Top News: Khaled Said’s Killers Sentenced to Ten Years in Jail

Alexandria criminal court has sentenced two policemen to ten years in jail for killing Khaled Said, in a June 2010 incident that became one of the triggers for the uprising that toppled veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak. 


Appeals could delay Egypt presidential poll result
A new law aimed at regulating Egypt’s upcoming presidential polls will allow initial election results to be appealed by candidates. Hamdan Fahmy, secretary-general of the Presidential Election Commission, however, has questioned the wisdom of allowing appeals against its decisions. “If one decision is appealed it could cause delays to later decisions,” he said. Such appeals could be deemed unconstitutional, Fahmy noted, because the constitution states the commission has full control over the poll. According to Article 7 of the draft election law, the right to file appeals will be confined to “those directly concerned with the election process, especially candidates.” Fahmy added that holding presidential and parliamentary polls simultaneously could be necessary to ensure both elections are held within six months of the constitution’s ratification, as required by Article 230. [Ahram Online, 3/2/2014]

Egypt’s new cabinet sworn in; Prime Minister Mehleb urges end to protests
Egypt’s newly formed cabinet, led by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, was sworn in on Saturday afternoon. Mehleb was appointed by President Adly Mansour after the resignation of Hazem El-Beblawy on Monday. Twenty ministers from the cabinet of outgoing prime minister Hazem El-Beblawy will retain their positions in the new cabinet, including Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Eleven new ministers have been selected. Egypt’s Interim President Adli Mansour met with the cabinet and Mehleb on Saturday to discuss the completion of the road map. In his first speech after being sworn in as Egypt’s new premiere, Mehleb called for an end to what he described as “special interests’ protests” so that the country can be rebuilt. On the top of his list, Mehleb vowed to restore security and combat terrorism “with any means possible,” as well as impose the rule of the law while upholding principles of human rights and democracy. The new prime minister saluted the police’s and army’s martyrs as well as the “nation’s martyrs,” renewing the commitment to their families to “pass this difficult turn in the road onto a prosperous future.” [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, DNE, 3/2/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Opposition Groups: Egypt’s Minister of Interior must leave | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
  • Prime minister and interior minister discuss security situation | DNE
  • New health minister prioritizes emergency and ambulance issues | DNE
  • SCAF’s new formation implements new constitution: military spokesman | DNE
  • Health minister worked on HIV and Hepatitis C cure | Mada Masr
  • Egypt cabinet reshuffle hints at ‘dissolution of 30 June alliance’ | Ahram Online


Khaled Said’s killers sentenced to ten years in jail
Alexandria criminal court has sentenced two policemen to ten years in jail for killing Khaled Said, in a June 2010 incident that became one of the triggers for the uprising that toppled veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Awad Saleh and Mahmoud Ghazala were found guilty of torturing Said to death. Defense lawyers said they would appeal the verdict. Scuffles broke out in the courtroom between security guards and the defendants’ relatives after the presiding judge said only lawyers and media personnel could attend the session. “We wanted the death penalty… ten years is too little,” Said’s sister Zahra told Reuters. “Still this is a victory for the January 25 revolution because the symbol that they tried to tarnish turned out to be innocent,” she added referring to the revolt against Mubarak. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Reuters, Egypt Independent, AP, Mada Masr, 3/3/2014]

Morsi espionage and presidential palace trials postponed
On Sunday, the trial of former president Mohamed Morsi and fourteen others, in which they are accused of inciting the murder and torture of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012, was adjourned until Tuesday. The trial was adjourned due to bad weather preventing Morsi from reaching the courthouse by helicopter.  A Cairo Appeals Court also adjourned Saturday the case against Morsi and thirty-five other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of espionage, after the defendants failed to appear in court. Defendants, including Morsi, were facing another trial the same day. According to Egypt Independent, the Appeals Court resumed on Monday the request to replace the judges presiding over the prison break and espionage trials. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 3/3/2014]

