Top News: Prosecution Says Sabbagh Killer in Custody; Two More Islamist Parties Boycott Elections

The Qasr al-Nil prosecution announced Tuesday that the killer of leftist activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh is in custody, but their identity will be revealed by Prosecutor General’s office within days.


Two more Islamist parties boycott elections
The Islamist Building and Development Party (the political wing of al-Jama’a al-Islamiya) and the Salafi Wasat Party have announced they will boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, Wafd party leader Sayyid al-Badawi threatened to withdraw from elections due to the interference of ‘a high-profile state apparatus.’ Wafd Party spokesman, however, said they won’t boycott elections, but that the party is opposed to state intervention. Furthermore, concerns have been raised over the considerable number of well-known former Hosni Mubarak regime members who have plans to contest seats. Former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP), namely steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz, his wife Shahinaz Al Nagar and former MPs Hany Serour and Haider al-Baghdady, have presented themselves as candidates. Additionally, the National Council for Women has objected the absence of female candidates in electoral alliances. [DNE, 2/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Nour Party member: Sisi goes to the Opera while our blood flows in the streets | Egypt Independent
  • Bread and Freedom Party demands release of all prisoners of conscience | DNE
  • Prime Minister says stadium deaths part of ‘conspiracy’ to destabilize Egypt | Mada Masr
  • Low candidate turnout on third registration day for parliamentary elections | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • ‘For Egypt’ electoral list includes public, political, judicial and sports figures | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Hamzawy’s political party condemns Zamalek Club incidents | Egypt Independent
  • Ten Copts run for parliament on Karama party list | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Report: Campaigning for parliamentary elections reached EGP 10 billion | Egypt Independent
  • Health ministry: 4,032 candidates underwent medical examinations for elections | Shorouk (Arabic)


Prosecution releases eighteen Zamalek fans, detains three
Egyptian prosecutors have ordered three soccer fans detained for fifteen days and have released eighteen others on bail in the wake of a deadly stampede outside a Cairo stadium. The fans are accused of attacking policemen, damaging police cars and terrorizing the public. The official said the three still detained include a 15-year old. He said eighteen others were released after paying 200 Egyptian pounds ($26) in bail each, pending investigation. Earlier, prosecutor Mohamed Seif told reporters that none of the twenty-one had been formally charged with anything yet. He added that investigations revealed that the eighteen released detainees did not take part in the violence. The prosecution also released from custody a health official accused of forging burial permits for five of those killed in the violence. The official was investigated after writing in the burial permits that suffocation from teargas was the cause of death, said Forensic Authority Spokesman Hisham Abdel Hameed. [DNE, AP, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 2/11/2015]

Court to retry thirty-six over post-Raba’a dispersal violence in Minya
Egypt’s Court of Cassation ordered on Wednesday a retrial for thirty-six defendants convicted for complicity in the violence in Minya which followed the deadly dispersal of two pro-Mohamed Morsi camps in August 2013. The Minya criminal court had ratified in June 2014 the death sentences of 183 defendants accused of attacking a police station and killing two policemen in Minya. Among those sentenced in June was Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide. Badie is not among the defendants who will be retried, since he was sentenced in absentia. [Aswat Masriya, 2/11/2015]

Prosecution says Shaimaa al-Sabbagh killer in custody  
The Qasr al-Nil prosecution announced Tuesday that the killer of leftist activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh is in custody, but their identity will be revealed by Prosecutor General’s office within days. Samir Hassan, the head of the Qasr al-Nil prosecution told Aswat Masriya that the perpetrator was identified after inspecting video footage of the protest in which Sabbagh was killed, adding that security apparatuses were notified. [DNE, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 2/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Minya prosecutor refers twenty policemen to trial for 2013 protest | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Proceedings move forward for gag order for incest cases | Egypt Independent
  • Retrial of twenty-four Brotherhood affiliates accused of killing taxi driver adjourned to April 8 | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Two Brotherhood members arrested in Alexandria | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Three Brotherhood supporters sentenced to life, twenty to five years | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Court orders Morsi and interior minister to testify in Port Said riot trial | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


