Top News: Car bomb at Police Camp in Ismailia Leaves One Dead

An Egyptian police officer was killed and 35 others were injured when a car blew up near their base in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Thursday, security sources said.


Resignation season: Disputes fracture emerging Egyptian parties
After the fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, liberal and leftist activists were free for the first time in years to found new political parties. Now, almost three years later and after much political tumult — including one year of Muslim Brotherhood rule when they led the opposition — internal divisions and organizational problems have taken a toll on nascent liberal and leftist parties, leading to the resignation of hundreds of their members. Ahram Online spoke to senior members and former members of the two largest liberal and leftist parties emerging since the January 2011 revolution, who highlighted some of the main troubles currently afflicting the budding parties. [Ahram Online, 12/12/2013]


Ragai Sultan wins civil suit against police brutality
Ragai Sultan, a man in his 50s with special needs, won a civil suit on Thursday against the police officer who brutally assaulted him in 2008. An Alexandria court granted Sultan EGP 70,000 ($10,000) in compensation. The court also issued a five-year prison sentence to the defendant, Colonel Akram Suleiman, who was already sentenced to five years in prison by the Alexandria Criminal Court in 2009. Lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz, who tweeted the details of the ruling, said this was an exemplary court case that should serve as a model for all victims of police torture. [Mada Masr, 12/13/2013]

Court orders 45 more days detention for Islamist leaders
The South Giza prosecution added 45 days to the detention of Islamist leaders implicated in deadly clashes in July, Al-Watan newspaper reported on Monday. Brotherhood leader Helmy al-Gazzar, Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, Wasat Party head Abul Ela Mady and former MP Mohamed al-Omda face charges of killing 23 individuals during clashes in Bayn al-Sarayat. They also are charged with the attempted murder of 267 others, forming a “gang” to carry out terrorist acts, supporting militant groups with money and arms, terrorizing citizens, thuggery, illegal arms possession, blocking roads, vandalizing state property and belonging to a terrorist group. The national security apparatus claims to have evidence that the defendants incited violence during the Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. Suez prosecutors also detained two Muslim Brotherhood members 15 days pending investigations over charges of inciting violence. The two defendants are Osama Mostafa, director general of Oil Pipelines Company, and Maged Ali Hanafy, director at the same company. [Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 12/13/2013]

Lawsuit demands military council to nominate Sisi for president
Nabil Luka Bibawy, a retired police officer, filed a lawsuit on Thursday, demanding the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces nominate Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the presidential elections, in response to the call of the majority of the Egyptian people. He also demanded EGP 1 million in compensation in case the council procrastinates the decision, an amount that he said should be spent on the restoration of houses of worship under the supervision of the Al-Azhar. “The council is taking a passive stance,” he said. “This gives the right to any citizen to appeal against this passiveness.” “Public interest presides over private interest,” he said. “This means Sisi has no right to reject the candidacy.” [Egypt Independent, 12/13/2013]

Also of Interest:
Tantawi to testify in Mubarak retrial Saturday: Judge | Aswat Masriya, Tahrir (Arabic)
Democratic forces will vote for the constitution: Abul Ghar | Egypt Independent
Al-Ahram chief editor referred to trial for assaulting journalist | Ahram Online


EU grants Egypt $380 million for development projects
The European Union (EU) recently approved a grant to Egypt totaling 277 million euros ( $380 million) for development projects on public services, said James Moran, head of European Union Delegation to Egypt in a press conference on Thursday. Moran said that the EU – in cooperation with the German government – is part of the Participatory Development Program in Urban Areas (PDP). They have allocated 20 million euros, part of which is included in the aforementioned EU aid to Egypt, to improve five informal areas in Greater Cairo over five years. The five informal areas targeted are Matariya in Cairo, Old Boulaq in Giza and Qalyub, Shubra and Khusus in Qalyubeya. The project aims to help two million inhabitants out of 12 million are currently living there. [Ahram Online, 12/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Deal reached with Cyprus to regulate gas discoveries | Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
Egypt’s bourse ends the week up | Ahram Online
Huge fire breaks out in Mahalla textile factory | Egypt Independent
New amendments to labor legislation to increase investments: Manpower Minister | SIS
Qaradawi calls for boycotting electoral process in Egypt | Egypt Independent


