Top News: Egypt Says Russia’s Intervention in Syria Will Counter Terrorism

Russia’s intervention in Syria will curtail the spread of terrorism and help deal a fatal blow to Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) in the war-torn country, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Saturday. Russia launched airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday in its biggest Middle East intervention in decades. “Russia’s entrance, given its potential and capabilities, is something we see is going to have an effect on limiting terrorism in Syria and eradicating it,” Shoukry said in a televised interview on Al-Arabiya on Saturday. Following Shoukry’s remarks, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Egypt “fully supports besieging terrorism and fighting it wherever it is,” adding that it supports Russia’s recent decision to strike targets in Syria. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, DNE, 10/3/2015]


Seven electoral lists run in first stage of Egypt’s parliamentary elections says High Elections Committee
Seven electoral alliances are running in the first stage of the parliamentary elections slated for mid-October, the High Elections Committee (HEC) announced in a statement on Saturday. Four lists–the Salafist Nour Party, Fi Hob Misr list (For the Love of Egypt), Forsan Misr (The Knights of Egypt) and the combined electoral list of the Egyptian Front and the Independence Current–are contesting fifteen seats in the West Delta. There are another three lists contesting forty-five seats in north, middle and Upper Egypt: Nadaa Misr (the Call of Egypt), al-Sahwa al-Wataneya (the National Awakening) and Fi Hob Misr. The HEC, however, excluded the Egyptian Front and Independent Current Coalition from running in Upper Egypt. A HEC statement explained they were eliminated for failing to complete the criteria for nomination. Meanwhile, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) announced on Sunday the features of its electoral program, adding that it will contest elections via the independent seats with around seventy to eighty candidates. ESDP board head, Ehab al-Kharat said the party’s program is built on translating revolutionary goals into programs with budgets and operational lines. “We’re focusing on doubling the wages of teachers and increasing health spending, as stipulated in the 2014 constitution, and investing in professional training,” he said. Assistant Interior Minister Abu Bakr Abdelkarim, meanwhile, told state news agency MENA that acts of vandalism or attempts to disturb citizen’s peace during the parliamentary elections will be tackled “decisively” if necessary to implement the law while respecting human rights. [Ahram Online, 10/4/2015]

Sisi says cabinet to remain in place if agenda approved by parliament
The newly-appointed Egyptian cabinet will remain in power if the parliament due to be elected in October and November approves its agenda, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday. “There is no connection between the next parliament and the government submitting its resignation, a lot of people think that but it is not true,” Sisi said in a speech at a military parade marking the anniversary of Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel. “The government at the time will present a program, if parliament votes for it, the government will remain in order to implement it, if not, a new government will be presented,” he added. [Reuters, Cairo Post, 10/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • The rise and fall of Copts in Parliament | AMAY
  • Dostour Party to hold internal elections on November 6 | DNE
  • Amr Hamzawy resigns as Freedom Egypt party head | Tahrir (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s parliamentary elections: More seats, fewer candidates | Ahram Online


Courts sentence two Morsi supporters to death, son of Brotherhood leader to five years
Anas al-Beltagy, the son of a prominent Muslim Brotherhood politician and two other students were sentenced to five years in prison for arms possession by a criminal court in Cairo on Saturday. The three were also fined EGP 200,000 (around $25,500). The trio were arrested in December 2013 and accused of rioting and violent acts in Cairo University and Ain Shams University. They were charged with armed violence, encouraging violence, and joining a banned organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. Their sentences can be appealed. Meanwhile, Giza Criminal court, presided over by Judge Nagy Shehata, sentenced, also on Saturday, two supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to death on violence-related charges. Two others were sentenced to twenty-five  years in jail, while a minor was sentenced to ten years in prison, the maximum sentence in juvenile cases. The verdicts can still be appealed. The convicted were charged with torching the administrative prosecution building in Cairo and a mobile phone network communication tower in October 6 City. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, AMAY, 10/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s misdemeanor courts go cage-free October 1 says Minister| Cairo Post
  • Ninth postponement of mass trial for 494, including Irish citizen | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian woman in airport incident sentenced to four years | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Defense witnesses recount details of Port Said prison clashes in court | DNE
  • Mubarak’s sons’ appeal postponed to October 12 | DNE
  • Police agent commits suicide following Brotherhood links probe | AMAY