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Ministry prioritizes social justice; trade deficit falls as imports and exports decline
Minister of Finance Hany Qadry said in a statement on Saturday that his priority would be to seek social justice through programs to support marginalized groups, with a continued reliance on free-market mechanisms. Qadry added during a phone-in with the CBC Channel Saturday evening that the state needed to heed the use of stimulus and economic take-off to achieve stability in the medium and long terms. Egypt’s trade balance deficit reached LE23.5 billion ($3.3 billion) in November 2013, state-run statistical body CAPMAS reported on Monday. The figure represented a 12 percent drop compared to the same month in 2012, when the deficit stood at LE26.7 billion ($3.8 billion). The value of Egypt’s exports in November 2013 also declined two percent from the previous year, recording LE15.1 billion ($2.1 billion). Among the main products to suffer a drop in exports, according to CAPMAS, were petroleum products, fresh fruits and liquefied propane. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 3/3/2014]

Egypt’s foreign debt amounts to $46 billion
Egypt’s foreign debt currently stands at $46 billion, Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez said on Monday. The debt dropped from $47 billion by the end of last September. Ramez added that the current level of debt is reassuring. The Central Bank announced in February that Egypt’s foreign reserves rose to $17.1 billion by the end of January comparing to $17.03 billion dollars towards the end of December 2013. The newly-appointed cabinet is looking into the establishment of a commission to manage public sector companies and administrate their assets, Ramez said after a meeting with designate Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb.
[Aswat Masriya, 3/3/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s tourism authority promotes domestic tourism | Ahram Online
  • Former US ambassador to Egypt advocates cross-border trade, private sector investment in MENA | DNE
  • Egypt’s macro-economy ‘needs more than just a president’: Bank of America Merrill Lynch | DNE
  • CBE keeps interest rates unchanged | DNE
  • Ukraine turmoil will not disrupt Egypt wheat imports: official | Reuters
  • Egypt’s wheat supplies enough to last until June – new minister | Aswat Masriya


Interior minister says police ‘will not enter university campuses unless violence erupts’
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said Sunday that security forces are not willing to intervene in universities unless violence or disruptions to academic procedures occur. Mohamed Badran, head of Egypt’s Students Unions (ESU), told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that Ibrahim has vowed to release all detained students “as long as they’re not convicted in criminal cases.”  Mohamed Hassan, head of Benha University’s student union, however, said that Badran has been acting independently, without consulting the majority of ESU members. Ain Shams Student Union denounced the Cairo Urgent Matters Court’s February 24 decision to order the return of Ministry of Interior security personnel to secure university campuses. Student union leaders from a number of universities, including Ain Shams and Mounifeya Universities, members of Egypt’s Students Union, and representatives from the student offices of the Dostour, Free Egyptians, and Strong Egypt political parties signed a statement threatening “peaceful escalations” if the court’s decision is applied. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, Mada Masr, 2/2/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Two security personnel injured in Ain Shams clashes with Morsi loyalists on Friday | Ahram Online
  • One dead, nineteen injured in Friday Cairo clashes: Health ministry | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Ultras White Knights members dispersed after interior ministry bars fans from match | DNE
  • 33 White Knights fans arrested ahead of Zamalek-Kapuscorp match | Egypt Independent
  • Support for journalists detained in Egypt continues to mount | DNE
  • Victims of forcible evictions subject to repeated violence: Amnesty International | DNE
  • Police arrest fourteen pro-Brotherhood supporters in Cairo violence | Aswat Masriya
  • NCHR to announce June 30 fact-finding report on Wednesday | Egypt Independent
  • NGO faces eviction from informal area | Mada Masr
  • Egypt’s public buses resume as workers end strike | Ahram Online
  • Head of Textile Workers’ Union proposes initiative to halt strikes | DNE
  • Workers unite against new government | Mada Masr


