Top News: Egyptian and International Groups Condemn Minya Death Sentences

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has called for protests against the death sentences passed against 683 people in Minya on Monday. In a protest against the death sentences in Damietta, a man was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Monday.

Tamarod to become political party after presidential elections
The Tamarod movement’s co-founder, Mahmoud Badr, announced on Monday that the movement will transition to a political party after the upcoming presidential elections. Badr’s announcement was made during the celebration of the first anniversary of founding of the youth movement which played a critical role in ousting former president Morsi this past July. Badr also added that during the next phase, youth should work to get into parliament to fulfill the aims of Egyptians and assist the next president of Egypt. The parliamentary elections are to be held after the upcoming presidential elections which will take place May 26-27. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/28/2014]

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  • Four political parties issues joint statement requesting urgent meeting with elections legal preparations committee | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s Sisi meets with WEF director in build-up to presidency bid | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Centrist Adl Party backs Sabbahi for Egypt president | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
  • Parties choose between Sisi and Sabbahi | DNE
  • Egypt government launches website for presidential candidates | Aswat Masriya
  • From the campaigns: Sisi meets the “Left” | Mada Masr


Egypt’s prosecutor-general to appeal thirty-seven death sentences
Egypt’s general prosecutor has started procedures to appeal Monday’s verdict upholding the death penalty for thirty-seven people and sentencing 492 others to life in prison, a statement from the prosecutor’s office said. The prosecutor’s appeal will include the sentences granted on March 24, including the acquittal of seventeen defendants, and the latest sentences of death and life imprisonment given on Monday. The appeal is a routine procedure after any final death sentences. In other news, the Nasr City misdemeanor court on Tuesday sentenced twenty-nine supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to five years in prison and fines of EGP 100,000 each for organizing illegal protests last December. They were also charged with rioting, belonging to a terrorist organization and destroying public and private property. [Ahram Online, 4/29/2014]

Al Jazeera files $150 million compensation claim against Egypt
The Qatar-based media network Al Jazeera filed a complaint against Egypt on Monday to demand $150 million in compensation on the grounds that its investments in the country have been damaged since last July. In a statement published on the network’s official website, it said it had formally lodged a “notification of dispute” with Egypt’s interim government based on a 1999 bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and Qatar “which stipulates the mutual promotion and protection of investments.” Al Jazeera warned that if no settlement was reached between the network and Egyptian authorities within six months, Al Jazeera would then send the case to international arbitration. [Ahram Online, Reuters, AP, Mada Masr, 4/28/2014}

Also of Interest:

  • Defense in Mubarak trial: Officers during January 25 used ‘gentle persuasion’ | Egypt Independent
  • Mubarak trial adjourned to May 5 to finish hearing the defense | AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt’s central bank says keeps key rates unchanged
Egypt’s central bank kept official interest rates on hold as expected on Monday, as it tries to stimulate growth in an economy battered by three years of political turmoil, while keeping inflation under control. The bank said its monetary policy committee (MPC) left the overnight deposit rate at 8.25 percent and its overnight lending rate at 9.25 percent. It also kept its discount rate and the rate it uses to price one-week repurchase and deposit operations at 8.75 percent. [Reuters, 4/28/2014]

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  • NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa teams up with Barclays Bank Egypt to fight unemployment | Wamda


Condemnation and protests in Egypt in wake of Minya verdict
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has called for protests against the death sentences passed against 683 people in Minya on Monday. In a protest against the death sentences in Damietta, a man was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Monday. In Minya, protests led to the injury of a policeman who was taken to the Minya University Hospital in critical condition after he was assaulted by students on Monday. Minya security services used teargas to disperse the protests, arresting two students. Ten students were also arrested at the University of Alexandria after clashes with the administrative guard. In Cairo, twelve supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were arrested on Tuesday after they blocked one of Greater Cairo’s main intercity highways. More than 200 protesters gathered on the road and burned car tires. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the blockade. Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, and one of the defendants in the case, said on Tuesday, “This ruling is the last nail in the coffin of the ruling powers that led the coup.” The Strong Egypt party was one of the first Egyptian political parties to condemn the criminal court in Minya and its three verdicts. The ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party also denounced the verdict, describing it as “shocking.” Human rights lawyer Hafez Abu Seada slammed the court’s verdict, insisting that it would be appealed “because there was no opportunity for the defendants to defend themselves legally.” [Ahram Online, 4/29/2014]

