Top News: Mohamed Mahmoud Protests Continue Amid Minor Clashes

Mild clashes broke out between supporters of the army-backed government and their opponents near Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday. Scores of protesters began gathering around Cairo’s Tahrir Square early Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of anti-army protests in 2011.


Police deliberately killed Mohamed Mahmoud demonstrators, fact-finding committee concludes
Security forces caused deliberate killing of protesters due to excessive force during the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in 2011, according to human rights lawyer Mohsen Bahnasy. In an exclusive interview with Egypt Independent, Bahnasy, a member of a fact-finding committee who investigated Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes, said security forces used excessively expired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, firing them directly at sensitive areas of protesters bodies in order to cause grave injury. “[They fired] especially at faces from close range, causing deliberate killings from choking or piercing rubber bullets in sensitive parts,” he said. [Egypt Independent, 11/19/2013]

Also of Interest:
No rivalry between the police and any revolutionary group: minister of interior | EGYNews (Arabic)
Egypt’s interim president says won’t run for presidency | Shorouk, Ahram Online, Reuters, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
No cabinet reshuffle, says presidential adviser | Egypt Independent
Tamarod demands resignation of Beblawy’s government | Cairo Post


Two withdraw from assembly as draft constitution scraps worker, farmer quota
The fifty-member committee responsible for amending Egypt’s constitution has removed an article mandating that 50 percent of members of parliament should be either workers or farmers.
Ahmed Eid, a member of the drafting committee, told reporters on Monday that the committee voted to cancel the article, although some had argued for keeping it. The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), the union representing labourers across the country, said it will withdraw from assembly in response to the decision, while Talal Shokr, the farmer representative did the same, adding that he would join a lawsuit being filed against the committee. [Ahram Online, Ahram Gate (Arabic), SIS, DNE, Cairo Post, 11/19/2013]

Minors and women to be tried for pro-Morsi protest
Egyptian prosecutors on Monday referred twenty-one women and girls to criminal court on charges related to a pro-Morsi protest, judicial sources told Ahram Online. Twenty-seven people have been charged with offences related to a march in support of former president Mohamed Morsi in October in Alexandria. The detained adults are due to appear at an urgent criminal court on Wednesday, while the juveniles will be referred to a court for minors. The detainees are accused of joining a group established in violation of the law, promoting the ideas of the group, and possessing and distributing publications that incite violence.The twenty-one detainees belong to a group called the “7 a.m. Movement”, which organizes peaceful protests before the beginning of the school day. The group, which started in Alexandria, has spread to Greater Cairo and launched a campaign called “Our girls are a red line.” [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, 11/19/2013]

Also of Interest:
April 6 Youth Movement dissolution ruling postponed | DNE
Fifty-member committee discusses the electoral system | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
Prosecution delays inquiry against Bassem Youssef | Mada Masr


Egypt aims to increase tax revenue by introducing VAT: Official
According to the head of Egypt’s Customs Authority, Mamdouh Omar, tax revenue reached EGP 80 billion in the last fiscal year. The government is targeting EGP 130 billion in tax revenues for the current fiscal year, said Omar, if it manages to implement a new Value Added Tax (VAT) system. Omar added that a law is being drafted for the introduction of VAT and the tax base will be split into three segments so that VAT will not exceed 3 percent for lower-rate taxpayers, to encourage them to use bills in their future dealings, and contribute to a just taxation system. [Ahram Online, 11/18/2013]

Also of Interest:
The size of external debt poses no threats: Bahaa El-Din | DNE
Stock market earns EGP3 billion Monday | Egypt Independent
UAE grant to finance renewable energy project in Halayeb, Shalatin | Cairo Post
Credit ratings rise for three major Egyptian banks | Ahram Online


Egypt transportation minister blames ‘human error’ for Giza train crash
Transportation Minister Ibrahim al-Demeery expressed cautious regret over the mistake that could lead to his resignation. Al-Demeery issued a statement on Monday accusing the bus and truck drivers of breaking into the railway crossing while the train was passing, adding that the crossing’s alerts were working properly before the crash. He confirmed an earlier report by the Egyptian Railways Authority, which asserted that the Dahshour crossing was closed off by chains before the accident and that the warning lights were working properly. “Vehicles ignored warning lights and chains blocking entry, and tried to drive through the crossing,” the report stated. However, two watchmen at the crossing told Al-Ahram that the manual alarm bells and warning lights for approaching trains were out of service. Meanwhile the minister announced, according to EGYNews, the formation of a neutral technical commission to determine the cause of the accident. [Ahram Online, DNE, EGYNews (Arabic), 11/19/2013]

