Yemen’s Foreign Minister Riad Yassin has said that Egypt and Gulf countries had approved a military intervention in the country following a request it made to the Arab League. Yassin told Sky News Arabia that his country had submitted a request to the Arab League which was approved by Egypt and Gulf states. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdel Atty, however, denied the reports.


Egypt Prime Minister and opposition to discuss gap over electoral reforms soon
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim al-Heneidy said on Tuesday that a meeting between Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and representatives of mainstream political parties will be held very soon to pave the way for Egypt’s long-delayed parliamentary elections. According to Heneidy, the meeting, expected to take place after a two-day Arab summit in Sharm al-Sheikh on March 28 to 29, “Aims to close the gap between the government and opposition over a number of electoral reforms that can open the way for parliamentary elections.” Heneidy, in a statement to parliamentary reporters on Tuesday, said a government-appointed committee in charge of drafting election laws will meet on Thursday to prepare the agenda of the meeting between Mahlab and opposition forces. [Ahram Online, 3/25/2015]

Also of Interest


Al Jazeera retrial postponed, Canada asks judges about Fahmy’s travel status
The trial of Al Jazeera journalists, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, on terrorism-related charges has been postponed until April 22. The Cairo criminal court received a letter from the Canadian embassy inquiring into the status of Fahmy, who gave up his Egyptian citizenship in a bid to be deported. The judge said the letter asked whether Fahmy was banned from travelling outside Egypt or not. During Wednesday’s trial session, the judge asked Fahmy about his Canadian passport. Fahmy said it was taken from him the minute he was arrested in December 2013, and the defense asked for an official court paper stating that the document was lost. The police has been unable to answer questions about the location of Fahmy’s passport. Meanwhile, a new technical committee is to look into video content used as evidence against the defendants. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 3/25/2015]

3,000 civilians tried in military courts in five months, says No to Military Trials campaign
The No to Military Trials for Civilians campaign said on Monday that, since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi passed new legislation treating certain state facilities as military institutions, 3,000 civilians have been tried in military courts in the last five months. The findings formed part of the campaign’s fourth annual conference, which included testimonies from those who have been through military trials and their families. Campaign member Sara al-Sherif says this constitutes a “dramatic” increase in an already endemic practice, presenting a greater challenge for the campaign, as public outrage has been more recently directed at harsh rulings by civilian courts. [Mada Masr, 3/24/2015]

Cairo court releases reasoning for Adly acquittal
The Giza Criminal Court released details of its ruling that acquitted the Mubarak-era Minister of Interior Habib al-Adly of corruption charges. The details cited the disingenuous police investigations and absence of evidence supporting the abuse of power as the main reasons behind the acquittal. The court acquitted the former minister who was accused of illicitly obtaining EGP 181 million last Thursday and he was released on Wednesday from Torah prison. [DNE, 3/24/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Prosecutor general orders release of forty four detainees | Aswat Masriya
  • Mother of killed political activist demands investigations’ reopening | DNE
  • Morsi, twenty-four others to face court in May for insulting judiciary | Aswat Masriya
  • Trial of forty alleged Brotherhood members in Qena adjourned until April 28 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Trial of sixty-eight defendants over storming Helwan police station postponed to April 15 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Inbound tourism to Egypt increases by 5.5 percent in January says CAPMAS
Egypt welcomed 5.5 percent more tourists in January 2015 than in the same period of the previous year though outbound tourists reported staying fewer nights, state statistics body CAPMAS reported on Wednesday. The country welcomed over 688,000 visitors throughout the month of January, nearly 40 percent of which were from eastern European countries, 33 percent from western Europe, and only 16 percent from the Middle East, said the report.[Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 3/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Banque Misr registers highest net profit in its history | DNE
  • Resolving public sector financial entanglements ‘painful process’ says Mahlab | DNE
  • Finance Ministry to hold community-based dialogue conference on draft state budget | DNE
  • Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue drops 12 percent in February | Reuters
  • EFG Hermes says potential Israeli gas import benefits Egypt economy | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt to stop paying civil servants in cash this year says minister | Ahram Online


