Top News: Eighty killed, 299 Injured in Cairo’s Nasr City Violence

Egypt’s Ministry of Health announced that at least eighty were killed and 299 injured in Nasr City district’s violence in the early hours of Saturday. Doctors at the field hospital of the massive pro-Morsi sit-in in Nasr City said at least 200 protesters were killed and 4,500 injured from, most of whom they say were fatally shot.


Mansour delegates Emergency Law powers to Beblawi

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has given Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi the power to grant the military the right to arrest civilians after a weekend of violence between supporters of the country’s deposed leader and security forces. Government officials say the decision could be a prelude to a major crackdown on Mohamed Morsi’s supporters or militants who have stepped up attacks against security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. [Mada Masr, SIS, Ahram Online, 7/29/2013]

Political and national forces react to Raba’a al-Adaweya violence
At least eighty people were killed during clashes in Cairo on Saturday, Egypt’s health ministry said, after violence erupted at a demonstration in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Ahmed Aref delivered a statement on Saturday evening on behalf of the pro-Morsi protesters and families of casualties and placed responsibility for the clashes on the political and religious forces behind the June 30 protests. The Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, accused political factions of allowing their hatred for Islamists to distract them from the national interest and the “goals of the revolution” and accused Egypt’s top army commander, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, of “committing massacres only seen at the hands of Zionists and their agents.” Younis Makhyoun, head of the Salafi Nour Party, holds the government responsible for every drop of Egyptian blood. The Jama’a al-Islamiya condemned the deadly violence, describing the violence as “a hideous massacre against peaceful, unarmed protesters.” The National Salvation Front expressed Saturday its ‘deepest sorrow’ for the murder of Egyptians in clashes Friday night and early Saturday. The group said that they “can’t help” but blame and condemn the Brotherhood for the deaths. Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei announced on Sunday that he is determined to put an end to the bloodshed in Egypt. “My top priority is to urge all factions to denounce violence in all of its forms to reach national consensus,” added ElBaradei via Twitter. The April 6 Movement demanded that the interior minister resign. In a statement released on Sunday, the movement denounced “violence and terrorism from police and pro-Morsi protesters” and has called on all factions to not give an “official or popular cover” to violent actions. The Strong Egypt Party denounced the deaths resulting from clashes that broke out between Morsi supporters and security forces in east Cairo on Saturday morning. The party called for the removal of the cabinet as “it is incapable of protecting citizens.”  Tamarod said it supports the government’s measures for “combating terrorism,” but denounced the interior minister’s announcement on Saturday that departments to combat terrorism and to monitor religious activity will be reinstated in the National Security Agency. Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb decried the high number of deaths and called on the interim government to conduct an urgent investigation, AFP reported. Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II lamented the violence on Twitter. “The life of every Egyptian is precious; bloodshed by their own unacceptable,” he said in a tweet. “We pray for the dead and wounded Lord have mercy on your people.” The Popular Current said the use of the Saturday clashes for “political and media purposes after a day like Friday seems to be deliberate,” adding that state institutions are responsible for protecting the lives of Egyptians and that the message from their protests on Friday was to “avoid bloodshed.” The Wasat Party condemned the violence and said it holds Sisi, which the party described as the “leader of the coup,” the interior minister, as well as all figures of the interim authority responsible for the blood. Presidential Aide for Political Affairs Mostafa Hegazi accused Morsi’s supporters of intentionally victimizing themselves in order to gain a negotiation advantage. [Mada Masr, DNE, 7/28/2013]

Muslim Brotherhood “studies” proposed initiatives for national reconciliation
Several reconciliation initiatives have been proposed by prominent politicians; Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh as well as Islamist thinker and former presidential candidate Mohamed Selim al-Awa proposed a five-step initiative to end the political crisis in Egypt early Saturday in a press conference in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood is “studying” initiatives for national reconciliation proposed by “respectable intellectual symbols,” according to a statement on Saturday. In a statement, they said the group will not offer its opinion on initiatives proposed for the resolution of the current crisis before consulting with the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy. The Nour and Watan parties announced their approval of al-Awa’s initiative but may propose some adjustments, including appointing a new prime minister approved by everyone and who has the powers of the president. Egypt’s roadmap, established in association with political forces in the wake of President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, is not up for negotiation, an official military source told London-based al-Hayat newspaper. [Egypt Independent, 7/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s generals back in favor after first flawed transition | Reuters
Government warns Brotherhood against violence | Mada Masr
Egypt foreign minister wants Brotherhood in politics, not arms | Reuters
Women’s group denounces Brotherhood | DNE
Erian to Sisi: It’s over, coup failed, people won | Egypt Independent
Mansour: Demonstrations today confirm Egyptians’ political awareness | Egypt Independent, Ahram Online
Nader Bakkar: Nour Party mediating between army and Brotherhood | Egypt Independent
Trade minister suggests imposing siege on Raba’a protesters | Mada Masr


