Top News: June 30 Fact-Finding Committee Shifts Blame to All Parties

A government commissioned report on the dispersal of pro-Morsi demonstrators in August 2013 is due to be released shortly, alleging criminal responsibility on all sides for the massacre and bloody events that followed, according to a member of investigative committee.


Sisi calls for ‘prompt compensation’ for Sinai’s evacuees
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has urged authorities to pay North Sinai’s evacuated residents financial compensation promptly. Presidential spokesperson Alaa Seif said Sisi stressed facilitating procedures after criticisms against the Rafah evacuation emerged. Al-Wasat party denounced the government’s operation to evacuate north Sinai residents, calling it “arbitrary actions taken by government authorities against people of Sinai under the pretext of fighting terrorism.” Its statement said this operation violates basic human rights in national and international conventions. Egyptian Social Democratic Party leader, Nour Farahat, also called the Rafah evacuation unconstitutional. [Ahram Online, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 10/30/2014]

June 30 fact-finding committee shifts blame to all parties
A government commissioned report on the dispersal of pro-Morsi demonstrators in August 2013 is due to be released shortly, alleging criminal responsibility on all sides for the massacre and bloody events that followed, according to a member of investigative committee. The vice president of the committee, Iskandar Ghattas, asserted that this report, along with the findings of an investigation on the Republican Guards, would be on Sisi’s desk shortly, and detailed reports of other incidents would follow in mid-November. Iskandar said the committee has specifically pointed to criminal responsibility on every side for the bloody events, and that its report cannot be compared to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which he called “a memorandum of accusations against the government.” [Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 10/30/2014]

Cabinet officially bans pro-Morsi pressure group
Egypt on Thursday banned a pressure group that has pushed for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a decree dissolving the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) and Reject the Coup as well as its political arm, the Independence Party, following an earlier court ruling against the organizations. Senior member of the Nour Party, Salah Abdel-Maaboud, welcomed the government’s decision in a statement. He said the NASL is an entity without any legal basis, calling the decision to dissolve the group an “implementation of justice.” On the other hand, NASL said today that people of Sinai are facing a tragic and disastrous situation as the armed forces began forced displacement and the destruction of houses. The group called for a week of protest under the banner “military sells Sinai.” [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Reuters, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 2014/10/30]

Also of Interest
Egypt’s Sisi talks parliamentary polls, Syria and Ethiopia’s dam | Ahram Online
NCHR condemns police search of member’s house, Interior denies raid | Aswat Masriya, AMAY (Arabic)
Districting committee to follow constitution in formulating borders | EGYNews (Arabic)
Cabinet discusses set of economic, political, security issues | SIS, Ahram (Arabic)


Cairo court acquits twenty-six Zamalek Ultras of illegal protesting
The Cairo Misdemeanor Court found twenty-six members of the Ultras White Knights (UWK), the Zamalek FC fan group, innocent after they were arrested and accused of breaking the controversial protest law, according to the UWK. The defendants, who were arrested from a protest in Shubra on August 30, were also charged with rioting, breaking and damaging public property, carrying weapons, and attacking citizens. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 2014/10/30]

Also of Interest
Judge in Suez Cell case appoints lawyer to defendant after original layer bails | EGYNews (Arabic)
Court postpones former official Zakria Amzy’s case to December 27 and January 26 | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


Egypt ranks 112th in World Bank’s annual “Doing Business” report
In the World Bank Doing Business ranking, Egypt climbed one spot from last year’s ranking. The main reason for the advancement is Egypt’s reforms aimed at protecting minority investors. In that category Egypt jumped eighteen places. While the country also gained two spots for ease of trading across borders, it dropped six spots in the ranking for “starting a business” and eight spots in “paying taxes”. [Ahram Online, 2014/10/30]

Also of Interest
Greece, Egypt, Cyprus urge Turkey to quit gas search off island | Reuters
Cabinet: confidence in economic performance rose 13 percent during August | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Egypt, Russia to cooperate in global logistic center investment | Ahram (Arabic)
Mahlab: Egypt continues to remove obstacles investors may face | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt targets universities as last haven for political expression
The Universities of Cairo, Ain Shams and Helwan witnessed strict security measures by the security personnel of Falcon Company and police forces, who stepped up their presence outside the universities following the death of a student at Cairo University. Mohammed Amr Abdel Wahab, the Cairo University student, died yesterday after he lost consciousness on the college stairs. Dozens of students staged a protest to condemn the death of their colleague due to the late arrival of the ambulance. Cairo University president, Gabar Nasser, said in an interview that there is no substitute for security solutions against “Brotherhood students” who are involved in violence, saying that a political solution does not apply to students who do not want dialogue. He also affirmed that there is no restriction on the freedom of expression in universities. His talk comes after the security forces arrested sixteen students from Cairo University and Ain Shams University for violence, and eight students from Mansoura University for planting explosive devices. Four students were arrested, six others investigated in Tanta University for possession of inflammatory leaflets. Meanwhile, police forces dispersed on Wednesday a rally staged by female students “supporting the Muslim Brotherhood” outside Azhar University campus, an eyewitness said. [Reuters, 2014/10/30]

