Top News: Beltagy and Hegazy Sentenced to Twenty Years in Prison

The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy and Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy to twenty years in prison. They received ten years in a maximum security prison for the alleged torture of two policemen during the Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in, and another ten years each on charges of joining and managing an illegal organization.


Egypt’s protest law to be amended: NCHR member
Egypt’s controversial protest law is poised to undergo an “amendment phase,” the National Council for Human Rights’ Nasser Amin said on Monday, adding that the council has been asked to review the amended law before it is issued. He said that the council will suggest the removal of some points in the law, including the procedures of the interior ministry in dispersing protests that turn violent, as well as stated charges for the possession of weapons during protests. The council will also suggest that the law be comprised of only three points: First, protesting is a right. Second, in case a notice for a protest is rejected, the interior ministry should appeal the decision in front of the administrative court and not the protest’s organizers, as currently stated in the law. Finally, those who violate the law should pay fines and not face prison sentences. [Ahram Online, 9/8/2014]

Political parties, figures, rights groups condemn detention of youth
A number of political parties, rights groups and high profile figures issued a joint statement Monday condemning the detention of hundreds of youth in political cases and denouncing the contentious protest law. The statement raised concerns about the targeting of “the revolutionary youth” and students. In addition, the statement deems the law unconstitutional, saying that it imposes severe restrictions on the right of assembly. Since the law was issued, the statement said, there have been unprecedented legal violations, including arbitrary arrest and detentions, unfair trials, as well as holding investigations without the presence of lawyers, and sometimes arresting the lawyers themselves. [Mada Masr, 9/8/2014]

Also of Interest:
June 30 fact-finding committee will not meet deadline | Egypt Independent
June 30 fact-finding committee prepared to travel to hear Brotherhood testimony | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Reconciliation with the Brotherhood: Between truth and rumor | Ahram Online


Beltagy and Hegazy sentenced to twenty years in prison
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy and Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy to twenty years in prison. They received ten years in a maximum security prison for the alleged torture of two policemen during the Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in last summer that called for the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. They received another ten years each on charges of joining and managing an illegal organization—a reference to the Brotherhood. Other defendants in the case include Mohamed al-Zanaty and Abdel Azeem Ibrahim, two doctors from the Raba’a makeshift hospital. The court sentenced them to fifteen years in prison over torture charges. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), 9/9/2014]

Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya leaders sentenced on year over attempts to flee Egypt
An Egyptian military court on Monday sentenced five leaders of the ultra-conservative Islamist group al-Jama’a al-Islamiya to a year in jail over allegations of attempting to illegally flee to Sudan, a lawyer for the group’s political party has said. The men were arrested in July in Aswan, in the country’s south, over accusations of trespassing in off-limit military areas as well as attempting to illegally flee to the neighboring African state. [Ahram Online. 9/8/2014]

Also of Interest:
Verdict in trial of Morsi’s nephew on charges of attacking policeman on September 15 | Shorouk (Arabic)
Minya criminal court postpones trial of MB deputy supreme guide and 16 others to October 1 | Shorouk (Arabic)
Hazem Abu Ismail sentenced to one year in prison over insulting police | Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic)


Enough GCC aid will be made available to Egypt: Merrill Lynch
Sufficient aid will be available to Egypt through external bilateral assistance from the GCC, according to a report by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The report also expects no near-term IMF engagement with Egypt. Authorities appear to be focused on securing direct GCC fiscal support through purchases of EGP-dominated treasury bills (T-bills) and treasury bonds (T-bonds). [DNE, 9/8/2014]

Egypt: Removal of electricity subsidies to happen over five years
The government will extend the removal of electricity subsidies over five years, instead of the previously announced three years, Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker announced during the “Egypt…Future’s Path” conference. The decision to extend the implementation period was made to ease the burden on Egyptian citizens, the minister noted. [DNE, 9/9/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt puts back first LNG import terminal start to December | Reuters
Suez Canal certificates hit 5.5 billion pounds on day three | Aswat Masriya
Ninety percent of Egypt’s trade unorganized | AMAY (Arabic)