Egypt military builds case on Morsi
Egyptian authorities have detained deposed President Mohamed Morsi for fifteen days over an array of accusations, including killing soldiers and conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas, the state news agency said on Friday. Morsi is likely to be transferred to the same Cairo prison where former leader Hosni Mubarak is now held, the interior minister said on Saturday. The prosecution’s decision to detain pending investigation on charges of espionage arouses suspicion and marks the rule of law’s collapse, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy said on Friday. Egyptian rights lawyer Nasser Amin announced that Morsi, currently held by the military in an undisclosed location, declined to speak to him and another rights lawyer who visited him Saturday afternoon. Amin said that Morsi delegated his aide Refa’a al-Tahtawi, who is detained along with him, to meet with the two rights lawyers on his behalf. “Tahtawi assured us that they are being treated well and are under no pressure, but still cannot communicate with their families. He thanked us for visiting on Morsi’s behalf and said that [Morsi] preferred not to talk,” Amin said Saturday. [Reuters, AP, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 7/27/2013]

Pro-Morsi Wasat Party leaders arrested
Islamist Wasat Party head Aboul-Ela Madi and deputy leader Essam Sultan were arrested in the early hours of Monday. Both men were arrested on accusations of inciting violence, killing protesters and insulting Egypt’s judiciary. Egypt’s Wasat Party condemned the arrests, claiming the pair have committed no crimes. Another arrest warrant was also allegedly issued against Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy on charges of incitement to violence, as well as against the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and Brotherhood leading member Mohamed al-Beltagy for their alleged roles in recent violence in Helwan, southern Cairo, that left twenty injured. Meanwhile, a delegation of human rights lawyers requested to meet arrested Muslim Brotherhood leaders, according to the Head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) Hafez Abu Saada. He said they are waiting for a response from the prosecutor general and that there is no information about the arrested leaders, or communication between them and their families or lawyers. Ayman Abdel Ghany, youth secretary of the Freedom and Justice Party, and relative of Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater, claimed that the interior ministry has prohibited visitation for al-Shater in al-Aqrab prison. “They did not allow his lawyers to attend the interrogation,” he said. Meanwhile, the Giza Prosecution received a copy of the investigations conducted by Egyptian Homeland Security into the clashes that took place between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi in the districts of Bein al-Sarayat and al-Bahr al-Aazam, as well as on Giza Bridge, which left thirty-six dead and 500 others injured. Investigations revealed that Brotherhood leaders and their allies, who are being detained for fifteen days pending investigation, are implicated in murder and attempted murder of citizens, that they have funded their supporters to take the country into a “dark tunnel,” and that they provided them with weapons to kill innocent people, all within a plan to reinstate the deposed regime. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, DNE, 7/29/2013]

Groups submit suggestions for new constitution
Suggestions from the Press Syndicate, the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) and the April 6 Movement were submitted to the Legal Experts Committee on Sunday, the deadline for proposals to amend the 2012 constitution. The Press Syndicate board discussed nine articles it would offer to the committee. The articles relate to freedom of expression, opinion, press and media, and prohibiting the alteration or cancellation of communication and publication documents. Among other suggestions, the ETUF proposed an amendment to Article 27, for the workers to have a share in project administration and profits, with a proportion not less than 10 percent and the amendment of Article 56 to guarantee the creation of syndicates and unions on “a democratic basis.” Meanwhile the Alliance of Women’s Organizations has demanded a new constitution that achieves the goals of the January 25 revolution for freedom and social justice, human dignity and national independence, and that reflects the pluralism and diversity of Egyptian society. [DNE, Egypt Independent, 7/28/2013]

Egypt’s prosecution blames Nasr City violence on Morsi supporters
Egypt’s General Prosecutor Hisham Barakat opened an investigation Saturday into the overnight clashes. On Monday, the prosecution also remanded seventy-two defendants into custody for fifteen days pending investigations into charges that they were responsible for violence and terrorist acts during clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and the police this weekend at Raba’a al-Adaweya in Nasr City, while another 177 suspects are being investigated in relation to violence in Alexandria on Friday. Prosecutors said Monday investigations initially indicate that Morsi’s supporters damaged public and private properties in Nasr City district during clashes with police forces in the early hours of Saturday. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, DNE, 7/29/2013]

Also of Interest:

Sentences in absentia against Copts and Muslims in Minya sectarian clashes | Egypt Independent
Hamzawy released amid accusations of insulting judiciary | Egypt Independent


Fifty-five percent decline in passenger traffic, six companies cancel flights
Passenger traffic at Cairo airport continued to drop, with only 55 percent of passenger seats occupied. Sources at the airport said the low traffic has pushed six airliners to cancel their flights to and from Cairo, deeming it economically unviable to run their flights. [Egypt Independent, 7/28/2013]

Wheat reserves may only last to December, warns official

Total domestic wheat supplies dropped significantly in 2013 as compared to last year, falling by 41,000 tons to 3.675 million tons, said Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice president of the Supply Commodities Authority (SCA). Domestic wheat supplies were at 3.716 million tons in the same period last year. Abdel Fattah added that the state paid LE9.6 billion to wheat farmers to help bolster the sector this year, out of a total of LE11 billion allocated for that purpose by the previous government. The country’s strategic wheat reserves should last until December 15, with sugar stocks due to last another six months, oil reserves until September and rice reserves until August 15, Abdel Fattah warned. Since the recently appointed Supply Minister Mohamed Abu Shady took office, the SCA has had to import more than 480,000 tons of wheat from abroad, he noted. [Mada Masr, 7/29/2013]

Also of Interest:

Egypt market reacts negatively | Mada Masr
Stock market indexes show mixed performance | Egypt Independent


Hostility radiates as two Egypt’s take to the streets
Rival camps struggling for Egypt’s future radiated mistrust and hostility from competing mass protests in Cairo on Friday, with Islamists proclaiming justice as their only weapon and their opponents demanding the army fight terrorism. Abu Bakr al-Guindy, head of the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), said that thirty-five million demonstrators came out Friday in support of giving the army the mandate to eradicate terrorism. A source told MENA earlier that the final calculation would likely be 32 million, based on satellite images and reports submitted by Armed Forces jets. [Reuters, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 7/27/2013]

Morsi supporters call for fresh protests Monday
Supporters of Egypt’s ousted Islamist president marched toward a military facility in defiance of an army warning in the early hours of Monday, risking a new confrontation after dozens were shot dead at the weekend. The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has announced plans for fresh pro-Morsi marches on Monday evening. Morsi supporters camped in al-Nahda Square in Giza on Sunday threatened to destroy the main power stations all over the country, in protest against the ousted president’s detention. Hundreds of supporters of Morsi stormed the Azhar University campus on Saturday, after they clashed with residents of Duweiqa and Mansheya using rocks and empty bottles. Clashes erupted when the residents formed popular committees to inspect the protesters of Raba’a al-Adaweya, following the violence that erupted on Saturday morning in front of the Nasr City podium. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Reuters, 7/29/2013]

Eleven bodies found near pro-Morsi sit-in bear “signs of torture”
Eleven bodies found close to the sit-in in support of Mohamed Morsi in Raba’a al-Adaweya Square bear “signs of torture,” according to an official source at Egypt’s Interior Ministry. Ten individuals have so far complained about undergoing torture by Muslim Brotherhood loyalists at Raba’a and al-Nadha squares in Cairo, the source revealed. In a report, residents accused leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood of inciting murder and torture in the area. The prosecution was notified in order for it to proceed to conducting an investigation into the matter. Statements were also made by the son of a leading Brotherhood figure who also spoke to Mada Masr under condition of anonymity. “There is torture that goes on in the sit-in, but I was surprised to find out about it. I’ve since seen it—the amputations, the electrocution—that stuff is real. But it is not condoned, nor an official position. There’s little supervision on the sit-in and things can get out of hand.” [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 7/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s Rebel movement proposes arms-free protests initiative | Ahram Online
Voices from pro, anti-Morsi crowds | Ahram Online
Egypt’s Brotherhood stands ground after killings | Reuters


Eighty killed, 299 injured in Cairo’s Nasr City violence: Health Ministry
Egypt’s Ministry of Health announced that at least eighty were killed and 299 injured in Nasr City district’s violence in the early hours of Saturday. Doctors at the field hospital of the massive pro-Morsi sit-in in Nasr City said at least 200 protesters were killed and 4,500 injured from, most of whom they say were fatally shot. A security officer also died Monday after he was shot during the violence. Different accounts were provided of the cause behind the clashes. According to the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, Raba’a al-Adaweya could not accommodate the millions of protesters who took to the streets who pushed into Nasr Road, near Azhar University. Security forces, protected by the Armed Forces, fired tear gas at the protesters and then snipers on the roofs of Azhar University fired birdshot and live fire at the protesters. The Interior Ministry provided a different account in a statement broadcast on Egyptian television. “In a deliberate ploy to escalate the crisis, protesters marched from Raba’a al-Adaweya onto the October 6 Bridge to block traffic,” the statement said. The interior minister denied that the police opened fire on the pro-Brotherhood protesters, saying that protesters fired live bullets and birdshot pellets at security troops when they use tear gas to disperse them. Eyewitnesses, however, told Ahram Online, that most of the cases that arrived to the field hospital were persons shot with live ammunition that targeted the head or chest, saying that police fired at protesters. In an eyewitness account, a BBC reporter said that the violence started when the Raba’a protesters came close to the bridge near a war memorial. As the police called on them repeatedly to leave through loudspeakers, protesters reportedly threw Molotov cocktails at them. The police then responded brutally. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Reuters, Egypt Independent, 7/29/2013]

Weekend violence throughout the governorates

In Alexandria, at least eight people were killed and 118 were injured in clashes that erupted Friday between supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, said the director of Alexandria’s university hospital as reported by the state news agency. Supporters of legitimacy will not back down and will not be intimidated by thuggery until legitimacy is restored once more, Brotherhood spokesman Anas al-Qadi said from Alexandria. Clashes in Port Said between Morsi’s supporters and opponents on Sunday left three dead and thirty wounded, announced the health ministry as reported by the state news agency on Monday. Those killed in the violence include a reporter from Egypt’s interior ministry official website who succumbed to gunshot injuries hours later.  Dozens of supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi were injured early on Saturday after unknown assailants attacked their rally in the city of Fayoum south of Cairo. Nineteen people were injured on Friday in clashes that erupted in Tanta and Mahalla cities, the health ministry’s undersecretary in Gharbiya, Mohamed Sharshar said. Clashes between opponents and supporters of Morsi in Mahalla left nineteen injured. Six of them suffered injuries from shotgun pellets, Sharshar stated. [Ahram Online, DNE, 7/29/2013]

Security source: Members of terrorist cell arrested in Sinai, attacks continue
A terrorist cell was discovered on Saturday in al-Mazra’a, south of Arish, an Egyptian security source said, adding that the cell’s operations included following security troops in Sinai and coordinating with gunmen who attack security checkpoints. Army and police forces have killed ten terrorists and injured tens in security operations launched within the last forty-eight hours, a security source said. President of the Egyptian Company for Airports, Gad al-Karim Nasr, has said that Arish Airport in North Sinai will remain closed to air traffic due to the security situation, pointing to armed elements targeting security forces in the region. Militants targeted the North Sinai governorate headquarters with rocket fire during Iftar on Sunday, injuring three policemen, the Interior Ministry said. A conscript was killed and eight were injured on Monday morning in a new attack targeting al-Saha military camp in Rafah of the restive Sinai Peninsula. Attacks in Sinai have continued for the fourth week as unknown assailants attacked police stations and checkpoints in Arish three times on Saturday. Unidentified gunmen and police exchanged fire at a police station and a security checkpoint in the north Sinai town of Arish, state news agency MENA reported. A series of explosions and gunshots were heard on Friday afternoon near several Sheikh Zuweid checkpoints and police stations in the restive Sinai Peninsula. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 7/29/2013]

