Egypt’s government has approved a draft law tackling internet crime and submitted it to the presidency for final approval, Minister of Communication and Information Technology Khaled Negm said on Thursday. The minister said that the law addresses “crimes committed both against fellow citizens and against the state.” 


Democratic current boycotts Thursday parliamentary elections law dialogue
The Democratic Current parties announced they would not participate in the third session of dialogue with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and other political parties on the amendment of the parliamentary elections law on Thursday because of what they described as chaos and disorganization in Tuesday’s session. “The last meeting was purely decorative, and will not result in a real modification of the law, and therefore will not attend today’s session,” Dostor Party spokesperson Khaled Dawoud said. Medhat al-Zahed, deputy head of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, also criticized Mahlab’s statement that elections would be held before Ramadan. Meanwhile, Minister of Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim al-Heneidy said that the Committee entrusted with amending electoral laws is preparing final drafts for these laws and the government is serious about holding the elections as soon as possible, adding that the last two sessions of the national dialogue were quite successful. [Egypt Independent, 4/9/2015]

Cybercrime draft law awaits presidential approval
Egypt’s government has approved a draft law tackling internet crime and submitted it to the presidency for final approval, Minister of Communication and Information Technology Khaled Negm said on Thursday. The minister said that the law addresses “crimes committed both against fellow citizens and against the state.” The law addresses infractions include the hacking of e-mail accounts, personal and government information, incitement to terrorism, and embezzlement with average penalties of EGP500,000 and prison sentences of up to three years. In a separate interview, Negm said the draft law “protects the security of both the citizens and the state, while preserving privacy.” The proposed document would “provide judges with the power to issue verdicts for internet crimes such as cyberterrorism, blasphemy, and sexual offenses.” The law would also stipulate punishments for “the dissemination of rumors and the promotion of extremist thought on social networks.”[Egypt Independent, 4/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Cabinet approves investment, security for Sinai | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi issues decree to appoint new head for Administrative Control Authority | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Sisi appoints ex-head of Administrative Control Authority as his anti-corruption advisor | EGYNews (Arabic)


Courts sentence Morsi-era minister, FJP leader in absentia
An Egyptian misdemeanors court sentenced six leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to fifteen years in jail in absentia, and six other members who were present in court to three years to on Wednesday for inciting murder of policemen. Details of the case go back to clashes that took place in Suez governorate in July 2013. Among the sentenced leaders is Ahmed Mahmoud, a top official in the Muslim Brotherhood and Suez Secretary-General of the now-dismantled Freedom and Justice Party. Meanwhile, Cairo misdemeanor court also sentenced on Wednesday former minister for parliamentary affairs Mohamed Mahsoub to three years in prison and a 10,000 Egyptian-pound bail for fraud. Mahsoub, who served as minister under the regime of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, is accused of embezzling a sum worth $200,000 from a Saudi businessman. [Ahram Online, 4/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Top prosecutor orders ongoing investigations into detention centers after torture reports | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent
  • Photojournalist detained for twenty-four hours over cell phone ringing in court | Egypt Independent
  • Operations Room to “spread lies and topple the government” | DNE
  • Property of businessman accused of fraud seized | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian law in the dock as Shaimaa al-Sabbagh witnesses go on trial | The Guardian
  • Morsi’s Qatar espionage case postponed to April 20 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt’s inflation rates rise in March
Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation and core inflation both picked up in March for a second consecutive month, a sign the government may be struggling to balance economic growth and price stability. The urban consumer inflation rate rose to 11.5 percent in March, marking a five month high driven by a rise in food and utility prices. Inflation accelerated in Egypt after the government slashed subsidies last summer, raising fuel prices by as much as 78 percent. [Reuters, 4/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s new administrative capital deal to be announced soon says minister | Ahram Online
  • Shell to buy BG for $70 billion, gets access to Egypt operations | Reuters
  • Electronic visa potentially to boost tourism, draw new visitors | DNE
  • Egypt tourism revenues more than double in first eight months of 2014/15 | Egypt Independent
  • Hotels, companies concerned over increasing energy prices: Tourism workers | DNE
  • NUCA budget doubled to EGP28 billion in FY 2015/2016 | DNE
  • Arab Fund loans Egypt $216 million for power station | DNE, SIS
  • Capital gains tax to balance between state and taxpayer rights says Finance Minister | Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent


Security forces criticized as Minya churches under attack
Church and civil society movements and organizations have criticized security forces’ handling of sectarian tensions as it “allows perpetrators to escape punishment.” On Friday, security forces, led by Minya’s chief of police for the north region, raided a building affiliated to the Maghagha archbishopric in Minya. During the raid, security forces seized belongings and assaulted youth inside the church house, according to the archbishopric’s statement. The archbishopric considers the raid a “blatant assault” on Christian holy sites and religious rituals that are protected under the constitution. Security forces claimed the building is unlicensed, a point contested by the archbishopric as it published letters to inform the security forces they were holding masses and prayers at the church. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) called on responsible authorities in a statement on Tuesday to investigate the responsibility of local security of the raid. [DNE, 4/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s TV presenter Reem Maged back to screen after long hiatus | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s government allocates 30 acres to Coptic Church | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Residential building built inside Mar Girgis church  | Egypt Independent
  • Archbishop says Pope Tawadros plans visit to Ethiopia | Egypt Independent
  • Numbers of pilgrims to Jerusalem increases in 2015, despite Coptic Church stance  | Ahram Online
  • Interior Ministry should ‘clean its ranks’ of radical elements ahead of Easter says Maspero Youth Union | DNE
  • Citizens ‘may be executed any minute’ says anti-death penalty group | DNE
  • Labor unrest high so far in 2015, but pales in comparison to last year, says report | Mada Masr


Violence in Egypt’s Sinai kills eleven civilians, two soldiers
Military officials say eleven civilians and two soldiers have been killed in three attacks in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai. The officials said a mortar landed Wednesday on a residential area south of Sheik Zweid, a town in northern Sinai, hitting a house and killing nine of its residents. Separately, officials said a missile landed on a house in another village, killing two civilians. The mortar rounds also wounded six people, the officials said without specifying who was behind the attack. In a third attack, outside the provincial capital al-Arish, officials said an explosive detonated as a military vehicle drove past, killing two police officers and injuring three others. Meanwhile, Egypt’s armed forces killed twenty-nine suspected militants and arrested thirty-two more in security campaigns on the Sinai peninsula this week, the army spokesman said on Thursday. [Ahram Online, AFP, AP, 4/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Report shows security responsible for 70 percent of violence in universities during first semester | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian army world’s eighteenth strongest, first among Arabs |Egypt Independent
  • Anti-Coup Alliance Facebook page admin arrested | EGYNews (Arabic)


US considering major arms sales to Egypt, Pakistan
The United States said on Wednesday it was considering a $57 million sale of air-to-surface missiles to Egypt, the second big arms deal this week after Congress was notified of a potential $1 billion sale of helicopters and missiles to Pakistan. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the State Department had notified Congress on Tuesday of the possible sale to Egypt of 356 R-variant Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts and training. The Hellfire is a family of 100-pound, laser-guided missiles generally fired by helicopters or airplanes, including unmanned drones. The agency said it would be the first transfer of R-variant Hellfires to Egypt, which can also be fired from sea and ground platforms. DSCA said Congress was notified of the potential sale on Tuesday as required by law, but does not mean that the sale has actually been concluded. [Reuters, 4/8/2015]

Turkey says Egypt should free Morsi before it can restore ties
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Egypt should free ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi from jail and lift death sentences against his supporters before Ankara could consider normalizing relations with Cairo. “Mr. Morsi is a president elected by 52 percent of the votes. They should give him his freedom,” Erdogan told reporters traveling on his plane as he returned from an official visit to Iran. He said that there were around 18,000 political prisoners who should be retried and arbitrary bans on political parties in Egypt removed. Egypt has complained about previous comments made by Erdogan against President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and rejected Turkey’s criticism of the government. [Reuters, 4/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Shoukry to discuss Libya issue in Rome | DNE
  • Egypt dragged to war in Yemen? | Ahram Online
  • French firm likely to conduct studies of Ethiopia dam: Source | Ahram Online
  • Tripartite committee on Ethiopia’s dam convenes in Addis Ababa | SIS
  • Egyptian-Sudanese agreement to provide postal parcels | DNE
  • Sudanese navy seizes three boats with 106 Egyptians aboard  | Egypt Independent
  • Law professor says US failed to review aid to Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Tripartite meeting in Libya ’fruitful,’ says Foreign Minister | SIS
  • Egypt’s ambassador to Yemen won’t rule out ground troops | Al-Monitor