IMF says Egypt’s reforms starting to spur turnaround in economy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday that Egypt’s structural and monetary reforms were starting to produce a turnaround in the economy. Egypt’s devaluation of the pound will help promote investment and growth and is a “step in the right direction,” the Washington based lender added. The IMF also said Egypt’s economy will grow 4.3 percent in the fiscal year 2015/2016, and confirmed its forecast of 3.8 percent growth for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, compared to 2.2 percent in the previous period. Following the IMF’s statements, Egypt’s finance minister said on Wednesday there were no plans for now to consider an IMF financing package. [Reuters, AP, Bloomberg, 2/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Minister: Standards on usage of coal to be discussed next week | MENA
  • Egypt PM sees GDP growth accelerating to 4 percent in current year | Reuters
  • Leaked files reveal $3.5 billion in Egyptian funds kept in Swiss HSBC accounts | Mada Masr
  • Egyptian pound steady for sixth straight dollar sale | Reuters
  • Egypt’s CIB reports 36 percent rise in fourth quarter net profit | Ahram Online


Sixteen rights groups hold interior ministry responsible for stadium deaths
A group of sixteen local rights groups and NGOs said they “hold the ministry of interior responsible” for the deadly encounter that broke out on Sunday night ahead of a football game in Cairo. In a statement released on Tuesday, the groups said the ministry’s “crimes and violations” are driving the country toward collapse and are making any “political and economic stability impossible.” They warned that the ministry’s “pattern of crime” will lead toward counter-violence and “terrorism”, adding that it raises the chances of Egyptians being recruited in “terrorist organizations inside and outside Egypt.” [DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 2/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Cairo airport resumes landings as dust storm eases, six ports closed | Reuters
  • Borhamy: Separating male and female students conforms to Sharia | Egypt Independent
  • Antiquities Ministry: Al-Meadawy Dome in Aswan not completely damaged | Egypt Independent
  • Dar al-Ifta sends book refuting terrorist thoughts to foreign embassies in Egypt | Egypt Independent


Hamas military wing leader killed in Egypt’s Sinai: Sky News
A leader of the military wing of the Islamist group Hamas, Ezz El-Deen al-Qassam, has been killed in an air strike in Egypt’s border Sinai Peninsula, Sky News Arabia reported. The assault is believed to be part of an extended campaign by the Egyptian army in the volatile Sinai region to stamp out a raging Islamist insurgency which has killed hundreds over the past nineteen months. State run news agency MENA also reported on Tuesday that a conscript was  injured by gunshot while on duty in Sheikh Zuweid Tuesday, but the military spokesman’s office denied the incident. MENA reported as well on the killing of three militants and the arrests of eight suspects during a security crackdown in al-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 2/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian navy rescues ship in Mediterranean | Ahram Online


Russia to build nuclear power plant to generate electricity in Egypt
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have signed an agreement for Russia to construct a nuclear power plant to generate electricity in Egypt. The power plant is one of several potential industrial and trade deals discussed during the Russian state head two-day visit to Egypt. Hours after the announcement of the project, during a press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US would not oppose a nuclear deal for peaceful purposes between Russia and Egypt. Psaki also said she does not believe the use of US dollars between Egypt and Russia will end. Psaki’s comments came after Putin declared that the two countries might use their national currencies in the settlement of accounts in bilateral trade on Monday. Sisi and Putin also agreed that “terrorism does not stop at borders,” saying they face common challenges “side by side.” In a joint press conference between the two heads of state on Tuesday, Sisi said the two sides agreed to “continue reinforcing military cooperation, especially given the current circumstances.” After a two-day visit, Putin left Cairo on Tuesday morning. [Ahram Online, AFP, AP, Mada Masr, DNE, Reuters, 2/11/2015]

Canadian Prime Minister calls for Mohamed Fahmy’s immediate release
A few days ahead of the retrial of the Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said Tuesday that he has sent letters to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calling for the release of jailed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Lynne Yelich, Canadian minister of state and parliament member, also issued a statement on Twitter saying “Canada is deeply concerned that a re-trial date has been set despite assurances that Mr. Fahmy would be released with colleague Mr. Greste.”  She added that Canadian officials raised the case of Mohamed Fahmy with Egyptian officials fifteen times in the last nine days. According to a judicial source, the Canadian Ambassador also met with Egypt’s Prosecutor-General to discuss Fahmy’s case. [DNE, 2/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Russia’s Putin receives extravagant welcome at Cairo palace | Ahram Online
  • Syrian refugees in Alexandria begin hunger strike protesting detention | Mada Masr
  • French Rafale fighter jet sale to Egypt “imminent”: Source | Reuters
  • Egypt condemns assassination of Somali parliament member | DNE
  • Sisi meets UK House of Commons delegation | DNE
  • Mahlab attends Dubai Government Summit | DNE, Ahram Online
  • Egypt to participate in information technology conference in Istanbul | Egypt Independent
  • EU condemns militant group’s killing of eight civilians | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Sisi gives interview to Russia’s Sputnik news agency | SIS