Top News: Lawyer Files Appeal for Imprisoned ‘Marriott Cell’ Defendants

Shaaban al-Said, one of the defense lawyers in the Al Jazeera trial, filed an appeal in the Court of Cassation for the release of the defendants who have not been pardoned by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were among 100 activists pardoned on the occasion of Eid al-Adha. Said’s appeal demanded the release of two students, Khaled Abdel Raouf and Sohaib Saad, each sentenced to seven years in prison. The family of the Australian journalist Peter Gerte, another Al Jazeera journalist who was arrested in December 2013 and deported in January 2015, also contacted Shaaban to seek a pardon by Sisi. [AMAY, 10/8/2015]


Egyptian expats to vote at 136 embassies abroad in parliamentary elections
A total of 136 Egyptian embassies and consulates around the world will be hosting expat voting in the upcoming parliamentary elections, Spokesperson for the High Elections Committee Omar Marwan said Friday. Each embassy will include sub-committees, in which Egyptian expatriates will cast their votes, either by presenting their national IDs, or passports that include the national ID number and home address in Egypt, in addition to filling a form attesting to residence abroad attached with his address. While no observers will monitor the voting process  abroad, a local operations room administrated by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and 136 organizations will follow up on Egyptian expatriates’ complaints during the elections. [Cairo Post, 10/9/2015]

Presidential decree imposes jail sentence for leaking exams
According to a law issued by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday, leaking exam questions or answers is now punishable by a year in prison and fines ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 Egyptian pounds. The decision was agreed upon by former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab in August. The law applies to anyone who prints, publishes, broadcasts, or promotes any questions or answers to exams from any educational phase, public or private, “with the intention of cheating or disrupting the exams.” The punishment will be applied whether or not the cheating took place in an exam room. [Cairo Post, 10/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Former NDP members will definitely be in Egypt’s 2015 parliament says expert | Ahram Online


Court accepts prosecution appeal against Islamist figures’ release
An Egyptian criminal court ordered that several leading Islamists have their detention renewed for another forty-five days, after accepting an appeal by Egypt’s High State Security Prosecution against a previous court order which ordered their release. The High State Security Prosecution had appealed a criminal court’s decision to release controversial preacher Mahmoud Shaaban and ten other defendants being investigated in what is known as the Salafist Front case. The specialized prosecution service also appealed against the release of the head of the Independence Party, Magdi Hussein, and four other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy. [Ahram Online, 10/9/2015]

Court extends ‘anti-torture t-shirt’ detainee’s detention for twenty-fourth time
An Egyptian criminal court renewed on Thursday the detention of two men who have been under preventive detention for over 600 days for wearing anti-torture T-shirts, according to a statement from the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE). Mahmoud Mohamed and Islam Talaat’s detention has been renewed for 45 days pending investigation to reach a total of 666 days of incarceration. The prosecution accused them of belonging to a terrorist organization, possessing explosives, and inciting violence. [DNE, Aswat Masriya, 10/8/2015]


Egypt food prices make highest surge in five years says Hermes
Food prices have jumped in September to reach the biggest monthly increase in five years, EFG Hermes Holdings said in a research paper on Thursday. The surge was driven by a rise in vegetable prices, the Egypt-based investment bank and market analysis group said. In the past two months, the price of vegetables rose 26.4 percent, Hermes said. Inflation rates in Egypt will be impacted by the value added tax that Egypt aims to introduce before yearend, Hermes said. The group projects that inflation will rise by 1.5 to 2.5 percent when the tax is introduced. [Aswat Masriya, 10/8/2015]

