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February 10, 2015
A Cairo appeals judge has issued a damning appraisal of last year’s trial of three al-Jazeera English journalists, a month after he quashed their convictions and sent their case to a retrial that will begin on Thursday.

POLITICS


Wafd to reconsider elections participation; Ganzouri reportedly axes electoral list  
The Wafd party is to host a meeting on Wednesday for its higher committee to reconsider the party’s stance towards participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Party spokesman Bahgat al-Hossamy said that a number of higher committee members demanded discussions on what they described as the “state’s intervention in the parliamentary elections process.” The committee will convene on Wednesday to review the party’s election participation decision. Meanwhile, the Democratic Current electoral coalition decided on Monday not to issue a binding decision for its members regarding whether to join or boycott Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary polls. Three parties in the alliance, the Constitution Party, Socialist Popular Alliance party (SPAP), and the Egyptian Popular Current have announced their decision to boycott elections. The fourth alliance member, the Karama Party is still mulling the decision. In a related story, former Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri has reportedly decided not to participate in the elections, and will not be forming a consolidated electoral list. [DNE, 2/10/2015]

Also of Interest
  • HEC cancels voting in parliamentary election in Yemen | SIS
  • Assistant Transitional Justice Minister for Human Rights resigns | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian PM dismisses alleged Sisi recordings | The Guardian
  • Low candidate turnout in Giza on second registration day | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Egyptian Front, al-Wafd party and Conference party join forces in Upper Egypt | Shorouk (Arabic)

COURTS

Prosecution detains eighteen Zamalek fans, orders ultras leaders arrest
East Cairo’s general prosecution office ordered Tuesday the detention of at least eighteen Zamalek supporters pending investigations into the violence leading to the killing of approximately twenty supporters. The prosecution also ordered the arrest of a number of Zamalek Ultras White Knights (UWK) leaders, accusing them of inciting the storming of the stadium. They are accused of attacking security personnel, vandalizing police cars and public facilities, blocking the road and "inciting terror and panic among passersby," said Mohamed Seif, the head of the prosecution. The UWK’s statement responded to the prosecution’s procedures by saying the “truth is clear before the whole world and we know who incited and who killed.” Meanwhile, according to the Forensic Medicine Authority’s initial report, football fans died due to a stampede. The report claims no deaths were caused by live ammunition, birdshot or suffocation from tear gas. The final death toll, according to the Forensic Authority has climbed to twenty, after a fourteen-year-old girl was declared dead on Monday. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 2/10/2015]

Egypt appeals court judge condemns al-Jazeera three trial
A Cairo appeals judge has issued a damning appraisal of last year’s trial of three al-Jazeera English journalists, a month after he quashed their convictions and sent their case to a retrial that will begin on Thursday. The initial trial failed to provide conclusive evidence that the defendants had helped the banned Muslim Brotherhood or promoted the group in the media, wrote Judge Anwar Gabry, the deputy head of the court of cassation, Egypt’s highest court of appeal. Gabry said that the initial trial also failed to investigate claims that the defendants had produced testimony under duress and as a result “the court of cassation is unable to show how right or wrong the verdict is.” His judgment also questioned whether the journalists should have been accused of terrorism, since their alleged crimes were not violent. [The Guardian, 2/10/2015]

Also of Interest
  • Court will resume Port Said riots trial on March 7 | DNE
  • Court postpones ‘Shi’a lynching’ case to February 15 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Trial of seventy-seven including al-Qaeda leader's brother adjourned to February 17 for security reasons | EGYNews (Arabic)

ECONOMY

Egypt core inflation falls to 7.06 percent
According to the Egyptian central bank, Egypt's core annual inflation rate declined to 7.06 percent in January from 7.69 percent the previous month. Egypt's urban consumer inflation fell to an annual 9.7 percent in January from 10.1 percent in the previous month. The bank cut its benchmark interest rates by 50 basis points last month, citing an easing inflation outlook. [Reuters, 2/10/2015]

Also of Interest
  • Moody's: lower oil prices to slash Egypt's energy subsidies by 30 percent in 2014–15 | Egypt Independent
  • Military source: Projects implemented by armed forces do not affect their combat efficiency | Egypt Independent

