Top News: Police Officer Acquitted of Charge of Torturing 2011 Suspect to Death

An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted a state security officer who had been convicted of torturing to death an Islamist detainee, state media said. Mohamed Abdel Rahman al-Shemi had been sentenced to fifteen years in prison for torturing and killing Salafist detainee, Sayed Bilal.

Egypt’s highest civil court overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial in which he was cleared, state news agency MENA said. Shemi is the third defendant to be found not guilty in the case, a judicial source and a lawyer have said. Of the five policemen brought to trial, four were initially sentenced in absentia to life in prison in June 2012. Sheemi was the only defendant sentenced in session. Over the past four years, three were retried and ultimately acquitted while the fifth policeman’s challenge against his sentence has yet to be considered. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Cairo Post, 5/29/2015]


Shafiq’s party to sue media over regime standoff reports
The political party founded by former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq has vowed to sue media outlets that reported Egyptian authorities had advised Shafiq to abstain from political comments. Yahia Qadry Hussein, deputy chairman of the Egyptian National Movement Party, told the satellite channel Al-Assema late Wednesday that reports stating “superior state authorities” had asked Shafiq to “remain silent” were untrue, adding that the party’s response will be given in the courtroom. Hussein added that he was among partisan figures who met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday, and stressed that the president had not brought up the issue during the meeting. Independent newspaper, Shorouk, published a report three days ago in which it quoted official sources as saying that Egyptian authorities had warned Shafiq against his attempts to remain in the political limelight. [Egypt Independent, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • ElBaradei: Separation of law from justice makes it tool of tyranny | Egypt Independent
  • Mahlab says government will not reconcile with MB members with ‘blood-stained hands’ | SIS
  • Egypt’s disabled seek fair representation in parliament | Al-Monitor


Court upholds Alaa Abdel Fattah’s one-month sentence for insulting police
A one-month jail sentence and a fine of 200 Egyptian pounds ($26) were upheld Thursday against prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah on charges of insulting the police. The case was filed when Abdel Fattah, according to the investigations, told police officers “dirty ministry, May you all die and be bombed, you and your children.” Abdel Fattah had challenged the ruling on grounds that he did not insult a particular officer or used a word that offends public modesty, and that the case was illegally filed as he was under “moral compulsion” by the officer drafting the file of the case. Abdel Fattah is currently serving a five year sentence on charges of violating the Protest Law. [Cairo Post, 5/29/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Al Jazeera reporter Greste fears Egyptian conviction in absentia | Reuters
  • Prosecution renews Cairo University student detentions | DNE
  • Trial postponed for lady arrested over YouTube video clip | Egypt Independent
  • Defendant accused of embezzling revolution victims’ funds referred to psychologist | Egypt Independent
  • Nurses accused of neglect in kidnapping remanded into custody | Egypt Independent
  • Zamalek club president to drop lawsuits against journalists | Cairo Post


Egypt bourse changes rules to benchmark index to encourage listings
Egypt’s stock exchange said on Thursday it would reduce the free float required for new companies to list on its benchmark EGX30, as part of structural changes to the index with the aim to boost trading. Companies were previously required to have a 15 percent free float to list on the EGX30. Under the new rules, which take effect on August 1, firms will be able to join with a minimum 5 percent free float as long as the market value of the float is at least 100 million Egyptian pounds ($13 million). Newly enlisted companies can be listed on the EGX30 if their stocks have been traded during 75 percent of the actual trading days. The reforms aim to help reinvigorate trading in Egypt, which has struggled to win investor confidence during years of political and economic turmoil since a popular uprising in 2011. [Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Orascom Construction completes phase one of 375 MW power plant in Upper Egypt | Ahram Online
  • Supply ministry to consider establishing modern transport network | MENA
  • Minister: 920 projects in free zones worth $21 billion in investments | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian pound steady at official auction, on black market | Reuters
  • Egypt’s GASC buys 240,000 tonnes Russian, Romanian wheat | Reuters
  • IMF official says mission to visit Egypt in June | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Campaign for female army conscripts makes first public appearance
Members of the Moganada Masriya (Female Egyptian Conscript) campaign made one of their first public appearances at Cairo University. The movement began in July 2013, in the wake of ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, but it has recently picked up steam again as group members intensify their efforts and continue to garner support from state institutions. Love for the country and the military is also the main motive for campaign founder Jihad al-Komy, though she also cites frustration with the gender segregation that excludes her and other women from the frontlines. The campaign has enjoyed initial support from various state institutions. In February, a small number of members were invited to meet with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, then-Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and Armed Forces Recruitment Director Mohie al-Din Abdel Alim, according to the group’s members. [Mada Masr, 5/28/2015]


Armed Forces’ role not restricted to defense says Minister
The national role of the Armed Forces is not restricted to defense, but extends to the country’s development, Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi said Thursday. Sobhi’s remarks were made after the inauguration of some cultural, entertainment, sports, and administrative facilities in the headquarters of Northern Military Region. The facilities included a conference hall, a renovated officers’ hotel, soldiers’ accommodation building, a club, a mosque, and a cafeteria. [SIS, 5/29/2015]

Also of Interest


France’s Le Pen in Egypt for surprise talks with Grand Imam of Azhar
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen held talks in Egypt with Al-Azhar that broached the top Sunni Muslim body’s “serious concerns” over her party’s stance on Islam, it said. National Front president Le Pen met late Thursday with Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of Al-Azhar, at its Cairo headquarters during which he questioned her organization’s “hostile opinions towards Islam and Muslims,” an Al-Azhar statement said. Tayeb added that the National Front’s “opinions must be reviewed and corrected.” The National Front, which had a strong showing in local elections in March, has campaigned on politically explosive issues of immigration and the integration of Islam into French society after the Paris Islamist attacks. Le Pen “recognized the need to not confuse Islam with the violent acts committed” in its name, Al-Azhar said. The National Front leader tweeted: “Meeting in Cairo with the highest Sunni authority: strong agreement on the fight against extremism.” [AFP, 5/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Libya tribes wrap up Cairo meeting | SIS, Ahram Online
  • Egypt to help with developing Somalia’s Berbera port | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt, Saudi Arabia promote independence of Arab decision | SIS
  • 1,440 Palestinians crossed Rafah border in past three days: Source | Cairo Post
  • Greek troops arrive in Cairo for joint aerial exercises | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Irrigation Minister travels to Congo for meetings | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)