Top News: Execution Brigade Claims Responsibility for Tahoun’s Assassination, Warns Other Police Officers

An obscure terrorist group identifying itself as the Execution Brigade has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Wael Tahoun, the chief investigation officer of the Matariya Police Station. The group said the attack was meant to avenge lawyer Karim Hamdy, who was found dead in his cell at the Matariya police station on February 24. 


Muslim Brotherhood announces new overseas bureau
An official of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood said the group has been subject to an across-the-board restructuring in its leadership, as the movement announced the establishment of a new bureau operating overseas. Ahmed Abdel Rahman, head of the Brotherhood’s newly-established office, said almost 60-70 percent of the Islamist movement’s leadership has been reshuffled, with youths assuming many of the major roles. The official said the new bureau, whose creation was announced a few days ago, would take care of hundreds of the group’s members who fled the security crackdown at home, and press ahead with the local bureau’s fight against the Egyptian authorities that the movement accuses of mounting a coup against a democratically elected government. The bureau, whose location was not disclosed, comprises of eleven members selected following elections in Egypt and abroad, including former ministers under the Brotherhood’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Amr Darrag and Yahia Hamed, Abdel Rahman said. Asked about the Brotherhood’s political blunders, he said, “We were mistaken when we thought that a revolutionary course would restore stability to the country.” [Ahram Online, 4/23/2015]

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Eleven Beheira residents receive fifteen year prison sentences
Eleven youth from Beheira governorate received fifteen-year prison sentences on Thursday, according to Freedom for the Brave, an initiative that provides support for detainees. According to the initiative, the group of young men were at home when security forces raided the house and arrested them on July 4, 2014. The young men are accused of belonging to a terrorist organization, sowing fear, creating chaos in the streets, and preventing police from doing their work. They are also accused of cutting roads with tires, possessing Molotov cocktails, and setting fire to a tourist company. [DNE, 4/24/2015]

Prosecution denies reports of second lawyer tortured to death in Matareya police station
Egypt’s State Prosecution has denied reports that lawyer Imam Afify, 63 who died while in custody of the Matariya Police Department, was tortured by authorities. Afify passed away Wednesday after suffering a brain hemorrhage that left him in a coma at the Matariya police station more than a week ago. Lawyers Montasser al-Zayyat and Mohamed Mokhtar said their colleague, who assisted in the case of Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan, was arrested at a protest in Matariya, and then beaten at the station until he suffered a stroke. Afify was also allegedly beaten by Matariya residents, who handed him over to the police, after he was accused of distributing money to Brotherhood protesters. Afify, who denied belonging to the Brotherhood, was ordered detained, and when his health deteriorated seven days ago, he was admitted into a hospital. According to a medical report, Afify allegedly died from injuries caused by the residents and not from police torture. Lawyer Mohamed Afify, however, says the Interior Ministry was indirectly, if not directly, responsible for Afify’s death because he was left in custody for several days without medical care despite suffering from severe, life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Shubra al-Kheima Prosecutor ordered an autopsy on a detainee who died in custody. According to initial investigations, the detainee died as the result of wounds inflicted during a dispute with other detainees. The investigation shows that the detainees were in possession of bladed weapons. [Egypt Independent, 4/24/2015]

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  • Human rights NGO presses charges against officer accused of whipping man in police station |Mada Masr
  • Six alleged Brotherhood members sentenced to twenty years in Fayoum | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt’s Sisi approves $500 million World Bank loan to expand natural gas grid
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified on Thursday a $500 million loan agreement with the World Bank to fund a national natural gas project that will benefit 1.5 million households currently relying on traditional means of gas consumption. The initial agreement between Cairo and the World Bank was signed in September of 2014. By connecting new households to the country’s natural gas grid system, Egypt aims to save over $300 million annually in fuel subsidies. [Ahram Online, 4/23/2015]

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Over 300 fall sick in northern Egypt in suspected contamination
Hundreds of people in northern Egypt were hospitalized on Friday showing symptoms related to poisoning, which locals suspect was caused by water contamination. State news agency MENA said 310 people in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, north of Cairo, have been admitted to local hospitals after suffering poisoning symptoms. Authorities are analyzing samples of drinking water and suspected food items to identify the cause of the poisoning, provincial health ministry official Sherif Makien said, while several locals said they believe the symptoms were caused by tap water. Shaker Abdel-Fattah, a provincial water official from the city’s drinking water and sanitation company, however, said that tap water could not be the source of the problem. Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi also said there is no connection between the water contamination in Sharqiya and the capsizing of a barge carrying 500 tons of phosphate in Upper Egypt’s Qena. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 4/24/2015]

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One killed, another wounded in blasts in northern Cairo
One person was killed and a child wounded in three bomb blasts in northern Cairo on Friday, Al-Ahram reported. The bombings took place in the Helmiat al-Zaytoun area in the Cairo district of Ain Shams. The victims have been sent to a local hospital as explosives experts cordoned off the site of the explosions. [Ahram Online, 4/24/2015]

Execution Brigade claims responsibility for Tahoun’s assassination, warns other police officers
An obscure terrorist group identifying itself as the Execution Brigade has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Wael Tahoun, the chief investigation officer of the Matariya Police Station. The group said the attack was meant to avenge lawyer Karim Hamdy, who was found dead in his cell at the Matariya police station on February 24. In a statement on Facebook on Wednesday evening, the group added, “We declare the start of a wide campaign of revenge against police officers implicated in the killing of January 25 martyrs up until now. Tahoun is not the first, and won’t be the last.” Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms researcher Abdel Rahman Gad, who also lives in Matareya told Mada Masr, “Most likely, his assassins are from Matareya. But we cannot say for sure that his killing was politically motivated. Even those with criminal records want to seek revenge against him. Torture at the Matariya police station does not differentiate between criminals and political activists.” [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 4/23/2015]

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Arab military chiefs discuss ‘joint military force’
Arab military Chiefs-of-Staff met on Wednesday at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo to discuss the possibility of a joint military force, a military spokesperson said Thursday. A military statement said eighteen military leaders met to supervise and discuss prospects of the joint military force, that was suggested during the Sharm al-Sheikh Arab Summit last month. The statement added this decision also came in light of “intertwined national security threats that extend across borders,” adding that a “collective mechanism for rapid intervention is needed.” In addition, this joint force is not to threaten the sovereignty of any nation, but is “for the sake of fighting terrorism,” the statement said. The group also discussed “operational procedures, mechanisms of action and the required budget for the establishment of such a force.” [DNE, 4/23/2015]

Sudan ‘pauses’ trial of detained Egyptian fishermen for trespassing its waters
The Sudanese Minister of Justice has put on hold the trial of over one hundred Egyptian fishermen being detained in the coastal city of Port Sudan for trespassing its territorial waters. This means that “negotiations between Egypt and Sudan are running,” the leader of the independent Matariya Fishermen Association in Daqahleya Taha al-Sherdeny said on Friday. Sherdeny added the trial “was not cancelled,” as was previously reported, but that during the trial, the Sudanese Minister of Justice asked to look into the files of the case. A Sudanese court had fined twenty-nine out of the 108 men 5,000 Egyptian pounds each and sentenced them to two years in jail in case of failure to pay. The rest continued to face trial. A captain was also fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds, and another was sentenced to six months over the same charges. [DNE, 4/24/2015]

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