Top News: Police says Ajnad Misr Founder Killed after Group Claims Cairo Bridge Bombing

One policeman was killed and two civilians injured in an explosion on the Zamalek exit of the May 15 Bridge in Cairo, with the militant group Ajnad Misr claiming responsibility for the attack. 


Egypt’s Sisi reassures sceptics of military intervention in Yemen
Egypt’s five-year intervention in Yemen in 1962 cannot be compared to the current Saudi-led campaign in the country, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a speech on Saturday. “We will not harm our country and brotherly countries with wrong calculations…We are also moving in a political context to evade losses,” Sisi said after a meeting with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Concerns have been raised in Egypt of possible adverse repercussions on Bab al-Mandab strait which links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. According to an armed forces statement, Egypt supports the Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ decision to launch airstrikes in Yemen, adding that it will participate in military operations “to restore stability and legitimacy in Yemen” through returning Yemeni President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi to power. During the meeting with SCAF, Sisi stressed Egypt’s full support to Gulf states, saying, “Egypt will not abandon its brothers in the gulf; we will protect them if it is required.” Medhat al-Zahed, acting chief of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP), however, said on Sunday that no reason exists for Egypt to get involved in a war in Yemen. Egypt has evacuated around 525 of its citizens from Yemen with many arriving in Jeddah and Riyadh. [Ahram Online, DNE, 4/5/2015]

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  • Political parties disagree on constituency of elections lists distributions | DNE
  • Nour Party angry over exclusion from social dialogue sessions | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi discusses rationalizing energy in meeting with ministers | Aswat Masriya


Egypt court adjourns trial of Sabbagh witnesses accused of protesting
An Egyptian court adjourned on Saturday to May 9 the trial of seventeen people who are charged with taking part in the peaceful protest on January 24 during which activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was shot dead. Fourteen defendants, like Sabbagh, belong to the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, while three do not. One of those charged, lawyer Azza Suleiman, has denied protesting and said she was having lunch at a café near the protest when she saw the dispersal. She has said that she came forward after witnessing Sabbagh being shot and volunteered to testify. Mohamed Bassiouny, secretary general of the Karama Party, said the party along with the Democratic Current, which includes six parties, expressed solidarity with the defendants. Amnesty International said in a statement ahead of the April 4 court session that the “spurious charges” brought are “a clear attempt” by authorities to “skew the scales of justice.” The Amnesty statement added that, by charging witnesses, authorities are resorting to “blatant intimidation tactics.” Meanwhile, the trial of the policeman charged with killing activist Sabbagh will start on May 10, a prosecution statement stated on Sunday. [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, 4/5/2015]

Rights advocate charged with violating copyright and telecommunication laws
The head of an Egyptian human rights NGO was detained Saturday following a police raid on the office of Cairo-based web station Radio Horeytna. Ahmed Samih, director of the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies, was detained following a raid on the station which is based at the Andalus center, according to a statement from the organization. Samih was released on Sunday afternoon after paying EGP5,000 bail. According to lawyer and human rights activist Gamal Eid, Samih was charged with the possession of a pirated Windows version, in addition to publishing news on the internet with no license, according to Article 10 in the Communication Law of 2003. According to al-Haqanya Center for Rights, whose lawyers will represent the activist, Samih was originally accused of violating both copyright laws and telecommunication laws by broadcasting an unlicensed online radio station. Samih was in charge of running Radio Horytna, an online station that has since been taken down. [AP, DNE, Mada Masr, 4/5/2015]

Egypt refers 187 Brotherhood supporters to military court
An Egyptian prosecutor has referred to a military court 187 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters accused of killing police officers in a 2013 attack on a police station. The 187 are accused of storming Maghagha police station in the southern province of Minya in August 2013, weeks after Morsi’s removal. Egypt’s top prosecutor on Saturday also referred forty-eight alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood group to court on charges of rioting and murder in relation to clashes in Ain Shams last year. The violence led to the deaths of journalist Mayada Ashraf, Sherif Abdel-Raouf, a minor, and Mary George, a Coptic Christian. Thirty-five of the defendants are in custody, the prosecution said, adding it had issued arrest warrants for the remaining defendants. Meanwhile, a military court in Suez sentenced an engineer suspected to be a Muslim Brotherhood supporter to three years of maximum security prison for accusations of “attempting to damage a power plant.” The court acquitted seven others of charges of “vandalism” and “joining a terrorist group.” [Reuters, 4/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sons of Brotherhood leader Hamza Zawbaa arrested: Security source | Ahram Online
  • Verdict in photojournalist Ahmed Ziada’s case to be issued April 29 | DNE
  • Court adjourns Presidential Palace case retrial to April 29 | DNE
  • Court imposes media gag on extremist group’s trial | DNE
  • HRW calls for halt of executions in ‘Arab Sharkas cell’ case | DNE, AP, Mada Masr
  • Journalists Syndicate files claim against journalist assault | Egypt Independent
  • Prosecution calls for ‘maximum punishment’ for Mubarak at retrial  | Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya


