Top News: Human Rights Watch Says Raba’a Killings “Likely Crime Against Humanity”

The killing of hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators at two protest camps last year was systematic, ordered by top officials and probably amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday, calling for a UN inquiry.


Egypt’s secular electoral blocs split after Moussa’s withdrawal
Two separate secular electoral alliances have been formed in recent days, with the objective of entering the coming parliamentary elections and winning a majority in the new House of Representatives. The move came after Amr Moussa, Egypt’s former foreign minister and chairman of the fifty-member committee which drafted Egypt’s new constitution, decided to withdraw from the alliance of the Egyptian Nation, the umbrella grouping of leftist and liberal forces he had hoped would contest parliamentary polls as the country’s major secular bloc. On Sunday, the Wafd, Egypt’s oldest political party, and other secular forces, including the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Reform and Development party, decided to team up into one major electoral bloc called the “Egyptian Wafd” alliance. The Tagammu, al-Ghad (Tomorrow), and Moussa’s Congress parties decided to join the NDP-led Egyptian Front. The Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions (EFTU), the general syndicate of farmers, and the union of professional syndicates, also announced their decision to join the ranks of the Egyptian Front. [Ahram Online. 8/11/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Nour party publishes main features of its electoral program | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Sadat: Brotherhood Raba’a anniversary protests are desperate attempt return to the political scene | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Independence Current announces new alliance to contest parliamentary elections | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Dostour Party condemns ‘obvious attempts’ to distort Egypt’s January 25 revolution | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Adly presses charges against Jan 25 activists for burning police stations
Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly is pressing charges against activists involved in the January 25, 2011 uprising, his lawyer told Mada Masr on Monday. His lawyer, Essam al-Batawy, said that the Cairo Criminal Court referred the charges to Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, and that Adly is waiting for the prosecution to take his testimony. Adly is accusing Dostour Party leader Gameela Ismail, high-profile activists Samia Jaheen and Ahmed Douma, and others of setting police stations ablaze with Molotov cocktails during the mass protests and calling for former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in 2011. Adly’s aides have also accused diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei of inciting violence during the uprising and being an emblem of a US-led conspiracy. [Mada Masr, 8/11/2014]

Judges step down in trial of 494 Morsi loyalists in mosque case
Judges at the Cairo Criminal Court on Tuesday declined to preside over the trial of 494 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, citing ‘unease.’ The 494 are accused of involvement in the violence between pro-Morsi protesters and security forces last August at the Fath Mosque in Cairo’s Ramsis district. The head judge, Mahmoud Kamel al-Rashidi, is currently presiding over the murder trial of former president Hosni Mubarak. The accused face charges of committing violence, killing, assaulting security forces and torching buildings. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), 8/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Mubarak-era steel tycoon Ezz pays second tranche of EGP 100 million fine | Ahram Online, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Mubarak to address court from inside defendant’s cell in Wednesday retrial | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • 280 referred to criminal court for ‘violence, joining terrorist organization,’ other charges | DNE
  • Ministerial committee investigating 22 investment disputes: Justice Minister | DNE
  • Six Brotherhood supporters arrested in Minya for violating protest law | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt government falls behind on repayment schedule for foreign oil companies
The Egyptian government is aiming to repay a large part of its dues, which total almost $1.5 billion, over this year to foreign partners in the petroleum sector, according to Tarek al-Molla, head of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. The dollarized loan arrangement, the value of which has not yet been determined, will be proposed to foreign banks in order to pay part of the dues to foreign partners in US dollars. Molla pointed out that while the value of the loan is still under discussion, it will be provided for under the loan ceiling in Egypt in the present economic conditions. He added that a loan arrangement of EGP 4 billion was determined yesterday through local banks for a partial payment to another foreign partner. [DNE, 8/11/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt sees foreign buyers in July’s T-bills auction for 1st time since 2011 | Ahram Online
  • Mahlab stresses priority of oil payments | Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Op-ed: The cost of lifting fuel subsidies in Egypt | Mada Masr
  • Profits of Egypt’s biggest lender hits EGP 3.5 billion in 2013/14 | Ahram Online
  • Cement companies to increase prices: Chambers of Commerce official | DNE
  • Egypt seeks alternative funds for Suez Canal project | Aswat Masriya
  • EGX continues upward trend | SIS
  • Mahlab chairs economic panel meeting | SIS
  • Mahlab discusses establishment and development of solar power plants | EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Governor of Giza inspects road project | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Egypt seeking to buy 25,000 tons of soybean oil | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Increase in index of consumer confidence in Egyptian economy | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s Giza governorate sees first day of new bread subsidy scheme | Ahram Online


Human Rights Watch says Raba’a killings “likely crime against humanity”
The killing of hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators at two protest camps last year was systematic, ordered by top officials and probably amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday, calling for a UN inquiry. HRW also called on Egypt’s allies to suspend military aid and cooperation with the Egyptian authorities and military until the government adopts measures to end human rights violations. The 188-page report said at least 817 protesters were killed in August, 2013, during the clearing of the Brotherhood sit-in at Cairo’s Raba’a al-Adaweya, in the wake of former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. It compared the attack to the 1989 massacre of protesters around China’s Tiananmen Square. In its first response to the report, Egypt’s government said it was “characterized by negativity and bias” and relied on anonymous witnesses rather than neutral sources. George Ishaq, a member of the semi-governmental National Council for Human Rights accused HRW of bias, saying the organization had adopted only one point of view. The ministry of interior also released a statement on why HRW members were barred entry to Cairo on Monday, saying the organization did not follow proper regulations and perceived itself as an ‘entity above the law.’ Meanwhile, The US State Department slammed the decision of the Egyptian authorities, describing the actions as ‘disappointing.’ [Reuters, Ahram Online, AP, Mada Masr, The Guardian, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/12/2014]

