Top News: Articles in Constitution Committee’s Draft Rejected by NSF, Nour Party

The amended draft of Egypt’s 2012 constitution will be announced Thursday or next Saturday, said Ali Awad, the head of a ten member technical committee entrusted with amending the national charter. Both the National Salvlation Front and the Nour Party have announced their rejection of articles within the draft. 


Bahaa-Eldin initiative: No exclusion for peaceful factions recognizing roadmap
An initiative launched by Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin aims to include all peaceful political factions in the post-June 30 road map, Bahaa-Eldin said in a phone call on CBC on Tuesday night. Bahaa-Eldin clarified that the initiative, geared towards completing the army roadmap, does not mean the reintegration of the Muslim Brotherhood in the political process. Presidential adviser Mostafa Hegazy claimed that members of the Muslim Brotherhood were “terrorizing people” during the protests and spoiled attempts at reconciliation with the interim government.  [DNE, Ahram Online, SIS, 8/22/2013]

Excluding Islamists in Egypt could lead to violence: Nour Party head 

The Salafist’s Nour party leader, Younis Makhyoun stated it would be stupid to consider excluding the Islamist political current in Egypt. “You cannot exclude the Islamist current and if anyone thinks about exclusion, it will be extremely stupid,” said Makhyoun an interview with Reuters. Warning of an arbitrary campaign against Islamists, he also stated that this campaign may force the Islamists to work underground. “This is a dangerous path and will make many reject democracy and use others methods,” the leader of the second-largest Islamist party in Egypt warned. “The Muslim Brotherhood activists involved in violence should stand trial, but the mass arrest of Muslim Brotherhood members is extremely wrong,” he added. [Reuters, 8/22/2013]

Also of Interest:
Pro-Morsi alliance calls for Friday protests against army | Reuters, Ikhwanweb
Brotherhood may limit itself to political party: Analysts | Ahram Online
Mohamed Fayeq appointed new head of the National Council for Human Rights | Ahram (Arabic)


Articles in the constitution committee’s draft rejected by NSF, Nour Party
The amended draft of Egypt’s 2012 constitution will be announced Thursday or next Saturday, said Ali Awad, the head of a ten member technical committee entrusted with amending the national charter. The National Salvation Front (NSF) declared its rejection of the draft amendments of the parliamentary election articles in the 2012 constitution, saying that return to the individual candidacy system in parliamentary elections will bring back the regimes ousted by the Egyptian people. Sherif Taha, the official spokesperson of the Salafist Nour Party stated that removing article 219 from the constitution is considered a breach of the political road map agreed upon by different political groups last month. Initial reports show that the committee has canceled thirty-three articles and made changes to 124 others ahead of passing the document to another committee, made up of fifty members who will be selected from public institutions and councils, as well as a few parties. This committee will produce a final revision of the document ahead of holding a referendum on the constitution within the next three months.  [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 8/22/2013]

Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak released to military hospital
Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak has been released from prison after an Egyptian prosecutor ordered a Cairo prison to release deposed President Hosni Mubarak, an official said on Thursday. State television reported that a helicopter arrived at Cairo’s Tora prison to transfer him, while private TV stations showed footage of his arrival at the Maadi Military Hospital in Cairo, where he will be held under house arrest, as ordered by Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi. He also remains under a travel ban. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights issued a Q&A regarding Mubarak’s legal status, where Lawyer Hoda Nasrallah explains the situation. Various movements and human rights groups denounced the decision to release Mubarak, including Tamarod, the Revolutionary Socialists, the April 6 Movement (the Ahmed Maher Front), the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, and Luxor’s January 25 Coalition, the latter of which has put out a call to protest. Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat has ordered an investigation filed against Tamarod founders Mahmoud Badr, Mohamed Abdel Aziz and Mohamed Shahin for their criticism of Mubarak’s release. [AP, Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, SIS, Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic), 8/22/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt ex-VP ElBaradei’s party ‘shocked’ over lawsuit | Ahram Online
Ahram journalist Raouf fatal shooting referred to Egypt’s military prosecution | Ahram Online


Government to rely on grants to reduce deficit 
The government plans to reduce the budget deficit while maintaining an expansionary government by relying on grants from “friends”, according to Ahmed Galal, interim minister of finance. The minister expressed gratitude for Gulf countries which pledged aid. On the potential economic impact of the United States or European Union cutting aid, Galal said: “We are maybe, maybe, we don’t know that, losing some money from someplace but we are getting some money or even more money from another place.” [DNE, 8/22/2013]

