Top News:  Egypt No Longer Allows Visits to Ousted President

Egypt’s Interior Ministry says it will no longer allow visits to the country’s ousted president, now held in a remote desert prison. 


New protest venue designated to host no-notice Cairo demonstrations
On Friday, Cairo Governor Galal Mostafa designated a space of 20 feddans (84,000 square metres) in al-Fustat Garden in Old Cairo for peaceful demonstrations, marches or general meetings that have not been pre-authorized, as Egypt’s new protest law requires. According to state-owned news agency MENA, security forces will ensure the safety of citizens protesting in this newly allocated venue. The interior pathways of the park have been paved, and efforts have been made to ensure the park has all of the necessary facilities for protesters. Protesters entering the garden’s southern gate will not be asked to pay for entry tickets. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic), 12/6/2013]

Egypt no longer allows visits to ousted president
Egypt’s Interior Ministry says it will no longer allow visits to the country’s ousted president, now held in a remote desert prison. Ministry spokesman Col. Gamal Mokhtar said Friday that Mohamed Morsi had delivered four messages “inciting violence” against the interim government during a first meeting with his lawyers on November 13. Morsi made a statement through his lawyers saying Egypt will see no stability unless he returns to power. [AP, 12/6/2013]

Also of Interest:
Jama’a al-Islamiya rejects Assem Abdel Magued | Egypt Independent
Muslim Brotherhood sees 2012 palace clashes as part of larger conspiracy | Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr


Egypt court releases eight-four Morsi supporters, nineteen Brotherhood students on bail
A court has ordered the release on bail of eighty-four supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi detained at Cairo’s al-Fath mosque amid clashes in mid-August. The court rejected an appeal by prosecutors against a decision to release the prisoners taken days earlier by another court. The detainees will be released pending investigations into charges including blocking traffic and carrying weapons. Another nineteen students were released by Abdeen Misdemeanor Court on Thursday on EGP 5,000 bail ($720). The students, who were arrested pending Tahrir clashes incidents, belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood. They marched from Cairo University to Tahrir in demonstrations against interim government and military. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 12/5/2013]

Also of Interest:
Church objections halt the printing of draft constitution | Egypt Independent
Activists launch Minimum Constitutional Requirements document | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s public sector fails to pay EGP 11 billion in electricity bills: Spokesperson  
Public sector companies failed to pay roughly EGP 11 billion ($1.6 billion) in government dues this year, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity told Ahram Online on Thursday. The ministry’s main creditor is the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water, with delayed payments of up to EGP 3 billion ($0.4 billion) in 2013. Other public sector companies with delayed payments of electricity bills include the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and the government’s business sector. The ministry’s spokesperson, Aktham Abu al-Ella, said that they were unable to take any measures such as cutting power in order to force the public sector to pay its electricity bills. [Ahram Online, 12/5/2013]

Egypt’s Central Bank cuts interest rates for third time in 2013
Egypt’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate, seeking to spur an economy that’s been hobbled by persistent political unrest. The bank reduced the overnight deposit rate by half a percentage point to 8.25 percent today and the overnight lending rate by the same amount to 9.25 percent. The bank has cut rates three times by a total of 1.5 percentage points since July. The government has announced more than $4 billion of new spending to help create jobs and boost output. [Bloomberg, Ahram Online, DNE, 12/5/2013]

Also of Interest:
Gulf investors seeking guarantees for investment in Egypt | Shorouk  (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
World Bank delegation to visit Egypt on December | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
Mansour receives GCC-Egypt forum delegation SIS
Egypt bourse indexes collectively up | SIS
Arab investments in Egypt reach $50 billion: Minister | Ahram Online


