Top News: Egypt Court Postpones Decision on Morsi Death Sentence Ruling

An Egyptian court postponed on Tuesday issuing a final ruling over a death sentence recommendation for former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and other top Muslim Brotherhood leaders in a case related to a 2011 mass jail break. The judge said the case was postponed to June 16. Judge Shaaban al-Shami said the court received the mufti’s opinion on Tuesday morning and needed time to discuss it. The court also postponed to June 16 issuing a final ruling in a separate case for Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater and fifteen others for conspiring with foreign militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah against Egypt. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 6/2/2015]


Sisi’s call for a ‘joint electoral list’ receives chilly response
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s suggestion that Egypt’s mainstream political parties join the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections as a single electoral bloc is not expected to see much success. Gaber al-Shehabi, chairman of the Geel Party, indicated that this initiative violates the principle of political competitiveness and strips parliament of any diversity of opinions. Ahmed Fawzi, spokesman of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, said that because seats allocated to party lists make up only 17 percent of the parliament, joining an electoral list would not “lead to any positive impact on parliament.” Free Egyptians party spokesman Wagih Shehab said parties misunderstood Sisi’s call. “The president simply wanted political parties to coordinate during the elections, not to join unified electoral lists,” he said. [Ahram Online, 6/2/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian political parties to announce protest law petition results | Ahram Online
  • Dismissed Wafd Party leaders insist on demands | Egypt Independent
  • Ministry of Transitional Justice drafts law on resettling Nubians | Cairo Post
  • Government has no intention to delay parliamentary elections says Minister | Cairo Post


Egypt says uncovers Brotherhood plot, arrests two leading members
Egyptian security services arrested two Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mahmoud Ghozlan and Abdel Rahman al-Barr late on Monday, security sources said. They were referred to State Security prosecution shortly after their arrests, a security source said, adding that they will be investigated for involvement in inciting violence, rioting, and protesting. Their arrests followed an announcement that security forces had disrupted a Brotherhood cell which authorities said was gathering intelligence about state institutions and sending it abroad to foreign parties. Ghozlan was a Brotherhood spokesman and a member of the group’s highest office, the Guidance Bureau, while Barr, also a member of the Guidance Bureau, was seen as the Brotherhood’s top religious authority. A Brotherhood spokesman, Mohamed Montassir, described the latest arrests on his Facebook page as a “failed attempt …. to disrupt the revolutionaries across the nation.” [DNE, Reuters, AP, Aswat Masriya, 6/1/2015]

Court accepts reparations lawsuit filed by police brutality victim Khaled Said’s family
Egypt’s prosecution has referred to court a lawsuit filed by the family of Egypt’s most famous police brutality victim Khaled Said demanding reparations amounting to 5 billion Egyptian pounds from Egypt’s Interior Ministry. The Alexandria Criminal Court has set June 3 for the trial’s first session. The family’s lawyer Mahmoud Afifi told Al-Ahram that the lawsuit aimed to bring the case back into the public sphere, assuring that any money won in the case would be donated. We expect the process to take a while,” Said’s mother Laila Marzouk told Daily News Egypt. She added that the family filed a lawsuit against the two convicted policemen and former interior minister Habib al-Adly. [Ahram Online, DNE, 6/2/2015]

Also of Interest

  • How Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first elected president, ended up on death row | The Guardian
  • Court orders retrial of 120 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members | DNE
  • AFTE manager’s brother detained for fifteen days | DNE
  • Detention renewed for prominent Al-Azhar cleric | DNE
  • Imprisoned 16-year-old passes exams from jail | DNE
  • Two policemen tried on sexual assault charges | DNE
  • Top prosecutor refers Bedaya movement case to state security prosecution | Egypt Independent
  • Judges recommend health-related release for Mubarak-era business tycoon | Egypt Independent


