Top News: Parties Reconsider Running for Elections; Court Verdict Against Activists Upheld

The Democratic Trend Alliance, which includes the Dostour Party, the Social Popular Alliance Party, the Popular Current, the Karama Party, the Socialist Party, and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, will reconsider participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections in protest over a female activist’s death on Saturday.


Parties to reconsider running for elections after activist’s death
The Democratic Trend Alliance, which includes the Dostour Party, the Social Popular Alliance Party, the Popular Current, the Karama Party, the Socialist Party, and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, will reconsider participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections in protest over a female activist’s death on Saturday. Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP), was killed in a protest on January 24. The alliance announced five conditions to participate. The five conditions include the dismissal of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, amending the law regulating protests, investigating Sabbagh’s killing, releasing activists detained over opinion charges, and restructuring the Interior Ministry.  The Dostour Party also announced on Monday that participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections will be “difficult” amid the current security crackdown. [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 1/26/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Poll: 79 percent to vote in parliament elections, 35 percent approve Islamists’ candidacy | Egypt Independent
  • Aboul Fotouh runs for Strong Egypt Party president | Egypt Independent
  • Youth Ministry issues free guide about parliamentary elections | SIS
  • Sisi reviews candidates for governor reshuffle | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt Court upholds verdict against three prominent activists
Egypt’s highest appeal court on Tuesday upheld convictions and three-year prison sentences for three prominent activists for violating the country’s draconian law on protests, their lawyer Tarek al-Awady said. The decision by Cairo’s Cassation Court left Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma, and Mohamed Adel, without any other legal options, Awady added. The court also ordered the three to be on probation for three years after serving their sentences. [AP, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 1/27/2015]

Prosecution detains ninety arrested in Greater Cairo on uprising’s anniversary
Egypt’s prosecution ordered on Tuesday the detention of ninety defendants arrested during the deadly violence which broke out in Greater Cairo on Sunday. A total of 516 were arrested from across the nation in the aftermath of the violence, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced on Monday. Prosecutors had also opened on Monday an investigation with forty-three defendants accused of involvement in violence that broke out in the east Cairo neighborhood of Matariya. [Aswat Masriya, 1/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt prosecutors to examine social media videos of Sabbagh killing | Ahram Online
  • Court postpones Shia sedition case to February 10 | DNE
  • Leading trade unionist detained for insulting Sisi released | Egypt Independent
  • Court rules ‘lack of jurisdiction’ in designating al-Qassam Brigades and Ultras ‘terrorists’ | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Media host fined for slandering activist | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s market hits new six-year record after pound devaluation
Egypt’s stock exchange reached its highest level in over six years on Tuesday, coming close to the 10,000 points benchmark, as investors respond to the pound devaluation. Main index EGX30 gained 1.14 percent to 9,946 points, with daily stock turnover hitting 873.4 million Egyptian pounds. “The market is booming on the central bank’s move to devalue the pound to close the gap between the official and unofficial rate, a necessary step to court investors in March,” Eissa Fathy, vice head of the securities division at Cairo Chamber of Commerce said. [Ahram Online, 1/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt resumes stock rally, Saudi Arabia extends gains | Reuters
  • Egypt to increase sales tax on cars | Egypt Independent
  • Unemployment plan to provide training to over 1 million workers: Mahlab | DNE


