A Cairo criminal court has ordered prominent activists Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Mohamed Abdel-Rahman (Nubi), and Wael Metwally released on EGP5,000 bail each.


Egypt’s interior minister ‘does not mind amending’ protest law

Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said on Sunday he “does not have any problem” with amending the protest law under which police have arrested thousands since November 2013. Meanwhile, he called on the media not to focus on violations committed by the police, saying they are “individual” cases and not a phenomenon. He added, “There is no other government institution that holds its members accountable like we do.” He refuted claims of torture in prisons, saying this kind of information is spread on Muslim Brotherhood websites. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 9/14/2014]


Also of Interest:

No security forces inside universities: Egypt’s PM | Ahram Online

Brotherhood leader backtracks on giving Raba’a testimony | Ahram Online

Sisi says parliamentary elections to take place before end of year | Egypt Independent


Egypt court orders release of Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Nubi, Metwally on bail

A Cairo criminal court has ordered prominent activists Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Mohamed Abdel-Rahman (Nubi), and Wael Metwally released on EGP5,000 bail each. The judge presiding over the case also stepped down. The court ordered the footage shown during the last court session be referred to the General Prosecution, to investigate those responsible for including it with the evidence. Last week, the prosecution showed footage that was seemingly unrelated to the case, including personal videos of Abdel-Fattah’s family. Although they have been released, they are still appealing the fifteen year prison sentence for violating the protest law. According to Mamdouh Gamal, one of the defendants in the case, Abdel Fattah, Metwally and Nubi remain on hunger strike until the controversial protest law is abolished. The ‘Journalists against the Protest Law’ suspended their hunger strike on Monday until Thursday, following the court’s decision to release the activists on bail. The group called for a meeting on Thursday at the Journalists’ Syndicate to discuss the next move in their campaign against the protest law. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Guardian, 9/15/2014]

Morsi jailbreak, espionage trials adjourned

The Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Monday the trial of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and 130 others for escaping from the Wadi al-Natroun prison to September 21. The espionage case, in which Mohamed Morsi and 35 others faces charges of leaking national security documents to Qatar, has been adjourned to September 20. The court also issued permission for one of the defendants, Mohamed al-Beltagy, to be transferred to Manial hospital to undergo a medical operation. The court heard on Sunday witness Major General Magdi Moussa, who was prison warden of the prison from which a number of the defendants escaped. He said chaos broke out in the prison on the morning of January 29, 2011 when some prisoners broke their cell doors and attacked prison security personnel who were “not enough” to repel the chaos. Additionally, the court summoned once again a list of witnesses to testify during the next session, as per the defense team’s request. Witnesses include former Supreme Council of the Armed Forces member Hassan al-Ruwaini, former military police head Hamdy Badeen and former State Security, Head Hassan Abdel Rahman. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 9/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

Ittihadeya detainees to spend another month in prison pending trial | Mada Masr, Ahram Online

Egypt court to rule on listing Ultras ‘terrorists’ September 27 | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya

Cairo court sentences thirteen mosque workers to two years in prison for illegal protest | Ahram Online

Al-Azhar students sentenced to five years | DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya

‘Art Revolution’ rap group released on bail | DNE

Prosecutor sends three to court over “terrorism” charges | DNE, Ahram Online

Egypt arrests 157 migrants headed to Italy | AP

NGO founders referred to criminal court on charges of child trafficking | Egypt Independent

Court ratifies Egyptian tycoon Nassef Sawiris’ jail sentence | Aswat Masriya


Egypt to invite IMF to assess economic reforms

Based on Article 4 in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) regulations, Egypt’s government will invite the fund to assess the economic reforms before the country’s economic summit that is scheduled to take place in February 2015, Minister of Finance Hany Kadry Dimian said in a Friday statement. Dimian stated that the article allows the IMF to evaluate the economic situation of nations and their budgets’ potential to serve the public debts. [DNE, Reuters, 9/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

Fifth, sixth metro line to be completed by 2020 | Egypt Independent

Egyptian pound steady on official market, down on black market | Reuters

Revenues of Suez Canal certificates hit EGP49 billion in seven days | SIS, Ahram Online

Egypt expects $425 million from Islamic Development Bank | Reuters

Egypt tourism could fully recover by end 2015: Minister | Reuters

Egypt’s GDP growth reaches 3.5 percent in Q4 of 2013-14 fiscal year: Finance minister| Reuters


