Top News: Muslim Brotherhood Spokesperson Gehad Haddad’s Family: We Don’t Know if He’s Alive or Dead

The family of prominent Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad Haddad say they haven’t been allowed to visit him or receive any information about him since he was taken to Tora Prison Hospital on Sunday. Haddad collapsed on Sunday as a result of “malnutrition and deprivation of basic needs,” according to a post on Twitter by his brother Abdullah Haddad. Since then, “the family [has been] given no information or visitation rights to see if [he is] alive or dead,” Abdullah added. Haddad’s wife Basma Abu Zeid told Mada Masr that she tried to visit him in hospital but was informed that a permit is required from the prosecution to visit inmates in maximum security facilities. She added that authorities also refused to allow in food or medication. “I have no information whatsoever,” she said, “I don’t even know why he was transferred to the hospital, I only find things out from Facebook.” [Mada Masr, 10/6/2015]


Women rake ground-breaking 44 percent of seats in Egyptian Democratic Party’s top positions
In an unprecedented outcome for Egyptian political parties, women won 19 of 43 seats in the Egyptian Democratic Party’s high committee elections on Friday, exceeding the 33 percent women’s quota by 10 percent. The results surpass the representation of women in the Free Egyptians Party’s political bureau which was at the forefront at 33.3 percent, followed by the Tagammu party, where women occupy 21.4 percent of the top positions and the Dostour Party at 11.11. At the bottom of the list comes the Wafd Party with 3 percent and finally a single seat is occupied by a woman on the Salafist Nour Party’s high committee of fifty. [Aswat Masriya, 10/5/2015]

Pope Tawadros criticizes Coptic membership in Nour Party
Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, said Sunday Copts who join the lists of the Salafi Nour Party for the next parliamentary elections should not be trusted either by Muslims or Christians. In a televised statement, he said Copts who join the Nour Party hold two paradoxical opinions. “It is an abnormal situation for a Copt to join an Islamist Party,” Tawadros added. Article 5 of the current parliamentary law, drafted in June 2014 requires each party to include Copts and women on its electoral lists. [DNE, 10/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Elections countdown: 13 days | Mada Masr
  • Sisi stresses the importance of voting in coming elections | Aswat Masriya


Egypt pardons 331 on anniversary of October 6 War
Egypt’s Ministry of Interior is reportedly planning to release a total of 331 prisoners in commemoration of the forty-second anniversary of 6 of October war. About 218 of the prisoners are to receive a complete pardon, because they served at least half of their prison terms. The remaining 113 will be released on a conditional basis, after the Department of Prisons examines their files. A total of seventy-six of those set to be released are debtors. [Cairo Post, 10/6/2015]


Egypt plans new Mediterranean gas exploration round in first half 2016
Egypt is preparing to launch a new bidding round for gas exploration off the Mediterranean coast in the first half of 2016, head of the state gas company EGAS Khaled Abdel Badie said on Tuesday. His comments come after Egypt announced it had awarded four new licenses to explore for oil and gas off its Mediterranean coast, weeks after Italy’s Eni discovered the giant Zohr gas field. Eni predicts Zohr could hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, covering an area of about 100 square kilometers. EGAS said in a statement that it had awarded licenses to Britain’s BP, Italy’s Edison, a consortium of BP and Eni’s Egyptian subsidiary, and another consortium of BP, Eni, and France’s Total. EGAS said the companies would make investments of at least $306 million, conduct seismic studies, and sink eight discovery wells. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail pledged to end a factory gas shortage by November. [Reuters, 10/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt saw 6.6 million tourists in first eight months of 2015 | Ahram Online
  • IMF says Egypt has not requested financing | Ahram Online
  • Sisi says policies have yet to improve lives of the poor | Bloomberg
  • World Bank pumps EGP 1.2 billion annually into Egypt for development projects | Aswat Masriya
  • Egyptians wary of future as signs of global economic slowdown grow | Ahram Online
  • Government still in limbo over foreign reserves | AMAY
  • Bahrain grants $2 million to Egypt’s Zakat House | Cairo Post
  • 500 acre farming project to launch in days says Sisi | Cairo Post


Amnesty urges prosecution to halt retrial of eyewitnesses to Shaimaa al-Sabbagh murder  
International human rights group Amnesty International issued an action alert on Monday advocating for the seventeen eyewitnesses to the fatal shooting of activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh during a peaceful protest on January 24, 2015. The eyewitnesses will be retried this month for violating the protest law after receiving an acquittal on May 23 during their original trial for illegally protesting and disturbing public order. The prosecutor general appealed the acquittal three days later. In a statement, Amnesty called on the authorities to drop all charges, which the group decried as “retribution for testifying about abuses carried out by the security forces.” [Mada Masr, 10/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian women take to streets to fight stereotypes by directing traffic | Al Monitor
  • The release of Al-Jazeera’s Fahmy “gives hope that things can change in Egypt” says Amal Clooney | Ahram Online
  • Sisi says strong relationship between army, people led to Egypt’s 1973 victory | Ahram Online, SIS, DNE
  • What is left of ‘October’s Sinai’? | DNE
  • National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority denies rumors about Whatsapp, Viber, FB messenger blocking | AMAY
  • Egypt quarantines returning pilgrims over coronavirus suspicion | Cairo Post


Twenty terrorist operations, eighty-nine protests in September says ANHRI
September witnessed eighty-nine protests carried out by various political groups, as well as twenty terrorist operations across Egypt, according to a report by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) released Monday. Protest activity was divided among various political factions; with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamist Anti-Coup Alliance responsible for 82 percent of these activities. The remaining was carried out by workers and students, while one event was organized by pro-government groups. The report showed that 30 percent of the Brotherhood’s activities were ambushed by security forces. The second section of the report focused on trials that took place throughout September. Thirty-five death sentences were issued in different cases; the latest of which was given to Adel Habara. Additionally, five trials were being adjudicated in military courts, with 387 defendants. The report also stated that twenty terrorist operations resulted in fifty injuries and twenty-three deaths throughout the month. Security campaigns targeting terrorist hideouts resulted in 578 deaths and the arrest of 677 individuals. [DNE, 10/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Two conscripts wounded in roadside bomb blast North Sinai | AMAY


German Ambassador supports Egypt in its quest for stability
German Ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy expressed his support for Egypt in its fight against terrorism and quest for stability on Monday, state media reported. Newly appointed as ambassador in August, Luy spoke about the establishment of a new Egyptian parliament in the coming weeks, considering it an important step on Egypt’s path to democracy. The Ambassador was hopeful that the future parliament would adopt the core principles of “justice, unity, and freedom” and strive for their realization. The German Ambassador expressed his country’s willingness to invest in the Egyptian economy as well as the fields of education, technology and innovation. Luy also commented on the success of the Sharm al-Sheikh investment conference in March, which presented a starting point for German investments. [DNE, 10/6/2015]

Egypt’s participation in UNGA meetings mirrors foreign policy priorities says Spokesman
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Monday that Egypt’s participation in the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) mirrored Egyptian policy priorities both at home and on a foreign level. He said President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry took part in many high-level meetings on the sidelines of the UNGA session, including the development agenda summit where Egypt’s economic and development success was discussed, including the inauguration of New Suez Canal and the launching of Suez Canal Corridor project. Additionally, he mentioned that the Egyptian delegation participated in the South summit with the Chinese president, and a climate committee with African leaders. Libya, Palestine, terrorism, and Egypt’s bid for a non-permanent Security Council seat were also at the top of Egypt’s Agenda during the visit. [SIS, 10/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • United Nations in Cairo calls out fake awarding of ambassadorships | DNE