Policemen shot dead in Cairo, Beni Suef, Giza and Mansoura
Attacks on security personnel continued in four Egyptian cities on Monday, with two police officers shot dead and another hospitalized with severe gunshot wounds. A police sergeant was killed on the spot after unknown gunmen opened fire at him outside the security directory of Upper Egypt’s Beni Suef on Monday, said an Interior Ministry statement. Meanwhile near Cairo, a low-ranking police officer was shot dead in the Al-Badrasheen district of Giza. Also in Giza, another officer was severely injured when he was shot by unknown assailants. In the southern city of Aswan, an unidentified group set fire to a car belonging to an official in the city’s criminal investigation department. Finally, police sergeant Abdullah Ali, a guard of one of the judges overseeing the presidential trial of Mohamed Morsi, was also shot dead on Friday in Egypt’s Mansoura in the Daqahliya governorate. According to Aswat Masriya, he was shot by four masked men on a motorcycle. [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, 3/3/2014]

Quarrel breaks out between army and police personnel in Imbaba
Major General Mahmoud Farouk, Director of Giza Department said an altercation took place on Sunday afternoon between a number of armed forces and police soldiers. He denied that the altercation turned into a fight, adding other security forces intervened and contained the situation. An official source at Giza Security Directorate said that the quarrel occurred after a member of the Police Department of Imbaba tried to corner his motorcycle next to an armed forces tank and the soldiers refused to allow him. The source mentioned that an army personnel fired tear gas to break up the fight and other senior police leaders intervened to contain the situation before it escalated. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 3/2/2014]

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Egypt says US reports on human rights is not objective
Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman denounced Saturday the United States “appointing itself a lawyer and an advocate for human rights issues in the world without a legitimate base,” Al-Ahram Arabic website reported. Badr Abdel-Atty, in a press conference, commented on the United States’ annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, saying the report is “unbalanced and non-objective.” The report, issued in late February, said the most significant human rights problems were the “removal of an elected civilian government,” referring to the removal of Mohamed Morsi from office on 3 July following mass protests on 30 June. He further accused the United States of double standard as it highlights human rights violations in Egypt and the world, while the United States has its own violations, such as bugging phones and the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay detention camp. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 3/3/2014]

Egyptian citizen shot in Benghazi after Egypt issues travel warning to Libya
Egypt said on Sunday it was deeply concerned about violence targeting its citizens in Libya, hours after an Egyptian was shot in Benghazi amid growing Islamist violence in the city. Salama Fawzy was shot by a gunman while at a grocer’s in the city’s Magoury area, Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a Sunday statement, adding that the victim was hospitalized in a “highly critical condition.” The shooting took place one day after Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel warning to citizens visiting or residing in Libya in light of the security situation in the neighboring country. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, DNE, 3/3/2014]

Egypt and UAE armed forces begin joint training exercises
Egypt’s air, naval and special forces have begun joint training exercises with the United Arab Emirates, further displaying the strengthening of relations between the two countries. The Egyptian troops travelled to the Gulf country to partake in a two-week joint training exercise, according to a Sunday statement from the official spokesman for the Egyptian armed forces. The two sides will “transfer and exchange training experiences … in all disciplines.” They will also embark on practical exercises including “tactical naval and air maneuvers” that will include the use of “fighter jets, multi-purpose aircraft and destroyers.” The naval special forces, “some elements” of the special operation unit, and the paratroopers will participate in the training exercises. [DNE, Egypt Independent, 3/2/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam 32 percent completed: Ethiopian spokesman | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Belgium, Switzerland warn against travel to Sharm al-Sheikh | Ahram Online
  • Fahmy urges Palestinians to present ‘clear vision’ for peace process | DNE
  • Italy voices willingness to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia | Aswat Masriya
  • Egyptian sailing boat with thirty-five sailors on board held in Saudi Arabia | Egypt Independent
  • Government officials to defend human rights record at UN | Mada Masr