Top News: Official Denies Morsi’s Intent to Issue NGO Law

Mohamed Morsi

An official source at the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs denied rumors concerning President Mohamed Morsi decision law to approve and issue the new NGO law. 


FJP to contest 100% of seats in next electionThe Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) will field candidates for every seat in upcoming parliamentary elections. Saad Al-Katatni, one of the candidates for the FJP chairman position, made the announcement on Tuesday on television programme Life Today. He said the FJP would, “seek a 51 per cent majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections, so we will run with others for all of the seats.” [DNE, 10/17/2012]

Official denies Morsi’s intent to issue NGO law
An official source at the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs denied rumors concerning President Mohamed Morsi decision law to approve and issue the new NGO law, stressing that the law would only be approved by the next parliament to give concerned parties plenty of time to study it, achieve community consensus around it, and adjust the text to accommodate the public interest. [Shorouk (Arabic) , 10/18/2012]


Constitution affirms Brotherhood policy to marginalize intellectuals, says Writers Union
The Writers Union issued a statement on Wednesday criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood for marginalizing intellectuals because the draft of the new constitution does not include articles on their role. The draft gives the president the power to appoint a quarter of the members of the Senate from officials, ministers and former ambassadors, but did not mention writers, thinkers and artists and intellectuals, the statement added, who are the nation’s conscience and mind. [Egypt Independent, 10/18/2012]

Constitution draft leaves room for restrictions on media freedoms
Vague terminology continues to plague articles pertaining to media freedom in the draft constitution, despite praise for some clauses deemed a step toward wider rights. The four articles — 42, 43, 216 and 217 — fail to detail mechanisms to mitigate violations against the media, which experts say is equally, if not more, vital than enshrining these rights in the constitution. [Egypt Independent, 10/17/2012]

Trial of ‘atheist’ Alber Saber resumes
The controversial trial of Alber Saber on charges of insulting religion resumed on Wednesday at the New Cairo Court. Saber appeared defiant during his court appearance. Saber has been charged under Article 98(w) of the Egyptian Penal Code. This article, criticized by rights lawyers as unconstitutional, criminalizes the “use” of religion to “promote extremist thoughts with the intention of creating dissent or insulting a Abrahamic religion” or “undermining national unity.” [Egypt Independent, 10/17/2012]


News of Sukuk issuance agreement creates confusion among Islamist parties
The Ministry of Finance’s head of the Public Debt Unit, Samy Khallaf, declared that a preliminary agreement has been reached with 10 international investment banks to carry out the procedures of issuing the first Egyptian Islamic Sukuk in international markets. The value of the projected Sukuk, Khallafa dded, would range from $750 million to $1 billion, reported Al-Borsa newspaper on Wednesday. Khallafa added that the move is tied to IMF approval of the $4.8 billion loan which the Egyptian government has requested. [DNE, 10/17/2012]

Egypt sees 20 pct rise in tourists this year despite insecurity
Egypt projects a rise of about 20 percent in tourist numbers this year, the tourism minister said on Wednesday, despite outbreaks of violence after last year’s Arab Spring. Tourism accounted for more than a tenth of Egypt’s gross domestic product before the 18-day revolt that was driven by widespread anger at poverty and high-levels of corruption. The country’s large cities are still prey to unrest. [Reuters, 10/18/2012]


Al-Gomhouria editor-in-chief suspended
Gamal Abdel Rehim, editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhouria newspaper was suspended and will be investigated, according to a decision by the head of the Shura Council. Karem Mahmoud, the secretary general of the Press Syndicate said the reason the decision was taken against Abdel Rehim was because of a news piece on Wednesday about a decision banning Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, former commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, and former Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan from travelling. The decision taken against Abdel-Rehim will have him investigated by the Supreme Council of the Press. [DNE, Ahram (Arabic), 10/18/2012]

Judges strike back against media criticism
Prominent media personalities are confronting a backlash after speaking out against Egypt’s judiciary following the acquittal of defendants in the infamous Battle of the Camel trial. To date, 1,164 judges have filed complaints against hosts of daily TV talk shows accusing them of insulting the judiciary, as outraged media personalities criticized the verdict of one of the most contentious trials of the January 2011 uprising. [Egypt Independent, 10/17/2012]

Brotherhood vows not to attend Friday demo against Morsy
A senior Muslim Brotherhood leader on Wednesday vowed that the group would not go to Friday’s demonstration against President Mohamed Morsy to avoid clashes like those that took place last Friday. The Brotherhood recently admitted to its members taking part in last Friday’s clashes. Political and revolutionary movements called for Friday’s demonstration under the title of “Egypt for all Egyptians” to demand a constitution that represents the whole of society, retribution for the martyrs of the revolution, and social justice. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Youm 7 (Arabic), 10/17/2012]

Doctors launch mass resignation campaign
Doctors in public hospitals began a mass resignation campaign on Thursday intended to escalate the ongoing strike. A general committee established to manage the strike said Doctors Syndicate board members Dr. Ahmed Hussein of Cairo and Dr. Emteyaz Hassouna of Alexandria resigned on Thursday. Egypt’s doctors also warn syndicate leaders not to work against strike which they claim has widespread support and has not harmed a single patient. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic), 10/17/2012]


UN: 150,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Egypt
The U.N. refugee agency said Thursday the number of Syrian refugees who have fled their country’s civil war and found shelter in Egypt has now topped 150,000 – a significant jump from last month’s figure of 95,000. The director of UNHCR in Egypt, Mohamed Dayri, said that despite the growing number of refugees in Egypt, only 4,800 Syrians have registered with the agency in Cairo. He called on Egyptian authorities to help UNHCR deal with the "rising emergency" of Syrian refugees here. [AP, Shorouk (Arabic), 10/18/2012]

Libya to compensate families of Egyptian workers who died in uprising
Minister of Manpower and Immigration Khaled al-Azhary on Wednesday said he agreed with the Libyan authorities that they disburse compensation to the families of the Egyptian workers who were killed during the Libyan revolution. The compensation is the same amount as the sum disbursed for Libyan citizens who died. [Egypt Independent, 10/17/2012]

Photo Credit: AP

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