Top News: Morsi Says Will Abstain From Eating, Does Not Trust Prison Food

Former President Egypt Mohamed Morsi told a court on Saturday that he will abstain from eating as he cannot trust the food offered to him in prison state media reported. Morsi, who is diabetic, requested permission to receive outside food and described the prison food as “a crime committed against his rights.” He has refrained from eating prison food “because he senses it is not safe for him.” Morsi also requested that he be referred to a medical team, explaining that he is suffering from low blood pressure. The court has since referred Morsi to a physician from Cairo University’s school of medicine for examination. [Ahram OnlineAPReutersAswat MasriyaDNE, 8/10/2015]


Egypt’s Socialist Alliance Party votes in favor of standing in upcoming elections
Egypt’s Socialist Popular Alliance Party will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, expected to take place by the end of this year, central committee member Wael Tawfik said. The decision to participate was the result of a vote during a meeting of the party’s central committee on Friday evening. 75 percent voted in favor of participation, changing the party’s previous stance of boycotting the elections. The SPAP’s previous stance came after party member Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was fatally shot while participating in an announced march from the party’s headquarters in Talaat Harb to Tahrir Square to put flowers in commemoration of the January 25 Revolution’s martyrs. Medhat al-Zahed, SPAP’s interim-chairman, said Saturday that the party’s political bureau will meet on Monday to discuss the party’s situation regarding joining electoral alliances. During the meeting, they will also receive candidate files for the individual system seats. [Ahram Online, DNE, 8/10/2015]   

Also of Interest

  • Protests continue against Civil Service Law | Egypt Independent
  • Government refutes suggestion to revisit controversial civil service law | Egypt Independent  
  • Al-Jama’a al-Islamiya urges pro-Morsi coalition to run for parliament | Egypt Independent
  • Presidential decree approves funding farm irrigation | SIS

Egypt courts issue twenty-four preliminary death sentences
Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on Monday ten people to death over charges of forming an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cell led by the brother of al-Qaeda’s chief. Mohamed al-Zawahiri, brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, is not among those who were given a death sentence. The court referred the files of the ten defendants to the Grand Mufti to approve the sentences, while postponing the final verdict to September 27. An additional eight sentences were issued by a Minya criminal court to supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi for killing two security personnel and storming Samalout police station in Minya, Upper Egypt, following the dispersal of two Islamist sit-ins in Cairo in August 2013. The eight, believed to be supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, were facing trial alongside 111 others. The court set September 4 as the final verdict date regarding the remaining 111 defendants in the same case. Qena Criminal Court also sentenced three policemen to death on murder charges, following a violent street fight between two families in the village of Awlad Amr in 2013, which left six people dead. The policemen include one from the Luxor Security Directorate and two conscripts from the Qena Security Directorate, along with two civilians. They were convicted for murder and possession of weapons, while a sixth defendant was sentenced in absentia, and five further defendants were acquitted, state-run news agency MENA reported Monday. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 8/10/2015]

Eight lawyers sentenced to life for assaulting judge

A criminal court in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya sentenced eight lawyers on Sunday to life in prison for assaulting a district court judge. The same court sentenced a ninth defendant to three years in prison, while thirteen others were acquitted. The defendants had been referred to trial over charges of “insulting the judiciary” after storming the courtroom during a 2013 session presided by the judge, preventing him from running the session. The incident occurred after the judge had engaged in a verbal altercation with a lawyer. [Egypt Independent, 8/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian newspaper editor Qandil stopped from leaving the country due to court case | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent  
  • First ‘Raba’a Operations Room’ appeal session scheduled for October 1 | DNE
  • Four alleged Muslim Brotherhood members arrested | DNE  
  • Trials paused for New Suez Canal inauguration resumed | DNE
  • Detained activist Ahmed Douma sends new letter from prison | DNE
  • Seven ‘Port Said stadium massacre’ defendants to receive final verdict August 23 | Cairo Post
  • Five sentenced to one year, three acquitted over 2013 ‘Helwan riots’ | Cairo Post

