Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour decided Thursday afternoon to extend the state of emergency, originally imposed on  August 14, for two months, Ahram Online confirmed. 


Egypt’s interim prime minister promises to fight persecution of military critics
In an interview with PBS, interim prime minister, Hazem El-Beblawi, spoke about the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, the military’s influence on the government, a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, protecting liberal critics of the military takeover from prosecution and the outlook for democracy in Egypt. Speaking about the prosecution of liberal critics of the military, he said “I will do anything to fight any liberal who is taken because of what he is thinking, of his opinion. This is definitely something I will think that this is not accepted, and I will fight it.” [PBS, 09/11/2011]

Citing continued turmoil, Egypt extends state of emergency for two months
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour decided Thursday afternoon to extend the state of emergency, originally imposed on August 14, for two months, Ahram Online confirmed. Meanwhile, the government did not unveil any plans to lift the night-to-morning curfew it imposed in fourteen governorates on the same day. The decision comes after interim prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi told Al Masry Al Youm that the assassination attempt of the Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim brought about a qualitative change and raised discussions within the National Defense Council about extending the state of emergency. “The state of emergency can only last for a maximum of three months, extending it for longer than that requires a people’s referendum,” Beblawi explained. [AMAY (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, Ahram Gate (Arabic), 09/12/2013]

Endowments minister defends ban on small mosques, Nour Party condemns the move
Endowments Minister Mohamed Mokhtar defended his decision to ban Friday prayers in mosques measuring less than eighty meters squared. Mokhtar said the aim of the measure is to “reform and not to destroy” and that this reform has to take place according to the standards of legitimacy. Meanwhile, the Nour Party criticized they move by the interim government to control imams and mosques. Sherif Taha, spokesperson for Egypt’s largest Salafist party, criticized the move, claiming mosques were already crowded during Friday prayers and it would become worse if small, neighborhood mosques were closed. The Endowments Ministry terminated contracts with 187 non-Azhar imams in Sharqiya, while in Giza, 250 small mosques have been closed and the contracts of 2,000 non-Azhar imams terminated. [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), Mada Masr, 9/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Wafd Party members demand party head resignation | Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
Foreign Affairs Minister denies any political trials for Brotherhood leaders | SIS, Ahram Gate (Arabic)
April 6 condemns police raid on Cairo offices | Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic)
Sources: Sisi issues decisive orders to stop efforts calling for him to run for president | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt’s court acquits Suez security officials over 2011 uprising killings
An Egyptian court, convened east of Cairo, acquitted on Thursday fourteen security officials and police officers being tried over the killings of protesters in the Canal city of Suez during the 2011 uprising, judicial sources said. Former Suez security chief Mohamed Abdel-Hady, along with three other officials and ten policemen, were accused of killing seventeen demonstrators and injuring 300 others on January 28 2011, dubbed “Friday of Rage.” [Ahram Online, Reuters, AP, Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), 09/12/2013]

Salmawy: Constitution sub-committees to complete their work in thirty days
Constituent Assembly spokesman Sameh Ashour announced that the five sub-committees in the assembly would complete their work within three works, daily Al Gomhorreya reports. Amr Moussa, Constituent Assembly head said that “constitution will not be rushed,” adding that the assembly can ask to extend this time period if the amendments are not finished, while Sameh Ashour, a sub-committee head said the constitution will represent all segments of society. Meanwhile, the Supreme Press Council (SPC) moved to amend constitutional articles on freedom of speech. A fifteen-member body headed by former press syndicate chairman Galal Aref, formed a committee on Tuesday that is tasked with drafting changes to the constitutional articles on freedom of speech. The committee’s changes will serve as a basis for the SPC’s recommendations to the fifty member Constituent Assembly. Meanwhile, the Social Popular Alliance Party announced that it will start an awareness campaign to inform “the public about the articles that the constitution must include. In a similar move, the National Council For Women (NCW) launched a “Write your Constitution” campaign which will survey citizens’ opinions on the most important amendments in the constitution. In a meeting with Moussa, the head of the Coptic Church Pope Tawadros II asked Moussa to change the wording of the third article, which says that “Egyptian Christians and Jews can refer to their own religious rules.” The Pope reportedly asked to replace “Christians and Jews” with a much more general term, “Non-Muslims,” while Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam announced his rejection of the idea of a theocratic state. Mohamed Abu al-Ghar, a constituent assembly member stressed that the second article will not amended and Sharia is the main source of legislation. Tamarod’s representative in the constitution committee said that “The article on the military trials became more restricted,” while the “No to Military Trials” campaign has requested to attend a session to present its proposals to the committee. The committee has continued to debate the system of governance, although there is a consensus on adapting the mixed regime system which combine elements from both the presidential and parliamentary systems. The debate is over which elements will prevail over the other. The fifty member committee that will finalize Egypt’s new constitution will include in the charter the goals of both the “25 January and 30 June revolutions,” Hoda al-Sada, head of the Freedoms and Political Rights sub-committee, said. [Al Gomhoureya, DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), 9/12/2013]

Also of interest:
Al-Masry Al-Youm journalist Abu Deraa to face military trial | Ahram Online, Reuters, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
Freedom and Justice Party spokesperson in Ismailiya arrested | Ahram Online
Prosecutor refers twenty-nine Morsi supporters to trial for police station raid | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Zomor headed back to prison | Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic)
Seven Brotherhood leaders detained in Sharqiya | EGYNews (Arabic)
Eight Brotherhood supporters detained in Giza for inciting violence | AMAY (Arabic)
Forty-eight Morsi supporters released, 700 still held over Raba’a violence | Egypt Independent
Ezzeldin Shokry “We will tell the people about any threats to the democratic path” in drafting the constitution | Shorouk (Arabic)
Al-Ahram reporter arrested for “spreading false news” | Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic)


