Top News: Egypt’s Morsi Draws up Commission to Look into Protesters’ Deaths

Mohamed Morsi

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree on Thursday evening calling for the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the killing of unarmed anti-regime protesters from last year’s Tahrir Square uprising until the military’s handover of executive authority late last month. 


[Ahram Online, 7/6/2012]  Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a decree on Thursday evening calling for the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the killing of unarmed anti-regime protesters from last year’s Tahrir Square uprising until the military’s handover of executive authority late last month. The committee will reportedly be headed up by Judge Fareed El-Gazaeri. It will reportedly be comprised of nine prominent public personalities, including judges Mohamed El-Bastawisi, Mohamed Shirbash and Adel Said; doctors Mohamed Badran and Mahmoud Qbeish; General Emad Hussein; Egypt’s assistant public prosecutor; head of the Egyptian intelligence apparatus’ national security committee; and the assistant minister of interior. Some interior ministry officers that had been charged with killing protesters at the height of last year’s uprising were acquitted last month in a high-profile – and highly unpopular – court verdict.
[Egypt Independent, 7/5/2012] The Free Egyptians Party has rejected the notion of a coalition cabinet whose formation would reflect the number of seats in Parliament held by different political parties. “There is an urgent need for a national government with real expertise that would be able to save the economy from collapse, face the fundamental problems of the citizens and repair the infrastructure with a realistic vision, without resorting to hasty and partial solutions,” the party said in a statement on Thursday. The statement cautioned against a repetition of the crisis of the Constituent Assembly, which was based on majority and not national consensus.
[Al Shorouk (Arabic), El Watan (Arabic), Egypt Independent, 7/5/2012] Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb and Salafi leaders met Wednesday evening to discuss the role of Sharia in the new constitution, with Salafis reportedly softening their position in exchange for other concessions. In the 1971 Constitution and the Constitutional Declaration, Article 2 states, “The principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia) are the main source of legislation.” Salafis have demanded that the word “principles” be removed from the article. Nour Party deputy head Sayed Mostafa, who is a member of the Constituent Assembly, added that “discussions with Al-Azhar have not concluded yet, but our party agrees to keep the word ‘principles’ upon conditions we will announce later.” In a related story, Al Shorouk reports that the Committee on the System of Government seeks to minimize presidential powers over the parliament, including the power to dissolve the body.
[Egypt Independent, 7/5/2012] Former presidential candidate and rights activist Khaled Ali filed a lawsuit with the State Council’s administrative court demanding that President Mohamed Morsy and head of the military council Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi cancel the decision to reactivate the National Defense Council. Ali told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has clearly and blatantly violated the democratic system by forming the National Defense Council and by primarily staffing the council with members of the military.
[Egypt Independent, 7/5/2012] The number of foreign workers registered to work in the government and public sector in Egypt decreased by 22.4 percent from 2010 to 2011, likely due to political instability during the interim period after the 25 January revolution, said the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics on Thursday. The number of foreign workers in the government and public sector decreased from 870 people in 2010 to 675 people in 2011, according to the agency’s report.
[Ahram Online, 7/6/2012] Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to the African continent continued to decline for the third consecutive year in 2011 due to ongoing unrest in Egypt and Libya, according to a report issued on Thursday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2012 indicates that FDI inflows to sub-Saharan Africa, meanwhile, managed to rise from $29 billion in 2010 to $37 billion in 2011 – close to its peak in 2008. South Africa’s rebound, along with the ongoing rise in commodity prices, accentuated the recovery.
[Al Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Ahram Online, 7/5/2012] The first Egyptian satellite channel completely operated by women wearing the full face veil (niqab) is set to be launched 20 July, which will coincide with the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. The channel will be named "Mariya" after one of Prophet Mohamed’s wives, who was a Coptic Egyptian freed slave.  A full niqabi film crew will manage and operate the channel, including TV presenters, producers, directors and correspondents. The channel will air its programmes through the ultra-conservative Islamic Umma Channel for six hours every day. The majority of the programming will focus on the niqab and married life. The channel will be exclusively managed by women. Men will be prohibited from working in or appearing on Mariya, and even participating in phone-ins during live programmes.
[Daily News Egypt, 7/5/2012] On Friday the Safe Point campaign will march from Talaat Harb to Tahrir Square to protest the rising instances of sexual harassment and assault reported across Cairo and Egypt. They will be joined by Bassma, a group that uses self-defence to halt violence and humiliate perpetrators. According to one of Safe Point’s organisers, in the past Bassma has caught harassers on video, shamed harassers in front of crowds and handed harassers over to police stations. The marchers plan to arm themselves with water pistols filled with pepper spray to protect themselves in case the march itself is subject to assault, said one of Safe Point’s organisers.
[Reuters, 7/5/2012] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Egypt this month for talks with the country’s a new Islamist president, and will follow that with a stop in Israel to discuss Middle East peace efforts, the State Department said on Thursday. Clinton will head to Cairo on July 14, becoming the most senior U.S. official to visit Egypt since Mohamed Mursi was sworn in as president on June 30, ending six decades of rule by former military men. The State Department said Clinton’s two-day visit was intended "to express the United States’ support for Egypt’s democratic transition and economic development." She is to meet senior government officials as well as civil society and business leaders and inaugurate the new U.S. consulate in Alexandria.
Photo Credit: Reuters

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