Top News: Nour Party Submits Future Vision to Interim Government

Salafi Nour Party has laid out their position on Egypt’s political road map, according to Party Chairman Younis Makhyoun, who submitted the plan to Ahmed al-Muslimany, the president’s media advisor, along with their reservations on various constitutional amendments. 

Egypt’s Brotherhood ramps up call for protest 
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is ramping up calls for nationwide protests, urging people to take to the streets against the new military-backed government. The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy called for nationwide protests to take place on Friday and for a civil obedience to start. Egypt’s Interior Ministry declared a state of alert in preparation for Friday’s demonstrations. The plan involves intensifying security measures at vital installations and museums. In a pre-recorded message aired late Wednesday on one of Al-Jazeera’s Arabic news channels, top Brotherhood figure Essam al-Erian called on people to rise against the “failed, bloody military regime.”  In another recorded statement aired on Al-Jazeera late on Wednesday, Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy said that the Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in has become a symbol of freedom around the world. On Wednesday, however, prior to calls for protest former International Cooperation Minister Amr Darrag, and executive bureau member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), denied rejecting initiatives for political reconciliation. Meanwhile, Egypt Independent learned that prior to the sit-in dispersal, the Muslim Brotherhood prepared an apology written by Gehad al-Haddad. Essam Talimah, a Brotherhood Youth member, said the apology was only a draft that had not been presented to Brotherhood leaders. [AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, AMAY (Arabic), SIS, DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), Egypt Independent, Ahram (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Nour party submits future vision to interim government 
Salafi Nour Party has laid out their position on Egypt’s political road map, according to Party Chairman Younis Makhyoun, who submitted the plan to Ahmed al-Muslimany, the president’s media advisor, along with their reservations on various constitutional amendments. Makhyoun said the party requested not to exclude any faction from political life as long as that faction did not commit crimes. Makhyoun added that among the steps to reconciliation are stopping violence against peaceful demonstrators, incitement rhetoric and arbitrary arrests, as well as the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate human rights violations after June 30. Meanwhile, sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Mohamed Ali Bishr, the former minister of local development and leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, held a secret meeting with leaders of the Nour and Ghad Al-Thawra parties. According to sources, they met to devise and submit the initiative with solutions for the current political crisis between the army and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The Nour Party has also reportedly formally announced its participation in the fifty member assembly tasked to finalize an amended draft constitution. The Salafi Call’s Yasser Borhamy also called on the Brotherhood to refrain from protesting on Friday. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, Ahram (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Egypt’s interim president forms Supreme Press Council 
Interim President Adly Mansour has issued a presidential decree forming a new Supreme Press Council. The interim council consists of fifteen members. They include: former Press Syndicate head Galal Aref, chief Editor of Al-Qahira newspaper Salah Eissa, dean of Cairo University’s faculty of mass communication Hassan Mekkawy, Press Syndicate head Diaa Rashwan, media professor at Cairo University Nagwa Kamel, criminal law professor at Cairo University Mahmoud Kebeish, Egyptian Social Democratic Party leading member and constitutional expert Mohamed Noor Farahat, head of Egypt’s Writers Union Mohamed al-Selmawy, and journalists Kamal al-Saeed Habib and Karima Kamal. [Ahram Online, DNE, SIS, Aswat Masriya, 8/28/2013]

Also of Interest:
Free Egyptians Party to stage rally in Damietta protesting foreign interference | Ahram (Arabic)
April 6 announce they will not participate in any Friday protests | Ahram (Arabic)


Brotherhood leaders arrested in Helwan, Aswan, Marsa Matrouh 
Leading Muslim Brotherhood member and former member of parliament Ali Fath al-Bab was arrested on Wednesday in Cairo’s district of Helwan, while Abdel Hafiz Anwar Salem, a leading Brotherhood member was arrested in Aswan on charges of inciting violence. Freedom and Justice Party secretary Fawad Zaghloul was also arrested in Marsa Matrouh on charges of inciting violence, vandalism and inciting riots. Four Brotherhood members were arrested in Alexandria on charges of vandalism, while Osama Shaker Ezz al-Din, a cameraman for pro-Brotherhood channel Ahrar 25 was detained for fifteen days pending investigation. He was arrested on August 14 while filming the funeral of a Raba’a protester killed during the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-in. On Wednesday, southern Cairo prosecution services ordered a fifteen-day detention, pending investigation, of former Muslim Brotherhood Youth Minister Osama Yassin on charges of inciting the killing of protesters at the Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo’s Muqattam district. The prosecutor general renewed the detention of 888 pro-Morsi protesters arrested during the Nahda and Raba’a sit-in dispersals, and the detention of ninety-seven pro-Morsi protesters arrested in Ramsis. On Wednesday, the Front for Defense of Egyptian Protesters (FDEP)—a group of Egyptian NGOs and activists providing legal support for protesters—condemned what it called the Egyptian Prosecution’s arbitrary methods for renewing detention periods of prisoners at the Abu Zaabal prison north of Cairo. [Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic), DNE, AMAY (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Egypt freezes revolution investigative body 
Egypt’s prosecutor general froze on Thursday the activities of an investigation panel sponsored by deposed president Mohamed Morsi to probe crimes committed during the January 25 Revolution and its aftermath. The “Revolution Protection Prosecution” was formed by Morsi late in 2012 to look into alleged political crimes committed since the January 25 uprising until he took office in June 2012. “The public prosecutor is mulling abolishing the Revolution Protection Prosecution altogether, citing impracticability of having a superior body overseeing other prosecutions,” judicial sources said. [Ahram Online, 8/29/2013]

