Top News: Morsi Addresses Message to Egyptians from Jail

In a message released from prison, ousted president Mohamed Morsi has encouraged his supporters to protest against the “military coup”, especially after the “coup leader” has become president.


Brotherhood says vote is ‘null and void’; Morsi addresses message to Egyptians from jail
Ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) said Wednesday it considers the election of the former army chief as the next president “null and void” and will accept nothing short of Morsi’s reinstatement. The FJP said it “doesn’t recognize the alleged coup regime or any of its decisions that have been or will be issued since July 3 until the return of the elected President Mohamed Morsi to his post as the president of the Republic of Egypt.” Meanwhile, in a message released from prison, Morsi has encouraged his supporters to protest against the “military coup”, especially after the “coup leader” has become president. The statement, published on his official Facebook page late on Wednesday, was Morsi’s first since Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi was confirmed as the country’s next president a day ago. An English translation was published on the Brotherhood’s official portal, Ikhwanweb. [AP, Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 6/4/2014]

Egypt political parties, religious figures congratulate Sisi
Egypt’s political parties, religious figures and state institutions have extended their congratulations and good wishes to president-elect Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi for his sweeping electoral victory. Among the parties extending their congratulations are Amr Moussa’s Conference Party, the Salafi Nour Party, the Free Egyptians Party, and the leftist Tagammu Party. Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, the Roman Orthodox and the Catholic churches have all extended their congratulations to Sisi. Ahmed al-Tayyeb, head of Al-Azhar institution prayed Sisi be granted “good luck in leading the great Egypt towards a better future.” Meanwhile, Egypt’s Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar said Egyptians elected Sisi as a way to “repay the debt”, since he risked his life for the sake of the nation. [Ahram Online, 6/4/2014]

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Fact-finding committee claims Shamy healthy as court appearance is postponed
A fact-finding committee, commissioned by interim President Adly Mansour, has said that Abdullah El Shamy and Mohamed Sultan, who are held in prison and have been on a hunger strike for nearly six month, are in good health. Marwan claimed that Shamy signed a document saying that he ended his hunger strike on May 15. A court session, to determine whether he is to be released or his detention renewed, has again been postponed, this time to June 11. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 6/5/2014]

Trial of Douma and 268 others postponed to June 15
Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Wednesday the trial of activist Ahmed Douma and 268 others over the 2011 Cabinet clashes case to June 15 until reports by a technical committee are submitted. The defendants have been accused of assembling without government permission, possessing knives and Molotov cocktails, assaulting armed forces and police personnel, burning the Intsitut d’Egypte, attacking government buildings (including the headquarters of the Cabinet and parliamentary buildings) and attempting to storm and burn the Interior Ministry. Some are also accused of practicing medicine without a license. [Egypt Independent, 6/4/2014]

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UAE urges Egypt ‘fiscal consolidation’ to help revive economy
The United Arab Emirates, which is backing Egypt with billions of dollars in aid, said the North African country needs to shore up public finances and invest in infrastructure to revive an economy battered by unrest. Sultan al-Jaber, the UAE minister of state overseeing assistance to Egypt, also urged institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank to show “flexibility” in dealing with the new leadership in Cairo. [Bloomberg, 6/5/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s foreign reserves see first drop in year to May | Ahram Online
  • Egypt aims to raise $1 bln through investment fund to support tourism | Reuters
  • Egypt sees lower consumption of octane 95 in 2013/14 | Ahram Online
  • Egypt stocks up following official presidential elections result | Ahram Online
  • Egypt, Tunisia ratings may be at “low point” – Fitch | Reuters
  • Prime Minister warned against increasing prices | Mada Masr


MOI official says monitoring of social media will be on legal grounds
Monitoring social media will not be tolerated without legal permission from the general prosecution, according to the head of internet prosecution, Mohamed Abu Zeid. In an interview published Thursday, Abu Zeid stressed that the interior ministry will not monitor any social media accounts unless the ministry has clear cause to investigate the owner of an account for engaging in terrorist operations. Abu Zeid also said that the ministry will be using a programme used in countries such as the UK, US, France, Germany and other countries to track online security threats such as terrorism, explosives manufacturing and assassination operations. He added that monitoring is expected to begin in six months. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 6/5/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Three people die by gunfire in Ayat during Sisi victory celebration | Egypt Independent
  • Tallawy calls for Mansour’s farewell speech to be included in school curriculum | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Rights groups condemn Saber sentencing | DNE


Security raids kill seven Islamist militants in North Sinai
Security forces in Egypt’s border Sinai Peninsula have killed seven Islamist militants, state news agency MENA reported, as part of an ongoing campaign against Islamist insurgents in the region. Raids on Wednesday in the northern part of the region–in the town of Sheikh Zuweid and the Bear Al-Abd area–killed seven militant fighters as they were attempting to attack a security convoy, MENA said late on Wednesday. Ten shacks and buildings used as bases for terrorist attacks were destroyed in the offensive, security sources said. [Ahram Online, 6/5/2014]


Iranian FM supports Egypt’s steps toward democracy
The spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Marzieh Afkham, said her country supports Egypt, adding that the presidential elections were a move toward fostering democracy. Afkham added that Iranian officials said they have been keen on developing diplomatic relations with Egypt over the past few years. [Egypt Independent, 6/4/2014]

Fahmy meets Chinese counterpart in Beijing
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing, reported the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The official spokesperson of the ministry, Ambassador Badr Abdel-Atty, issued a statement that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, expressing his hope that Egypt returns to its leading role in the region and in the world. Abdel-Atty added that Fahmy discussed bilateral relations with his Chinese counterpart, who will visit Cairo soon. [Ahram Online, DNE, 6/5/2014]

HRW calls on Egypt to repeal contempt of religion law
Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a press release on Wednesday in which they called on Egyptian authorities to repeal legislation against blasphemy and refrain from prosecuting those who write or post materials of an atheistic nature. The international organization asked the government to drop criminal charges against author Karam Saber, who is facing a five year prison sentence for a book of short stories. His appeal is scheduled for June 5. [Mada Masr, 6/4/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Switzerland says working with Egypt to recover stolen assets | Reuters
  • Ethiopian Foreign Minister to attend El-Sisi’s inauguration: Anadolu | Ahram Online