Top News: Court Orders Release of Islamist Wasat Party Leader

The South Giza Criminal Court ordered Monday the release of Wasat Party chairman Abou El-Ela Mady pending trial. The Islamist party’s spokesman, Ahmed Maher, said the court ordered the release upon an appeal by Mady’s defense lawyers. The release procedures, however, can take several days, Maher added. Mady was accused of inciting violence which led to clashes between Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators and residents of Giza’s Bein al-Sarayat district in July 2013. He was charged with murder, attempted murder, “thuggery,” “terrorizing citizens,” and arms possession. The one-time Muslim Brotherhood member is to be released because he is not currently standing trial and has already served the maximum detention period, his son Ahmed said. [DNEAswat MasriyaAhram Online, 8/11/2015]


Egypt’s opposition forces will not boycott upcoming parliamentary polls
Egypt’s opposition parties announced that they will not boycott the upcoming parliamentary polls, despite their reservations over controversial election laws. Egypt’s long-delayed parliamentary polls are expected to begin at the end of the month, said Omar Marawan, the Higher Elections Committee (HEC) spokesman, in a statement to Al-Ahram. Most of Egypt’s opposition political parties said they are optimistic this time the polls will finally take place. Although most political parties slammed the amended laws as “flawed” and will not help create a powerful parliament, they said they will neither boycott the polls in any way nor do they intend to go to the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) to invalidate these laws. Among the parties who intend to participate are the Reform and Development, Tagammu, and Wafd parties. The Socialist Popular Alliance Party also previously announced its plan to participate in the elections. [Ahram Online, 8/11/2015]  

Government takes over sixteen hospitals, shuts down ten NGOs for ‘Brotherhood ties’
The committee, tasked with managing the assets of Muslim Brotherhood has seized sixteen hospitals belonging to the banned group, Youm7 reported Monday. “The  sixteen hospitals are located in five governorates across Egypt; one in Cairo, two in Giza, ten in Gharbiya, two in Damietta, and one in Assiut,” according to the committee’s General Secretary Mohamed Aboul Fotouh. A total of forty Brotherhood hospitals, seized in July, are being run by the health ministry. Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity also ordered the dissolution of ten NGOs and the suspension of the administrations of twenty-nine NGOs for their Brotherhood affiliations. [Ahram Online, DNE, Cairo Post, 8/11/2015]  

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  • Osama Hafez succeeds Essam Derbala as al-Jama’a al-Islamiya Shura Council president | Egypt Independent

Egypt court upholds 2011 decision to freeze assets of Mubarak-era tycoon Ezz
A Cairo court upheld on Monday a prosecutor’s’ 2011 decision to freeze the assets of Mubarak-era business tycoon Ahmed Ezz pending an end to investigations. Ezz had filed an appeal against the prosecutor’s’ decision to freeze his assets while they continue to investigate him for illicit gains. The assets-freeze will stay in effect while the investigation into his wealth continues. The Illicit Gains Authority said that Ezz faces suspicion of graft, due to an inability to prove that his financial gains were legal. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Cairo Post, 8/11/2015]  

Brotherhood top leader Badie faces fresh Raba’a charges
Egyptian prosecutors referred Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and other group leaders to trial for holding an “armed encampment” in Cairo’s Raba’a Square, a prosecution statement said. The statement did not provide further details on the numbers or names of the other leaders who were referred to the criminal court.  Prosecutors said Badie and the other defendants organized the encampment and organized marches that targeted citizens in different locations. They are accused of staging an “armed gathering,” arms possession and carrying out “terrorist acts,” among various other charges. [Aswat Masriya, 8/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Seventy-two pro-Brotherhood sentenced to three years over violence related crimes | Cairo Post


UAE to supply Egypt with $1.6 billion in petroleum products
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has in principle agreed to send the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) $1.6 billion worth of fuel and petroleum products for three months. Through the agreement, Egypt will receive petroleum products in September, October, and November. Talks regarding the contract, which will be signed by the end of August according to a source, are in the final stages. Last year, ADNOC agreed to send $9 billion worth of petroleum products to Egypt, but the contract was terminated after five months. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with $1.4 billion worth of petroleum products. [AMAY (Arabic), 8/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Electricity consumption to hit 29,100 megawatts for first time in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • $300,000 seized at Cairo Airport from US citizen traveling to Lebanon | Egypt Independent
  • Industrial Development Authority cancels new cement factories’ licenses | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi, British Gas CEO discuss ways to increase investments in Egypt | Cairo Post
  • Egypt, Saudi Arabia seen driving rise in Middle Eastern IPOs | Bloomberg
  • Egypt’s cotton policy highlights wider policy making problems | Reuters
  • Egypt’s core inflation drops to 6.49 percent in July | Reuters
  • Sisi says Egypt committed to paying off oil and gas deals | Al Bawaba

