Top News: Egypt’s Military Redeploys Across Country Days Ahead of Mass Anti-Morsi Protests


Egypt’s military on Wednesday brought in reinforcements of troops and armor to bases near Egyptian cities ahead of June 30 protests planned by the opposition to force the Islamist president out, security officials said.  


Egypt’s opposition spurn invitation to Morsi’s speech
A number of political figures and opposition leaders from the National Salvation Front (NSF) have refused an invitation to attend a planned speech by President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday. Morsi will speak to the Egyptian people in a televised address that could determine his political survival as millions prepare to rally to demand his removal this weekend. The presidency dispelled rumors attributed to a presidential aide on the president’s intention to call on voters to cast their votes in a referendum on holding early elections. Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said Tuesday those demanding reform in Egypt should turn to the ballot box. Those able to gather voices for change should use them in elections to achieve a pro-reform majority, he said. [Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic), Reuters, Egypt Independent,  6/36/2013]

Petroleum ministry denies fuel shortage; Presidency issues report on fuel crisis
Egypt is not suffering a petrol shortage and the long queues outside gas stations are mainly attributable to false rumors that the government plans to halt the supply of octane products, Egypt’s petroleum minister said Tuesday. Meanwhile, President Mohamed Morsi gave directives to governors to exert every possible effort to upgrade  the services extended to citizens and to meet their daily needs, ordering the provision of fuel and solving the problems of electricity and water and providing the basic foodstuffs. The presidency also issued a report on the reasons behind the fuel crisis in the country and proposed solutions and strategic plans to overcome the problem. It attributed the fuel crisis to the increasing demand, which exceeds the normal consumption, and smuggling of the petroleum products. The report proposed a solution to the crisis, including the application of the smart card system, which will start in July for trucks using diesel, and in August for vehicles using gasoline. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, ONA (Arabic), SIS, 6/26/2013]

Minister of Justice: Peaceful protest is the right of all citizens; Police have right to enforce law
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Minister of Justice Ahmed Suleiman emphasized that peaceful protest is a right guaranteed to all citizens, adding that any expressions of violence during protest are not. He also said that institutions belong to the Egyptian people, and that state security is obliged to protect them, adding that they have the right to respond to any attacks, according to the law. The minister also expressed his hope that the June 30 protests are peaceful, as was the case during the January 25 Revolution. [Ahram (Arabic), 6/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Minister defends police role in Giza sectarian killing | Egypt Independent
Poll: 61 pct of Egyptians unhappy with Morsi’s performance | Aswat Masriya
Brotherhood asked ex-spy chief Suleiman to run for Egypt presidency: former aide | Ahram Online
Watan Party submits reconciliation initiative to Morsi, calls for parliamentary elections | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt prosecutors detain Shia leader
Prosecutors in Giza have detained a leading Shia figure for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Mohamed al-Dereiny, who heads the Supreme Council for Ahl al-Beit, a group representing Egypt’s Shia Muslims, said he had the weapons for self-defense after receiving death threats. He told prosecutors he feared he would be killed like Shia Sheikh Hassan Shehata. Shehata and three other Shias were killed in a hundreds-strong sectarian mob attack in Zawyat Abu Musalam village in Giza governorate on Monday. Al-Dereiny will be detained for four days pending investigations. [Ahram Online, 6/26/2013]

Shafiq appeal against Egypt election result delayed
Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Elections Commission (SPEC) has postponed its ruling on an appeal against last year’s presidential election result. The ruling, which was expected on Tuesday then delayed until Wednesday, is now scheduled for Thursday due to the death of SPEC head Maher al-Beheiry’s brother. On 27 May, election runner-up Ahmed Shafiq lodged an appeal with the SPEC claiming the results had been rigged. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 6/26/2013]


Egypt, IDB sign MoU on joint cooperation
Egypt and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday. The deal calls for promoting a set strategy for joint cooperation. This came on the sidelines of a regional investment forum for Deauville Partners, held at the headquarters of the Investment Ministry. [SIS, 6/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
The performance of the Egyptian economy under Morsi | Egypt Independent
Wind energy projects draw attention of Egyptian companies | DNE


Morsi opponents torch Brotherhood’s party HQ
Opponents of President Mohamed Morsi torched Sharqiya’s headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, late on Tuesday. The attack followed the release of Abdel Rahman al-Barr, a member of the Brotherhood’s guidance council, who was detained along with others by the president’s opponents inside a mosque. Around 700 people gathered outside the mosque in al-Ibrahimeya city in Sharqiya until police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and gunshots fired into the air, enabling al-Barr and the others to depart. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 6/26/2013]

