’t turn back the clock to before 2011.” [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 4/30/2014]

Also of Interest:
Looted artifacts return to Egypt | Mada Masr
AUC students protest five year jail sentences for two colleagues | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
Workers continue standing protest in Soukhna Port in Suez | Shorouk (Arabic)


Cairo Airport dismisses 120 policemen for breaking protest law
A security source said Cairo Airport security charged 120 policemen with breaking the protest law and dismissed them for participating in a strike. They also ordered the arrest of six others involved in the event. Abdel Hamid Darwish, the leader of the strike, was arrested on Tuesday. The policemen went on strike when a colleague of theirs was dismissed for allegedly harassing a foreign tourist last Friday. He was also allegedly found carrying narcotics. The strike’s spokesperson said the charges are false and assured that the strike was peaceful. In Beni Suef, striking police captains locked the doors to a police station in protest of the prosecutor’s decision to arrest seven police captains on charges of assaulting a police officer. [Egypt Independent, 5/1/2014]


US supports Egypt on security issues, urges political inclusiveness
The United States on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to its shared interests with Cairo while at the same time urging political inclusivity in Egypt’s progress towards democracy. Washington’s remarks were made during separate meetings convened by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and National Security Advisor Susan Rice with visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy. Hagel and Fahmy discussed recent developments in Egypt and the Middle East as well as defense cooperation between both countries, the Pentagon said in a statement. Hagel called on Fahmy to help promote peaceful opposition through the release of detained journalists and activists. Rice and Fahmy discussed Egypt’s political transition and regional security issues. Rice reiterated the White House’s “growing concerns about recent developments in Egypt, including the mass trials and death sentences handed down this week, the continued detention of journalists and activists, and ongoing restrictions on freedoms of expression, assembly, and association.” [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 5/1/2014]

Islamist group condemns Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood death sentences
An association of Muslim scholars, the  International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), led by influential Qatar-based cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi has condemned death sentences passed by an Egyptian court against 683 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood as an act of revenge against political opponents. The comments by Qaradawi’s IUMS may be seen as a fresh intervention in Egypt’s affairs at a time when he had been trying to soothe the rift by saying all views expressed were his own and not those of Qatar. [Reuters, 5/1/2014]

Also of Interest:
EU Ambassador in Egypt: We hope that elections will lead to reconciliation | AMAY (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Egyptian satellite to monitor construction of Ethiopia’s disputed dam | Ahram Online
Ethiopian researchers urge dialogue over dam | Ahram Online
Egypt supports Palestinian reconciliation, US efforts to reach peaceful solution | SIS
Egyptians urged not to travel to Saudi Arabia over fears of deadly MERS virus | Ahram Online
Strong Egypt: America stopping aid to Palestine confirms its Zionist bias | AMAY (Arabic)