Top News: No Egyptian Ground Troops in Yemen says Military Spokesman

Egypt’s military has said that it has not deployed ground troops to war-torn Yemen as part of the Saudi-led military offensive against Houthi rebels there.


Political parties say they might boycott elections
The heads of several political parties included in the Democratic Current have said they intend to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections, given the recent amendment of election laws by the committee presided by Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy, which has ignored their demands and suggestions. Heneidi held a meeting on Tuesday with the electoral law committee in order to finalize the amended draft elections law.  Meanwhile, the Salafi-based Nour Party has called on the government to respond to a statement by Wafd Party Chief al-Sayyed al-Badawy who levelled accusations against the government for having an electoral list entitled ‘For the Love of Egypt’  in the parliamentary elections. Shaaban Abdel Aleem, deputy chief of the Nour Party, said the legislative authority should be independent from the government so that it is able to perform its duties as a monitor over other executive authorities. [Egypt Independent, 4/14/2015]

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  • Draft customs law to be completed in two weeks says Customs Authority Head | DNE
  • Interior Minister makes security appointments | Shorouk (Arabic)


Egypt court upholds seven-year sentence against Islamist Abu Ismail
Egypt’s highest civilian court on Tuesday upheld a seven-year jail term for an Islamist politician and ex-presidential candidate convicted of falsifying official documents, his lawyer and judicial sources said. Hazem Salah Abu Ismail was convicted in April 2014 of forging documents to the election commission to conceal his late mother’s US citizenship, an action that led to him being disqualified from the race. On Tuesday, the Court of Cassation, the country’s highest appeals court, confirmed the ruling, which is final and cannot be appealed. [Ahram Online, DNE, Reuters, 4/14/2015]

Two judges referred to investigation for proposing an anti-torture draft law
The Cassation Court decided on Monday to refer two judges to investigation for proposing an anti-torture draft law, the private al-Watan newspaper reported. In March, the two judges, Assem Abdel Gabbar from the Appeals Court and Hisham Abdel Raouf from the Cassation Court, both participated in an initiative led by the civil society organization United Group to draft a bill criminalizing torture in police stations and detention facilities. Gabbar, one of the two judges referred to investigation, said that he was not officially notified about the investigation, but added that he got confirmation from journalists that the Cassation Court had decided to appoint a judge to conduct the investigation. [Mada Masr, 4/13/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Court to issue verdict on banning of Charlie Hebdo and Liberation in Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Minya court resumes trial of twenty-two lawyers accused of insulting judiciary | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Administrative court refers Mubarak-era PM Nazif and his finance minister to court on corruption charges | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt to import $3.55 billion worth of LNG in 2015-16
Egypt will import around $3.55 billion worth of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the 2015-16 financial year. Egypt moved closer to easing its chronic power shortages this month with the arrival of a floating import terminal marking the start of imports of LNG. Egypt has exported LNG in the past, but the new terminal will allow the country to begin imports. The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation has agreed to import thirty-five LNG cargoes from Russia’s Gazprom over five years. This year and next it has agreed to take thirty-three cargoes from Trafigura, nine from Vitol, seven from Noble and six from Algeria’s Sonatrach. [Reuters, 4/14/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt signs $600 million deal with Chinese company to upgrade railway | Ahram Online
  • Low Russian tourism flow weakens hotel Easter occupancy: al-Zayat | DNE
  • Occupancy rate in Egypt’s resort city of Sharm 75 percent during Easter says South Sinai official | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt’s refinery seeks $400 million from IPO sources | Reuters


Education ministry says school curriculum free from violence starting next year
Education Minister Moheb al-Rafie said that the ministry is working on “cleansing school curriculum from lessons that incite violence.” Rafie’s remarks came during a meeting headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab with the ministerial committee set to develop school curricula. Amany Dourgam, the Education Ministry Spokesperson, stated in late March that the ministry would focus on reviewing the content of historical novels taught as part of religion and Arabic literature courses, especially those where students are taught that Islam was spread through the power of the sword. In a recent and more aggressive move, a group of education ministry officials in Giza burned several books on Islamic thought on Wednesday. According to social media and local media reports, the officials burned the books after confiscating them from school libraries. [Mada Masr, 4/13/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Al-Azhar Deputy rejects call for women to remove their headscarves | Ahram Online
  • Endowments Minister calls on armed forces to allow counter-terrorism volunteers | DNE
  • Egypt Minister pays undercover visit to Cairo public gardens on Sham al-Nessim | Ahram Online
  • Cairo anti-sexual harassment initiative traces group assault case during Sham al-Nessim |DNE
  • Mourners flock to funeral for soldier killed in North Sinai | Ahram Online
  • Arrested journalist ‘scapegoat’ in police critical articles controversy | DNE
  • Cairo Governor: Matareya Square first in Cairo to be solar-powered | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian universities excluded from BRICS ranking | Egypt Independent


