A French citizen died while in police custody after being detained for breaking curfew, a security source told the website of the state daily al-Ahram, two Canadians jailed in Egypt have started a hunger strike to protest their “arbitrary” detention.


Nour Party does not rule out military candidate for presidency
The Nour Party does not oppose a military candidate standing for the Egyptian presidency, according to party leader Younis Makhyoun, providing that candidate was not a supporter of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The party would accept a candidate “as long as he is not a supporter of the Mubarak regime,” Makhyoun said. “Nor should he necessarily be from the Islamist movement,” Makhyoun added. [Egypt Independent, 9/18/2013]

Morsi in a phone call to his family: I am the legitimate president
Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, spoke with his family by telephone for the first time since the military removed him from office, one of his lawyers said Wednesday. The source, which declined to be identified, also said that Morsi called from a private number, and seemed to be in good morale as he also told his family, “I will remain steadfast to the last breath.” Morsi said he insisted to his interrogators that he remains the legitimate president of Egypt. Morsi did not seem to know where he was being held, the report said, adding that even those questioning Morsi are brought to the location blindfolded. [AMAY (Arabic), Egypt Independent, AP, 9/18/2013]

Muslim Brotherhood calls for civil disobedience; Nour Party condemns the calls
The “Youth against the Coup” movement called for civil disobedience, as well as for Morsi’s supporters to take to the streets. The movement also announced that it is in touch with youth from other Islamists political powers, and are reportedly working on a plan to march to Raba’a al-Adaweya and Tahrir Squares. Ahmed Abdel Hamid, a leading Nour Party figure condemned the announcement, saying it would lead to chaos. [AMAY (Arabic), 9/18/2013]   

Muslim Brotherhood leader apologizes to Egyptians
Salah Sultan, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, offered his apologies to the Egyptian people for making political judgments that were not met with acceptance from part of the Egyptian people. Sultan used the plural form in his apology which was published at the official Freedom and Justice party website, but went on to says that his apology is personal, and was subjected to discussion at the pro-Morsi Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in. It was about to be discussed at the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy and the Muslim Brotherhood, but the sit-in dispersal stopped it from being discussed, he said. [Egypt Independent, 9/17/2013]

Also of Interest:
Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya leader requests meeting with Brotherhood leaders in prison | AMAY (Arabic)
Egypt’s ex-VP ElBaradei breaks silence to push for revolution goals | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic)   
No decision yet on Whatsapp and Viber ban: Egyptian minister | Ahram Online
Beblawy cabinet heading for failure, says Egypt’s socialist party | Ahram Online
Al-Muslimany meets youth representatives | DNE
The Deep State: How Egypt’s shadow state won out | PBS
Mohamed Hassanein Heikal meets with Brotherhood’s Amr Darrag | AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic)


Mufti opposes rolling back Al-Azhar’s role in Constitution; Salafist party to stay in constituent assembly unless “Islamic identity” threatened
Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawky Allam has rejected removing an article in the Constitution which states that senior religious scholars must be consulted on issues relating to Islamic Sharia. He also rejected proposed amendments the third article of the Constitution, which would remove the phrase “Christians and Jews” and replace it with “non-Muslims,” in reference to the other Abrahamic faiths in Egypt. He criticized the work of the committee and said that any attempts to sideline Al-Azhar would be catastrophic for Egypt. The Primary Elements of the State sub-committee decided on removing the phrase “ Al-Azhar Senior Scholars are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law.” Younis Makhyoun, head of the Salafist Nour Party, has said that his party would only withdraw from the constituent assembly, which is entrusted with drafting amendments to Egypt’s suspended constitution, if articles addressing “Sharia and the Islamist identity of the state” are jeopardized. He also criticized statements made by committee spokesperson Mohamed  Salmawy on the role of religion in the constitution. Nour Party assistant secretary-general said that the Nour Party will not withdraw from the committee, which he described as “unbalanced,” adding that dialogue is the only way to resolve any issues.  Among the proposals submitted by the judiciary was one to raise the retirement age of judges to seventy.  Meanwhile, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal rights issued a statement saying amendments to the 2012 constitution drafted by the ten member legal experts’ committee fail to preserve disability rights. Speaking about amendments to constitution, Salmawy said the committee agreed that media would not be censored at times of war, and an independent body to regulate the media would be formed. After a two hour discussion, the committee also agreed on keeping Article 51, which guarantees the right to information, as is. [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), 9/18/2013]

Military trial sentences four Morsi supporters to jail for breaking curfew
Four men in the port city of Suez were sentenced to prison by a military court for violating the curfew, the latest in the continuing series of military trials against Egyptian civilians. Tarek Eissa and Tarek Bayoumy were each sentenced in absentia to three years in a high security prison, while Yasser Moussa and Ashraf Asal were sentenced to two years each.  Students Hossam Tarek and Ali Eissa were acquitted of breaking the curfew.  Moussa and Asal were convicted of driving through city streets with a loudspeaker during curfew hours [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, 9/17/2013]

Also of interest:
Dozens held after raid on Islamist stronghold in Upper Egypt | Ahram Online
Judges charged with indulging in politics | Egypt Independent   