Egypt’s investment one-stop shop to start operating in two weeks
Egypt’s anticipated one-stop-shop for investors to obtain licenses and permits will begin work in two weeks but be fully functional within eighteen months, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman announced on Monday. The one stop shop, established by a new investment law to facilitate investment procedures, will begin with agriculture projects within two weeks and then gradually cater to other projects over the coming eighteen months, Salman said. The aim is to empower Egypt’s General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) to obtain permits and licenses on behalf of investors from Egypt’s notoriously investor-hostile governorates and other government bodies, not only for new projects, but for the expansion of existing projects, the minister said. [Ahram Online, 4/6/2015]

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  • Steep fall in Egypt stocks as Yemen conflict escalates | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to receive Gulf deposits in two weeks: Minister | Ahram Online
  • Arabtec profit on Egypt project won’t exceed 7.5 percent | Reuters, Ahram Online
  • Survey shows Egypt non-oil private sector shrinks for third month in March | Reuters
  • Suez Canal negotiates with local banks over new US$400 million loan | Egypt Independent
  • Minister bans importing of folkloric products to protect intellectual property rights |Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s budget deficit increases 50.5 percent in first eight months of 2014/15| Egypt Independent, Mada Masr
  • Egypt’s central bank announces sale of $281 million on interbank market | Aswat Masriya
  • Report: Business conditions continue to worsen in Egypt | Mada Masr


Egypt’s interior ministry calls on citizens to report police abuse
Egypt’s ministry of interior on Sunday called on citizens to report police abuses, a move that comes amid continuing documentation of alleged human rights violations in places of police detention. In a statement on its official Facebook page, the ministry said any form of encroachment is “an individualistic behavior that does not represent by any means the strategy of the interior ministry.” The statement offered email addresses and phone numbers for people to report incidents of human rights violations. [Ahram Online, SIS, 4/5/2015]

Also of Interest


Police says Ajnad Misr founder killed after group claims Cairo bridge bombing
One policeman was killed and two civilians injured in an explosion on the Zamalek exit of the May 15 Bridge in Cairo, with the militant group Ajnad Misr claiming responsibility for the attack. Hours later, Interior Ministry Spokesperson Hani Abdel Latif announced that security forces raided a flat in the district of Haram in Giza, where an alleged militant was hiding. After gathering sufficient intelligence, the forces exchanged fire with the suspect leading to his death, Abdel Latif said. The deceased named Hamam Attia was described by the ministry to have been the founder of Ajnad Misr. Meanwhile, on Saturday, two bombs exploded near a police station in Cairo’s Imbaba district, causing no casualties. On Sunday night, a policeman and four civilians were injured in a shooting at a church in Alexandria when unknown assailants in a vehicle reportedly opened fire on the guards. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, 4/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Fifteen suspected militants killed in North Sinai raids | Aswat Masriya
  • What we know about Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis | Ahram Online


Egypt’s Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State discuss regional issues
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed on Sunday the developments of the military campaign in Yemen, the security situation in Libya and the Iran nuclear deal. In a phone call from Kerry, the two top diplomats addressed regional instabilities and the ongoing fight against terrorism.  [Ahram Online, SIS, 4/6/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Yemeni-based Egyptians to be evacuated starting Sunday: Coalition spokesman | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
  • Video shows Egyptian plane taking off to Yemen to strike Houthis | Egypt Independent
  • Journalist: Sisi decided on ground intervention in Yemen | Egypt Independent
  • Two Egyptians killed in shelling in Libya | Ahram Online, DNE, MENA, Aswat Masriya
  • Egyptian truck driver killed by shelling at Yemeni-Saudi border  | Ahram Online
  • South Africa endorses Egypt’s bid for Security Council | Ahram Online
  • Fourteen Egyptian fishermen released from Libyan custody | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s army chief of staff heads to Saudi for joint Arab forces talks | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
  • Foreign Ministry, al-Azhar condemn al-Shabab Kenya attack | DNE
  • Egypt condemns ISIS advances on Yarmouk refugee camp | DNE
  • Egypt hopes Iran nuclear accord will lead to stability in Middle East | Reuters, Aswat Masriya, DNE
  • Renaissance Dam technical panel talks slated for Wednesday | Egypt Independent
  • Over 100 Egyptians back home from Libya in past 24 hours | SIS
  • Djibouti’s chief of staff holds talks in Cairo on Yemen | Aswat Masriya, SIS
  • Sisi plans to visit Japan | MENA