Rights groups strongly condemn torture in Egyptian prisons
Ten human rights groups strongly condemned the “torture and collective” punishment in Egyptian prisons and demanded investigations into violations in Abu Za’abal prison, according to a joint statement released Tuesday. The statement referred to incidents of torture that occurred in Abu Za’abal Prison last week, as well as earlier similar incidents at Borg al-Arab and Tora prisons.  According to testimonies received by the signatories, masked formations of central security forces stormed the cells in Abu Za’abal Prison on March 19 and attacked political detainees with sticks and police dogs. The attackers used tear gas, which led to multiple injuries and loss of consciousness among the detainees. The undersigned organizations include the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.  Meanwhile, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said in a report that activist and lawyer Azza Suleiman, who volunteered her testimony in the killing of Sabbagh, has now been listed among defendants from the Popular Socialist Alliance who were accused of staging unlicensed protests. [DNE, Egypt Independent, 3/24/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Quarter of Alexandria bakeries halt work over pay delay | Ahram Online
  • Voters’ age lowered in new Patriarch Elections’ Regulations | DNE
  • Coptic Church welcomes Patriarch Election Law | Egypt Independent
  • Rights group criticizes new pope election statute | Mada Masr
  • Cairo covered in garbage due to street cleaners’ strike | Egypt Independent
  • Journalist syndicate head says journalism has turned into a slave trade| Egypt Independent
  • Salafis get green light to respond to media criticism of Islamic figures | Egypt Independent


Four killed, twelve injured in attacks in Sinai, Giza, and Fayoum
Two Egyptian soldiers, one policeman, and a student were killed in separate attacks in North Sinai, Giza, and Fayoum on Tuesday and Wednesday. A roadside bomb killed an army officer and a non-commissioned officer on Tuesday while they were on patrol near the town of Sheikh Zuweid, the sources said. Ten soldiers were also wounded in that attack. In a separate incident, a policeman was killed in a drive-by shooting near a camp for security forces in al-Arish, the main city in North Sinai. The gunmen fled the scene. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. On Wednesday, two Egyptian policemen were injured in a drive-by shooting at an embassy in Giza’s Mohandiseen district. Both assailants were shortly arrested afterwards. A ten year-old girl was also killed on Wednesday when an explosive device detonated outside her school in Fayoum south of Cairo, a top security official said. [Reuters, Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 3/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • More families evacuate Gaza borders in North Sinai | DNE


Egypt denies approval of military intervention in Yemen
Yemen’s Foreign Minister Riad Yassin has said that Egypt and Gulf countries had approved a military intervention in the country following a request it made to the Arab League. Yassin told Sky News Arabia that his country had submitted a request to the Arab League which was approved by Egypt and Gulf states. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdel Atty, however, denied reports in the media that Egypt had approved military intervention in Yemen. Abdel Atty added that the topic will be discussed during the Arab Summit in Sharm al-Sheikh scheduled for March 28 to 29. The Arab League’s deputy secretary general also said on Wednesday the regional body would discuss a proposal by Yemen’s Foreign Minister for Arab states to intervene militarily to halt the Shiite militia’s Houthi advance. In related news, Egypt’s Ambassador to Yemen along with the rest of country’s diplomatic mission left Aden for Cairo on Wednesday. [Egypt Independent, 3/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi calls for turning a new page in Egypt-Ethiopia relations | Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, DNE, AP, SIS
  • Egyptian experts divided over Renaissance Dam declaration of principles | Ahram Online
  • Ethiopian Irrigation Minister: Declaration of Principles will not reduce Renaissance Dam storage capacity | Egypt Independent
  • GERD accord treacherous act against Egyptians says Muslim Brotherhood | DNE
  • Egypt’s Arab military force proposal referred to Arab League Summit | Ahram Online
  • Qatar’s emir to attend Sharm Arab summit, Egypt minister says | Ahram Online
  • One Russian killed, eleven injured in Egypt road accident | Ahram Online
  • Egypt expresses concern over Sweden-Saudi rift | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Secretary general: New Arab League charter moves entity to 21st Century | Egypt Independent
  • Official: Libya supports Egyptian initiative to form joint Arab unit against terrorism | Egypt Independent