Top News: Police Disperse Anti-Protest Law Demonstration in Cairo

Egyptian police fired teargas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters in Cairo on Tuesday after they defied a new law that restricts demonstrations.


‘Revolution’s Candidate’ campaign throws weight behind Nasserist leader
Former presidential candidate and al-Tayar al-Sha’aby leader Hamdeen Sabbahi announced on Monday that he would run in the upcoming presidential elections if a consensus is reached by political forces regarding his candidacy, the “Revolution’s Candidate” campaign announced Monday. If revolutionary forces agree to support another individual Sabbahi “would be honored to back that candidate,” the statement added. The presidential elections are slated for 2014, however a precise date has not yet been set. [ Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 11/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Tamarod slams protest law, urges human rights council to amend it | Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr
Minister demands constitutional commission for transitional justice | Egypt Independent
We are going to continue war on terrorism mercilessly says Sisi | SIS
Pro-Morsi alliance ask Salafis to mediate with the army to end crisis | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s constitution ready for final panel vote Saturday; Public referendum to take place over two days
Chairman of the fifty member committee responsible for drafting a new constitution for Egypt, Amr Moussa, said the national charter will be ready to put to a final vote next Saturday. He said on Tuesday the final draft of constitution has been wrapped up during the last closed session which lasted for twelve hours, finishing it before midnight on Monday. In a statement on Facebook by his media office, Moussa said only amendments with the preamble are left and are scheduled to be concluded on Tuesday, in addition to transitional articles. The committee decided not to introduce a quota for women, Coptic Christians or youths in parliament, committee member Mohamed Abla said in a press statement on Tuesday, adding that there was consensus on the issue. Meanwhile, Minister of Manpower and Immigration Kamal Abou Eita met with the board of directors of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) late Sunday to discuss the reported omission of the parliamentary quota for farmers and laborers. During the meeting Abu Eita stressed that he had appealed to the assembly to retain the quota for one more parliamentary session adding that he had met with Constituent Assembly Chairman Amr Moussa to discuss the problem. After a closed-door meeting on the issue, Moussa remained critical of maintaining a farmer/worker quota, saying it has been manipulated in the past. Finally, an electoral official announced on Monday that the upcoming constitutional referendum would take place over two consecutive days, but said the dates had not yet been fixed. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, Aswat Masriya, DNE, Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), 11/25/2013]

Former judge Khodairy arrested in Alexandria on torture allegations
Former judge Mahmoud al-Khodairy was arrested in Alexandria late Monday, reported the Middle East News Agency (MENA), on accusations of inciting torture, according to one of the defendant’s lawyers. Muslim Brotherhood members Hazem Farouq, Mohamed al-Beltagy, and Islamist figure Safwat Hegazy are accused in the same case of conducting the torture of lawyer Osama Kamal Mohamed in Tahrir Square. Prosecution ordered Khodairy’s arrest after he had been repeatedly summoned for questioning but failed to make an appearance. He will be transferred to Cairo where the trial is currently being held. Former Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky, who served under deposed President Mohamed Morsi, said on Tuesday that Khodairy’s arrest is a worrying sign of the government’s behavior. Mekky criticized the influence of politics on judicial procedures, as well as the procedures themselves for prompting discontent among judges. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party denounced the arrest, accusing the government of fabricating charges against “those who reject the coup.” [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, SIS, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 11/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
NCW chief calls on women to vote ‘yes’ to constitution | Egypt Independent
Clashes between Ultras and security forces in Alexandria | Ahram Online
AFTE and DNE journalists detained while covering Al-Azhar demonstrations | DNE
Former PM Nazif, interior minister retrial in license plates case held Tuesday | Egypt Independent
Salvation Front: mobilizing for ‘yes’ to Constitution says spokesperson | Egypt Independent
Armed forces has the right to write its articles in the constitution: Tamarod founder | Shorouk (Arabic)  


Government source: Gulf attempts to persuade Egypt to resume negotiations with IMF
Some Gulf countries have recently tried to persuade the government to go back to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a $2 billion loan, but the Finance Ministry rejected the matter, saying that the Egyptian economy does not currently need a loan, after the gap in the budget had been bridged through Arab aid, say government sources. Economic-related Ministers recently received intensive calls from officials in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in an attempt to convince them to return to IMF negotiations, which had been halted after the June 30 protests, on the pretext that acquiring a certificate of trust from the IMF gives the economy a chance to get other aid from Europe. [Egypt Independent, 11/26/2013]

Kuwait to offer more financial aid to Egypt
Kuwait is poised to offer a further $2 billion in assistance to, a high-profile official Kuwaiti source revealed Tuesday. “We will increase our total pledged financial aid [to Egypt] to $6 billion. We have already offered $3 billion and steps are currently underway to send the remaining amount”. Kuwait had initially pledged $4 billion in assistance to Egypt. He noted that $2 billion had since been deposited at Egypt’s central bank, while $1 billion worth of petroleum products had been shipped to the country. An additional $1 billion grant to Egypt is still awaiting the approval of Kuwait’s parliament. [World Bulletin, 11/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt’s main index falls after bomb explosion in Cairo | Ahram Online
Turkish deposit at CBE governed by 5-year agreement: government source | Egypt Independent
CBE grants US$40 million tender for auction | Egypt Independent


