Top News: Jazeera Reporter Renounces Egypt Citizenship in Bid for Release

Jailed Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian national, has renounced his Egyptian citizenship, paving the way for his release and deportation under a recent presidential decree.


New alliance combines Egypt’s Wafd, Conference, Ghad and Tagammu parties
Egypt’s liberal Conference Party, founded by Amr Moussa, is forming a new alliance with the liberal Ghad Party, the leftist Tagammu Party and the liberal Wafd Party for the upcoming parliamentary elections. To bear the names of the Wafd and Conference parties, the new alliance has chosen members to run as independents in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzoury has chosen 120 candidates for his electoral list, out of a total of 2,500 candidate applicants. The majority of the candidates are independent, and will contest all seats. The Free Egyptians Party said it will announce its candidates on Monday, adding that the party does not plan to contest all seats, in order to allow leading patriotic figures to compete. [Ahram Online, 2/3/2015]

Nubian land ownership rights rejected says minister of transitional justice
Transitional Justice Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy has said that Nubians will not reclaim ownership of their land upon their resettlement. His statements were rejected by an Aswan-based committee focused on Nubian issues. Meanwhile, in remarks on Sunday, Heneidy said that there is “no news” on the anticipated amendments to the contentious protest law. Heneidy’s remarks refute promises from former ministry spokesperson Mahmoud Fawzy, who announced that the law was in the amendment process last September. [Egypt Independent, 2/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi greets former rival Sabbahy during army symposium | DNE
  • Endowments ministry stands in solidarity with armed forces | DNE
  • Egypt appoints controversial UAE hired gun as elections monitor |DNE
  • Party leaders: January 25 was a popular revolution | Egypt Independent
  • Arab League to monitor parliamentary elections | AMAY (Arabic)


Jazeera reporter renounces Egypt citizenship in bid for release
Jailed Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian national, has renounced his Egyptian citizenship, paving the way for his release and deportation under a recent presidential decree. The move comes after Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said late on Monday that Fahmy’s release was “imminent.” Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday morning that Fahmy could be released within hours. The ministry of interior confirmed on Tuesday it had accepted Fahmy’s decision to renounce his citizenship, however ministry official General Mohamed al-Khalisy told Aswat Masriya that a decision has not been made on Fahmy’s release. Uncertainty still looms over the fate of Fahmy’s Egyptian colleague, Baher Mohamed. Al-Jazeera vowed Monday “not to leave” Mohamed in jail. Mohamed’s wife Jihan Rashed said that little attention is being given to him, suggesting that the release of Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste was a token to “shut up the foreign media.” In his first interview since his release, Greste expressed “relief and excitement” Monday at being freed after more than a year in an Egyptian prison, but also said he felt real stress over leaving his two jailed colleagues behind. [AFP, AFP, Aswat Masriya, The Guardian, 2/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Trial date for 200 alleged Ansar militants set for March 5 | Aswat Masriya
  • Prosecution freezes assets of businessman for Canada fraud | Egypt Independent
  • Case to designate Hamas as terrorist group set to February 17 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Trial of Brotherhood Supreme Guide and 190 members adjourned to Wednesday | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Anan’s Party drops lawsuit calling for suspension of parliamentary elections | Shorouk  (Arabic)
  • Trial calling for Qatar to be designated a “supporter of terrorism” to begin February 22 | Youm7 (Arabic)


Egypt non-oil private sector shrinks in January, first time since July
Egypt’s non-oil private sector shrank in January for the first time since last July. Both output and new orders fell slightly. A corporate survey showed that poor weather conditions and the economic crisis in Russia, which hit export orders, were partially responsible for weaker demand in January. According to HSBC senior economist “the numbers show that Egypt’s recovery remains weak and vulnerable to downside risk.” [Reuters, 2/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • BG to reduce Egypt spending by US$4 billion over next four years | Egypt Independent
  • Official: Importing gas from Israel will end power outages and butane gas crisis | Egypt Independent


