Top News: Prosecutor Orders Detention of Thirty-five for Islamic State Affiliations

Egypt’s prosecutor-general has ordered the detention of thirty-five suspects accused of joining terrorist organizations, pending fifteen days further investigation.


Former Brotherhood MP proposes dialogue with government, Islamists decline
A former Muslim Brotherhood member of parliament has proposed an initiative for dialogue between the group and the government. Ali Fatah al-Bab, in an interview with Turkish Anadolu Agency, said his initiative is personal and does not represent the Brotherhood or any other party. He explained that his proposed dialogue should be sponsored by a third party and that sureties should be provided for the application of the outcome of talks. In a message to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, al-Bab said he expects the president to take “an important and necessary step, that is, to bravely announce a dialogue and a showdown that prioritizes the interest of the country and save it from its current circumstances.” He also called upon the Brotherhood to “accept dialogue and bear their responsibilities for the country’s best.” Imam Youssef, a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy said the proposal was unacceptable, and that it represents Fatah al-Bab alone. [Egypt Independent, 11/3/2014]

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Parliamentary elections to take place despite ‘flawed laws,’ says ESDP | DNE
Commission sources: Parliamentary elections within seven months at least | Egypt Independent
June 30 fact-finding committee submits report on Sinai | Aswat Masriya
CAOA chief: Law on government employment to be replaced | Egypt Independent
Sisi says current protests not representative of satisfied majority | Egypt Independent
ElBaradei: Egypt needs inclusive constitution | Egypt Independent


Egypt court sentences eight men to three years in jail for ‘gay wedding’
Qasr al-Nil Misdemeanor Court on Saturday sentenced eight men to three years in prison on charges of homosexuality and offending public morals, and to three years probation after their release. The men convicted were shown appearing to take part in a Nile boat wedding celebration featuring two men as the celebrants. The two were also charged with “inciting debauchery.” The prosecution described the celebration as “a devilish shameless party.” Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the sentencing. Graeme Reid, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights director at HRW, said that “Egypt’s government, evidently not satisfied jailing opposition members, students, and human rights activists, has found the time to prosecute Egyptians allegedly videoed participating in a same-sex wedding.” [Ahram Online, DNE, AFP, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, The Guardian, 11/2/2014]

Prosecutor orders detention of thirty-five for Islamic State affiliations
Egypt’s prosecutor-general has ordered the detention of thirty-five suspects accused of joining terrorist organizations, pending fifteen days further investigation. The suspects were arrested in five different governorates on accusations of joining groups like the Islamic State in Syria and al-Sham (ISIS) and planning a series of terrorist attacks in the country. According to the prosecutor-general’s statement, a number of suspects have confessed to travelling as businessmen to Turkey, from where they then headed to Syria in order to join militant groups and receive militant training. The suspects also allegedly confessed that they returned to Egypt to await further instructions from ISIS in order to launch a series of attacks against the country’s army and police, as well as judges and state institutions. The suspected cells were reportedly recruiting Muslim Brotherhood members who believed in establishing an Islamic caliphate, the statement said. [Ahram Online, DNE, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 11/3/2014]

Also of Interest
Fifty-six more Egyptian judges suspended for pro-Morsi accusations | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
Morsi’s former spokesman given six months in prison | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
Court adjourns Morsi palace clashes trial | Aswat Masriya
Sabry Helmy Nakhnoukh’s appeal rejected | DNE
Suez lawyers strike over police assault claim | DNE, Egypt Independent
Seventy-three detainees referred to court for torching a church | DNE, Aswat Masriya


Egypt signs $350 million financing deal with Saudi Arabia
Egypt signed a $350 million financing agreement with Saudi Arabia on Saturday, November 1. The money is aimed at upgrading the country’s power grid and securing imports of petroleum products. Egypt is currently facing its worst energy crisis in decades. Two loan agreements signed on Saturday worth a total of about $100 million will be invested in two electricity stations that are expected to boost the capacity of the national grid. A further $250 million in assistance will come in the form of petroleum products. [Gulf News, 11/2/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt’s trade deficit falls 22.5 percent in July | Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent
Egyptian property developer SODIC raises $139 million for new projects | Reuters
Minister: Egypt’s tourism increases 200 percent in September | Egypt Independent
UAE’s Abraaj offers $118 million for 100 percent of Egypt’s Bisco Misr | Reuters, DNE
UAE allocates EGP1.8 billion for Egyptian development projects | DNE
IMF to hold consultations with Egypt on Article IV | Egypt Independent
Egypt, Ethiopia discuss forming joint industrial zone in Addis Ababa, says minister | Ahram Online, DNE
Five cooperation agreements signed between Egypt and Ethiopia | DNE, SIS
USAID expands energy efficiency program in Egypt | DNE
5,000 farming families face eviction in Alexandria | DNE
Mahlab meets Saudi, Emirati ministers to prepare for Egypt economic summit | DNE
Only 7 percent of Egyptians have bank accounts, says PayFort | DNE
Arab Banking Corporation allocates EGP200 million for retail banking sector | DNE
Egypt finalizes LNG import terminal deal for Q1 | Reuters, Mada Masr
CBE denies receiving billion-dollar Kuwaiti deposit | Mada Masr