Egypt’s urban inflation drops to 8.4 percent in July
Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation dropped to 8.4 percent in July from 11.4 percent in June, the according to CAPMAS. The figure is the lowest since June 2014, a month before the government slashed energy subsidies and implemented a sales tax on alcohol and cigarettes that drove up prices. Lower inflation could provide Egypt’s central bank with the freedom to reduce interest rates, which the central bank has kept steady ever since in January. However a long-awaited value-added tax, if passed, could push inflation back into double digits and make interest rate reductions unlikely. [Reuters, 8/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt committed to paying off oil and gas bills says Sisi | Aswat Masriya
  • Borhamy: Citizens should donate Suez Canal savings certificates’ interests to pay Egypt’s debts | Egypt Independent
  • Newspaper: Saudi Arabia offers petroleum aid to Egypt worth $1.4 billion | Egypt Independent
  • PM approves establishing industrial zone in Beheira | SIS
  • Egypt’s trade deficit increases 4.4 percent in Q3 of FY 2014/2015 | DNE
  • Egypt to promote investment in Suez Canal zone in eight  countries | DNE
  • Egypt pound steady at 7.73 to the dollar – central bank | Aswat Masriya
  • Stocks continue falling on Egypt’s market | Mada Masr
  • Egypt starts dredging works for new shipping lane East Port Said | Cairo Post
  • Partially Egyptian-made train gets first test-run | Ahram Online

Five die in Shubra factory fire, three in October 6 factory fire
A string of fatal factory fires and industrial accidents has claimed the lives of numerous workers in and around Cairo over the past few weeks. Up to three people were killed in a fire that broke out in a paint factory on Sunday in October 6 city on the outskirts of Cairo. Five workers were killed Saturday and seven others injured in a boiler explosion inside a factory in Egypt’s Qalyubeya governorate, Al-Ahram reported. A police conscript was among the injured, according to initial investigations. Qalyubeya Governor Mohamed Abdel-Zaher gave orders to compensate families of the dead victims with EGP 5,000. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, 8/10/2015]  

Also of Interest

Ajnad Misr claims responsibility for Heliopolis blast; Four security personnel killed in weekend attacks in Suez, Fayoum, Sinai
On Monday, a bomb exploded outside the Heliopolis Courthouse in eastern Cairo, wounding two police officers and a civilian, Al-Ahram reported. The injured are a traffic police director, a policeman, and a passerby, all of whom were hospitalized, a security source said. Explosives experts also defused a second device they found while searching the vicinity of the building after the blast. Militant group Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility via their Twitter account for the bombing, which occurred under a traffic sentry post. On Sunday, the deputy head of a Suez police station was killed in an exchange of fire with two assailants. Walid al-Sadek, second in command of Faysal Police Station in Suez, was gunned down when two assailants opened fire on elements from the Third Field Army deployed in the market, military spokesman Mohamed Samir said. The military cadets who were attacked responded instantly, killing one assailant. The second is still at large with army forces searching the area to capture him, Samir added. Prosecutors in Suez ordered urgent autopsies on Sadek and the body of the dead gunman, who has been named as Ahmed Mahrous. Separately, a police officer and police recruit were killed after a roadside bomb targeted their vehicle in al-Arish in North Sinai. Three police recruits were also wounded. On Saturday, one policeman was killed and three others injured after unknown assailants fired shots early Saturday at a prisoner transfer truck on the Cairo-Fayoum desert road. Six alleged militants died in a police raid on Friday in Abou Na’oura village, Snoros district, Fayoum—the same area in which the police truck was ambushed early on Saturday. [Reuters, AP, Mada Masr, 8/10/2015]