Also of Interest:
Stock exchange on the rise despite earlier losses | Mada Masr, AMAY (Arabic)
Unrest delivers huge blow to Egypt tourism | AP
More Qatari fuel on its way to Egypt | Egypt Independent, AP, Ahram (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)


Poll: 67 percent of Egyptians satisfied with sit-in dispersals 
A recent poll has suggested that 67 percent of Egyptians are satisfied with the way the Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins were dispersed by security forces last week. This left 24 percent displeased with the way the sit-ins were dispersed, and 9 percent saying they cannot judge. The poll, conducted by Baseera between August 19 and 21, surveyed 1,395 people across Egypt’s governorates. It said that 17 percent of respondents thought the protesters camped at Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda were peaceful, while 67 percent disagreed. Only 23 percent of those polled felt security forces used excessive force in dispersing the sit-ins, compared to 65 percent who felt otherwise. [Mada Masr, Ahram (Arabic), 8/22/2013]

Also of Interest:
No reconciliation with terrorists: NCW | DNE
Silent protest in Beheira against killing of Ahram journalist | Aswat Masriya
Egypt rights agency demands instant investigation into Mubarak regime torture cases | Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic)


Over 100 Muslim Brotherhood members arrested across Egypt
Egyptian security forces have continued a wave of arrests against senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership, said Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim on Thursday, claiming seventy-five other figures have now been detained. Brotherhood leader Abdel Moneim Mohamed Ibrahim and at least seventy other figures from administrative offices across the country had been detained by authorities, Ibrahim said. Security forces also arrested the Muslim Brotherhood’s spokesman, Ahmed Aref, early on Thursday. Individual reports have emerged of four arrested in Port Said, thirty-two in Beni Suef, six in Mounifiya and five in Qalyubiya. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, has been ordered detained for fifteen days pending investigations into allegations that he incited the burning down of government installments and the torturing of citizens at the Raba’a al-Adaweya protest. A security source from the interior ministry said on Wednesday that Islamic preacher Safwat Hegazy has been sent to Tora Prison and has been ordered detained for thirty days, while Freedom and Justice Party media advisor Mourad Ali has been transferred from the Cairo Airport to the prosecutor’s office for questioning. Walid Shoraby, the head of the pro-Morsi Judges for Egypt has been placed on Cairo Airport’s travel ban list. According to state newspaper Al-Ahram, a Turkish citizen has also been detained in Suez for fifteen days pending investigation. He is accused of collecting information on churches in Suez that were attacked in the wake of the crackdown on the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, Ahram (Arabic), 8/22/2013]
Also of Interest:
Fear returns to Egypt as state crackdown widens | Reuters
MENA: More sectarian violence in Minya | Mada Masr, Ahram (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
Sinai television building attacked by armed men | Aswat Masriya
Two soldiers killed, one injured in armed attack in Ismailia | Ahram (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
Mali jihadist group expands, vows attacks in Egypt | AP, ONA (Arabic)


Escalating tensions around US aid 
The ambivalence of the US position with regard to Morsi’s ouster has stirred anger in Egypt. Torn between the desire not to antagonize an historical ally and internal pressure to more strongly condemn repeated human rights violations, the White House has somewhat softened its stance, denying a cutoff of military aid. Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi declared on Tuesday that Egypt would survive any cuts in military aid, adding that Egypt had successfully resorted to other arm providers in the past, such as Russia. [Mada Masr, 8/22/2013]

Human Rights Watch urges Egypt to protect churches
Egyptian authorities must protect churches and Christian homes and businesses from attack and Islamists must stop inciting sectarian violence, Human Rights Watch said in a new report on Thursday. The group said it had documented attacks on forty-two churches and dozens of Christian institutions, schools and homes, as well as Christian-owned businesses across the country. It said at least four people were reported killed in sectarian violence, three Christians and one Muslim.  [DNE, Ahram Online, AP, Aswat Masriya, Ahram (Arabic), 8/22/2013]

Europe shies away from cutting aid for Egypt 
The European Union (EU) on Wednesday decided to suspend exports of weapons and goods that could be used for internal repression but did not halt aid programs for fear of hurting ordinary Egyptians already hit hard. Instead, the twenty-eight EU foreign ministers called on the military authorities and the supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement to resume negotiations to avoid further bloodshed. [Reuters, AP, SIS, DNE, 8/22/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt condemns chemical attack in Syria | Ahram (Arabic)
Egypt receives second of three field hospitals sent by Saudi Arabia | Ahram (Arabic)
Ireland issues travel warning for Egypt | Ahram (Arabic)