At least two killed in Matariya clashes on Monday
At least two people were killed on Monday during clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo’s Matariya district, a day after the anniversary of the revolution. The Interior Ministry said protesters shot at security forces, injuring four officers, and tried to storm Matariya police station, Al-Ahram reported. Hisham Mubarak Law Center stated soldiers arrested twenty people in the clashes. The situation reportedly escalated when protesters announced they would hold a sit-in in Matariya square. On Monday night, TV host Ahmed Moussa called on the Interior Ministry to strike Matariya to eradicate protesters, calling them ‘terrorists’ that must be shot. Student protesters also carried out “surprise morning marches” early Monday morning in Cairo’s Alf Maskan and Ain Shams neighborhoods, after the number of protesters killed in clashes with security forces reached at least twenty-three on Sunday. Protesters also created a number of road blockades in Cairo and other governorates. [Ahram Online, DNE, 1/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Famed rap band DJ accidentally killed during Sunday Matariya clashes | Egypt Independent
  • ElBaradei statements on post-Morsi government stirs media attack | Egypt Independent
  • Verdict against FGM not enough: HRW | DNE
  • Video: At least 23 people killed on 25 January Revolution fourth anniversary | DNE
  • Products, services sold more after the 25 January revolution | Egypt Independent
  • Children’s Act amended in favor of earlier foster care | Egypt Independent
  • Incitement flares between TV anchor and Islamist preacher | Mada Masr


Spate of bombings hit Egypt governorates
Head of Cairo’s fire department said explosives’ experts defused a bomb at City Stars, a huge shopping mall in Nasr City district east of the capital on Monday afternoon. Major General Mamdouh Abdel-Kader said security forces evacuated the building and closed the surrounding road after a bomb was found in a bathroom inside the mall.  Security forces also evacuated a building at the Heliopolis Court on Tuesday after finding two explosive devices in its vicinity. Meanwhile, a man died and two suffered serious injuries when the bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely in their car in Alexandria on Tuesday morning. Four people were in the car when the bomb went off. There were additional attacks in Port Said, Qalyubeya, Fayoum, and on a railway track in Beheira. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 1/27/2015]

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis releases video of “policeman’s execution”
Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) on Monday published online a graphic video showing the kidnapping and murder of police captain Ayman al-Desouki earlier this month. Desouki was kidnapped at a checkpoint on the highway between the cities of Rafah and al Arish in North Sinai on January 11, and his body was found near Rafah on January 13, according to the army. The first part of the six-minute-long video clip shows images of Egyptian security forces “beating, arresting and detaining pro-Morsi women protesters,” to the sound of late al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi denouncing the silence of Muslim scholars in the face of “the mistreatment of Muslim women.” The second part of the video shows the ABM kidnapping Desouki, during which he is seen pleading that he has a pregnant wife. In the third part, speaking from an unknown location, Desouki appears to be made to say that the ministry of interior arrests young women and students and abuses them in Egypt’s prisons. He pleads for the release of these women, warning that otherwise more policemen will be targeted. The last part of the clip shows masked militants executing the police captain, who is blindfolded and on his knees, by shooting him twice in the head. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 1/26/2015]

Also of Interest

  • North Sinai political, civil groups demand lift of curfew hours | DNE
  • Fires strike trains on fourth anniversary of 25 January Revolution: Railway Authority | DNE
  • Army spokesman: Three militants killed and fifty-seven arrested including a Palestinian | EGYNews (Arabic)


US, UK condemn deadly violence in Egypt
The United States and the United Kingdom condemned recent violence in Egypt, which has left nearly two dozen dead. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, during a press briefing on Monday, urged Egypt’s security forces to show restraint and “to provide a safe environment in which Egyptians can peacefully express their views.” UK Foreign Office Minister for Middle East Tobias Ellwood “deplored” the recent deaths, in a statement issued on Monday.  Ellwood expressed deep concern, “by the use of deadly force by the police against demonstrators.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also condemned the killings, saying he was “deeply disturbed” by the deaths in clashes that have raged in Egypt since Friday. He demanded in a statement that Cairo “take urgent measures to bring an end to the excessive use of force by security personnel.” Freedom House also issued a statement deploring Egyptian authorities’ use of deadly force against unarmed demonstrators. Meanwhile, in a statement issued by ministry of foreign affairs, Egypt expressed dismay, depicting these reactions and condemnations as “imbalanced.” [Aswat Masriya, 1/27/2015]

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