World Bank loans Egypt $550 million for sanitation project
Egypt signed an agreement on Sunday with the World Bank for a $550 million loan to fund a rural sanitation project. The project aims to improve facilities in 155 villages, which house over 800,000 Egyptians, over three years. It focuses on enhancing access to sanitation services for the rural poor and addressing the Nile pollution from untreated sewage. The project has a projected cost of $2.8 billion, $1.1 billion of which to be provided by the World Bank. The World Bank approved the first half of the loan in July, which comes as part of the sanitation and social housing program the bank introduced in 2014. “One of our strategic areas for supporting Egypt is improving service delivery especially for the poor,” said Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti. [Ahram Online, Al Bawaba, 10/4/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s non-oil private sector grows at slower pace in September | Reuters
  • Egypt’s Trade Ministry lifts ban on rice exports | Reuters
  • Planning Minister says Egyptian economy hits 4.2 percent growth rate | SIS
  • Presidency seeks to convert Long Live Egypt Fund to EGP 100 billion fund | DNE
  • German Society for International Cooperation to give 13 million Euros for development of unsafe slums says Minister of Housing | DNE
  • Government plans to borrow EGP 281.5 billion from banks in coming three months | DNE
  • Egyptian business activity grows at slower pace in September according to Purchasing Managers Index | Reuters
  • What does becoming an EBRD “country of operations” mean for Egypt? | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt should reduce imports to ease currency shortage says Sisi | Mada Masr


Salafi Call slams Culture Minister after ‘secular state’ comments
The Salafi Call slammed newly appointed Culture Minister Helmy al-Namnam on Sunday after he said on TV that Egypt is “by instinct a secular state.” The Salafi Call statement called for Namnam to honor his oath of respect for the constitution, which states that Islamic sharia is the principle source of legislation. Namnam said on privately owned TV channel Sada El Balad on Friday that Egypt has always been secular, adding that “political Islam” only lead to chaos in the region. The Culture Minister added that the only two Islamic states in Egypt’s history both failed. The Salafi Call referred to Namnam as “a minister clashing with the constitution, the law, and the religion of the majority of Egyptian people,” and asked him to apologize or resign. The Salafi group called for Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to interfere after the “offense” and said they would wait for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to take appropriate action. [Ahram Online, AMAY, 10/4/2015]

Kafr al-Dawar detainee dies in police station
Salah al-Basosy, a lawyer who was held in Kafr al-Dawar police station, died Friday night, with his family accusing the police of wilful neglect in providing adequate medical care to him in detention. However, the Ministry of Interior said his death was the result of natural causes, as he suffered from Hepatitis C. Members of Basosy’s family demonstrated in front of the police station, accusing the officers of causing his death, according to the ministry. Five family members were arrested. The fifty-year old lawyer was arrested last March, according to the Egyptian Coordination for Freedom and Rights. [DNE, 10/3/2015]

Building collapse kills seven in Cairo’s Shubra neighborhood
Seven people were killed and two injured when a building collapsed in Cairo’s densely-populated Shubra neighborhood on Sunday. The four-story building collapsed while undergoing renovations by the owner, Gamal Halawa, according to the director of civil protection in Cairo in a statement to state-run news agency MENA. Prosecutors have ordered the arrest of Halawa, who will remain in detention for four days pending an investigation into charges of involuntary manslaughter, violating building codes, and negligence. [Aswat Masriya, 10/4/2015]