Limited clashes in Egypt’s governorates; Police teargas Cairo protests
Supporters of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy staged limited protests in Egypt, scaled down by the cold weather. Clashes broke out in several governorates, leaving five injured in Fayoum, including four security personnel and one civilian. In Alexandria, limited clashes broke out between residents of Ezab al-Bahr area and Brotherhood supporters after the latter had chanted anti-army slogans. In Gharbiya, anti-Brotherhood residents dispersed a demonstration for Brotherhood supporters in al-Mahalla al-Kubra city. Scores of the Brotherhood’s supporters marched in Mahalla’s Abu Deraa after Friday noon prayer while chanting against the army and the police, prompting area residents to chase them away. Clashes also broke out in Suez and Qena. Army forces had intensified security in Cairo’s Tahrir and Raba’a squares on Friday morning in anticipation of the protests. Central security forces were deployed around the Egyptian Museum parameters as well as Simon Bolivar and Ramsis squares, and near the Ittihadeya Palace in Heliopolis. Police forces fired teargas bombs to re-open Mostafa al-Nahas Street in Cairo’s Nasr City after a pro-Muslim Brotherhood march cut it off, the state-owned agency MENA reported on Friday. Azhar students backing the Muslim Brotherhood cut off the road and hurled stones at security forces and a police vehicle while chanting anti-Interior Ministry slogans. Several arrests were made throughout the governorates. [EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), AMA (Arabic), AP, 12/13/2013]

NASL escalates protests starting January, awaiting referendum: sources
The pro-Mohamed Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has put up a plan to escalate protests against the referendum on the constitution, with daily protests starting January, to take place all around Egypt, in addition to universities, sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm. The alliance is also considering organizing a series of sit-ins in different cities around Egypt, and calling on revolutionary forces to sit in Tahrir, days before the referendum is held, according to sources who requested to be unnamed. Alliance spokesperson Alaa Abu al-Nasr, denied any intentions to promote violence on the day of the referendum, and accused the Internal Ministry of spreading rumor as a pretext to strengthen security measures on that day. [Egypt Independent, 12/13/2013]


Car bomb at police camp in Ismailia leaves one dead
An Egyptian police officer was killed and 35 others were injured when a car blew up near their base in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Thursday, security sources said. The security sources said intense gunfire was heard in the area of the police base after the car exploded. It was not clear if the attack was the work of a suicide bomber. According to Ahram Gate, eyewitnesses said the blast was caused by a car bomb that detonated on Ezz Eddin Road. The security sources said six civilians were injured in the attack. Army forces stepped up security in Suez, securing state institutions including the governorate headquarters, the security directorate, and the Suez courts, in the wake of the attack. [Ahram Online, Reuters, SIS, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 12/13/2013]

Also of Interest:
Frantic officer shoots randomly inside police station | Egypt Independent


Government has responsibility to protect Human Rights: US State Department
The United States Department of State called on the Egyptian government to protect peaceful protests on Thursday, adding that the violent dispersal of protesters would factor into any decision to suspend future assistance to Egypt. In the department’s daily press briefing, State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the actions taken by the Egyptian interim government – such as using water cannons and tear gas – “do not match the government’s stated commitment to protecting the Egyptian people’s freedoms and universal human rights.” [DNE, 12/13/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egyptian delegation in Iran receives warm welcome | Ahram Online
Mansour discusses with Cypriot counterpart boosting bilateral ties | SIS
Libya expresses concern over former Libyan official’s appearance on Egyptian channel | Egypt Independent
Chinese Envoy to Middle East: Egyptians take steps forward | SIS

Image: Photo: EGYNews