Islamist alliance calls for ‘revolutionary wave’, retribution for Raba’a
The Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called on its loyalists to flock to squares on Thursday, the first anniversary of the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in. “Egypt lived on August 14, 2013 an unprecedented catastrophic day, and a year has passed since without any just accountability for the killers,” read the statement issued by the 14-party Islamist coalition. While stressing on abidance with peaceful means of protesting, the statement affirmed calls for “retribution” and the trying of “the coup leaders” on what they described as crimes of genocide against Egyptians. Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces intensified their security presence in Damietta and Minya in preparation for Brotherhood marches. An army and police perimeter was also established at Cairo University in preparation for Brotherhood demonstrations. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 8/11/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Statement by the Ministry of Social Solidarity about NGOs Law | SIS
  • Egypt government must end publication censorship: AFTE | DNE
  • In Pictures: Feeding Egypt | DNE
  • Health minister discuss Ebola precautions | Egypt Independent, Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Grand Imam: Al-Azhar faces ‘deviant thought’ with full force | SIS
  • Clashes between pro-Morsi students and police at Cairo University | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Transparency International calls for protection of civil society organizations and commitment to human rights conventions in Egypt | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Transparency International


Two killed, fifteen arrested in Sinai
Egyptian military spokesman Mohammed Samir announced in a statement that Egyptian security forces killed two militants in an exchange of fire in North Sinai. He also announced that security forces arrested thirteen wanted men in North Sinai, Ismailia, and Dakahlia. Security forces also arrested two alleged members of a militant group calling itself al-Furqan Brigades in Sinai. The group has claimed responsibility for several small-scale attacks last year, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Egyptian border guards destroyed five tunnels in Rafah, bringing the total number to 1,664 demolished tunnels, the army spokesperson said on Monday. Five Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Egypt were also arrested, he added. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), 8/12/2014]

Also of Interest:


Egypt’s intelligence hosts new Palestinian-Israeli truce talks
Palestinian and Israeli delegations on Tuesday were to resume “grueling” negotiations in Cairo aimed at ending the assault on Gaza as Egyptian mediators raced to narrow gaps between both parties. In Monday’s indirect talks, Israel’s delegation pushed for the” disarmament of militant groups” in Gaza, a demand the Palestinians rejected outright, officials from the two sides said. Palestinian members of the delegation said Israel had offered to ease restrictions at two of six border crossings, one for travelers and the other for goods under international monitor supervision, and the free transfer of funds by the Palestinian Authority to Hamas-affiliated government employees in Gaza. A senior Israeli official, however, told AFP on Tuesday that there had been no progress so far. Meanwhile, secretary General of the Arab League Nabil al-Araby is exploring efforts to reach a permanent ceasefire in Gaza with US Middle East peace envoy Frank Lowenstein. Lowenstein, who is currently visiting Cairo, met with Araby in an attempt to assist Egypt in the talks to end the more than a month-year old assault on Gaza. [AFP, AFP/Ahram Online, Reuters, Egypt Independent, AP, 8/12/2014]

Sisi, Putin seek stronger ties in Sochi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi arrived in Sochi on the coast of the Black Sea on Tuesday at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to strengthen ties between their two nations that have been warming steadily over the past year. Putin will host Sisi for two days, during which the pair is set to discuss “the latest developments in the [Middle East] region and bilateral relations”, according to Egypt’s State Information Service. They are expected to focus on the situation in the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Libya and Syria. According to Al-Mal, Sisi is also looking to sign a free trade agreement with Russia. “The views of Russian and Egyptian about Middle East issues coincide to a large degree,” said a statement from the Kremlin ahead of Sisi’s arrival. This is Sisi’s first visit to a foreign, non-Arab/African state since he was sworn in as president.  [DNE, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 8/12/2014]

US Congressional delegation arrives in Cairo
A US Congressional delegation arrived late Monday at Cairo’s International Airport for a visit that is scheduled to last for a few days, state-run news agency MENA reported. Last February, a US congressional delegation met with now president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt when he was still defense minister and hadn’t yet announced his presidential bid. The last congressional delegation, headed by Representative Mike Rogers, discussed US military aid to Egypt as well as matters of mutual interests between the two countries. [Ahram Online, 8/11/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Mahlab: Egyptian-US relations back on track | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Egypt stresses need for end to violence in Libya | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to file new proposals in Nile dam negotiations with Ethiopia | Egypt Independent, Al-Ahram (Arabic)
  • Mahlab: China seeking to participate in Egypt’s development | EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Head of Alexandria port: Seven buses allocated for Egyptians returning from Libya | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Alexandria port receives 248 Egyptians returning from Libya | Shorouk (Arabic)