Leader of April 6 youth group detained in Tora prison
The leader of the April 6 Youth Movement Amr Ali who was arrested from his home in Menoufiya last month has been detained for fifteen days pending investigation, according to the group. Mohamed al-Nagar, the group’s human resources manager in Menoufiya, said that Ali is currently in Tora prison. Sayed Elbana, the head of the legal committee managing Ali’s case, said the committee is considering appealing the decision to extend Ali’s detention and will reach a decision by Wednesday. Ali had previously been arrested on September 22 with no official acknowledgement of his whereabouts. He faces terrorism-related charges. [Aswat Masriya, 10/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s Consumer Protection Authority bans Etisalat ad for promoting domestic abuse | Ahram Online
  • Relatives of Mina stampede victims express anger against Egyptian government | DNE
  • Al-Azhar University to intensify security precautions | DNE
  • Niqab ban attempt to ‘secularize’ university says Students Against the Coup | DNE
  • Alexandria University chief declines to follow Cairo’s niqab ban | AMAY
  • Pro-Morsi lecturer dismissed from Cairo University | DNE, Anadolu Agency
  • Campaign against counterfeit, expired medicine to launch October 17 | Aswat Masriya
  • Al-Masry Al-Youm editor-in-chief resigns | AMAY
  • Ancient artifact recovered from UK, temple fragments discovered in Matareya | Mada Masr
  • Death, sexual assault and mass food poisoning in first week of school | Mada Masr


Two security personnel shot dead in North Sinai, Sawarqa tribe leader assassinated
Armed men shot and killed two security personnel Saturday in Egypt’s North Sinai city of al-Arish, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The two men, a police captain and a conscript died of their injuries after being taken to a local hospital. The suspects fled the scene, and the authorities are searching the area in an attempt to locate them. Sinai State, the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) affiliate in the peninsula later released a statement claiming the attack. Additionally, a tribal leader from North Sinai was killed in front of his home outside of Cairo. Khaled el-Maniee of the Sawarqa tribe, among the biggest in Sinai, was wanted dead by militants for giving the military information and vocal support, according to officials. Sinai State also claimed responsibility for the assassination, according to a statement circulated on Twitter by ISIS sympathizers. Meanwhile in Fayoum, a police officer was injured on the city’s highway when assailants shot at him. The Revolutionary Punishment claimed the attack on various accounts affiliated to the group. A police agent was killed and another colleague was wounded early Monday when unknown attackers shot them at a checkpoint in Beni Ebeid, Daqahlia. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AMAY, 10/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Five Morsi loyalists arrested following Beheira protests | AMAY


Egypt objects to UN resolution on abolishing death penalty
Egypt has objected to a UN Human Rights Council resolution on prohibiting the death penalty, Egypt’s permanent delegate to the UN said on Saturday. Egypt’s delegate to the UN in Geneva Amr Ramadan expressed Egypt’s deep concern over the use of economic sanctions and conditions to development aid to shape the choices of developing countries over the use of the death penalty.  These practices are “unethical” and are “wholly rejected,” he said. Ramadan underlined that Egypt respects the decision of some countries to end the use of the death penalty and urged them to show equal mutual respect regarding Egypt’s decision. He added that any decision regarding the death penalty can only follow an internal national debate that takes into consideration cultural, political, religious, and economic aspects, which differ from one country to another. The UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution, which was submitted by Belgium on Thursday. Twenty-six countries voted in favor, thirteen against, and eight abstained. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 10/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Delay in reaching final political agreement in Libya unacceptable says Egyptian Foreign Minister | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
  • Brothers of Jordanian MP arrested for assault of Egyptian waiter | Ahram Online, DNE, SIS
  • Ethiopia stalls negotiations with Egypt and Sudan over Renaissance Dam | Ahram Online
  • Egyptian death toll in Mecca hajj stampede rises to 146 says Foreign ministry | Ahram Online, Cairo Post
  • Egypt to use DNA samples to identify Mecca hajj stampede victims | Ahram Online, DNE, Cairo Post
  • Egypt and Tunisia agree to unify efforts against “terrorism” | Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Cairo Post, Mada Masr
  • Erdogan on Egypt: ‘I will not normalize with a coup regime’ | DNE
  • Pope Tawadros heads to US at week’s end | AMAY
  • Egyptian Embassy in London refuses to issue birth certificate for Mubarak’s grandson | AMAY

Shoukry receives American Jewish Committee members in NY | Aswat Masriya
Saudi Arabia signals easing of tension with Islamist cleric Qaradawi | Reuters
Twelve Egyptian fishermen intercepted in Mediterranean by Tunisian coastguards | Cairo Post