Egyptian Finance Minister attends IMF, WB annual meeting in Peru
Egyptian Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian is attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Lima, Peru. Dimian will attend a number of meetings, including a meeting of the Deauville Partnership Initiative, an international effort launched by the G8 to support transitioning countries in the Arab world. Dimian will also attend meetings with high level officials in international financial institutions and credit ranking institutions, including Standards and Poor’s and Moody’s. Dimian is also expected to attend a number of closed meetings with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and other finance ministers from the region. Finally, Dimian will hold meetings with a number of international investment banks, including HSBC, Bank of America, and PNB Paribas. He will present his ministry’s regulation plans, Egypt’s subsidy amendment plan, and the planned value added tax. [DNE, 10/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Improvements in Europe’s economy provide tailwinds for growth in Egypt says IMF | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s foreign reserves fall as devaluation expected | Ahram Online
  • EBRD loans NBK  EGP 50 million to finance Small and Medium-sized enterprises | DNE
  • Airlines begin applying tax hike on flights departing Egypt | AP, Cairo Post
  • Orascom bid for Beltone boosts Egypt stocks | Reuters, Aswat Masriya
  • Italy to provide 10 million Euro loan for sustainable development | Cairo Post, SIS


Interior Ministry claims jailed former Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Haddad in cell
Egypt’s Interior Ministry told Aswat Masriya Thursday that the Muslim Brotherhood’s former spokesman Gehad Haddad was transferred to the prison hospital yesterday for a regular check up and then moved back to his cell upon his own request. On October 4, Haddad’s family said they hadn’t been allowed to visit him or receive any information about him since he was taken to Tora Prison Hospital on Sunday. At the time, His brother Abdullah wrote on Twitter, “the family [has been] given no information or visitation rights to see if [he is] alive or dead.” [Aswat Masriya, 10/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Maspero2011: Archiving the memory of the Coptic protest’s violent dispersal | Mada Masr
  • Four million Egyptian graduates unqualified for labor market says Sisi advisor | Cairo Post


Egypt’s army begins second stage of operation ‘Martyr’s Right’ in North Sinai  
The Egyptian Armed Forces Spokesman announced in a statement the beginning of the second phase of the Martyr’s Right operation in the North Sinai cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and al-Arish. The first phase of the operation, which resulted in the death of over 500 militants in North Sinai and the “achievement of its primary objectives,” concluded on September 22. According to Al-Ahram, the second stage, deliberately coinciding with the 42nd anniversary of Egypt’s victory in the 6 October War, will include the commencement of numerous development projects and reconstruction in North Sinai. The armed forces also announced the dispatch of a convoy loaded with medical supplies, construction materials, and food for the people of Sinai. The project will include the construction of the new town of Rafah, 1,200 housing units, and a number of hospitals and schools. Plans to build twenty-seven water desalination plants as well as water tanks and new roads are also a part of the project. Phase two will “pave the road for creating suitable conditions to start development projects in Sinai,” the statement added. [Ahram Online, 10/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Unidentified assailants assault Zagazig University security personnel | AMAY
  • Egypt’s President Sisi visits General Intelligence Service headquarters | Ahram Online


Egypt, France to to sign several military, economic agreements Saturday
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls will discuss developments in the Middle East region with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday, and witness the signing of a deal authorizing the transfer of  two French Mistral helicopter gunships to Egypt. Valls and Sisi are expected to discuss economic development, including the promotion of joint investments, and will sign a number of cooperation agreements, including an executive agreement worth 40 million euros to finance a power generation project in Kom Ombo, a 30 million euro grant to finance small and medium-size enterprises in the agricultural fields and a 15 million euro grant for the development of slums.  The two presidents will also discuss a number of topics of mutual interest, including the situations in Syria, Libya, and Yemen as well as ways to resume the Middle East peace process in light of the latest Israeli escalations in Al Quds and the Palestinian territories. [SIS, Cairo Post, 10/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Number of Egyptians killed in Mecca stampede increases to 158 | Ahram Online, AMAY, Aswat Masriya
  • Egyptian worker abroad reconciles with Jordanian MP following assault | Ahram Online, Cairo Post
  • Foreign Ministry issues statement praising Libyan reconciliation efforts | SIS