Rights group says number of hunger strikers in and out of prisons reaches 143

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said in a statement on Thursday, authorities have left no room for objection to the use of preventative detention as punishment and to “unfair” court rulings, other than hunger strikes. ANHRI said the number of people on hunger strikes inside and outside of prisons rose to 143 and that the number of strikers is rising. Detained members of a hardcore Zamalek football club fan group also started a hunger strike on Saturday, while the head of Egypt’s Journalists Syndicate officially notified the prosecutor-general that a number of its members have started a hunger strike and a sit-in inside the syndicate’s headquarters. A number of activists also staged a protest on Sunday outside the Journalists’ Syndicate in downtown Cairo in solidarity with political prisoners on hunger strike. [DNE, 9/14/2014]

Collapsed factory leaves two workers killed, four missing

Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered on Sunday the detention of the steel contractor responsible for illegally building an extra floor in a factory which collapsed in Obour City, east of Cairo, killing at least two workers and leaving four more missing under debris. The dyeing factory, Ramzy Tex, collapsed on Sunday with the workers inside. The incident left twenty-two injured. Families of the victims blocked the Obour road on Monday, in protest over “the authorities’ inaction.” They said the authorities failed to send cranes to rescue those trapped under debris. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 9/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

Missing engineer case is clear human rights violation: ANHRI | DNE

647 protests in August, 370 against military rule: IDC | DNE

Egypt’s Al-Azhar University to partially close dorms | Ahram Online, Mada Masr

Manpower Ministry declares 82,000 jobs, youth disappointed | Egypt Independent

Almost one protest per hour in August: Democracy Index | Aswat Masriya

Security forces disperse pro-Morsi Friday protests in Cairo, Alexandria | Ahram Online


Seven high profile militants killed in Suez security raid

Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim told reporters in a press conference on Sunday that a security campaign by the police and armed forces killed seven militants, who are alleged members of militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Meanwhile, security forces launched raids against militant outposts across Egypt, including in Daqahleya, Minya, Damietta and Northern Sinai, the Egyptian military announced in a statement on Saturday. One militant was killed in a shootout and forty-five militants were arrested, according to the statement. On Friday, one soldier and one police conscript were killed in two separate militant attacks in al-Arish and Suez.   [DNE, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 9/14/2014]

Also of Interest:

Egypt says will boost security at tourist sites | AP

Homemade bomb explodes near 10th of Ramadan natural gas pipeline | Ahram Online

Police defuse homemade bomb in Alexandria | Mada Masr


Kerry mobilizes support in Cairo for coalition against Islamic State

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday that Egypt has a critical role to play in countering the Islamic State’s ideology. Kerry arrived in Cairo Saturday morning for the third time in three months. In a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Kerry said that US President Barack Obama earlier explained that the US believes the threat of the Islamic State can be eliminated through building a global coalition. He expressed his gratitude for Egypt and the Arab League’s support for the coalition. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told Kerry that any global coalition against terrorism should battle not just Islamic State but other groups as well, the presidency said on Saturday. Shoukry said that Egypt will work on countering terrorism in the Arab world and Africa, and called for international action to counter the Islamic State, and to address threats posed in Libya as well. Meanwhile, the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy condemned Kerry’s visit to Cairo, in statement Sunday. [Aswat Masriya, Guardian, Ahram Online, Reuters, 9/15/2014]

Qatar expels seven Egyptian Brotherhood members; Egypt calls on Interpol to arrest them

Qatar has asked seven Egyptian Islamist figures, including members and allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, to leave the country this week. The seven men are Mahmoud Hussein, Amr Darrag, Hamza Zawbaa, Wagdy Ghoneim, Gamal Abdel Satta, Essam Taleima, and Ahsraf Badr Eddin. Member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy Mostafa al-Badry explained the sudden decision as part of a reconciliation agreement between Gulf countries after the recent visit of several Saudi officials to Qatar. FJP figure Darrag released a statement saying, “We appreciate the great role of the state of Qatar in supporting the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta.” Speculation is rising that the figures left for London, security officials said, while Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat has called on Interpol to arrest the men, who are either wanted in criminal cases or already have verdicts issued against them in absentia. [DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, Guardian, Mada Masr, Ahram Online, 9/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

Egypt and France to discuss combating international terrorism | DNE, Ahram Online

Foreign ministry receives Japanese foreign minister | DNE

Sisi to discuss new Ethiopia dam with Desalegn in NY | Ahram Online

Egypt’s irrigation minister to visit Ethiopia on Saturday | Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online

UK set to curtail Muslim Brotherhood activities, ban ruled out | Ahram Online

ISIS beheading of Briton ‘barbaric,’ says Egypt FM | Ahram Online