Political groups say April 6 ban is politicized
Several Egyptian political groups condemned the legal ban imposed Monday on Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, describing the court ruling that sanctioned the decision as politicized. April 6 slammed Monday’s court order, vowing that they will continue their activism and remain a source of vocal opposition. The group also affirmed that their movement has been committed to peaceful activism and means of expression, stressing that they have been reluctant to request permits for their recent protests out of the belief that “it is the right for any human being to express his views as long as it’s being done peacefully.” In a Tuesday statement, Egypt’s liberal Constitution Party said the court-ordered ban represents a “dangerous departure from Egypt’s July 3 roadmap, the path and democratic principles chosen by the Egyptian people on January 25 and June 30.” Similarly, Hamdeen Sabbahi’ presidential campaign warned of the “return to a state of suppression and banning” of peaceful political activity. In a statement released late on Monday, the campaign admonished against the use of the judiciary for political objectives and as a repressive tool. The centrist Strong Egyptian party also issued a statement condemning the verdict. [Ahram Online, 4/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Journalists’ Syndicate head calls on prosecutor-general to release Al Jazeera journalist | Ahram Online
  • Clashes at Alexandria University, police storm campus | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
  • Birdshot fired at student’s head during Egypt’s Azhar University clashes | Ahram Online
  • About fifty mummies discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings | Aswat Masriya
  • Workers strike in protest over colleagues’ detention | DNE
  • Sabbahi supporters organize human chains along highway in Kafr al-Sheikh | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Morsi supporters form human chains denounces death sentences in Kafr al-Sheikh | Shorouk (Arabic)


IED defused at Al-Azhar University
On Tuesday, a bomb squad defused an IED outside the Faculty of Agriculture at Al-Azhar University, a security source said. The source added that police combed the area in search of more explosives. Three Molotov cocktails were also found. Al-Azhar University has been the stage for frequent clashes between security forces and students loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The university’s administration on Monday ordered students to be evacuated from campus after violent clashes between Morsi backers and police. [Egypt Independent, 4/29/2014]

Security forces kill two suspects involved in death of Dostour journalist
Two men suspected of being involved in the death of journalist Mayada Ashraf were killed during a security raid to arrest them, while a third suspect was detained, state owned MENA reported. On Monday, a security source told MENA that an operation was organized to raid an apartment in Ain Shams where the suspects were believed to be hiding. As security forces approached the apartment, the suspects reportedly started shooting live ammunition, causing policemen to retaliate and resulting in the death of the two men. A variety of firearms were found in the apartment, according to security sources. [Mada Masr, 4/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Zawahiri statements on Brotherhood prove its connection with Al Qaeda: Interior ministry | DNE
  • Eight students arrested for rioting and burning three private cars | AMAY (Arabic)


Mass death sentences sparks international outrage
A ruling on Monday sentencing 683 defendants to death on charges of attacking a police station in Egypt sparked international outrage, as the verdict has been sent to the Grand Mufti for review. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the US State Department, the White House, Iran, Sweden, France, Turkey and Germany were among those condemning the verdict. European Union sources told Ahram Online on Monday that the twenty-eight member states are planning to issue a strong statement expressing concern over two court verdicts issued today simultaneously against the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6 movement. In response, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated previous statements, slamming foreign interference and stressing on the independence of the judiciary. In a statement from the ministry, Spokesperson Badr Abdel Aty stated that Egypt is calling on the international community to “respect the independence of its judiciary.” [Ahram Online, 4/29/2014]

Saudi Arabia to provide aid to Egypt if Sisi becomes president  
A senior government official said Saudi Arabia has delayed sending any new aid to Egypt until the results of the next presidential elections are announced, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. The official pointed out that Saudi Arabia would announce a large aid package to Egypt if former Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wins the elections. Saudi Arabia has also delayed the implementation of King Abdelaziz City in Alamein, a huge housing project funded by Saudi Arabia, the official told Al-Masry Al-Youm. [Egypt Independent, 4/29/2014]

Fahmy quizzed on Russia relationship during US visit
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has stressed the strategic importance of Egypt’s relationship with the United States. Fahmy, who is on a visit to the US, spoke on Monday with members of the foreign affairs committee of the House of Representatives. When asked about Russia, Fahmy stressed that Egypt was keen to maintain its strategic relations with the US while also maintaining relationships with countries including Russia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and others—without replacing one with another. Fahmy also stressed that Egypt is committed to its transitional road map, new constitution, and the democratic process. [Ahram Online, 4/29/2014]

Also of Interest:

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