Kuwait to transfer $2 billion aid to Egypt: Cen. bank governor
The Gulf Arab state of Kuwait will deposit $2 billion in aid in Egypt’s central bank next week, the Egyptian central bank governor said on Wednesday. Hisham Ramez told the Al Arabiya television network the money would stay in the central bank for five years. [Reuters, SIS, 9/12/2013]

Egypt owes foreign oil companies $6 billion: PM
Egypt is close to agreeing a schedule for repaying $6 billion in outstanding debt to foreign oil companies, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday. Beblawi also told Al Masry Al Youm that reaching an agreement would lead to a rise in investments from the companies to $15 billion within two years. [Reuters, 9/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt stocks continue rising despite Sinai violence | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
Fate of Egypt’s fourth mobile operator in limbo as government deadline looms | Ahram Online
One million butane gas cylinders pumped in market | Egypt Independent
Egypt loses EGP2 billion annually from poor wheat storage | Egypt Independent
New tramway project in Cairo to begin with World Bank funding | Egypt Independent
State budget to be amended after determining sources of finance | SIS
Minimum wage will not be increased, PM says | Egypt Independent


Al Jazeera in legal action claiming Egypt harassment
Qatari-owned news channel Al-Jazeera is taking legal action in international courts against the Egyptian government for closing its offices, jamming its signals and arresting its reporters, the network said Thursday. Al-Jazeera said it also appealed to the United Nations to “ensure that freedom of expression and freedom of the press do not die in Egypt.” Meanwhile, Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported that the Cairo bureau of the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) channel was temporarily closed after Egyptian authorities raided the office late on Tuesday, confiscating equipment and computers belonging to TRT workers. [AFP, AP, Today’s Zaman, 9/12/2013]

Sixty-three individuals tried for religious defamation since revolution: EIPR
A press conference was held by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)  on Wednesday, presenting a report of the cases of defamation of religion since the January 25 Revolution. The report titled “The Siege of Thought” clarified that EIPR was able to track down sixty-three cases of individuals tried for religious defamation while “[outside] Cairo, the rate by which individuals are found guilty is 100 percent.” The report read that 59 percent of the defendants are Muslims and 41 percent are Christians. During the month of September,  five cases of religious defamation, the defendants of which are currently being tried, prompted the release of the report.  [DNE, EIPR, 9/11/2013]

Also of Interest:
Rights groups face a withering assault in Egypt | Freedom House
My dismissal is far from professional: Shahira Amin | DNE
No train back home: Egyptians struggle without railways | Ahram Online
Tamarod members in Upper Egypt submit collective resignations | Egypt Independent
Al-Azhar assigns delegations to visit Arab and foreign embassies to brief on situation in Egypt | Shorouk (Arabic)
Delegation from Egyptian churches in US brief American officials on the situation in Egypt | Shorouk (Arabic)


Case of suspected fatal torture by police reported
A man suspected of robbery was allegedly tortured to death during interrogation at the al-Darb al-Ahmar police station. The public prosecutor has launched an investigation into the case. An autopsy report said that the victim suffered bruises on his hands and was severely bleeding from his knees. No information was available at the Ministry of Interior’s media centre. Hany Abdel Latif, head of the ministry’s media centre, said, “they have not heard at all about the incident” but are “glad to hear that the public prosecutor is doing his job.” The El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence confirmed reports of the incident and is currently attempting to contact the family of the victim. [DNE, 9/11/2013]

Sinai militant group claims responsibility for targeting Egyptian army
Sinai-based militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, released an online statement Wednesday claiming it had carried out an operation against Egyptian military forces in the Peninsula, amid the army’s intensified crackdown on militancy in the region. The group, which previously claimed responsibility for the bomb attack targeting the Interior Minister’s motorcade, said in its statement that it had attacked five military vehicles near the area of Sheikh Zuweid, claiming that more than six soldiers were killed and others injured. Mohamed Hassan, media advisor for the Jama’a al-Islamiya, denounced operations targeting the army and state institutions, while Nabil Naim, the founder of the Jihad Group said that militant operations will be limited and will not increase as they did in Iraq, adding that attacks will not spread outside of Sinai. The army, meanwhile, has continued its operation in northern Sinai for the sixth day conducting raids on homes and villages in search of armed militants, according to eyewitnesses. Medical sources in North Sinai have said that 121 people were killed and 321 others injured since June 30.[Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 9/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Al-Azhar University president: Power of arrest for campus security to protect students | Egypt Independent
Decision to deputise university security stirs controversy | DNE
Tamarod founder assailants identified | Egypt Independent
Unknown assailants open fire at patrol north of Cairo | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Gunmen attack patrol car in Qalyubiya, two policemen injured | Egypt Independent


European Parliament passes resolution on Egypt
The European Parliament voted on a non-legislative draft resolution concerned with the Egyptian situation Wednesday, officiating its stance, and calling on all parties in Egypt to halt all acts of incitement to violence. The resolution also stressed that the draft constitution should include articles guaranteeing religious freedom, while also providing protection for minorities, including the Coptic community, adding “that banning or excluding any democratic political force or player can only lead to increased radicalism.” The vote comes in the wake of a statement given by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign affairs Wednesday describing the “current polarization in Egypt” as “alarming.” In her address, she said she was ready to go back to Egypt to “offer our support and help, not our interference” to the country. [DNE, European Parliament, SIS, Ahram Online, Shorouk, 9/12/2013]

Also of Interest:
Hamas seeks to lower tension with Egypt | Reuters
Fatah accuses Hamas leader of inciting against Egyptians | DNE
Gaza Palestinians feel pain of new Egypt border restrictions | Reuters