Media City, 6th of October City targeted by multiple bombs; Journalists arrested at blast site
Six improvised bombs detonated late Monday night at two electricity pylons, located four kilometers away from the Egyptian satellite-operation company Nilesat, causing a temporary power outage and forcing several TV channels off air. Electricity was restored early Tuesday, and no injuries were reported. Initial investigations showed that one of the pylons was completely destroyed while the other was partially destroyed. Egypt’s top prosecutor tasked Homeland Security and Criminal Investigation Authority on Tuesday to investigate the Media City attack.  On Tuesday, another explosion at an electricity pylon in Egypt’s 6 October City led to power cuts at nearby factories. According to a security source, another four bombs targeting electricity pylons in 6th of October City were defused. Security forces prevented journalists from accessing the blast site upon an order from Major General Magdy Abdel Aal, deputy head of the Giza Investigations General Directorate. Two reporters from a Kuwaiti channel were arrested and transferred to 6 October Police Station. They are accused of working for Al Jazeera, which the reporters deny, stressing they obtained a permit from the Interior Ministry to work in Egypt. [DNE, Ahram Online, 4/14/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Policeman killed in attack in Egypt’s Nile Delta | Ahram Online, AP, Aswat Masriya
  • Two suspected bombs near Cairo’s Children Garden prove a hoax | Ahram Online
  • Three alleged Ajnad Misr members arrested in Cairo | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Civilians suffer in ‘war against terrorism’ | DNE


No Egyptian ground troops in Yemen says military spokesman
Egypt’s military has said that it has not deployed ground troops to war-torn Yemen as part of the Saudi-led military offensive against Houthi rebels there. The military spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday that Egypt, which is part of the coalition, had only sent naval and air forces to Yemen. He also said that media reports claiming that Egyptian soldiers have died in Yemen are false. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 4/14/2015]

Washington says release of military aid not endorsement of Cairo’s human rights record
Washington has said that a recent decision by President Barack Obama’s administration to lift its hold on military aid to Egypt is not an endorsement of the country’s approach to domestic dissent. “The recent decision regarding military assistance to Egypt neither… suggests that the human rights situation in Egypt has not improved nor represents some sort of endorsement of the Government of Egypt’s approach to domestic dissent,” US State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said Monday. The White House said late in March that Obama was ending a freeze on its supply of military equipment to Egypt in efforts to support the interests of the US and bolster Cairo’s ability to counter the extremist threat in the region. [Ahram Online, 4/14/2015]

Egypt strongly denounces Western reactions to Brotherhood court rulings
The foreign ministry has denounced reactions from Western countries and international organizations to the recent court rulings against a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members. On Tuesday, the Ministry said those reactions constitute a deliberate distortion of facts, as the verdicts have been issued objectively, in accordance with the legal texts and judicial bodies that enjoy the confidence of the Egyptian people and that are efficient, competent and fully independent from the government. The ministry added that the reactions are a “blatant interference” in the independence of the judiciary, and that they overlook the nature of the charges, which include inciting murder, violence and terrorism. They also overlook the litigation procedure and the rights provided by the law to the accused, such as the right to appeal all death sentences, as was the case in previous rulings. It also appealed to the countries that claim to be the custodians of human rights in the world to “focus on their own people and address their own racist policies.” [Egypt Independent, 4/14/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt’s army sends humanitarian aid to Syrians in Lebanon | Ahram Online, SIS
  • Egyptian fishermen imprisoned for six months in Sudan | Egypt Independent
  • Saudi journalist says time to reconcile with the Brotherhood | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt creates special cabinet committee for African affairs | SIS, DNE, Ahram Online
  • Muslim Brotherhood split on Saudi strikes in Yemen | Al-Monitor
  • Foreign Minister calls for timetable to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine | SIS
  • Foreign Minister urges new neighborhood policy with EU | SIS
  • GCC condemns North Sinai attacks | SIS