Top News: Douma Transferred to Hospital, Shamy to Undisclosed Location

Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma was transferred to a hospital on Tuesday for medical investigations following several calls to action concerning his deteriorating health.

Sabbahi campaign complains of defamation attacks
The official campaign backing presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi has issued a statement expressing its discontent with what it describes as a “vigorous smear campaign” led by opponents against its candidate. The defamation attempts, according to the campaign, include recent statements made by well-known judge Tahani al-Gebali, who accused Sabahi of making a visit to the house of jailed deputy Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater. The former vice-president of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court also claimed that the Brotherhood’s international organization has decided to throw its weight behind Sabbahi. The campaign vehemently denied the allegations, criticizing Gebali for spreading information without verification. [Ahram Online, 5/14/2014]

Tamarod takes steps to turn into political party
Egypt’s Tamarod youth group started collecting memberships in order to register itself as a political party under the same name, Mahmoud Badr, founder of the movement, said on his official Facebook page on Tuesday. Tamarod’s official spokesman said that Badr will present the required papers after the results of the presidential elections are announced, the state-news agency reported. In late April, on Tamarod’s one year anniversary, Badr reiterated previous comments that the movement would become a political party following the presidential elections. The event was attended by several leading members of Sisi’s presidential campaign. [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 5/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Al-Zomor condemns abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls | Ahram Online
  • Ahmed Shafiq’s party announces support for Sisi | Aswat Masriya
  • Sisi calls on Egypt’s expats to vote | Ahram Online
  • Gov’t neutral in presidential elections, welcomes observers | SIS
  • PEC calls on Egyptian’s abroad to participate in elections | Shorouk (Arabic)


Former Muslim Brotherhood leader acquitted of insulting judiciary
An Egyptian court on Wednesday acquitted the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood of insulting the judiciary in comments he made to the press. The eighty-five year-old Mahdi Akef was arrested as part of the government crackdown against the Islamist group following the military ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Akef faces other trials on charges of inciting violence, and will not be released following the acquittal. [Ahram Online, AP, 5/14/2014]

Court sentences seventy-nine Muslim Brotherhood members in Alexandria to prison
An Alexandria criminal court handed down prison sentences ranging from five to ten years for seventy-nine members of the Muslim Brotherhood for their involvement in violence that occurred on July 26 last year. The court also acquitted seven others. The defendants were found guilty of a number of crimes including murder, belonging to a banned organization, and torturing citizens inside a mosque. The court reached the verdict after twelve sessions dating back to February. The court also banned journalists during its final session. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 5/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Media blackout for witness testimonies in Morsi’s palace clashes trial | Mada Masr
  • Fayoum court renews detention of three Brotherhood members and release four others | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Court renews detention of twenty-eight Brotherhood members accused of thuggery and burning a bus | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Ruling on banning the activities of NASL set for May 21 | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Courts to resume trials of suspects over burning police station, checkpoint | Egypt Independent


Egypt to cut energy subsidies to spur growth
Egypt will speed up structural economic reforms this year, led by cuts in energy subsidies, stated Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian on Tuesday. The first phase of the energy reforms could begin next autumn, when the government introduces a smart card that would control the amount of fuel distributed at a subsidized price. Energy subsidies account for a fifth of all state spending in Egypt. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 5/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt tourist numbers tumble again in March as turmoil drives visitors away | Reuters
  • Government considering raising energy prices for steel factories | DNE
  • Egypt to cut energy subsidies to spur growth |
  • Government to halt import of products with local equivalent | DNE
  • Egypt’s Citadel Capital expects to sell Sphinx Glass stake for $112m | Reuters
  • Foreign investment on the rise in Egypt | Mada Masr


Sabbahi supporters plan human chains in ten governorates
Supporters of Nasserist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi plan to form human chains in ten governorates on Tuesday as part of their campaigning efforts. The governorates include Upper Egypt’s Luxor, the canal governorates of Suez, Ismailia and Port Said, the Nile Delta’s Alexandria, Qalubiya and Gharbiya, the Red Sea, North Sinai, and Giza in Greater Cairo. The campaign has been holding demonstrations and human chains on a frequent basis over the past week in an effort to drum up support for the Nasserist candidate. [Ahram Online, 5/13/2014]

Egypt’s Douma transferred to hospital, Shamy to undisclosed location
Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma was transferred to a hospital on Tuesday for medical investigations following several calls to action concerning his deteriorating health. The activist was sent to the private Nile Badrawi Hospital to conduct an MRI on his back after experiencing pain in his spinal cord segments, security sources said. Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera released a statement on Monday claiming that authorities have relocated journalist Abdullah al-Shamy, detained by Egyptian security forces since August, to an unknown location. Shamy has been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days. Showing significant weight loss when he appeared on trial on May 3, he told the court he had lost thirty-five kilos during his detainment. Al-Jazeera’s statement elaborated that Shamy was suffering kidney function imbalance as well as a decrease in his red blood cell count, adding this his health was greatly compromised. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 5/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Head of Imbaba Hospital referred over violations | Ahram Online
  • Freedom for the Brave wary of verdict in Al-Azhar students’ appeal | DNE
  • Student rally at Minya University rejecting the return of security to campus | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Alexandria students interrogated for filming movie offensive to military | DNE


Police officer killed in Nile Delta shootout
A shootout between a police officer and armed men late on Tuesday resulted in the death of the officer and one of the attackers, an interior ministry statement read. Officer Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Haider was travelling home to the Qalubiya governorate after finishing his shift when armed men on the Shabeen-Qalubiya road intercepted him. A shootout ensued, according to an interior ministry statement published on their official Facebook page, causing the death of Haider along with one of the attackers. The other assailants managed to run away from the scene. [Ahram Online, DNE, 5/14/2014]

Egypt seizes bomb-making material near Suez Canal
Fifteen tons of a material used to make explosives have been seized in a town straddling the Suez Canal, the Egyptian army said on Wednesday, one of the biggest such hauls since the start of a campaign against Islamist militants in the nearby Sinai. Five tons of the material were seized in a truck in al-Qantara East on the eastern bank of the canal, leading to a second seizure of ten tons of the same material held in storage at an undisclosed location in al-Qantara West, on the opposite bank. In a short statement, the army said the truck was being driven by two men from the town of al-Arish, which borders the Palestinian Gaza Strip at the eastern edge of the Sinai Peninsula. The army gave no further details. [Reuters, 5/14/2014]

Also of Interest:


Fahmy discusses security issues in London
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy met with the United Kingdom’s National Security Adviser on Tuesday morning in London ahead of a Wednesday meeting with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. Fahmy and Sir Kim Darroch “focused on the issue of terrorism faced by Egypt and its seriousness,” said a foreign ministry spokesman. “The British official expressed his country’s support for the war waged by Egypt against terrorism.” In an interview, Fahmy blamed Ethiopia for the failure to reach an agreement regarding the construction of the al-Nahda dam. According to Fahmy, the Ethiopian government has ignored Egypt’s repeated inquiries about restarting negotiations between the two nations. [DNE, 5/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • US Ambassador to Ankara: We stand against terrorist violence in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Gunmen kill Egyptian national in Libya | Ahram Online
  • PM: African Union lost a lot after freezing Egypt’s membership | Egypt Independent