Top News: New Charges Brought Against Morsi Over Leaking Documents to Al Jazeera


Ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s detention was extended Wednesday by order of the prosecutor general for 15 days pending investigations into allegations that he smuggled top secret documents to Qatar.


Wasat Party withdraws from Brotherhood alliance
The Islamist al-Wasat Party, one of the most prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, withdrew from the coalition on Thursday, citing the need to be part of a wider alliance. The party issued a statement on its official Facebook page saying that it would work under its own “national umbrella” to achieve the goals of the January 25 revolution. The statement added that, despite the party’s reservations about those in power over the last three and a half years, it feels change could have been brought about through more democratic means and not a “coup,” referring to the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Government sources explain factors behind possibly postponing elections
Government sources said Thursday that disagreement among political parties, security, and redistricting are the three factors behind the possible postponement of Egypt’s parliamentary elections. The sources added that the easiest factor to address is the redistricting, which will ensure adequate representation in parliament. A judicial source from the High Elections Committee said that it is preparing for elections to take place before the end of the year, which is consistent with previous statements made by president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Democratic Current alliance criticized the possible postponement of the elections. The Independence Current held an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss electoral alliances, while the Revolutionary Guards Party said in a statement on Thursday that it has not yet made a decision to join an electoral alliance. [Shorouk (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi says he hasn’t formed presidential team yet | Egypt Independent
  • Cabinet approves draft resolution on Zakat house | SIS
  • Sisi attends meeting of National Coordinating Committee to Combat Corruption | SIS, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Sisi: The corrupt should be held accountable | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Mahlab: Conditions in Egypt have improved | SIS, EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Cabinet: Electricity crisis will be reduced soon | SIS, Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Mahlab visits Port Said to inspect development projects | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Debate on redistricting continues | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Nour Party delegation meets with New Valley governor | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


New charges brought against Morsi over leaking documents to Al Jazeera
Ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s detention was extended Wednesday by order of the prosecutor general for 15 days pending investigations into allegations that he smuggled top secret documents to Qatar. Morsi is being questioned in connection with his secretary’s daughter, Karima al-Serafi, who is suspected of leaking sensitive security documents to Al Jazeera, security sources said. “The security officials recorded a phone call between the daughter of Morsi’s secretary [Amin al-Serafi] and an Egyptian journalist who works for Al Jazeera in which the woman said she wants to give him important security documents,” said a security official. Investigators went to Tora Prison on Wednesday to question Morsi, who refused to respond to the allegations or answer investigators’ questions. If the charges are referred to court, it would be the fifth case underway against him. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Lawsuit to ban Facebook and Twitter for security concerns
A lawyer filed a case with the Administrative Court on Thursday demanding a ban on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter until they obtain official permission to operate in Egypt. The lawsuit also stipulated that all social media accounts that are unknown and use fake identities should be banned, and users should be obliged to register verifiable personal details when they sign up. Lawyer Mohamed Hamed Salim, who filed the case, claims that foreign intelligence services and terrorist organizations used social media websites before the January 25 revolution to cause chaos in the country and incite protests against the state. [Mada Masr, 8/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Five Brotherhood leaders arrested in Beheira | Shorouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Four street vendors arrested in Sohag for insulting police officers | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt central bank seeks keeping rates on hold: poll
Egypt’s central bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold on Monday, a Reuters poll showed, in an attempt to balance inflationary pressures and the need to stimulate an economy suffering from more than three years of stagnation. At their last meeting on July 17, the central bank raised benchmark interest rates in an unexpected move seen as an attempt to hold down inflation after the fuel hike. All five economists polled by Reuters said they expected the central bank to keep rates on hold at its monetary policy meeting on September 1. [Reuters, 8/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • New ‘quartet committee’ to regulate financing and implementation of Suez Canal project | DNE
  • South Korea’s investments in Egypt hit $350 million | SIS
  • OCI NV plans demerger, return to Egypt bourse | Mada Masr
  • Egypt’s ambassador to Qatar urges Egyptians to donate to Long Live Egypt fund | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Armed forces continue active support of Long Live Egypt fund | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • EU to invest in energy-intensive industries and small projects in upper Egypt | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Saudi and UAE companies seek to produce electricity in Egypt using renewable sources | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Ministry of finance introduces legislative amendment | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Sisi issues decree reallocating land for ministries of oil and electricity | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Renowned human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam dies at 63
Acclaimed human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam died on Wednesday after slipping into a coma following open-heart surgery earlier this month, his family announced in a statement. Seif died in a Cairo hospital after spending nearly two weeks in an intensive care unit. He was one of Egypt’s leading rights campaigners, and was imprisoned in the 1970s and 1980s for his activism against government policies. Political groups and rights organizations expressed grief over Seif’s death, including the Dostour Party, the Karama Party, the Popular Socialist Alliance Party, the April 6 movement, and the Arab Organization for Human Rights. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Interior Ministry has decided to allow jailed political activists Alaa Abdel Fattah and Sanaa Seif temporarily out of prison to attend their father’s funeral, Mohamed Rateb, director of the Prison Authority, told Aswat Masriya on Thursday. Other sources told Mada Masr that Alaa is being prepped to attend the burial, but will not attend prayers at Salaheddin Mosque. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, The Guardian, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/27/2014]

