Top News: Morsi’s Pardons of Islamists to be Reviewed

Egypt’s Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said the ministry formed a committee to revise presidential pardons granted to Islamist “extremists” by former president Mohamed Morsi during his one year in office.

Egypt’s presidential candidate Sabbahi speaks to expats via video-conference
Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi spoke to Egyptian expat voters on Monday via videoconference. Egyptian expats are the first to cast their ballots worldwide in Egyptian embassies from May 15 to 18. “We ask the Egyptians abroad to participate in future policies,” he said. The Sabbahi campaign announced that his electoral platform will be published in the next few hours on Tuesday. Videoconferencing is a new technique to be used in Egyptian elections. Sabbahi’s sole competitor, former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi used videoconferencing on Monday to speak to the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut. He said in Assiut’s video conference that Upper Egyptians have been historically overlooked in terms of development, but that he could promise real developmental projects in the area in the future. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 5/13/2014]

Sisi makes rare youth plea
Egypt’s former military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi made a rare appeal Monday to the country’s youth who were behind calls for regime change since 2011, trying to win support among a key bloc in this month’s presidential election that he admitted he is struggling to reach. In the second part of his interview with Sky News Arabia on Monday, he gave a nod to revolutionary youth groups, but also underlined his message that Egypt now needs stability, which he has repeatedly said means an end to protests. Sisi defended the controversial Protest Law, under which thousands of Egyptians have been jailed, asserting that protesting needs to be regulated but not banned. He said there is a “need to give police space to work.” In the interview, he also addressed the insecurity in Sinai and the war in Syria. [AP, Mada Masr, DNE, Reuters, 5/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s parliament election laws to be amended this week | Ahram Online
  • Police to print Egyptian ballot papers | Ahram Online
  • Sisi’s campaign spent 12 million EGP until now – Interview | Aswat Masriya
  • Mansour amends law regulating Suez Canal Authority | SIS
  • National Human Rights Council trains 6500 elections monitors | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Brotherhood welcomes Brussels Declaration for Morsi to return | Egypt Independent, AMAY (Arabic)


Egypt court upholds decision to redeploy police on campuses
The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters upheld on Tuesday its earlier decision to permanently redeploy police forces on university campuses. The initial ruling was issued in February following a spike in student protests, mostly held by Islamists, to denounce what they described as a military coup against Mohamed Morsi, ousted last July. The Tuesday conclusion mandates the Egyptian state to implement promptly the court’s pronouncement. According to activists, the decision contradicts a 2010 decree by the High Administrative Court, the only body endowed with subject-matter jurisdiction over this case, banning police from campuses. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 5/13/2014]

Two Brotherhood leaders sentenced to two years for assaulting former presidential candidate
The Sidi Gaber misdemeanor court in Alexandria sentenced two leading Brotherhood figures, Saber Abul Fattouh and Ali Abdel Fattah to two years in prison with hard labor on charges of assaulting former presidential candidate Abul Azz al-Hariri. The verdict reversed an earlier acquittal. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 5/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Court hears testimony from former assistant to interior minister | DNE
  • Defendant on hunger strike recounts suffering during court session | Mada Masr
  • Ettehadiya trial adjourned to Wednesday to finish hearing witnesses | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Morsi trial over Ettehadiya clashes to resume Tuesday | Egypt Independent
  • Court to resume trial of thirty defendants over storming Safaga Police Station | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s stocks up amid weak trading 
Egypt’s stocks increased slightly on Monday amid weak trading value, as the market anticipates its first Initial Public Offering (IPO) in four years. The benchmark index EGX30 inched up 0.21 percent to record 8,243 points, while the broader index EGX70 rose 0.41 percent and turnover value registered a mere EGP 463.6 million. [Ahram Online 5/12/2014]


Campus demonstrations continue as elections approach
Ain Shams University witnessed clashes between security forces and students supporting the Muslim Brotherhood Tuesday after students blocked traffic and attempted to march to a local interior ministry building. During their march, students chanted against interior ministry and military rule while making the four-fingered Raba’a sign with their hands. Police used tear gas and birdshot to disperse the rally. Police also used a helicopter to monitor student movement during the clashes. Several students taking exams at the university suffered from inhaling tear gas. Dozens of female students at Zagazig branch of Al-Azhar University participated in a rally protesting the arrest of thirteen of their colleagues and the expulsion of thirty-six others. The students chanted slogans against the police, army, and head of the university. [Shorouk (Arabic), 5/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Democratic Union ends sit-in after ministry recognition | AMAY (Arabic)


Alleged ringleader of violence against Copts in Minya is arrested
The main suspect accused of burning churches in the southern village of Delga, Minya, following the violent dispersal of two pro-Brotherhood camps in August last year has been arrested. Farid Shawky Mohamed Moussa has been accused of planning violence against churches in the village. Also in Minya, authorities arrested another individual accused of storming and burning a police station. The authorities seized a large number of weapons including several types of rifles, ammunition, and fireworks. [Mada Masr, 5/12/2014]

Morsi’s pardons of Islamists to be reviewed
Egypt’s Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim said the ministry formed a committee to revise presidential pardons granted to Islamist “extremists” by former president Mohamed Morsi during his one year in office. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Ibrahim said the matter would be concluded promptly. Soon after he was sworn into office, Morsi released tens of members of hardline Islamist groups Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiya and Islamic Jihad, both of which had orchestrated acts of violence against the state in the 1990s. Previously, however, hundreds of other Islamists were released under the rule of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), during the period separating the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and Morsi’s ascent to power in 2012. [Ahram Online, 5/13/2014]

Also of Interest:


Egypt’s Fahmy off to UK in official visit
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy left for London on Monday to meet his British counterpart William Hague and other British officials. Fahmy and Hague will discuss bilateral relations between the two countries in addition to a number of regional and international issues. The foreign minister will also meet with the UK’s national security advisor, secretary of state for international development and other officials. Fahmy is scheduled to participate in a lecture at a UK research center as well as meet with UK journalists and media outlets to explain Egypt’s current situation and its path on the roadmap to democracy since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July. [Ahram Online, DNE, 5/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • German parliamentary delegation arrives in Cairo to follow up election preparations | Egypt Independent