Police disperse anti-protest law demonstration in Cairo
Egyptian police fired teargas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters in Cairo on Tuesday after they defied a new law that restricts demonstrations. A number of political movements had called for protests in Cairo on Tuesday in defiance of the law, dubbed oppressive by opponents, that was was issued on Sunday by interim President Adly Mansour. Security forces warned activists demonstrating in front of the journalists syndicate in downtown Cairo on Tuesday that the newly-issued protest law would be implemented if they insisted on assembling. An initial protest against the law was called for on Monday by the Martyr Gaber Salah Movement, a group named after 16-year old activist Gaber Salah (Jika) who was killed in clashes with security forces in November 2012. The protest on Monday also intended to commemorate the anniversary of Jika’s death. “The police gave us five minutes to disperse the protest. If we refused, they threatened to disperse it themselves using water cannons and tear gas,” activist and journalist Rasha Azzab told Ahram Online. A security official said Tuesday’s crowd had not obtained permission to protest and had ignored warnings to leave the area. Meanwhile, a number of judges have come forward defending the law, arguing that it aims to regulate demonstrations, not restrict them, adding that citizens still have the right to demonstrate to express their opinion. Many judges, such as under-secretary of the Judges Club and deputy head of the Court of Cassation Abdallah Fathi, have also stressed that the law should have been issued long ago. Finally, the ministry of interior has approved two protests to take place as per the new law. The ministry said it had received applications from “lawyers and political powers” to hold protests outside the Lawyers Syndicate in Cairo and the State Council building in Giza. The ministry declined to provide further details regarding the applicants or the agreed time for the demonstrations to take place. [DNE,  Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Reuters, AP, 11/26/2013]

Egypt Islamists to protest for prisoners killed at Abu Zaabal
The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) has called for mass protests on Friday, marking the 100-day anniversary of the Abu Zaabal Prison incident where at least thirty-seven people died from suffocation. NASL described the incident as a “holocaust.” The prisoners suffocated from tear gas while being deported following clashes between them and the security forces after a failed escape attempt, according to the interior ministry’s statement. Four police officers are facing charges of manslaughter, negligence and failure to perform the work when they fired tear gas inside an inmate transport van in the Abu Zaabal prison in Qalyubeya, north Cairo in mid-August. Meanwhile, an NASL leader said Tuesday protests staged once again under the slogan “Massacre of the Century” to commemorate Raba’a al-Adaweya and al-Nahda sit-ins dispersal, would go forward without a permit from the interior ministry. [Aswat Masriya, Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Egypt Independent, DNE, 11/26,2013]

Also of Interest:
Tamarod witnesses divisions | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
Railway services to Upper Egypt to resume again | Ahram Online
National Council for Women fights violence against women | DNE
ANHRI condemns prosecutor general’s media blackouts | DNE
Yosri Fouda back on air | Mada Masr


Prominent militant leader killed in Sinai offensive
A prominent militant Islamist leader, accused of a mass murder of Egyptian soldiers, was killed Tuesday during a security offensive in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, according to an army spokesman. Mohamed Abu Moneir and his son were killed after security forces besieged them in al-Joura Village, Sheikh Zuweid, the source said. Mounir was a member of Jihadi group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, according to the state-owned Al-Ahram. The group has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks, including the November killing of senior police officer Mohamed Mabrouk. The security source added that military operations in Sinai will continue especially in al-Moqataa, al-Joura and Seidana villages, in south Sheikh Zuweid. Another militant on a motorcycle was also killed, Ali said, while one officer was wounded and four militants were arrested. Two military officials in Sinai said some militants fled in another car after the fighting, in an area between al-Joura and al-Muqatta village, south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid. They said the troops were acting on a tip. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent , Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gate (Arabic), Tahrir (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, AP, 11/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Media reports: Egypt arrests foreign ‘spies’ | Mada Masr
Egypt investigates disappearance of author critical of Islam | Reuters


Egypt issues demands to end tension with Turkey
Egyptian authorities conveyed their desire for crisis containment to Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who also reassured senior officials in Cairo of Turkey’s commitment to non-interference, according to a highly informed official source Monday. “The role Turkish President Abdullah Gul is playing in helping cement Turkish-Egyptian relations is instrumental, and is highly appreciated in Cairo. However, we have to be clear that we are deeply dismayed at the position of the Turkish Prime Minister [Recep Tayyep Erdogan], which we told the President,” said the official source. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Monday that Egypt’s foreign policies are not governed by emotions, pointing out that what happened with Turkey was downgrading diplomatic relations, not severing relations. In an exclusive interview with al-Hayat satellite channel, Fahmy said that a decision to expel the Turkish ambassador was taken by the state, not unilaterally by the Egyptian foreign ministry. [Ahram Online, SIS, 11/26/2013]

United States says concerned with Egyptian protest law
The United States on Monday expressed concern over a new law in Egypt that restricts demonstrations and said it agrees with groups that argue the law does not meet international standards and hampers the country’s move toward democracy. “The United States wants Egypt’s transition to an inclusive democracy to succeed,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement after Egyptian security forces fired teargas to disperse university students who had defied the law, which was passed on Sunday. “We urge the interim government to respect individual rights and we urge that the new constitution protect such rights.” [Reuters, Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Egypt Independent, 11/26/2013]

Also of Interest:
Bahraini activist barred from entering Egypt | Ahram Online
South Korea reduces travel ban on Egypt | SIS

Image: Photo: Jonathan Rashad