Interior Ministry reinstates department to monitor religious activity
Departments whose role it is to combat terrorism and monitor religious activity will be reinstated in the National Security Agency, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a press conference Saturday. Ibrahim attributed the “extremist religious activity” the country is currently witnessing to the disbanding of certain departments, lost in the “non-technical” structuring of the National Security Agency in the wake of the January 25 revolution. Ibrahim also said that seventy students who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood and who have joined the Police Academy will have their dossiers reviewed. [Mada Masr, Egypt Independent, 7/27/2013]

Also of Interest:
Twenty five police deaths since June 28: Egypt’s Interior Ministry | Ahram Online
Clashes leave twelve houses torched in Cairo’s Ezbet Abu-Hashish | Ahram Online, SIS
Seventy Muslim Brotherhood members held for more fifteen days pending probe over Ramsis clashes | SIS
Police won’t allow ‘mad people’ to disturb Egypt’s peace: Minister | Ahram Online, DNE
Egyptian military patrols Suez Canal, shipping normal – sources | Reuters
Attack on Minya churches repelled by residents, security forces | DNE
Army warns protesters against approaching military sites | Egypt Independent
National Defense Council convenes | DNE, Egypt Independent
Pro-Morsi sit-ins to be dispersed ‘by law’: Egypt’s Interior Minister | Ahram Online
University student shot to death | DNE
Egypt Islamists arrested as EU official visits | AP


Kerry says Egyptian security forces must respect demonstrators
Egypt’s security forces must respect the rights of peaceful demonstrators, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, saying the country was at a “pivotal moment” after scores of protesters were killed in the last day. “At this critical juncture, it is essential that the security forces and the interim government respect the right of peaceful protest, including the ongoing sit-in demonstrations,” Kerry said in a statement. “This is a pivotal moment for Egypt.” US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by telephone with Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the July 3 military overthrow of Morsi and whose face has appeared on posters across the teeming capital, Cairo. Kerry spoke to two senior members of Egypt’s army-installed interim cabinet, expressing his “deep concern.” Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives approved measures that would prevent the Obama administration from giving out military aid to Egypt without consulting with Congress. The house approved the defense-spending bill by a majority vote, slashing overseas allocations and imposing restrictions on aid to Middle East countries. [Reuters, AP, Mada Masr, 7/28/2013]

European Union’s Ashton on mediation mission to Egypt
On Monday morning, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton began a series of talks with Armed Forces head Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, interim president Adly Mansour, Vice President for Foreign Relations Mohamed ElBaradei and officials from the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing. Ashton, in a statement, said she would press for a “fully inclusive transition process, taking in all political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.” In an earlier statement, prior to her arrival in Egypt, Ashton said she “deeply deplores” deaths during demonstrations in Egypt and urges all sides to halt violence. [Reuters, Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 7/29/2013]

International community condemns Cairo and Alexandria violence
The international community has expressed its concern over events in Cairo in separate statements on Saturday. UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned Egypt’s interim leadership on Sunday that every death in demonstrations is making it harder to drag the country out of its crisis, a spokeswoman said. British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the use of violence against protesters and called on all sides to refrain from violence. Human Rights Watch has warned of the risk of further killings as Egypt’s security forces threaten to forcibly disperse sit-ins, after an investigation led the rights group to conclude that many of the protesters killed in were shot in the head or chest. The Arab League expressed sorrow and concern over the deaths and underlined the need for immediate investigations into the violence in Cairo and Alexandria. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, an outspoken supporter of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi, condemned the attack and lashed out at the European Union and others for failing to condemn strongly enough the killing of dozens in Cairo earlier on Saturday. [DNE, 7/28/2013]

Also of Interest:
Morsi supporters call on UK not to recognise Egypt’s new government | Ahram Online
African Union arrives in Egypt | DNE
Abbas in Cairo amid Palestinian popular support for Egypt | Egypt Independent
Analysis: United States Stand on Egypt ‘coup’ may have costs | AP
Ihsanoglu: Egyptian foreign minister and rights group reps met with Morsi | Egypt Independent
Libya MB: Applying Egypt scenario in Libya would be disastrous | Egypt Independent
Libya shuts Egyptian border in the wake of prison break | DNE, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent

Image: Photo: Mosaab Elshamy