Twenty-nine students arrested in Alexandria for ‘planning protests’ says security official
Security forces raided an educational center in Alexandria and arrested twenty-nine people on Monday for allegedly planning protests, a security official in Alexandria said. The official told Aswat Masriya that the group includes six people who purportedly belong to the Muslim Brotherhood and 23 college students. The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, a rights group which advocates for academic freedoms, said the students were arrested while attending a course in the center. The security official, however, said the arrests were made after security forces received information suggesting that Brotherhood members were using the educational center to hold “organizational meetings” and to “plan protests” inside Alexandria University with the purpose of spreading chaos. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, 2/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • New mummies discovered floating in sewage in Upper Egypt | DNE, Mada Masr
  • HRW demands Egypt hold police accountable for abuses in custody | DNE
  • Columnist tells president to be as fascist as possible facing terrorism | Egypt Independent
  • Bassem Youssef becomes resident fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics | Egypt Independent, AP, The Guardian


Bomb kills one in Alexandria, two bombs defused at Cairo Airport
A roadside bomb near Egypt’s second largest city Alexandria killed a civilian bystander and injured two others on Tuesday. The bomb was targeting a security convoy on the Alexandria-Marsa Matrouh highway. Bombs also went off in Alexandria, on Monday near the Judge’s Club, and on Tuesday in close to a gas station but with no injuries reported. Unknown assailants set fire to an Alexandria tram on Tuesday, but no injuries were reported. Residents of the area reportedly arrested one of the perpetrators behind the attack.  In the capital, authorities defused two explosives at Cairo International Airport’s arrival hall of the terminal hosting EgyptAir. The officials said the bombs appeared to be controlled remotely by mobile phone. Airport officials said flights were not affected. In another incident, a flash-bang grenade planted inside an electrical box in an open-air commercial arcade in the vicinity of Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo exploded, damaging shop windows, but causing no injuries.  Bombs were also dismantled in Qalyubeya, near a post office in Alexandria, at a hospital in Mounifeya, and near the Serag Mall in Cairo’s Nasr City. Egypt’s transportation ministry announced on Monday it will grant citizens who report on potential sabotage actions or bomb alerts free access to all kinds of public transportation for a year. In Sinai, Egyptian troops fired warning shots over the frontier into Gaza on Tuesday after a bomb exploded on Gaza territory near an Egyptian army convoy, Egyptian security sources said. [AP, Reuters, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 2/2/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Security sources say six Sinai attack suspects arrested | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Clashes between security forces, suspected militants in al-Arish | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Eight suspected militants killed in Sinai raid | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Group claims setting UAE-owned bank ablaze | DNE
  • Explosion in Rafah causing no casualties say security sources | Aswat Masriya
  • Child killed in mortar attack in Sinai says security source | Aswat Masriya
  • Army conscript injured in Sinai shooting say security sources | Aswat Masriya


UN, British foreign secretary hail release of Jazeera journalist, urge release of others
The United Nations has welcomed Egypt’s decision to release jailed Al Jazeera reporter, Peter Greste, after 400 days in jail. In a statement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also noted that “there are other journalists still detained in Egypt and hopes that their cases will also be resolved shortly.” In a statement on Monday, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond also welcomed Greste’s release, but called on Egyptian authorities to release the other journalists and political detainees still behind bars in the country. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 2/2/2015]

EU, US condemn mass death sentence for 183 Kerdasa suspects
The international community Monday criticized a verdict sentencing 183 defendants to death over the involvement in the killing at least eleven policemen in Kerdasa city in August 2013.  In a statement on Monday, the European Union called the sentence a violation of Egypt’s international human rights obligations. During the State Department’s daily press briefing, the United States also expressed deep concern over the mass death sentences, calling for the Egyptian government to discontinue the practice of mass trials. Another statement by Amnesty International also condemned the death sentences describing it as “further sign of Egypt’s disregard for national and international law.” [Egypt Independent, 2/3/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Shoukry meets UN diplomat to discuss Palestinian issue | DNE
  • Hamas supporters in Gaza protest Egyptian court ban | AFP