Egypt’s military redeploys across country days ahead of mass anti-Morsi protests
Egypt’s military on Wednesday brought in reinforcements of troops and armor to bases near Egyptian cities ahead of June 30 protests planned by the opposition to force the Islamist president out, security officials said. A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told al-Masry al-Youm that troops would secure important institutions including universities, power grids, Aswan’s High Dam and the Suez Canal. Commandos and airborne forces would also monitor criminal hot spots and suspected jihadi strongholds, the source said, adding that no troops had been sent to the state-owned Maspero broadcasting house yet. Additionally, republican guard forces Tuesday night used cement blocks to close the streets leading to the Presidential Palace, to secure the area ahead of protests on June 30 planned by various opposition groups. [AP, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, SIS, 6/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Two police officers abducted in Egypt’s Sinai | Ahram Online
Three injured as shots fired in Tahrir Square | Egypt Independent


Tamarod launches political front
The Tamarod campaign launched the June 30 Front, a body which includes a number of youth movements and political parties, to manage the transitional period that would follow the departure of President Mohamed Morsi. At a news conference on Wednesday, the campaign, which continues to collect signatures to demand early presidential elections, announced the members of the front, which include Ahmed Doma, Israa Abdel Fattah, Youssef al-Husseiny, and Shadi al-Ghazali Harb. Meanwhile, Sameh Ashour, the head lawyer of Tamarod’s justice committee said that the constitution fully supports the Tamarod movement’s signature campaign. The constitution’s preamble establishes that Egypt’s citizens are the source of state legitimacy and have the right to contribute to its laws and amendments. The Committee of the Students of June 30, consisting of more than ten university representatives from both state-owned and private universities, also issued a statement, saying that the demand for Morsi to step down is indisputable, while Tamarod has invited people to listen to Morsi’s Wednesday speech in Tahrir. [Egypt Independent, DNE, Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic), 6/26/2013]

Egypt state media outlets blast Muslim Brotherhood ‘interference’
One of Egypt’s biggest state-run newspapers accused President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood on Tuesday of meddling and incompetence, in comments that highlight simmering anti-Islamist sentiment in influential official media circles. The state television employees are gathering votes calling for the dismissal of presidential media representative Ahmed Abdel-Aziz after accusing him of "interfering with editorial policy.” In an editorial on the front page of al-Akhbar newspaper, one of Egypt’s most widely read, Mohamed Hassan al-Banna said he was ready to resign after receiving a call from the Muslim Brotherhood criticizing his paper’s coverage. He urged Morsi to break away from the movement that launched him to power. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 6/25/2013]

EIPR issues report on torture under Morsi
Hafez Abu Saada, human rights lawyer and head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said that torture has continued throughout the first year of President Mohamed Morsi’s presidency. He reported 143 cases of unlawful killings in prisons and police stations at the hands of officials. Several human rights agencies, in commemoration of the international day against torture, issued a report highlighting continued violations of human rights, specifically regarding torture in prisons of Egyptian citizens. In its report, EIPR said that rights organizations have documented more than 300 cases of torture, 157 cases of murder and suspected murder in demonstrations, police stations and prisons, as well as the detention of hundreds of citizens, among them at least 300 children. [EIPR, ONA (Arabic), 6/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Alexandria’s Oufuqy music fest inspires alternative to social norms | Ahram Online
Egyptian family sells daughters’ out-of-wedlock babies | Aswat Masriya
Ambulance drivers protest after salary cuts in Beni Suef | EGYNews (Arabic)


FJP Vice President praises power transition in Qatar
The Vice President of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Essam al-Erian, praised the decision by Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to transfer power to his son, Tamim. He said the move was "unprecedented" and expressed hope that the new emir would achieve the ambitions of Qataris and other Arabs and Muslims. Sheikh Hamad had earlier announced the transfer of power to his son, the Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim. In a speech aired on Qatari TV on Tuesday, Hamad said, “it is time for a new generation to take power.” The move is the first of its kind in the gulf region. [Egypt Independent, 6/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
British embassy in Egypt to close on June 30 | Aswat Masriya
US Embassy in Cairo to close on June 30, warns of violent protests | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent

Photo: Gigi Ibrahim


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