Endowments ministry fires preacher, bans Imam and launches investigations
In a further move against Islamists, the Ministry of Religious Endowments announced on Sunday it has terminated the contract of a preacher working at the ministry’s directorate in Matariya, after he left banners by Salafi group al-Gameya al-Shareya inside one of Matariya’s mosques. The ministry decided to refer all workers of the al-Nour al-Mohamady mosque in Matariya and its preacher to investigations. Al-Gameya al-Shareya is long known for its Salafi affiliations and charity works across hundreds of towns and villages, especially in rural Egypt. The ministry also suspended on Saturday an Imam in Fayoum, banning him from giving lessons and preaching in the governorate’s mosques. This was due to “not following the policy of the ministry of not discussing politics in religious sermons,” Ministry Deputy Abdel Nasser Atian said. Last week, also in Fayoum, the ministry took over three mosques which were found to have been “controlled by fundamentalist groups.” [DNE, 8/10/2015]

Also of Interest

Egypt’s forensics authority says death of Islamist figure in jail ‘not due to violence’
Egypt’s forensic medical authority has said that the death of a leader of the hardline Islamist group al-Jama’a al-Islamiya in prison on Saturday was not due to criminal violence. On Sunday the Forensic Medicine Authority Spokesman, Hisham Abdel-Hamid, said that forensic examination of the body showed no sign of “criminal violence or resistance.” In comments quoted by state news agency MENA, Abdel-Hamid said that Derbala’s family refused to have an autopsy carried out on the body as there was no criminal aspect to his death. Derbala’s funeral was held in Upper Egypt’s Minya governorate on Monday. Several political parties have called for investigations into Derbala’s death, including the Building and Development Party, al-Jama’a al-Islamiya’s political wing. The Strong Egypt Party also called for investigations into Derbala’s death and what it called all other deaths resulting from “medical negligence or lack of healthcare” in Egyptian prisons. Meanwhile, three detainees held in a cell at the Shubra al-Kheima police station died on Tuesday due to a recent rise in temperature and overcrowding. The victims included a suspect who detained over drug allegations. [Ahram Online, 8/11/2015]

Also of Interest

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Turkey arrests fifteen Egyptian fishermen for violating territorial waters
Turkish coastal guards apprehended fifteen Egyptian fishermen on Monday while boarding two fishing boats for illegally fishing inside Turkey’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Authorities levied a fine worth of nearly $37,000 on the fishermen who were fishing off the Mersin coast, and confiscated more than 234 fish-stuffed boxes and fishing tools, according to Turkish Anadolu Agency, which quoted authorities as saying that the fishermen would be deported back home once required legal procedures are completed. Sixteen Egyptian fishermen were also reportedly detained Sunday in Libya after a fishing boat was confiscated in Tripoli.The fishermen, all from a village in Kafr al-Sheikh governorate, face an uncertain fate according to the head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate Ahmed Nassar, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported. According to Nassar, the boat is the third to be confiscated in Libya in the last two months, raising the tally to forty-eight detained fishermen in the country. [Egypt Independent, DNE, 8/11/2015]

Egypt, Russia sign contract to build Dabaa nuclear plant late August: official
Egypt and Russia are set to sign a contract later this month to construct Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, officials from the Egyptian ministry of electricity said Tuesday. The contract will be signed between the Egyptian ministry of electricity and the Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom to build the eight-reactor power plant. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Russian Counterpart Vladimir Putin will also sign the contract, officials said. According to the contract, the construction of the plant is to be accomplished in two phases; Russia will build four reactors, while the other four reactors will be offered for an international tender. Construction work is scheduled to start in mid-2016, while the first reactor will operate by 2020. [Cairo Post, 8/11/2015]  

Also of Interest

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  • Egypt revives agriculture scheme in Sudan’s strife-ridden Blue Nile State | Mada Masr