SOCIETY & MEDIA

Air Defense Stadium ‘massacre’ sparks powerful reactions; Egypt to compensate victims’ families
The Air Defense Stadium killings led to uproar from different political parties, coalitions, opposition groups and institutions. Both the Salafi Watan Party and the Karama Party condemned the excessive use of violence by security forces. The Nour Party denounced the incident, calling for a quick investigation and the immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the crime. The Conference Party held the Egyptian Football Association along with the Ministry of Youth and Sports accountable for not postponing the match “until after the Russian President’s visit.” The Revolutionary Socialists stated that they would not be accepting any more “lies or fact-finding committees or notions of restructuring the Interior Ministry.” They called for the people to “unite in their anger and vow to claim retribution for the fallen martyrs.” The Ultras Ahlawy expressed their shock that for the second time after the Port Said massacre in 2012, football fans die for going to attend a match and “the killer walks free without charges.” The April 6 Youth Movement called for the removal of the Interior Minister and his referral, along with all officials responsible for securing the match, to trial. The Egyptian Centre for Human Rights called for opening investigations with senior Interior Ministry personnel responsible for securing the match. The Anti-Coup Alliance stated in a Sunday statement that the “circle of retribution widens each and every day and the regime that can only deal with youth by force must fall.” The Salafi Front held President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Interior Minister Ibrahim responsible for the unjustified deaths. Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawki Allam, offered his condolences to the families of the victims and expressed his wishes for the quick recovery of the injured. Al Azhar and Dar al-Ifta called for a swift investigation and for authorities to bring those responsible to justice. Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church issued a statement offering condolences to the families of victims, “We wish that all parties exercise wisdom and restraint," the statement read. Families of the victims blamed security forces and Zamalek club president Mortada Mansour for the deaths. The families will be offered 25,000 Egyptian pounds ($3280) in compensation. [DNE, 2/10/2015]

Also of Interest
  • ‘Many fell as we escaped teargas': Cairo football disaster eyewitness |  Ahram Online
  • Censors to stop deleting film scenes except atheism, porn | Mada Masr

SECURITY

Air raids kill fifteen militants; Militants claim eight decapitations  
Air raids in the Northern Sinai Penninsula killed fifteen suspected extremists and wounded eight, official sources said. Security sources also said a two-year-old boy was in critical condition after being wounded in clashes between militants and the army south of the border town of Rafah near the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Islamic State group's affiliate in Egypt, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has released video purporting to show the beheading of eight Bedouin men it accused of working for the Egyptian and Israeli armies. Among the victims claimed by the group in these incidents were two civilians, Ayman Mohamed Salama and Abdelsalam Mohamed Hemdan. The two were kidnapped and found decapitated on January 10,  with videos showcasing live footage of their murders. [Reuters, Egypt Independent, 2/10/2015]

Ten injured in Alexandria blasts
Three separate explosions occurred outside police stations in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria on Tuesday, leaving ten people injured. Alexandria Security Director Amin Ezz el-Din told Aswat Masriya that one Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off in the vicinity of the First Montazah Police Station, leaving seven injured. Another IED exploded in a car outside the Second Montazah Police Station, injuring two, while a third outside the Raml Police Station left one injured. Another explosion occurred on the railroad tracks near Mounifeya. Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat ordered an immediate investigation into the blasts. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 2/10/2015]

Also of Interest

INTERNATIONAL

Putin, Sisi to hold press conference on Tuesday
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Cairo Opera House following his arrival on Monday night, where both presidents watched a cultural show on the history of Egyptian-Russian relations, broadcast on state television. The two presidents are also scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday following talks between them. Al-Ahram published a lengthy interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin tackling several issues including Egyptian-Russian relations, the situation in Syria and Ukraine as well the support of the Palestinian state. Putin also gave Sisi a Kalashnikov automatic rifle model of AK-47 as a gift, while police have been guarding posters of Putin on Cairo’s 6th of October Bridge. [Aswat Masriya, 2/10/2015]

Gulf leaders tell Sisi they stand behind Egypt
King of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait's Emir and the King of Bahrain told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi over phone conversations on Sunday night their countries stand behind Cairo as a strategic choice. In their first official conversation since King Salman's crowning two weeks ago, the Egyptian president thanked the Saudi royal for his support to Egypt. The Saudi king told Sisi he valued strategic relations between the two countries, stressing that the kingdom's relationship with Egypt was stronger than any attempts to distort it, reported Saudi state-owned news agency SPA late Sunday. [Ahram Online, 2/9/2015]

Also of Interest
  • British parliamentary delegation to meet Egypt’s Foreign Minister | DNE
  • Egypt-Saudi Arabia begin marine maneuvers ‘Morgan 15’ | Egypt Independent, SIS
  • Egypt's Sisi approves deal to buy French Rafale fighters | Reuters
  • Egypt condemns settlements in East Jerusalem | SIS

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