Mohamed Mahmoud protests continue amid minor clashes; Protesters deface Tahrir memorial
Mild clashes broke out between supporters of the army-backed government and their opponents near Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday. Scores of protesters began gathering around Cairo’s Tahrir Square early Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of anti-army protests in 2011. On Monday night, about 1,000 people entered Tahrir Square, among them many members of revolutionary groups marching to Tahrir for the first time since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3. They defaced a memorial the government is erecting to revolution martyrs, and by early Tuesday morning, the pedestal of the memorial dedicated was destroyed only hours after the prime minister inaugurated it in Tahrir Square. Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud deadly clashes where protesters clashed with the police, leaving over forty people dead. Revolutionaries participating in the protests include groups from April 6 Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists, and others. Egypt’s Tamarod movement, however, announced late Monday it would not participate in the protests, citing fears the event might be used by the Muslim Brotherhood to serve their own interests. With the pro-Morsi National Coalition to Support Legitimacy having announced they would steer clear of Mohamed Mahmoud street, to commemorate the anniversary, Muslim Brotherhood students rallied instead at Cairo University and Raba’a al-Adaweya Square, after being prevented from reaching the Defense Ministry. Army forces set up barriers and barbed wire around the ministry and fired warning shots in the air to disperse the marchers.With tensions high ahead of the protests, Tahrir Square also saw intense security presence, especially at the entrances from the direction of Abdel Moneim Riad Square and Qasr al-Nil, as well as in the areas surrounding the Shura Council and People’s Assembly. Roads leading to Ain Shams University were also shutdown by security forces.  [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Shorouk (Arabic), Reuters, Mada Masr, AP, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), 11/19/2013]

Also of Interest:
Brotherhood protests are useless: Jihad Movement leader | Egypt Independent
Rights group demands justice for Mohamed Mahmoud victims | Ahram Online


Two policemen injured by birdshot in front of Gharbeya church, assailants arrested
Two policemen were injured when two people shot them with birdshot in front of Abu Sefein Church in Gharbeya City in Kafr al-Zayat on Monday night. The assailants were arrested on early Tuesday morning, according to a source in the Gharbeya Security Directorate public relations office.“The shooting has no political or religious motives,” the source added. [DNE, Cairo Post, 11/19/2013]

Also of Interest:
Son of Brotherhood tycoon arrested | Mada Masr
Military spokesman says Takfiri elements arrested in Sinai | EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)   
Two suspected of military intelligence bombing in Ismailia arrested | Egypt Independent, Cairo Post


Russia strikes missile deal with Egypt: Report
The head of Russia’s state-controlled industrial holding company says Moscow has signed a deal to provide Egypt with air defense missile systems. Monday’s statement by Russian Technologies chief Sergei Chemezov followed last week’s trip to Egypt by Russia’s foreign and defense ministries. Chemezov, whose comments were carried by state RIA Novosti news agency, wouldn’t elaborate on the missile deal. He said that Egypt also expressed interest in other Russian weapons, including combat planes and helicopters, but has funding problems. He said Egypt could ask Russian for a loan to finance the weapons deals. [AP, 11/18/2013]

EU’s Ashton sounds optimism on reconciliation potential in Egypt, EU to provide more aid to Egypt
Catherine Ashton said on Monday that the situation is changing in Egypt after the lifting of the state of emergency last week. “We have seen of course trials beginning and we have seen the potential perhaps for some form of reconciliation,” said the EU’s foreign policy chief. “We have seen some interesting developments in the country. We have seen the state of emergency changing,” said Ashton, in a statement published by the Delegation of European Union to Egypt, adding that she is hoping to receive the deputy prime minister soon. Meanwhile, Ashton condemned violent acts, which took place in Egypt over the past two days. According to Daily News Egypt, James Moran, the EU’s ambassador in Cairo, unveiled the EU’s intention to grant Egypt new aid throughout the next two months, although he declined to elaborate on the specifics of the aid package. He also called for a restructuring of government institutions and economic facilities in an effort to combat waning foreign aid. Moran believes that as it stands, Egypt’s aid infrastructure is stacked against the poorest segments of Egyptian society and is therefore counter to the country’s best interests. [Ahram Online, DNE, Cairo Post, 11/18/2013]

Also of Interest:
Surviving “death boat”, Syria Palestinians locked up in Egypt | Reuters
Egypt returns envoy to Tunisia | Ahram Online, DNE, Cairo Post, SIS
Egyptians to stand trial in UAE in December | Mada Masr