Hamas members will be arrested and their money and headquarters will be confiscated, Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber said Tuesday, after a court ruling branding the group a terrorist organization. Saber told state media that the government-run committee which has been involved in freezing assets of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood will start to do the same for all Hamas assets and possessions. 


HEC says courts will retain applicants’ papers until further notice
The Higher Elections Commission (HEC) announced on Wednesday that it has suspended its call for the parliamentary elections, requesting the Court of First Instance to retain applicants’ registration papers in accordance with the rulings issued by both the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Administrative court. “The Commission halted its call for voters to head to the polls and suspended any subsequent verdicts. The Court of First Instance will retain the registration papers of candidates running via the individual system or the party lists until further notice. The commission also decided to develop a new timetable for the election after the districts law is officially amended,” HEC spokesperson, Amr Marwan said. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 3/4/2015]

Also of Interest

  • ESDP chief says president is not interested in parliamentary elections | Egypt Independent
  • Wafd Party nears walkout from election list | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi meets members of Economic Development Council | SIS
  • Republican People’s Party requests party participation in drafting new constituencies law | Shorouk (Arabic)


Cairo court upholds jail terms for policemen in Khaled Said murder case
A Cairo court on Wednesday rejected appeals by two policemen, upholding ten year jail sentences over the torturing to death of Alexandria native Khaled Said. The decision by the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest criminal court and legal authority, is final and cannot be appealed. The pair were sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011. In a retrial in March 2014 after an appeal, the defendants were sentenced to ten years in jail. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Reuters, 3/4/2015]

Justice Minister says Hamas members in Egypt to be arrested, assets frozen
Hamas members will be arrested and their money and headquarters will be confiscated, Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber said Tuesday, after a court ruling branding the group a terrorist organization. Saber told state media that the government-run committee which has been involved in freezing assets of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood will start to do the same for all Hamas assets and possessions. He added that the Central Bank of Egypt will be notified to implement the freezing of members’ assets in different bank accounts. Meanwhile, al-Jama’a al-Islamiya, the Wasat Party, and Strong Egypt party condemned the court verdict, while Hamas has said it is contacting Egyptian authorities to address the consequences of the ruling. [DNE, 3/4/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Ten people sentenced to three years in prison in Suez | DNE
  • Court adjourns trial of sixty-eight defendants in revolution anniversary protests case | DNE, EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Ahmed Ezz gives up illegally obtained factory license | Egypt Independent
  • Court rejects Mubarak’s sons request demanding judge replacement | Egypt Independent
  • Trial of seventy-six over Al-Azhar clashes adjourned to March 15 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Trial of sixteen over Helwan clashes postponed to May 6 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Criminal court adjourns Muslim Brotherhood Port Said mass trial | DNE
  • Verdict date set for March 11 for defendants accused of torturing dog | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Egypt’s cabinet approves long-awaited investment law
Egypt’s cabinet approved a long-awaited draft law on investment, aimed at making deals less vulnerable to legal disputes or changes in government and reducing bureaucratic hurdles. The investment law aims to create a “one-stop shop” to make Egypt more attractive to foreign investors. It is also expected to protect investors from changes in the price of land agreed to in contracts with the government. The government seeks to address foreign investors’ concerns before an economic conference Egypt plans for mid-March, when it hopes to secure domestic and foreign investment of up to $12 billion. [Reuters, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 3/4/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptians race to expand Suez Canal, hoping for trade surge | AP
  • Egypt, Arabtec to resume talks on housing project | Reuters, Egypt Independent
  • Ten public bids to be offered in three new cities to erect 864 housing units | Egypt independent
  • Egypt to promote $10 billion worth of petroleum projects at March conference | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s foreign reserves rise to $15.456 billion at end-February, says CBE | Reuters, Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt to contract with Fitch and S&P to credit rate its $1.5 billion bond issue | Egypt Independent
  • Survey: Private sector conditions at 17-month low | Mada Masr
  • Egypt’s economy needs $60 billion to hit 5 percent growth | Zawya
  • Sharm al-Sheikh’s lighting will be powered by solar energy within three months says governor | Aswat Masriya


HRW hails “small forward steps” on child rights, condemns abuses in criminal justice system
A Wednesday statement from Human Rights Watch (HRW) focuses on the status of children in Egypt, particularly identifying “serious violations by authorities” against minors. The leading international rights watchdog acknowledged that some progress has been made by the government to secure the rights of children. In January, amendments to the Child Law allows foster parents to offer to support children as young as three months. Equally, Egypt removed a legal reservation to an international African Charter that holds the minimum legal age for marriage at 18. However, HRW highlights numerous instances of state violations of the rights of children, namely via the criminal justice system which is responsible for “arbitrary detention, unfair trials, and physical abuse.” [DNE, 3/4/2015]

Also of Interest


Cabinet approves new interior ministry department to license weapons and security firms
The cabinet agreed to create a new department in the interior ministry to manage the licensing of weapons and security firms after a meeting on Wednesday. A press release announced the news of the new public department for licensing, which would monitor licences for weapons and ammunition, including trade, maintenance, and manufacturing. It would also manage the licensing of private security firms responsible for protecting property and money transfers and the companies that produce and sell military uniforms, explosives, and other security related products. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 3/4/2015]

Also of Interest


Egypt negotiates with Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Rafah crossing sources say
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has offered Egypt an initiative on administering the Rafah-Gaza border, sources told Ahram Online. PIJ Secretary General Ramadan Shallah visited Cairo on Sunday to discuss the situation at the Rafah-Gaza border with Egyptian officials, as Egypt reportedly demanded all Hamas staff stop all contacts with the Egyptian side. Egypt has increasingly expressed its distaste for Hamas rule in Gaza stressing it will only deal with the Palestinian Authority on this issue, sources said. An Egyptian intelligence source said that Cairo has been dealing for a while with the PIJ. The source added that Jihad, the second largest Islamist organization in Gaza, has shown more “flexibility” in dealing with Egypt than Hamas. [Ahram Online, 3/4/2015]

Russian Defense Minister to sign protocol with Egypt on military cooperation
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that his country and Egypt plan to sign a protocol on military cooperation that will set the guidelines for a long-term agreement. Shoigu said it was time to start an agreement with “concrete content,” with special focus on joint anti-terrorism efforts. “Naturally, our focus will be issues of training Egyptian servicemen at Russian higher education establishments of the Russian defense ministry and a number of other matters of mutual interest,” he said. According to RT, the two countries have agreed to hold a joint naval drill in the Mediterranean and to carry out joint anti-terrorist exercises. Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi said Egypt appreciates Russia’s “supportive” position, adding that cooperation between the two countries serves to preserve peace and security in the Middle East and the world. [Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, SIS, 3/4/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Shoukry seeks mutual agreement between Egypt, Nile Basin countries | DNE
  • Translation issues suspend African ministers conference in Cairo | MENA
  • Foreign Ministry denies Cairo talks with Houthi rebels | Egypt Independent, DNE
  • Security Chief says over 27,000 Egyptians arrive from Libya | MENA
  • Thirty-two EgyptAir flights evacuate 8,382 Egyptians from Libya | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Matrouh security official says 752 Egyptians return from Libya in last 24 hours | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s unified Arab force proposal to top Arab Summit’s agenda | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt keen on cooperation with Nile Basin countries | SIS
  • Kuwait emir receives handwritten letter from Sisi | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Egypt welcomes Mali peace accord | DNE
  • Cairo receives 200 public buses from UAE | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s Commander-in-Chief meets UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations | Shorouk (Arabic)