Police disperse pro-Morsi rallies in Cairo with teargas
Police fired teargas on Friday afternoon at a march by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in the Talbia area in Haram district. According to Al-Ahram, security forces also fired tear gas at hundreds of Morsi loyalists in Cairo’s upscale district of Maadi, Nasr City and Giza’s Mohandseen. Meanwhile, according to MENA, Security forces fired teargas to disperse Islamist demonstrators in the city of Suez  as they clashed with police near al-Hoda Mosque. A police officer was injured by a rock thrown by Islamists who were protesting in Fayoum, Upper Egypt. Several marches by Morsi’s supporters have taken place in locations around Cairo, Giza and other provincial cities following Friday prayers. Hundreds of protesters left mosques after Friday prayers in the Cairo districts of Helwan, Maadi, Nasr City, and over the river in parts of Giza, holding pictures of Morsi and posters showing the four-fingered Raba’a sign, a symbol of his followers. Security forces intensified their presence on Friday morning in anticipation of protests which the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy called for, especially in Tahrir, Raba’a, and Nahda squares and around the presidential palace. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya,Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriy (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, 12/6/2013]

April 6 member detained for distributing anti-army flyers
The Suez prosecution has ordered fifteen days of detention for Ahmed Ibrahim for possession of documents, papers and leaflets inciting against the government, police and armed forces, according to state owned Al-Ahram. Ibrahim, a member of the Alexandrian branch of the 6 April Democratic Front, was arrested when travelling from Alexandria to a Belayim Petroleum site in the Sinai Peninsula, a security source told Al-Ahram. Selim al-Hawary, spokesman for the Alexandrian branch of the group, said that he does not know why Ibrahim was arrested for the content of any leaflets he was carrying. He said: “Our leaflets contain messages of freedom, opposition to military rule and opposition to the constitution.” He did not believe that the materials could have been perceived as incitement. [DNE, AMAY (Arabic), 12/6/2013]

Also of Interest:
Open strike at Cairo University’s faculty of engineering | AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Online
army hands out food stuff in Luxor | Tahrir (Arabic)
Egypt’s General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi voted Person of the Year by ‘Time’ readers | Ahram Online


Security personnel assigned to guard Tahrir memorial
The Tahrir Square memorial was rebuilt on Wednesday evening by the Directorate of Housing in Cairo and the Arab Contractors Company after it had been smashed by dozens of protesters on the anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes. A police officer and guards from a private company were assigned to secure the memorial. The designated police officer told Al-Masry Al-Youm, “I am ordered to wear plain clothes and security personnel have been sent to [help] me.” Security forces at Qasr al-Nil Police Station or Abdeen Police Station will be dispatched if assaults on the memorial take place, he added. [Egypt Independent, 12/5/2013]

Four Sudanese killed in illegal crossing of Egypt’s borders
Four Sudanese were killed and ten others wounded in a gunfight with Egyptian border guards after they tried to enter the country illegally, according to Al-Ahram. The fourteen Sudanese had tried to cross the Egyptian border in the southwestern agricultural region of Sharq al-Owainat. [Ahram Online, 12/5/2013]

Also of Interest:
Six arrested in Sinai | EGYNews (Arabic)
Sinai tribes announces its first initiative to deliver weapons to army | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
As human trafficking worsens in Sinai, states fail to help, says report | Mada Masr


Sudan’s Bashir ‘ignored’ impact of Ethiopia’s dam on Egypt: Egyptian official
An Egyptian official has criticized Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for his recent expression of support for the construction of a massive new dam on a Nile tributary in Ethiopia. Al-Bashir said on Wednesday that Sudan supported the Grand Renaissance Dam project, which is currently under construction, because it would “benefit all Nile Basin states.” Egypt has expressed strong reservations about the dam and its possible effect on the volume of water that reaches Sudan and Egypt, both downstream from Ethiopia. The ministerial official, who asked not to be named, said that that the Sudanese leader has ignored the impact of the dam on Egypt’s share of the Nile water and the fate of water-sharing agreements. [Ahram Online, 12/6/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt will remember Mandela with pride and honor: Presidential adviser | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Fahmy to address Manama Dialogue summit | DNE

Image: Photo: Egypt Presidency