Top News: Dialogue Meeting to Discuss Egypt Parliament Law Reforms Hampered by Disagreement

A meeting aimed at eliminating constitutional gridlock standing in the way of Egypt’s long-delayed parliamentary elections ended abruptly on Tuesday. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim al-Heneidy said that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab was forced to end the meeting with political parties and other national figures after verbal clashes erupted among the attendees.


Dialogue meeting to discuss Egypt parliament law reforms hampered by disagreement
A meeting aimed at eliminating constitutional gridlock standing in the way of Egypt’s long-delayed parliamentary elections ended abruptly on Tuesday. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim al-Heneidy said that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab was forced to end the meeting with political parties and other national figures after verbal clashes erupted among the attendees. Points of contention emerged between the Social Justice Party and the Nour Party, with the former saying the parliament should not contain any Muslim Brotherhood members or Salafists. Other disputes arose over whether to build on the existing law, or making radical changes to the text. The committee will hold the third round of community dialogue on Thursday. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Cabinet discusses political, economic, security issues | SIS


Over 300 referred to criminal court for participating in 2013 pro-Morsi sit-in
Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat referred 379 defendants described as “members of the Muslim Brotherhood” to criminal court on Wednesday. The prosecution said that the defendants took part in the “armed” encampment in Giza’s Nahda Square, set up to show support for ousted president Mohamed Morsi. The 379 defendants are charged with organizing a gathering, taking part in it, forming an armed mob, and taking part in its leadership, murder, attempted murder, resisting authorities, and violence, among many other charges. According to the Prosecutor’s statement, 187 of the defendants confessed to their membership in the Brotherhood and to partaking in the encampment, after “arming” some of the people in it, in implementation of instructions issued by the Brotherhood’s leadership. In related news, former Sharqiya governor, Hassan al-Naggar has been referred to criminal court, accused of participating in a pro-Brotherhood demonstration. [Aswat Masriya, 4/8/2015]

Egypt refers policemen to court over torturing civilian to death
Egypt’s top prosecutor referred two Homeland Security police officers accused of torturing a lawyer, to criminal court on Wednesday. They are charged with “torturing to death” lawyer Karim Hamdy, while in custody, after sufficient evidence was gathered against them. According to the prosecution, the lawyer was tortured by two police officers during questioning to make him confess to crimes. This left the lawyer with “multiple serious injuries,” leading to his death. Prosecutors had ordered the detention of the two police officers on February 26, but they were were released on bail last week. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/8/2015]

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  • Verdict on closure of HRW headquarters to be issued May 19 | DNE
  • Teacher who sexually harassed blind student referred to trial | Egypt Independent
  • ECESR wins appeal, white taxi owners to renew licenses without bank statement | DNE
  • Prosecutor blames Muslim Brotherhood for Dostour journalist’s death | Mada Masr
  • Court upholds life sentence for ten defendants over killing taxi driver in Mansoura | EGYNews  (Arabic)
  • Retrial of seventy-three in Port Said Stadium Massacre adjourned to April 19 | Shorouk (Arabic)


Moody’s raises Egypt’s credit rating, says economy improved
Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded Egypt’s credit rating, saying macroeconomic performance has improved and external vulnerabilities have been reduced.  Moody’s ranked Egypt at B3 on its scale — speculative and subject to high credit risk — with a stable outlook, an improvement from its previous classification of Caa1. The decision was based on improved macroeconomic performance with the expectation that growth will reach 4.5 percent for the current fiscal year and rise to 5 to 6 percent in the coming four years, the agency said. The credit agency also cited ongoing fiscal and economic reforms as well as continuing support from Gulf countries as being behind the upgrade. Finance Minister Hani Dimian said on Tuesday that the decision to upgrade Egypt’s credit rating confirms that the government is steadily moving towards achieving its economic and social goals. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Central Bank Governor said Egypt will receive $6 billion in pledged deposits from the Gulf within ten days. [AP, Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 5/7/2014]

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  • Egyptian-Emirati project to reclaim 220,000 acres using solar energy | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Foreign reserves record $15.29 billion end of March | DNE, Reuters
  • Capital taxes fuel row between authority, brokers | DNE
  • Tourism revenues rise to $4.5billion in 1H current FY: Official | DNE
  • Investor: Seventeen resorts shut down in Marsa Alam, Qusayr | Egypt Independent
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Second month of academic semester sees military tribunals and a sit-in
Sentences by military courts against scores of students, police storming and a “successful” sit-in are the highlights of the monthly report issued by the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) on universities across the country. Twenty-five students from Al-Azhar, Mansoura, Ain Shams and Helwan Universities received sentences between three years and life in prison from military courts, according to the report. The report on the second month of the second academic semester, issued on Monday, noted a decrease in the violations by universities’ administrations, while the storming of campuses and dispersing student activities by security forces continued. [DNE, 4/7/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Joint statement from prominent rights organizations condemn radio director’s arrest | DNE
  • Egypt’s April 6 group pen new document for a change of strategy | Ahram Online
  • Driver carries out self-immolation for not obtaining financial rights | Egypt Independent
  • Protesters demanding salaries allegedly attempt to break into cabinet | Egypt Independent
  • Calls for legalization of hashish in Egypt spark controversy | DNE
  • Haaretz: Eissa’s expulsion from MBC ‘nail in freedom of expression coffin’ | Egypt Independent
  • WHO participates in raising awareness on rare diseases in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt photojournalist describes detention of over 600 days | AP, Ahram Online
  • Timetable set to develop slums in Cairo within a year | SIS


Sisi tells Interior Minister balance between security, human rights should exist
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar on Tuesday to review the ministry’s efforts to maintain security and stability. Sisi stressed the importance of countering “terrorist acts,” which aim at destabilizing the nation’s security and intimidating citizens, as well as balancing between prevailing security and maintaining human rights and freedoms. He also praised the ministry’s approach in spreading awareness and encouraging citizens to report on any violations related to human rights. Sisi praised the interior ministry’s efforts, side by side with the armed forces, to secure prominent events held recently in Egypt, such as last March’s Economic Summit in Sharm al-Sheikh. [DNE, SIS,  4/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • In Egypt, ex-military men fire up Islamist insurgency | Reuters
  • No united front: Mixed messages from the Muslim Brotherhood on violence | Mada Masr
  • Armed ‘criminal’ killed in Imbaba police station attack | DNE


IAEA paying close attention to Egypt’s planned nuclear plant
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is paying close attention to the nuclear power plant Egypt plans to construct, the agency’s director told Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab on Tuesday. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano called Egypt’s decision to build a nuclear power plant a “sovereign decision every country is entitled to,” during a press conference on Tuesday following a meeting at the Foreign Ministry. He added that cooperation with Egypt is already underway in construction, training and conducting workshops about nuclear energy. Cairo will host a regional workshop from April 13 to 16 on nuclear security in Arab countries. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 4/8/2015]

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