Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has said his office is drafting a law to criminalize insulting the uprisings that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and his Islamist successor Mohammed Morsi last year.


Egypt to criminalize insulting Jan 25, June 30 uprisings
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has said his office is drafting a law to criminalize insulting the uprisings that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and his Islamist successor Mohammed Morsi last year. The move intends to ease concerns on both sides of a widening rift over whether the two popular movements expressed the genuine will of Egyptians. Just what would constitute an insult however was unclear, as was the timeframe for the legislation’s implementation. News of the draft law broke late Tuesday when the presidential palace released comments by Sisi to a group of young media workers. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, 12/3/2014]

President intervenes to reinstate suspended radio presenter
The presidency has intervened to reinstate radio presenter Aida Seoudy, who had been suspended on Monday evening following on-air comments about the killing of protesters following the dismissal of former president Hosni Mubarak’s murder charges. She had said that people have the right to protest against the Cairo Criminal Court’s decision to drop all charges against Mubarak, adding that she was dismayed “demonstrators who went out to protest against the innocence of the people who killed their friends during the revolution were killed by those same people.” Seoudy announced on her Facebook page that she received a call from the president’s office telling her that Sisi had ordered and end to her suspension. [DNE, Mada Masr, 12/3/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt will still recover Mubarak’s overseas assets says PM | Ahram Online
Churches request more time to discuss personal status law | Egypt Independent


188 death sentences in Egypt’s latest mass capital punishment verdict
Giza’s criminal court sentenced 185 defendants to death on charges related to breaking into Kerdasa police station and killing twelve police officers. They were also found guilty of the attempted murder of ten other police personnel, sabotaging the police station, torching a number of police vehicles and possessing heavy firearms. The prosecution had referred 188 defendants to court, but a judicial source told Aswat Masirya that two of the defendants passed away and a third was a minor who was not included in the verdict. Out of the 185, only 135 were present while the rest were tried in absentia. The ruling is preliminary and subject to a lengthy appeals process. It also goes to the country’s top religious authority for approval although his opinion is not binding. The European Union issued a statement expressing concern over the verdict, while Human Rights Watch said in a statement the mass death sentences are costing Egypt’s judiciary “whatever reputation for independence it once had. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, Mada Masr, The Guardian, Aswat Masriya, 12/3/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt’s Mubarak can be tried for political crimes, legal experts say | Ahram Online
Investigative detention of Brotherhood leader extended | DNE, Ahram (Arabic)


Egypt less corrupt than last year according to Transparency International index
Improvements in Egypt’s business climate in 2014 helped put the country among the biggest improvers worldwide in a corruption perceptions index issued by Transparency International for the year. Egypt climbed twenty spots to the 94th ranking out of 175 countries, the Berlin-based group said Wednesday. Egypt was ranked 114th in 2013. This year it scored 37 points out of 100, a five point increase over last year. Transparency International said that Egypt “achieved one of the highest levels of improvement in its fight against corruption this year.” The country’s integrity score nevertheless remains lower than the global rate; 43 out of 100, and the Middle East and North Africa region’s rate; 38 out of 100. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 12/3/2014]

Also of Interest
Deputy governor of Egypt’s central bank resigns | Reuters
Egyptian pound steady at official auction, weakens on black market | Reuters
Egypt tourist numbers jump 70 percent in third quarter despite Sinai insurgency | Reuters


Protests against Mubarak verdict continue
Dozens of journalists organized a stand on Tuesday in front of downtown Cairo’s Journalists Syndicate, criticizing the acquittal of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and how police handled journalists who covered the resulting protests. The stand, called for by the Front for the Protection of Journalists and Freedoms, commemorates the start of a week of journalists’ protests against police attacks on journalists. Students nationwide also continued to stage demonstrations on Tuesday, expressing anger against the verdict. Meanwhile, the April 6 Youth Movement Democratic Front said it is now time to “return to Tahrir Square,” promising a new wave of protests to start on December 5. [Ahram Online, DNE, 12/2/2014]

Also of Interest
Al-Azhar launches international counterterrorism conference | DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya
Egyptian media not independent, lack professionalism: AFTE | DNE
Don’t send spy technology to abusive regimes, including Egypt: Rights groups | Ahram Online


Non-commissioned border guard officers granted right to arrest civilians
The Ministry of Defense granted non-commissioned border guard officers the right to arrest civilians in accordance with military law, according to an announcement published in the state-run Official Gazette on Tuesday. Non-commissioned are low-ranking officers, including corporals and sergeants. The decision, approved by Minister of Defense Sedki Sobhi, entails that “non-commissioned officers from the Egyptian border guard are granted the power of military magistrate.” The decision also entails that anyone arrested in border areas, whether at sea or overland, will be subjected to military prosecution. [DNE, 12/3/2014]

Also of Interest
Blast on Sharqiya railroad leaves no deaths or injuries | Aswat Masriya
Egypt army kills seven militants, arrests seventy-three in North Sinai | Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya
Police seize 600 shotguns in Matruh governorate | DNE
Weapons, explosives seized in a former police officer’s apartment in Port Said | Egypt Independent


UN expresses concern over increasing polarization in Egypt
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep concern over developments in Egypt, noting “the seriously damaging lack of accountability for Human Rights violations by security forces.” The High Commissioner noted that “the increasing polarization is very alarming,” according to a Tuesday UN statement. The statement further noted that Egyptian authorities should ensure that “excessive use of force” is not used against protesters. At least five people, including two security personnel, were killed over the weekend. The UN further urged authorities to bring whoever was responsible for “killings of hundreds of people in February 2011 and August 2013″ to justice. The UN also called for the release of all those who have been detained for exercising their “legitimate right of assembly and peaceful protests.” [DNE, Egypt Independent, 12/2/2014]

Also of Interest
UN envoy in Egypt for Palestinian peace talks | DNE
FM: Putin to arrive soon to Cairo | Egypt Independent
Egypt launches campaign for UN Security Council seat | Al-Monitor