Top News: Court Acquits Twenty-Six Men in ‘Gay Bathhouse’ Case, Prosecution to Appeal

Twenty-six Egyptian men were found innocent of debauchery after being arrested for allegedly holding gay orgies in a Cairo bath house as Egypt’s forensic authority was unable to determine whether or not the defendants were involved in “homosexual acts.”


Egypt’s political parties invited to meet with Sisi on Monday
Egypt’s presidency has extended an invitation to political parties to meet with Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Monday, the first meeting with the president since he took office. The chairmen of several ‎political parties said Sunday ‎that Sisi’s presidential office contacted them by ‎phone, asking them to attend a meeting.‎ Sources said the invitation was extended to most ‎political parties, including those who have ‎been vocal in criticizing Sisi since he came to ‎office. ‎While parties differed on the objective of the meeting, topics of discussion are said to include the upcoming parliamentary elections, and Egypt’s fight against terrorism. [Ahram Online, 1/11/2015]

Sisi underlines commitment to independence of courts
Attending celebrations of Judges’ Day on Saturday at the High Court of Justice in Downtown Cairo, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered a short speech, praising the role of the judiciary and prosecution in upholding the law and carrying out their duties in this “current critical period.” He also reaffirmed his commitment to the independence of the judiciary. “I’ve made sure, since I’ve been elected, not to interfere in [judicial] affairs,” Sisi said, adding, “Egypt’s judges will remain a fortress for justice … The powerful and the weak are both equal in front of the law.” [DNE, Ahram Online, 1/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • NGOs begin applications to observe parliamentary elections | DNE, Egypt Independent,  Ahram Online
  • Egyptian parties concerned by absent registration date for parliamentary polls | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s Sisi scores early success with smart cards for bread subsidies | Reuters


Court acquits twenty-six men in ‘gay bathhouse’ case, prosecution to appeal

Twenty-six Egyptian men were found innocent of debauchery after being arrested for allegedly holding gay orgies in a Cairo bath house as Egypt’s forensic authority was unable to determine whether or not the defendants were involved in “homosexual acts.” However, the Azbakeya Prosecution decided on Monday to appeal the verdict. A challenge to the verdict will not affect the release of the acquitted men from custody. Tarek al-Awady, their defense lawyer said, if al-Qahera Wal Nas, the channel that showed video of police dragging the half-naked men out of the bath house last month, does not investigate the show’s crew, they will file a lawsuit against the host of the television show, Mona al-Iraqi.  [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Reuters, AP, 1/12/2015]

Two policemen accused of rape released on bail, forensic report confirms involvement in the assault
Two Egyptian policemen accused of raping a woman in a patrol car were released Saturday on 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($139.82) bail each by Cairo Criminal Court. According to a forensic authority report in December, the girl’s body did not show signs of rape or violence. However, new evidence revealed by forensics could implicate the two policemen. Seminal fluids on the victim’s clothes match those of the two policemen in question, spokesman of Egypt’s forensic authority Hesham Abd al-Hamid said, adding that the victim is “still a virgin.” [Ahram Online, DNE, 1/12/2015]

Egypt student gets three year jail term for atheism
An Egyptian court sentenced a student to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam, his lawyer said Sunday. Karim al-Banna, a 21-year-old whose own father testified against him, was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Beheira on Saturday. If he pays a 1,000 Egyptian pound bail, the sentence could be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court, according to his lawyer. The appeal is scheduled to be held on March 9. [AFP, DNE, Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 1/11/2015]

Also of Interest


Foreign investment in Egypt will reach about $2 billion in second quarter
According to Egyptian investment minister, foreign investment in Egypt will reach about $2 billion in the second quarter of the fiscal year, up from $1.8 billion dollars in the previous quarter. Egypt is preparing a new unified investment law and holding an investment conference in the resort city of Sharm al-Sheikh in mid-March, hoping to secure domestic and foreign investment of $10-12 billion. [Reuters, 1/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • World Bank to finance five billion-dollar projects in Egypt | SIS
  • Egypt to issue $950 million one-year treasury bill | Ahram Online
  • Government to launch four-year investment, development program | Daily News Egypt
  • Metro fare will not increase: Transport officials | DNE


Several deaths in Friday pro-Morsi protests
At least three people were killed in clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and security forces on Friday. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Muslim Brotherhood’s outlawed political wing, confirmed the death of three protesters. Two of the deaths occurred in Giza and the third in the Matariya district in north Cairo. A male teenager was killed in clashes in Al-Haram Street in Giza, but officials could not identify whether the 18 year-old was a Morsi supporter participating in the protest or not. The Muslim Brotherhood had launched calls for protests ahead of January 25, marking the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution. [DNE, 1/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Religious Endowments minister vows to ‘renew religious discourse’ | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Committee sets rules for media coverage of elections | DNE
  • Three detained students prevented from taking midterm exams | DNE
  • Egyptian NASA expert demands army apology over hepatitis cure scam | Egypt Independent


Militants abduct police officer in Rafah
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped on Sunday a police officer in North Sinai’s Rafah, security sources said. According to state-run, Al-Ahram, the officer, Omar al-Dessouky, was on a bus when alleged members from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis stopped the bus, pretending to be part of a security checkpoint. The officer was taken from the bus to an undisclosed location. According to a security source, another officer was on the bus but managed to avoid capture by the militants by concealing his identity. The Egypt-Gaza border was set to be open from Tuesday to Thursday in both directions, however, the border will remain closed until authorities determine the whereabouts of the abducted police officer. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, DNE, 1/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Bomb explodes in military-used house in Sinai, no injuries | Ahram Online
  • Two decapitated bodies found in Egypt’s Sinai | Ahram Online, DNE
  • One ‘terrorist’ killed, army personnel injured in Egypt’s al-Wahat police chase  | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Five policemen injured in Cairo ring road shooting | Ahram Online
  • Bomb explodes on Nile Delta railway, halts service, no injuries | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Cairo security called in to check for possible explosives in Prime Minister’s car |  Ahram Online
  • Gunmen attack Giza checkpoint, three police injured  | DNE


Egypt Foreign Minister takes part in Paris solidarity march  
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry flew to Paris to take part in a million-man march in response to the terrorist attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo last Wednesday. Security forces have been on high alert ahead of the silent solidarity march that is due to bring together world leaders to join French President Francois Hollande. Meanwhile, A group of Egyptian journalists protested in front of the Press Syndicate in Downtown Cairo, along with Syndicate Director Diaa Rashwan on Sunday, in objection to the attack on the newspaper. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 1/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Foreign Minister on three-day official visit in Kenya | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi receives Iraqi prime minister to discuss bilateral relations, terrorism | DNE
  • Egypt continues to push for UN Security Council membership in international meetings | DNE
  • Ethiopian Patriarch: Egypt should be at ease with Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam | DNE
  • Egyptian interior minister flies to United Arab Emirates  to discuss security cooperation | Ahram Online
  • Egypt rejects Ethiopia dam storage capacity | Ahram Online, DNE