At least 195 university students were arrested across Egypt in the first week of the new semester, according to reports released by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).



Egypt’s foreign ministry ‘surprised’ by Carter Center decision to close Cairo offices
Egypt’s foreign ministry said Thursday it was “surprised” by the decision of the Carter Center to close its offices in Cairo. “The center’s claims contradict the official letter of the center’s regional director in August 31, thanking the Egyptian authorities for cooperation with the center during the past three years…easing its mission in observing the (elections),” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its official Facebook page. “This contradiction reflects a double-standard strategy,” the ministry said, adding that the official August letter said the closure would be out of “pure logistical considerations.” The Carter Center closed its Egypt office saying the country is “unlikely to advance a genuine democratic transition.” [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, SIS, 10/16/2014]

June 30 fact-finding committee uncovers new information on August 14 dispersals
The June 30 fact-finding commission announced that it has completed a draft report on several issues. Commission spokesperson, Omar Marwan, said that the commission has discussed the attacks on churches in the wake of the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins at Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda squares. He added that the committee has uncovered new information pertaining to the dispersals themselves, but did not give further details. He also announced plans to visit Sinai in the near future. He said the purpose of the visit is to meet with a public figure to hear his personal account of violence that occurred in the peninsula. [SIS, 10/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Sisi grants exceptional pensions to some former army officers, soldiers | SIS
Military candidates to dominate Egyptian parliament | Al-Monitor
Egyptian Patriotic Movement criticizes Mahlab’s meeting with democratic alliance | Shorouk (Arabic)


Verdict for Ittihadeya protesters expected October 26
The trial of twenty-three protesters, including human rights activist Sanaa Seif and human rights lawyer Yara Sallam, on charges of illegal protesting this summer has been adjourned to October 26. The misdemeanour court also ordered the defendants to remain in detention until then, when the court said it will deliver its final verdict. The court’s decision came after defense lawyers vehemently argued that the charges were groundless and unconstitutional. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 10/17/2014]

Also of Interest


Egypt central bank keeps rates on hold, monitoring risks from global growth jitters
Egypt’s central bank decided to keep its main interest rates unchanged at a policy meeting on Thursday while keeping an eye on the risks to recovery posed by the rising concerns regarding the global economy and fear of a renewed European debt crisis. Overall, the economy is showing signs of a strengthening recovery with inflationary pressures starting to ease after a spike followed the July cuts in energy subsidies. [Reuters, 10/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Oil rises above $87 as investors say market oversold | Egypt Independent
Minister: State-owned companies so far valued EGP80 billion | Egypt Independent
Finance Minister: growth target 3.5 percent for this fiscal year, 6 percent in five years | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Sisi welcomes proposal to build international logistic center for food at a cost of EGP13.1 billion | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Egypt initiates plan to ensure food security | Al-Monitor


195 students arrested across Egypt in first five days of new semester
At least 195 university students were arrested across Egypt in the first week of the new semester, according to reports released by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE). The majority of these students were enrolled in state universities. They were arrested for their role in protests against the private security firm Falcon. The student union of Cairo University’s engineering department held a press conference on Wednesday demanding the release of thirteen fellow students who were recently detained in this mass student arrests. [Mada Masr, 10/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Communique sent to prosecutor general to stop movie for allegedly fomenting blood feud | Egypt Independent
Mufti: Egypt does not have the term “religious minority” | Shorouk (Arabic)


Three policemen die after Sinai RPG attack
Militants killed three policemen and injured seven others in Egypt`s North Sinai on Thursday night when they hit a patrol car with RPG fire. Local officials said that unidentified assailants targeted the police vehicle in al-Masaeed district on a main road near al-Arish city. None of the militant groups currently active in Sinai have yet claimed responsibility for the attack. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Reuters, 10/17/2014]

Bombings in Tanta, Arish leave three dead, eighteen injured
Two bombs went off in a city in northern Egypt late Thursday, striking a Sufi Muslim religious festival and wounding eleven people, officials said. The bombs were placed behind a mosque and went off near-simultaneously in Tanta. Meanwhile, a bomb attack targeting a security vehicle killed three policemen and injured seven others in North Sinai on Friday morning. Three roadside explosive devices were detonated on the Arish International Road as the vehicle passed. [Ahram Online, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 10/17/2014]

Also of Interest
Almost one “act of violence” every five hours in September: Democracy Index | Aswat Masriya


Egypt’s foray into Libya underlines its concerns
Egypt’s military involvement in Libya underlines Cairo’s concerns about the threat posed by Islamic militant groups operating near the two nations’ porous border, as well as home-grown jihadists who rely on their Libyan comrades for weapons. Above all, Egypt aims to prevent these groups from linking up. As fighting continued for a second day Thursday in Benghazi, where residents reported Egyptian warplanes have been pounding Islamist militia positions, analysts warned that Cairo’s foray into the ongoing fighting in Libya could deepen the turmoil there. Egyptian and Libyan officials have denied Egypt was carrying out airstrikes, while the United States, which maintains a naval force in the Mediterranean that includes surveillance aircraft, has not confirmed the aerial campaign. [AP, SIS, 10/16/2014]

Also of Interest
Ethiopian irrigation minister says Addis Ababa is committed to sharing Nile water equitably | Ahram Online
Second day of Renaissance Dam talk: will resume to select consulting firm | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic)