Top News: Four killed as Morsi Supporters Clash with Police in Governorates

Riot police clashed with supporters of Egypt’s former Islamist president across the country on Friday, leaving four dead as the Muslim Brotherhood renewed calls to protest ahead of a key referendum later this month. 


Khaled Said trial protesters sentenced to prison for breaking protest law
A court in Alexandria has sentenced a group of activists to two years in jail and a EGP 50,000 ($7,100) fine for organizing an unauthorized protest during the Khaled Said trial. Six charges were pressed against the nine activists: protesting without a prior notice, assembly, assaulting security personnel, vandalizing public property, and possession of unlicensed weapons. Leftist activists and human rights lawyers Mahienour El-Massry and Hassan Mustafa were among those sentenced. According to reports, the prosecution has ordered the arrest of El-Massry, Mustafa, Moussa Hussein, Mohamed Abdel al-Salem and Hassan al-Siyad, who were sentenced in absentia. Activists Loai Kahwagy, Islam Hassanein and Omar Hazeq were arrested at the protest. Hamdy Khalaf, an Alexandrian lawyer defending the activists, said they will appeal the verdict. Mustafa was previously sentenced to two years in prison for assaulting a prosecutor during ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s time in office. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 1/2/2014]

Morsi international legal team files complaint to International Criminal Court
The international legal team representing the Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint to the International Criminal Court, reported state-owned media agency MENA. The complaints are against what the team called the illegal arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members. The Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), appointed London-based human rights law firm ITN to represent them against Egypt’s government. The international defense team is set to hold a press conference in London on Monday. Egypt has not signed the Convention on the International Criminal Court, which means that the court has no jurisdiction to punish a non-member country. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 1/3/2014]

Complaint was not referred to Supreme State Security Prosecution: Vodafone Spokesman
A spokesman from Vodafone Egypt confirmed to Daily News Egypt that the corporation’s marketing head and legal administration representative faced investigation by the public prosecution on Wednesday over an advertisement. The spokesman denied that the complaint filed by little known rap singer, Ahmed Spider, against Vodafone was referred to the Supreme State Security Prosecution. He also denied that any official charges were pressed against the multinational corporation. “The prosecution merely inquired about the allegations made by Spider regarding hidden messages in the advertisement,” the spokesman said. According to the spokesman, the multinational corporation does not plan to take legal action against the plaintiff, adding, “It’s not worth it.” [DNE, 1/2/2014]

Also of Interest:
Around 16,000 judges to oversee constitutional referendum | DNE, Egypt Independent, SIS
Interior Minister calls on millions to take part in referendum | Egypt Independent


Egypt Minister of Finance: EGP 29.4 billion spent on energy supply for six months
Head of central administration for Ministry of Finance’s technical office Nagi al-Ashqar said on Thursday that the Egyptian Public Treasury spent EGP 24.9 billion ($3.5 billion) for energy supply during the first half of the current fiscal year. The public treasury paid the cost of energy supply without using Arab countries aids, indicating that coordination between the ministries of finance and petroleum will settle the account. Ashqar said the energy subsidy cost EGP 99.6 billion ($14.3 billion) in the current fiscal year’s budget with EGP 13.3 billion ($1.9 million) for electricity supply and that subsidiary percentage for solar is 40 percent, 20 percent for gasoline, 22 percent for butane, 10 percent for diesel energy, and 8 percent directed for natural gas. [Cairo Post, 1/3/2014]

Egypt launches campaign against tax evasion
The General Directorate of Taxes and Fees Investigation, headed by Minister of Interior assistant Belal Saad, launched a campaign that will combat the crime of tax evasion. As part of the campaign, 411 tax evasion cases were seized, including various commercial and professional activities where the total amount of transactions reached almost EGP 2.5 billion. Regarding sales tax, the campaigns seized 215 tax evasion cases including several commercial and professional activities where the total amount of transactions reached over EGP 1.3 billion. [Cairo Post, 1/3/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s government approves $2.1 billion oil and gas agreements | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
Finance Minister says EGP 36 billion to be saved after applying the smart card system | Egypt Independent
Finance Ministry auctions EGP 6 billion T-bills | SIS
Supply Ministry aims to operate one-million loaf bakeries in all cities | Aswat Masriya


Four killed as Morsi supporters clash with police in governorates
Riot police clashed with supporters of Egypt’s former Islamist president across the country on Friday, leaving four dead as the Muslim Brotherhood renewed calls to protest ahead of a key referendum later this month. Fighting spread through heavily populated residential areas in several cities and provinces including Cairo, Giza, Ismailia, Fayoum, and Alexandria, as dozens of Brotherhood members and their supporters threw rocks at security forces who responded with water cannons and tear gas. Police also dispersed a protest at Cairo’s Supreme Constitutional Court. Two people died in clashes between police and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, a medical source told Ahram Online, with at least one demonstrator shot dead by police. Another protester died from a bullet wound to the head in the governorate of Fayoum in southern Egypt, according to Medhat Shoukri, undersecretary of the Health Ministry in Fayoum. Meanwhile, a woman was shot dead during clashes that broke out between security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Alexandria’s Sidi Beshr on Friday, a medical source at Alexandria’s health ministry headquarters said. Scores of others were injured as supporters of the Islamist movement clashed with security forces in Cairo and elsewhere. Eyewitnesses told Al-Ahram‘s Arabic website that protesters in the Faysal district in Giza threw Molotov cocktails at an armored police vehicle, and fired shots at police officers trying to escape from the car. Security forces closed off Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as well as Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Squares, in anticipation of the protests. [Ahram Online, Reuters, AP, 1/3/2014]

Also of Interest:
Information and Decision Support Centre: 40.5 percent of citizens want presidential elections first | Ahram Online
Journalism Supreme Council selects state-run newspapers chairmen | Egypt Independent


Seven explosive devices defused in Nile Delta’s Tanta; Bomb defused in Kafr al-Sheikh
Seven explosive devices were defused in the Nile Delta city of Tanta on Thursday, a source at the Security Media Centre has told Al-Ahram Arabic news website. According to local police, an unknown figure left a black bag on the road separator twenty meters from a police station. An explosives team found seven homemade devices connected to an electrical circuit and a timer. Security forces have said they will increase their presence at sensitive sites around Egypt, and strive to identify who planted the devices. The Ministry of Interior was not available to comment on suspects or arrests. A bomb found inside a pickup truck next to a school in Kafr al-Sheikh city, north Cairo on Thursday, was also successfully defused, Egypt Independent reported. Further investigations are being conducted into the case. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 1/3/2014]

Also of Interest:
Major fire near Intelligence headquarters, no casualties | Egypt Independent
Two Swiss found dead in Egyptian resort | AP, Egypt Independent
Ministry of Interior releases names of suspects in Mansoura bombing | Mada Masr
One terrorist dead, 13 arrested in North Sinai – army spokesman | Aswat Masriya


Hamas denies Interior Minister’s accusation of involvement in Mansoura bombing
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, denied Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim’s accusation of providing logistical assistance for the bombing of the Daqahlia Security Directorate in Mansoura last month, which killed 16 people. “The accusations of the Egyptian Interior Minister against Hamas that it provided logistical support to the perpetrators of the bombing of Daqahlia are false and unfounded,” Abu Zuhri said in a press statement to the Turkish Anadolu news agency. “It is an attempt to mislead the Egyptian people and export Egypt’s internal crisis.” [Egypt Independent, 1/2/2014]

Image: Photo: Clashes at a December protest in Cairo (DNE)