Security alert ahead of new campaign calling for protests Tuesday
A new Egyptian movement that first kicked off on social media has called for protests on Tuesday against the increasingly high cost of life in the country and deteriorating public services, according to the movement’s Facebook page. The movement, calling itself ‘Dunk,’ which means extreme poverty in Arabic, called on people to hold demonstrations on September 9 in front of subsidized supermarkets, public hospitals and transportation facilities to protest the country’s deteriorating services and high food prices. The protest is expected to begin in Suez and head to Cairo. Security authorities have warned protesters against approaching security facilities or personnel and have intensified police presence on streets in anticipation of any violence. Intensified security has been reported in Beheira and Suez, while in Cairo, Chief of the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation, Ali Fadaly, declared a state of emergency in all metro stations. [Ahram Online, 9/9/2014]

Security official denies presence of hunger strikers in Egypt
Egypt’s Head of the Prison Investigations, General Mohamed Ali Hussein denied Monday having any hunger-striking prisoners in all Egyptian prisons. In a phone interview with Aswat Masriya, Hussein was asked about hunger-striking activists. “All these people eat and drink regularly every day,” he replied, “had they been on hunger-strike, they would have died a long time ago.” Political activist and member of “Freedom for the Brave” movement, Khaled Abdel Hamid described General Hussein’s words as “completely unfounded,” referring a recent National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) report. According to Daily News Egypt, the number of hunger-strikers in Egypt has reached ninety-one. [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 9/8/2014]

Also of Interest:
NASL calls for ‘uprising of the poor’ | DNE, Aswat Masriya
Permit for cultural festival rejected for “security reasons” – source | Aswat Masriya
NCHR protesters report maltreatment in sit-in against Protest Law | Mada Masr
ANHRI condemns arrest of journalist Mahmoud Nasr | DNE, Mada Masr
Former mufti blames al-Azhar negligence for youth atheism | Egypt Independent
Human rights group condemns killing of conscript | DNE
Egypt needs to recruit 30,000 new teachers, says Sisi | Ahram Online


Nail bombs thrown in two Cairo metro stations, no casualties
Two nail bombs were thrown onto metro tracks on Tuesday by unknown assailants. The spokesman of the Metro Authority Ahmed Abdel Hady said the two bombs did not cause any disruption in the metro. An interior ministry official told state news agency MENA that no injuries or damage had been caused in the Sayeda Zeinab and Zahraa al-Maadi metro stations. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 9/9/2014]

Electricity station chief, four others arrested over affiliation to Brotherhood
Police arrested on Monday the head of Oyoun Moussa electricity station and four other workers over accusations of affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood, planning to sabotage the station and causing deficit in the energy produced. Investigations showed that the five suspects were allegedly involved in the crimes to increase the duration of power outages in order to provoke the anger of citizens. Security sources said that Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker decided last week to reduce the rank of Engineer Gad al-Mawla Mohamed Abdel Rahman, head of the station, after his affiliation to the Brotherhood was disclosed. [Egypt Independent, 9/8/2014]

Also of Interest:
Conscript injured in bomb explosion in Sinai | Egypt Independent
Explosion detonates in front of Minya police station | EGYNews (Arabic)
Brotherhood leader arrested in Suez on charges of manufacturing explosive devices | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt to participate in terrorism talks in Saudi Arabia with US, regional allies
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is expected to participate in talks held by Saudi Arabia about militant violence in the region on Thursday, along with the United States and regional allies. Asked whether Egypt’s participation in the conference signals a willingness to engage in a political or military alliance to counter ISIS, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdel Atty said the talks are a chance to determine the nature of the coalition between the nations. Other participants include Turkey, Jordan and member states of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which in addition to the kingdom comprises Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Reuters, 9/9/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt defense minister holds talks with Emirati counterpart in Cairo | Ahram Online
Merkel invites Sisi to visit Germany | Ahram Online
Egypt pledges support for Ebola fight | DNE, EGYNews (Arabic)
Foreign ministry denies annexation of Halayeb and Shalateen to Sudan | Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic)
Head of Sunni Islam’s Al-Azhar says IS are ‘criminals’ | Ahram Online