Top News: Egypt’s Sisi Discusses Cooperation, Economic Ties With Chinese Counterpart

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met in Beijing on Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss furthering economic and political cooperation between the two countries, Egypt’s news agency MENA reported.

The duo also discussed regional and international issues including conflicts in Syria and Yemen. The president is scheduled to attend a ceremony on Thursday marking the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II. Eighty-one Egyptian army personnel will take part in the Tiananmen Square parades. Meanwhile, Egyptian Investment Minister Ashraf Salman signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company to develop the new administrative capital, reported the state news agency MENA. [Ahram Online, 9/2/2015] 

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  • Yemen flies first plane from Cairo to Sanaa in a month | DPA
  • UN rapporteur raps Egypt over Al Jazeera English case | AP
  • Blair in short visit to Egypt | DNE


Over 2,700 parliamentary hopefuls submit papers on first day of registration says HEC  
An estimated 2,745 hopefuls aiming to run in Egypt’s parliamentary elections have submitted their papers on Tuesday, the first day of registration, Egypt’s Higher Elections Committee (HEC) announced on Wednesday. Egyptian political parties like Wafd and Nour started to submit the paperwork to the HEC for their parliamentary election hopefuls who will compete for individual seats across the country. According to news reports, the parties have not presented their party-based lists. A Coptic organization named the ‘Coptic General Committee’ also declared through an official statement its preferences for the upcoming parliament elections. The statement listed the names of the Coptic candidates in all the Egyptian governorates. Head of the Coptic General Committee Sherif Dos requested Copts to abide by these names “so as to prevent any fragmentation of their voting bloc.” It also requested that Copts choose the electoral lists of mainly the Egyptians Liberals Party but also of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Conservatives Party. Meanwhile, the HEC announced a total of 230 electoral symbols to be assigned for candidates in the elections, with 160 symbols for individual candidates, and seventy for party-list candidates. [Ahram OnlineAswat Masriya, 9/2/2015] 

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Egypt appoints female judge as aide to Justice Minister  
Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council agreed to appoint a female judge as an aide to Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind following a request from the minister himself. Ghada al-Shahawy will be the first woman in Egypt’s history to serve as an aide to the justice minister, and will be responsible for women’s and children’s issues. Shahawy previously served as a top judge at Cairo’s economics court, and more recently as a top judge at Cairo’s Court of Cassation. [Ahram Online, 9/1/2015] 

Court orders release of YNN director, rejects prosecution’s appeal  
Cairo court upheld the decision to release Yaqeen News Network’s (YNN) director Yahia Khalaf on bail after rejecting the prosecution’s appeal on the decision. The Qasr al-Nil Misdemeanor Appeals Court had ordered Khalaf’s release on Sunday on 10,000 Egyptian pounds bail, a decision which was appealed by the prosecution. Khalaf  faces charges of incitement to violence via the broadcasting of “anti-state videos,” preventing state institutions from doing their work, assaulting citizens’ freedom, harming national unity and social peace, and carrying a fake lawyer’s ID card. Police arrested Khalaf on July 14 in a raid on the network’s office, seizing all equipment. [DNE, 9/1/2015] 

Court rejects T-shirt detainee’s appeal on detention  
Lawyer Mokhtar Mounir challenged the court order renewing the detention of detainee Mahmoud Hussein, also known as the ‘anti-torture t-shirt prisoner,’ who has completed 585 days behind bars without trial. A Cairo Criminal Court rejected Tuesday the demand for Hussein’s release. Mounir, of the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), filed an appeal against the latest decision renewing Hussein’s detention for a further forty-five days, on August 27, during a ‘sudden’ court session. [DNE, 9/2/2015] 

Former interior minister accuses Brotherhood of leaking documents during Morsi trial
Former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim testified in front of the Cairo Criminal Court Tuesday, in former president Mohamed Morsi’s ‘Qatar espionage’ trial, stating that the Muslim Brotherhood was in control of the administration within the presidency. Ibrahim also said that the Brotherhood was striving to consolidate power and weaken state institutions, especially the police force, in an attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate. Ibrahim said that only the president and his office manager, also a defendant in the case, could have circulated the leaked documents. Ibrahim added that top secret documents are kept in the president’s office in utmost secrecy, with the documents commonly known to be shredded or kept under the label. On the documents leaked to Qatari satellite channel Al Jazeera, Ibrahim confirmed that he was informed by the head of Homeland Security that the defendants had smuggled the documents following the events of June 30, 2013. [DNE, 9/1/2015] 


Egypt to keep Eni’s natural gas find to itself
Egypt plans to keep all the natural gas produced at a giant field that Italy’s Eni found off its Mediterranean coast to itself, heightening competition among gas producers in the Middle East and Africa. On Sunday, Eni said the deep-water deposit in the Zohr Prospect in the Shorouk block may hold 30 trillion cubic feet of fuel, making it the biggest gas discovery in the Mediterranean Sea. “All the production will go to internal consumption,” said Hamdy Abdel Aziz, director of the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry’s information department. He said the field’s reserves can meet Egypt’s needs for more than ten years. On Tuesday, Eni said drilling operations in the Zohr field will commence in January 2016. [Bloomberg, 9/1/2015] 

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Five Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated publishing houses seized 
Five publishing houses allegedly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood have been seized by the Egyptian government, a committee tasked with appraising and freezing the funds of the organization said in an official statement on Tuesday. The committee decided to seize the publishing houses of Dar al-Fath Arabic Media, Arab Media Centre, Dar al-Fadila, Iqraa Publishing House and Heroof for Publishing and Distribution. Former Minister of Information under ousted president Mohamed Morsi, Salah Abdel-Maksoud, heads the Arab Media Centre. The publishing houses were handed over by the committee to the ministry of culture. The culture ministry is expected to operate the five publishing houses. [Ahram OnlineAswat Masriya, 9/2/2015] 

Also of Interest 

  • Al-Tahrir journalists begin sit-in to protest paper’s shutdown | Ahram Online
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  • Musicians Syndicate head announces ban on ‘revealing clothes’ | Mada Masr
  • Local rights groups condemn Al Jazeera trial verdict | DNE


At least 343 arrested in August for alleged Muslim Brotherhood membership  
At least 343 people were arrested in August on alleged charges of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, according to Ministry of Interior reports, aggregated by Daily News Egypt. The arrests over the past month took place across twelve governorates. The arrested are suspected of being members of middle-rank committees and specialized committees in the Brotherhood and performing attacks against security forces. Others were wanted on various charges relating to other cases. The interior ministry reports labelled those arrested as “criminals” or “terrorist,” and sometimes exposed their identity before their referral to the prosecution or court. [DNE, 9/1/2015]  

Muslim Brotherhood leader dies in Egypt prison  
Tora Prison inmate, Hosny Khairy Diab, died on August 30, amidst accusations of medical negligence. Diab was arrested during the dispersal of the Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in in 2013. The dissolved Freedom and Justice Party  (FJP) claimed on its official website that Diab died in Abu Zaabal Prison due to “medical negligence,” and accused the Ministry of Interior that it refused to provide medication to the prisoner as a part of its “systematic medical negligence murder.” General Abu Bakr Abdel Karim, Minister of Interior’s Assistant for Media and Public Relations, said in a statement on Tuesday that Diab died in Qasr Al-Eini Hospital due to a sharp decline in blood flow. In a separate statement, Abdel Karim  denied accusations against the ministry of torture and the existence of a notorious prison department. n response to complaints from detainees’ family members, Abdel Karim told television channel OnTV that “torture is not a word that exists in the dictionary of Egyptian prisons.” He also denied the existence of the Aqrab (Scorpion) section of the Tora Prison in which political detainees are believed to be held. [DNEAnadolou AgencyMada Masr, 9/2/2015] 

Also of Interest 

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