Egyptian journalists protest media’s alignment with state
A number of Egyptian journalists have launched a petition to safeguard a “free press that opposes terrorism as well as despotism.” Nearly 400 journalists have signed an online statement rejecting a recent agreement between the editors in chief of several major Egyptian newspapers, in which they vowed to support the government’s anti-terrorism rhetoric. The statement called the agreement “the death of the profession of journalism, a waste of every journalist’s dignity, and more importantly, a victory for terrorism through the voluntary abandonment of freedom of opinion and expression,” declaring that the editors’ agreement with the government does not represent the journalists. The journalists also plan to refer the elected head of the Journalists Syndicate, Diaa Rashwan, to a disciplinary committee for signing the agreement without first consulting with the syndicate’s general assembly. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, The Guardian, 11/2/2014]

Professor, students briefly detained over Raba’a T-shirts claim
Security forces detained for five hours a professor at Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences (FEPS) while she tried to make her way to an extracurricular event organized by the faculty members on Saturday. Heba Raouf, political science professor, was taken to a police station alongside an engineering professor and four students, the FEPS Student Union announced on its official Facebook page. The union said the event was organized by a simulation model, SENCRO, concerned with children’s right. The shirt designed for SENCRO members, which some of them were wearing on Saturday, has a print of a yellow palm which the security forces mistook for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Raba’a sign. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 11/2/2014]

Egyptian rights groups propose changes ahead of UNHRC review
A dozen local rights groups released a joint statement on Sunday with proposed recommendations for an upcoming review of Egypt’s human rights by the UN Human Rights Council in Switzerland. The ‎UNHRC review in ‎Geneva next week will be Egypt’s second in four years. The ‎first was made in February 2010. The undersigned include the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination and Nazra for Feminist Studies, among others. Interim Justice Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy headed on Sunday to Geneva to review Egypt’s report on human rights at the UN Security Council. Heneidy will respond to comments and questions expected to be raised by the member countries to Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party have also submitted a report to the UNHRC. [Ahram Online, 11/2/2014]

Also of Interest
Security forces fire birdshot, storm Ain Shams University, says SAC | DNE
Al-Azhar suspends controversial preacher Mahmoud Shaaban | Ahram Online
Al-Azhar scholar suspended over “unannounced” visit to Iran | Aswat Masriya
Egyptian activist Mahienour al-Massry receives international rights award | Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent
Activists vow to continue open-ended hunger strike | DNE
Rights groups condemn jurisdiction of military courts | DNE
Democracy Index: Students staged 209 protests in October | Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya


Weekend attacks in Sinai leave scurity personnel and cililians injured
An explosion targeting an armored vehicle near al-Arish in North Sinai resulted in the injury of seven armed forces personnel on Friday, following increased security measures in the volatile peninsula. The five soldiers and two officers injured in Friday’s attack were transferred to hospital for treatment, an armed forces statement said. A civilian was also shot in the head in a village south of Rafah by unidentified assailants. An army lieutenant and a civilian were injured Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded in one of the army’s armored vehicles in Kharouba area along the Arish-Rafah international road, a security source in the army said. On Monday, a bomb remotely detonated while security forces were proceeding with the evacuation of houses at the borders with Gaza. The explosion left behind no injuries, but security forces raised the state of emergency. [AP, Ahram Online, DNE, 11/3/2014]

Sisi vows to compensate evicted Sinai residents
Millions of Egyptian pounds will be allocated as compensation for Sinai residents currently being evicted to create a border zone in the Peninsula, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday. A total of 1,156 families will have been evacuated from homes in the Rafah area when Egyptian army completes operation to create a buffer zone on the Sinai – Gaza border area. The cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) said on Monday that a total of 802 houses will be removed after residents leave. The army will man a buffer zone of 500 meters deep and fourteen kilometers long in the area stretching from Rafah to Sheikh Zuweid. All the affected families will be compensated immediately with EGP300 (around $42) monthly for three months. In addition, the Sinai Development Council (SDC) is set to meet with elders and leaders from Rafah on Monday at the order of Sisi. [Ahram Online, DNE, SIS, Aswat Masriya, 11/3/2014]

Also of Interest
Endowments ministry vows to discipline North Sinai Imams hiding tunnels | DNE, Aswat Masriya
Improvised bomb injures three in Cairo | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr
Army kills three suspected militants as Sisi dispatches committee to Sinai | Ahram Online
Apaches continue to pound extremist spots in North Sinai | Egypt Independent
Brotherhood has ‘clear links’ to terrorism, says Egypt FM | Ahram Online


Former Qaddafi spokesman expelled from Egypt, says state newspaper 
The former spokesman for deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been expelled from Egypt, a state newspaper said on Friday, though the spokesman disputed the report. Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. The article included what it said was a copy of a request by the Libyan interior ministry to extradite Ibrahim. Ibrahim denied that he had been thrown out of Egypt, saying that he had left the country because of work commitments in Serbia. [Reuters, 10/31/2014]

Also of Interest
Fifth joint Egyptian-Ethiopian committee session aims to strengthen relations | Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, SIS
Shoukry in Addis Ababa for talks over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam | DNE, SIS
Israel indefinitely closes Gaza borders after rocket fire | DNE
Egyptian, Italian defense ministers discuss regional developments | DNE
European Parliament delegation meets April 6 | DNE
UN envoy in Cairo as Libya violence continues | DNE
Israeli tourists deported after requesting residence in Egypt, ceding nationality | Egypt Independent
Minister: New canal by Israel shows ‘jealousy’ and ‘hatred’ of Egypt | Egypt Independent
Tunisian press slams Egyptian cleric’s ‘infidel’ election comments | Ahram Online
Libya turns back 600 Egyptians over work visas at Airport | AFP, Reuters