Sisi says media responsibilities have doubled
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said that some parties are using media outlets to provoke instability in the country, days after several Egyptian state and private press organizations pledged support for his government. In the third part of an interview with Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz, published Wednesday, the president noted that “professional and moral responsibilities put on media outlets have doubled recently, noting that the technological boom has given media a role in shaping citizens’ awareness.” Sisi has adopted a nationalistic rhetoric addressing occasionally critical media outlets, mostly referring to challenges facing the country represented in the fight against terrorism and economic reform. [Egypt Independent, 10/30/2014]

Also of Interest
Al-Jazeera cameraman detained pending investigations in Gharbiyya | EGYNews (Arabic)
Egypt slips in press freedom index | Egypt Independent
Rights activists demands support for the Arab Court of Human Rights | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Dramatic deterioration of human rights: EIPR | DNE
NCHR condemns police search of member’s house | Aswat Masriya
War reporter-turned movie maker turns camera on Egyptian slums | Reuters
Ten students referred to disciplinary committee in Zaqaziq | EGYNews (Arabic)


Sinai operation kills thirteen, arrests twenty-eight, evacuates houses
A rapid response force in coordination with the border guard and 2nd Army Battalion began securing the Arish-Sheikh Zuwaid-Rafah triangle in Egypt’s latest push to combat terrorism in northern Sinai. The operation resulted in the deaths of ten jihadists, the arrest of twenty-eight others, and the destruction of three ammunition depots in Sheikh Zuwaid. Security sources said that Apache helicopters launched raids on terrorist strongholds, destroying seven in the area. North Sinai Governor Abdel Fattah Harhour said that home evacuations were being conducted as rapidly as possible and that homeowners would receive compensation unless tunnels were found at the location. Other reports indicate the death of an additional three jihadists and the destruction of six tunnels along the Rafah border. [Ahram (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 10/30/2014]

Also of Interest
Chief of Staff inspects members of the armed force and police | Shorouk (Arabic)
Interior ministry denies reports of Brotherhood cell among corrections workers | EGYNews (Arabic)
Sisi follows up developments in North Sinai | SIS
Mahlab calls for confronting terrorism | SIS
Five Brotherhood members detained for inciting violence in Gharbiyya | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt FM meets Syrian opposition leader in Cairo
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Syria’s exiled opposition leader Hady al-Bahra in Cairo on Thursday to discuss developments in Syria. During the meeting, Bahra stressed the importance of Egypt’s role in resolving the Syrian crisis. Egypt reiterated its calls for a political solution to the crisis, which establishes a democratic system that accommodates the country’s “political and ethnic diversity,” Abdel-Ati said. [Ahram Online, EGYNews (Arabic)

UNHRC to make its second review of Egypt’s ‎human rights situation next week
A national committee led by Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy will meet Thursday to review a report on the human rights situation in Egypt ‎over the last four years. The report will be reviewed by ‎the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council next ‎week. ‎Heneidy told parliamentary reporters that he and ‎members of the committee will leave for Geneva next ‎Sunday to attend a special session on the human rights ‎situation in Egypt and respond to questions and ‎remarks. Representatives from 125 countries will attend the session. [Ahram Online, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 10/29/2014]

Also of Interest
North Korea confirms support for Egypt against terrorism | Shorouk (Arabic)
Turkish company to transport goods to the Gulf without crossing Egypt | Shorouk (Arabic)
Sisi: Gulf national security associated with Egyptian national security | SIS, Ahram (Arabic)
Pope Tawadros visits Moscow | DNE
Mufti calls on world to respond to Israel’s closure of al-Aqsa Mosque | EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
Egypt welcomes Swedish recognition of Palestine | EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
New US ambassador to Egypt to take office in November | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Deputy FM meets with Sudan and Palestine’s ambassadors to discuss counterterrorism EGYNews (Arabic)