Ahmed Maher faces charges of espionage 
Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat ordered the Emergency State Security Prosecution Office to investigate a complaint of espionage lodged against April 6 head Ahmed Maher. The complaint was lodged by head of the National Accord Party, Abdel-Aziz Fahmy who alleges that Maher described the events of June 30 when Mohamed Morsi was removed by military declaration following mass demonstrations as a “military coup.” Meanwhile, Esraa Abdel Fatah denied recent claims by the media that she is under investigation by the prosecutor general for espionage. [Mada Masr, DNE, 8/28/2013]

Also of interest:
Prosecutor employee investigated over snooping claims | Egypt Independent
Sabbahi: No backing down on constitutional Sharia | Egypt Independent
The Arab Center for Independence of the Judiciary expresses concern about proposed constitutional amendments | Shorouk (Arabic)
Attorney General refers eighteen people to the Supreme State Security Court on charges of violating curfew | Shorouk (Arabic)
Egypt court halts seizure order of Ramlet Boulaq | Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr


Egypt approves LE22.3 billion in economic stimulus 
Egypt’s cabinet on Wednesday approved an additional 22.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.2 billion) in spending on investment projects to boost the economy over the coming ten months, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin said. He said the government would present its economic programme to Gulf Arab countries, in particular the United Arab Emirates, which has already agreed to finance medical projects and ten wheat silos. [Ahram Online, 8/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
New wage law under discussion | DNE
Market still pounded with losses | DNE
Egypt’s pound weakens on black market as Friday protests loom | Reuters
EGP 4 billion in contractor dues to be repaid by government in coming weeks: Finance minister | DNE
Second consecutive year of recession: World Bank | DNE
Egyptian economy better off than in June according to finance minister | Egypt Independent


Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr channel banned from Egypt 
Egyptian authorities have banned Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr from working in the country. The ministers of investment, telecommunication and information issued a statement on Thursday stating the Qatari channel was banned from Egypt because it does not have legal permits or permission to work in the country. The cabinet had accused the channel of posing dangers to national security at a time where instability caused by the army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was at a peak. They also accused the channel of stirring tension in recent months by spreading false information and rumors that threaten national unity. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Twenty two human rights organizations call up the Egyptian authorities to respect freedom of expression   

Twenty two Egyptian and Arab human rights organizations, including the Cairo Institute for Human Rights, demanded that Egyptian authorities respect freedom of opinion and expression and acknowledge the distinction between peaceful protest and violence and terrorism. In a statement issued today, the organizations called upon the Egyptian government to adhere to international laws and human rights standards throughout its campaign to address acts of terror and to resort to lethal force only when all other options are exhausted. The statement also expressed the importance of proceeding with the roadmap for political change according to schedule. [Shorouk (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Christians restrain anger after Egypt church attacks | DNE


Three arrested in Mohandiseen shooting  
Security forces arrested three people involved in a shootout in Mohandiseen on Wednesday, state news agency MENA reported. Eyewitnesses said unidentified gunmen started shooting from on top of a building on Al-Batal Ahmed Abdel Aziz Street, targeting a dual police and army checkpoint. The Tamarod movement has said that one of the arrested is a member of the group and is innocent. According to a statement on Tamarod’s Facebook page, “Our friend Masaoud is not Muslim Brotherhood nor a terrorist … he was present [there] by chance.” Special forces have entered buildings in the Mohandiseen to search for any possible assailants who have not been captured yet. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 8/29/2013]

US citizen to be referred to military prosecution in Sinai 
A US citizen arrested in North Sinai will be referred to the military prosecution for investigation, the Egyptian state news agency MENA reported Wednesday. James Henry, 55, a retired officer, was arrested on Al-Arish Road during the curfew currently imposed in 14 Egyptian governorates from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. A security source told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that he is accused of breaching the curfew. [Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Authorities ban pro-Morsi football player from travel | Aswat Masriya
Egyptian Army did not fire directly at Beni Suef protesters | Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic)
Hegazy: Curfew hours may be decreased | Mada Masr
Perpetrators of Rafah massacre have not been arrested: North Sinai security source DNE


US ambassador to Egypt yet to be chosen, chargé d’affaires to take over 
The US embassy in Cairo has announced that Anne Patterson, its current ambassador, will end her term in Egypt and leave the country on Friday, a diplomatic source said on Wednesday. A chargé d’affaires will oversee the responsibilities of the US ambassador to Egypt until the appointment of a new ambassador. [Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic), Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic), 8/29/2013]

Britain suspends forty-nine export licenses to Egypt 
Britain suspended forty-nine export licenses to Egypt on Wednesday, saying it wanted to prevent British goods being used in unrest that has led to civilian deaths in the Arab country. Wednesday’s suspension, which applies to licenses for the Egyptian army, air force and internal security forces, covers a range of equipment, including spares for helicopters and aircraft, specialist software and communications equipment. [Reuters, 8/29/2013]

Also of Interest:
Fahmy: The relationship between Egypt and the United States extends beyond aid | Shorouk (Arabic)
European Parliament discusses Egypt’s democratic transition | Aswat Masriya
Egypt won’t partake in strike against Syria: Foreign Minister | Ahram Online, AP, Mada Masr
Planning Ministry: Egyptian economy will be negatively impacted by Syria strike | Ahram (Arabic)

Image: Photo: Nour Party