Fact finding committee says interior ministry’s Raba’a evidence is authentic
Egypt’s June 30 fact-finding committee tasked with investigating the Raba’a al-Adeweya sit-in dispersal said that video evidence presented by the interior ministry last week concerning the dispersal is authentic and could be safely used in the committee’s investigation. Committee spokesman Amr Marwan said that the photographic and video evidence was examined by the committee’s experts in order to ensure it wasn’t fabricated. Marwan said that the ministry’s evidence provides balance to the committee’s investigation, but that they are also open to evidence that challenges it, so that they can provide as full a picture as possible. He added that the committee may also receive video evidence from Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, Egypt’s minister of transitional justice, preparing for the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s universal period review, said Thursday that the government has taken continuous steps to improve the human rights situation in Egypt. [Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Political parties, groups express solidarity with jailed hunger strikers | Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Egypt PM meets street vendor representatives | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s NGOs under threat: rights groups | DNE
  • Mahlab issues decree to form committee to study the causes behind sexual harassment | Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic)
  • International conference to revive downtown Cairo as heritage area via presidential commission | DNE, Mada Masr, EGYNews (Arabic)
  • EIPR study examines management of mosques | DNE
  • Store owners strike over new tariff in Port Said | Mada Masr
  • Ministry of social solidarity working to expand social security pensions | Shorouk (Arabic)


Militants claim to behead four in Sinai
A Sinai-based militant group said on Thursday it had beheaded four Egyptians, accusing them of providing Israel with intelligence for an airstrike that killed three of its fighters. Four headless corpses were found in the Sinai Peninsula earlier this month, security sources said—the first time that any decapitations had been made public in Egypt. In a video released on Twitter, Egypt’s most dangerous militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said the four men had been spying for Israel’s Mossad spy agency. Armed men in black masks stood over the kneeling captives as one of the militants read out a statement. Minutes later, the four men had their heads cut off. [DNE, Reuters, Ahram Online, 8/28/2014]

Ministry blames Brotherhood for militant group
Egypt’s interior ministry said on Wednesday that the mastermind of a new alleged militant group in south Cairo is the son-in-law of Khairat al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood’s second-in-command. In a police statement, interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif said that the alleged militant group called the Helwan Brigades—after the south Cairo district—belongs to the “terrorist Brotherhood organization” and was formed by Ayman Abdel-Ghani, Shater’s son-in-law. The interior ministry’s statement, published on its official Facebook page, said Abdel-Ghani chose the Cairo districts of Helwan, Ain Shams and Matariya as bases to both plan and stage attacks. Police have identified the members of the alleged militant group and arrested eight of them, the statement said, adding that they used “terrorism to spread chaos and terrorize citizens” and sway “foreign public opinion” towards believing there are “armed militias in Egypt.” [Ahram Online, SIS, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Interior Ministry investigates police abuse of victim’s corpse | Egypt Independent
  • Three Palestinians arrested infiltrating tunnel in Rafah | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Security forces seize weapons and ammunition in Matrouh | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Matrouh security directorate to allow trucks to cross between Egypt and Libya | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Soldier killed in clashes with smugglers south of Rafah | Shorouk (Arabic)


UN body sends first aid convoy since 2007 through Rafah
For the first time since the Gaza blockade began in 2007, a United Nation’s World Food Program (WFP) convoy, carrying enough food for around 150,000 people for five days, successfully delivered humanitarian food aid to Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing. Eighteen trucks carrying more than 15,000 food parcels made the seven-hour trip from Alexandria to the Rafah crossing, the WFP said in a statement. Wednesday’s successful passage followed a ceasefire agreement that includes the easing of Egypt and Israel’s blockade on Gaza to allow humanitarian and construction materials to enter the coastal enclave. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Arab League Secretary Nabil al-Araby praised Egypt’s efforts in reaching the ceasefire agreement, while EU Parliament head Martin Schulz “warmly” welcomed the ceasefire. [Ahram Online, MENA, Reuters, Mada Masr, 8/27/2014]

Egypt welcomes UN call for Libya cargo inspections
The United Nations Security Council called on Wednesday for Libya’s neighbors to inspect all cargo entering and leaving the country to ensure it does not contain prohibited items or weapons. The decision also allows discovered illegal items or weapons to be confiscated. The Egyptian foreign ministry on Thursday welcomed the move, stressing that Egypt would work to bring stability to Libya. The foreign ministry also highlighted Egypt’s efforts with other neighboring countries to reach a political solution to the crisis in Libya through dialogue with all parties in the conflict. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, SIS, EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Shoukry meets with members of Congress to discuss regional issues, bilateral relations
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with a delegation of several members of the US Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday. The delegation was headed by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and included Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congresswoman Sheila Johnson, Congressman Donald Payne, and Congressman Andre Carson, as well as several congressional aides. According to a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, the delegation discussed several regional issues with Shoukry, including the recent Gaza conflict, the Syrian crisis, developments in Iraq, and the situation in Libya. They also discussed the threat of terrorism and bilateral relations between the US and Egypt. [EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 8/28/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi meets with Brazilian minister of agriculture | SIS, EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Spanish foreign minister affirms keenness to develop relations with Egypt | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Irrigation minister: Negotiations with Ethiopia were very successful | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Sudanese minister: Qustul crossing will increase transfer of Egyptian goods | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • US Chargé d’Affaires meets with assistant foreign minister | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)