HSBC: Egypt’s GDP to grow 5.6 percent annually between 2020 and 2030
Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) and exports are projected to grow, boosted by increasing foreign investment, HSBC Bank Egypt said in a report. HSBC said Egypt’s GDP is expected to grow at a rate of 5.6 percent annually from 2020 to 2030. The figure is lower than the government’s projections, which estimate annual GDP growth at 6 percent. In its Trade Forecast Report, HSBC said Egypt’s growth forecasts have improved significantly over the last year due to economic reforms. HSBC said, “If this commitment [to reform] is sustained and political stability continues, then growth should continue to accelerate, helped by continued GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and Western support.” HSBC also said it is considering financing Egyptian projects in the energy, infrastructure, petrochemicals, and construction investments sectors. [DNE, Cairo Post, 6/1/2015]

Also of Interest


FIDH condemns sentencing of Mahienour al-Masry and other activists, calls for their release
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has issued a statement on its webpage, strongly condemning the sentencing and detention of well-known Egyptian lawyer and human rights activist, Mahienour al-Masry, who had been sentenced to fifteen months in prison together with nine other defendants over charges of assaulting al-Raml police station in Alexandria in March 2013. In its statement, the Observatory called upon the Egyptian authorities to immediately release the imprisoned activists and to “drop all charges against them as they are clearly aimed at hindering their peaceful human rights activities,” adding that this particular case “is an illustration of a wider trend of repression against human rights defenders in Egypt,” in particular, the restrictive Protest Law. [Egypt Independent, 6/2/2015]

Egypt bars rights activist from traveling to Germany
An Egyptian rights activist says security officials at Cairo airport prevented him from traveling to Germany where he was to speak before the parliament there about human rights violations in Egypt. The decision Tuesday to bar Mohamed Lotfy, a former Amnesty International researcher who co-founded the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, comes on the same day Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi makes his first official visit to Germany. The German parliament’s speaker cancelled a meeting with Sisi over what he called pervasive human rights abuses in Egypt. [Cairo Post, 6/2/2015]

Also of Interest


April 6 says several members arrested in dawn raids
Security forces arrested several students involved in political activities, including members of the April 6 Youth Movement and Students Against the Coup (SAC), on Sunday, both groups said. According to April 6, Sunday marked an “arrest campaign,” as security forces arrested a handful of the movement’s members in Cairo and Alexandria. Most were arrested from their homes at dawn, the movement said. At least two students, Abdallah al-Mahdi and Ahmed Khatab, from SAC and April 6, are said to have been forcibly disappeared.  A Ministry of Interior spokesperson denied news of the arrests, adding that the security apparatus only arrests people when they have an order from the prosecution or from a judiciary force to do so. The April 6 Movement said it expected the arrests ahead of the group’s announced June 6 strikes. [DNE, 6/2/2015]

Military says 141 suspected militants killed in Egypt’s North Sinai in May
A total of 141 suspected militants have been killed in North Sinai in the month of May, Egypt’s military spokesman said on Tuesday. Armed forces spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement that the suspected militants were killed in “various confrontations” with security forces carrying out raids or defending checkpoints. Samir added that seventy-one wanted individuals and 322 suspects were arrested during the operations. [Aswat Masriya, 6/2/2015]

Also of Interest


Rights groups urge Merkel to press Egypt over violations
Five prominent rights groups on Monday urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to press for an end to human rights abuses in Egypt when she meets President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday. In a joint letter to the Chancellor, the organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW,) urged Merkel to “make clear” to Sisi that close Egyptian-German relations depend on amending the controversial 2013 protest law, holding civilian and fair retrials for jailed Muslim Brotherhood supporters, abolishing the death penalty, setting measures to end sexual abuse, and ensuring that all detention places comply with international standards. [AFP, Cairo Post, 6/2/2015]  

Also of Interest

  • Sisi travels to Sudan to attend Bashir’s inauguration | Ahram Online , DNE , SIS, Cairo Post
  • Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency closes Cairo office | DNE
  • Swedish Coptic organization urges Egypt annuls law on contempt of religion | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt, Jordan negotiate anti-double taxation agreement | Egypt Independent  
  • Foreign Minister meets International Crisis Group Chief | SIS