Leading member of Islamist group al-Jama’a al-Islamiya dies in Egyptian prison
A leader of the hardline Islamist group al-Jama’a al-Islamiya died in jail after being detained for almost three months, the group said on Sunday. Essam Derbala, 58, spent over two decades in prison under former President Hosni Mubarak during the group’s armed insurgency against the state in the 1990s. The group said in a statement Derbala did not die of natural causes, but was “murdered” as a result of systemic negligence. He was reportedly denied medication and wasn’t moved to a hospital, leaving his health to deteriorate. The Interior Ministry issued a statement clarifying that he received medical attention as soon as he started feeling faint, but that he died as he was being transferred to the hospital. He was arrested in mid-May of this year on charges of belonging to an outlawed grouping supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, a man detained in an Alexandrian police station died on Saturday while in custody, Al-Ahram reported. The 58-year-old man was arrested during an opposition protest on Friday and according to police sources is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 8/9/2015]

Execution deadline for Croat held by ISIS passes in silence
The fate of a Croatian abducted by the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) near Cairo was unknown Saturday, hours after a deadline set by the extremists to execute him apparently passed. As extremist sympathizers noted the passage of the deadline on social media, Croatia’s Foreign Minister, Vesna Pusic, met with her Egyptian counterpart in Cairo to press efforts. Foreign Minister Sameh Shourki’s office said in statement that he pledged Egypt “will spare no effort” in the search for Salopek. Meanwhile, the sister of a woman jailed in Egypt for alleged ties to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood urged the group on Friday not to kill Salopek. Doaa al-Taweel, sister of jailed photographer and activist Esraa al-Taweel, said that her sister is innocent and that “her release should not come at the expense of another innocent person.” [AFP, AP, 8/7/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Niger Embassy attack perpetrators arrested: Interior ministry | DNE
  • North Sinai police arrest six for inciting violence on social media | SIS
  • Eighteen suspected militants killed in North Sinai Apache shelling | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt arrests 5,087 over ‘illegal immigration’ during past month: military | Cairo Post

Egypt ‘rejects Qatari interference’ after call for political dialogue
Egypt’s foreign ministry has rejected statements by the Qatari Foreign Minister suggesting that Egypt should have a political dialogue which includes all parties. Egypt “rejects Qatar’s interference” in its domestic affairs, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement Saturday. Abu Zeid said that such interference is “unacceptable”, adding that the Muslim Brotherhood is officially a terrorist group “according to Egyptians.” On Friday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah said in a televised interview that Qatar wishes Egypt to have a political dialogue, including all its political parties. Attiyah said that Qatar is in constant contact with political parties in Egypt and is willing to be a mediator if asked to be so, but can never interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs. “What is actually going on between Cairo and Doha is different from what the media is portraying,” Attiyah added, stressing that his country has been unfazed by scathing Egyptian media criticisms of its policies. “If Qatar is to give attention to whatever is said through the Egyptian media, there would be a big problem, but we would rather not heed what is said,” he stated. [Ahram Online, AP, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 8/9/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian fishing boats held in Sudan since April return home | Ahram Online
  • Egypt expresses condolences for UAE soldiers killed in Yemen | Ahram Online, DNE  
  • Sisi to meet Russia’s Putin: Egyptian presidency | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Sisi meets chief executive of British Gas | SIS
  • PM holds meeting on joint agricultural cooperation with Sudan | SIS
  • Egypt, other countries interested in French Mistral warships – source | Reuters
  • Israeli, Saudi press: Egypt allowed Israeli forces to enter Sinai, arrest illegal immigrants | Mada Masr
  • Egyptian-Ethiopian disputes stall Renaissance Dam | Al-Monitor
  • Egypt’s Foreign Minister urges support for cash-strapped UN Palestinian refugee agency | Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent
  • Libya detains sixteen fishermen for illegal entry | Egypt Independent
  • Manpower Minister: 310,000 Egyptian workers flee Libya | SIS
  • Crisis of Egyptian drivers stranded on Iraq-Jordan borders ends | SIS
  • Egypt organizes regional conference on combating human trafficking, illegal migration | SIS