Egypt’s external debt falls to $38.3 billion in Q3-end: CBE
Egypt’s external debt fell to $38.3 billion at end-March 2013, compared to $38.8 billion by end-December, down by $439 million, according to the latest bulletin from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Meanwhile, the country’s total domestic debt rose to around EGP 1.460 trillion by March-end, against EGP 1.380 trillion by December-end, reporting an increase of EGP 80.3 billion. [Amwal Al-Ghad, 9/18/2013]

Also of Interest:
Eni says Egypt pledges repayment of $800 million in arrears | Reuters
PM: No new taxes during coming stage; New laws to attract investments | SIS, AMAY (Arabic)
Egypt postpones decision on minimum wage | Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic)
CAPMAS: 51.8 percent increase in Egyptian cotton exports over three months | DNE


Syrian school children allowed same access to education as Egyptians
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed the Egyptian Ministry of Education’s announcement on Tuesday, which granted Syrian children continued access to education in the country. With the 2013/2014 school year set to begin on September twenty first, the Minister of Education highlighted the historic ties between the Egyptian and Syrian people and “the government’s commitment to assisting Syrian refugee students.” [DNE, 9/17/2013]

Also of Interest:
Tens of Morsi’s supporters protest at al-Qobba presidential palace and in Giza and Kafr al-Sheikh | AMAY (Arabic)
Military engineers visit sites of damaged Minya churches | DNE
Egypt railway services to resume on Saturday | Aswat Masriya
Protest in North Sinai against military trial of journalist | Ahram Online, DNE, AMAY (Arabic)
April 6 protests emergency law DNE


Frenchman dies after Egypt police cell beating; Jailed Canadians begin hunger strike
A French citizen died while in police custody after being detained for breaking curfew, a security source told the website of the state daily al-Ahram. The security source said that six prisoners who were sharing the cell beat the French man to death after he was transferred to Qasr al-Nil police station in Garden City. The French foreign ministry confirmed the death and said it had called on Egyptian authorities to investigate. Meanwhile, two Canadians jailed in Egypt have started a hunger strike to protest their “arbitrary” detention. Canadian filmmaker John Greyson and emergency room physician Tarek Loubani—detained in Egypt for about a month—declared on Monday that they will go on a hunger strike to “protest the arbitrary nature of their detention by Egyptian authorities.” Greyson and Loubani’s detention was extended for fifteen days by the prosecution on Sunday. [AP, Reuters, Mada Masr, Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Online, DNE, 9/18/2013]

Police hunt veteran Islamist in southern Egypt
Police hunted a veteran member of a former militant group in southern Egypt on Tuesday. Assem Abdel Maged of al-Jama’a al-Islamiya is among several dozen Islamist activists sought by the police in Minya province after their operation on Monday to restore control over the town of Delga, some 300 km (190 miles) south of Cairo. [Reuters, 9/17/2013]

Also of Interest:
Port Said governor orders dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-in after man killed | Egypt Independent
121 police deaths in Egypt since mid-August | Ahram Online
Two military officers killed in Egypt Sharqiya shooting | Ahram Online, Mada Masr
Arrested suspect in Mallawi Museum robbery possessed thirteen stolen artifacts | Egypt Independent
Gunmen kill Egyptian army officer and soldier in Nile Delta | Reuters
Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya condemns attacks on soldiers | Ahram Gate (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
Nour Party requests meeting with Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar | Ahram Gate (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)
Army operation in Rafah continues | AMAY (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic)
Borders guards stops arms smuggling attempts in western military zone | AMAY (Arabic)
Israeli security official arrives in Cairo to discuss the situation in Sinai | AMAY (Arabic)
Military planes secure Suez Canal and oil companies | Tahrir (Arabic)


Hagel and al-Sisi discuss events in Egypt; State Department opposes “politicized arrests”
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urged Egypt’s interim authorities to “advance the political roadmap” in a phone call with the country’s army chief on Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said. Hagel and General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also discussed Egypt’s efforts “to maintain security” on the Sinai peninsula and “to secure and rebuild Coptic Christian communities” hit by violence, Pentagon press secretary George Little said in a statement. Hagel “urged Minister al-Sisi to continue to take steps to demonstrate the interim government’s commitment to advance the political roadmap,” he said. Meanwhile, the US Department of State reiterated its stance against “politicized arrests” following the Tuesday detention of Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad. “The Egyptian Government has a responsibility to protect all Egyptians and create an atmosphere that supports a process of political transition that is inclusive and has maximum participation from the Egyptian people,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki during a Tuesday press briefing. [AFP, Ahram Gate (Arabic), DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), SIS, 9/18/2013]

FM: There is now clear Russian stance backing stability in Egypt
Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy held a session of talks on Tuesday with the Security Council of the Russian Federation (SCRF) Chief Nikolai Patrushev. Fahmy said his talks with SCRF Chief covered a set of regional issues, the situation in Egypt and Syria as well as the Middle East peace process and the repercussions of its failure on the interest of both Egypt and Russia. He added that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Egypt is a pivotal country in the region, voicing hope that his meetings in Moscow could help in upgrading the Egyptian-Russian relations as soon as possible. [SIS, 9/18/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt partially reopens Gaza crossing after week-long closure | Reuters, DNE
Analysis: Turkey’s ‘worthy solitude’ sidelines Erdogan in Middle East | Reuters
FM Nabil Fahmy heads for New York on Saturday | SIS
Renaissance dam won’t harm Egypt: Ethiopia | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic)