Top News: Sabbahi Campaign Claims Breaches as Signature Collection Begins

The presidential campaign of Egyptian Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said violations occurred on the first day of the period in which candidates can register to run for the presidential race.

Sabbahi campaign claims breaches as signature collections begins; Sisi undergoes medical test
The presidential campaign of Egyptian Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said violations occurred on the first day of the period in which candidates can register to run for the presidential race. The campaign said in a statement on Monday that, as Egyptians began filing recommendation forms for presidential candidates, some forms were processed without the physical presence of their signatories. The statement released by Sabbahi’s campaign also said signatories backing a “certain candidate” were mobilized in private buses and that numerous employees at notary offices refused to register forms for Sabbahi. Meanwhile, potential presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi started taking the medical tests required to run for presidency early on Tuesday, his campaign said. On Monday, however, Ahram Online reported that the body responsible for overseeing Egypt’s upcoming presidential election announced that Sisi’s legal delegate had not been able to collect an official candidate application form because of incomplete documents. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/1/2014]

Abou Fotouh blames current regime for Muslim Brotherhood violence
Strong Egypt Party head Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, and former presidential candidate, said the nomination of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to confirms that July 3 was a military coup.       In an interview on the privately-owned Al-Hayah TV channel on Monday, Aboul Fotouh said the coming elections will be won by Sisi, indicating an absence of real elections. The uprising of June 30 was a revolutionary wave that had no relation to July 3 when Mohamed Morsi was deposed, he added, saying that his stances are not contradictory. “Some of those who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood practice violence on street. However, the current authority caused that violence. I said so seven months ago and explained its dangers on the country,” he added. [Egypt Independent, 4/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • New defense minister exalts army and police for ‘heroic sacrifice’ | Mada Masr
  • Interior minister: We stand at same distance from all candidates | Aswat Masriya
  • ElBaradei in speech to the youth: Goals of the revolution will be realized by your hands even if after a while | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Defense for Badie, fifty Brotherhood leaders withdraw from Raba’a trial
Defense lawyers for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and fifty of the group’s leaders withdrew from the first session of a trial on Tuesday in which the defendants are accused of orchestrating violence in the immediate aftermath of the dispersal of a pro-Brotherhood protest camp in Cairo last August. Judicial sources said that the lawyers withdrew in protest after one of the defendants told the judge he couldn’t hear the proceedings and was told to “shut up.” The trial was adjourned by the court to Sunday. Defense lawyers began procedures to demand a recusal of the judges’ panel and also to call for another court to look into the case. Meanwhile, a Zagazig prosecution referred another fifty-four Muslim Brotherhood supporters to criminal court on Monday for inciting violence and rioting in the governorate of Sharqiya. The suspects are accused of belonging to a terrorist group, violating the protest law, resisting the authorities and disrupting public order.  [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya, 4/1/2014]

Egypt court adjourns 2011 ‘cabinet clashes’ trial of Douma and 268 others to April 9
The trial of 269 people, including prominent activist Ahmed Douma, has been adjourned until  April 9, in order to hear the prosecution’s witnesses. The defendants are accused of attacking the cabinet building and security personnel, and torching the Scientific Institute in downtown Cairo in December 2011. The violence erupted after security forces violently dispersed a peaceful sit-in outside the cabinet building. At least seventeen people were killed and over a thousand injured in clashes that spanned five days. Tuesday was the tenth hearing of the trial. [Ahram Online, Shorouk (Arabic), 4/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egyptian teachers syndicate placed under judicial supervision | Ahram Online
  • Australian journalist’s father says Egypt trial ‘mental torture’ | Ahram Online
  • Retrial of Mubarak, others resume on Tuesday | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt prosecution orders policeman arrested on sexual harassment charges | Ahram Online


Egypt covers all dollar backlogs for foreign investor repatriations
Egypt’s Central Bank has covered the entire backlog of dollars owed to foreign investors seeking to return funds from the country, it said in a statement on Tuesday. A repatriation scheme opened in March last year and aimed at restoring confidence in Egypt’s economy guarantees foreign investors in Egypt’s stock and government bond markets access to dollars despite severe shortages of foreign currency. [Reuters, 4/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Market sell-off drives Egypt stocks down | Mada Masr
  • Egypt’s bourse posted its biggest percentage loss in seven months | DNE
  • Egypt’s stocks suffer heavy losses for the third session in row | Ahram Online
  • Cultivation of sugarcane takes toll on Egypt’s farmers | Ahram Online


Egypt group calls for joint protest; April 6 condemns sentencing of four members
Egyptian political groups and families of detained protesters announced they will hold a protest in Cairo on Thursday afternoon calling for the release of detainees. “We know they are all being denied their basic rights and that their trials are politicized, we want to stand together and declare our solidarity for all those unjustly jailed,” the Freedom for the Brave campaign wrote on its Facebook page. The demonstration will be held during a week witnessing multiple trials of “revolutionaries and students,” the campaign said. The Misdemeanor Court of Minya, sentenced four students belonging to the April 6 Youth Movement to three years in prison, Monday, and fined each of them EGP 50,000, for violating the law regulating protests. April 6 issued a statement condemning the sentence describing it as retaliatory. It accused Minya police of targeting the movement and fabricating charges against its members. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 4/1/2014]

Students and security forces clash on university campuses throughout Egypt
Brotherhood students continued protesting on university campuses on Tuesday, a reaction to the death of their colleagues in Al-Azhar University on Sunday. Marches consisting mainly of pro-Brotherhood students were also reported at Ain Shams University and Alexandria University. Security forces have since dispersed the protests. Meanwhile, the Freedom and Justice Portal, a Brotherhood mouthpiece, reported marches by Azhar students in several cities denouncing the killing of their colleagues on Sunday. The Ministry of Interior announced it has arrested at least twenty pro-Brotherhood students nationwide amid the clashes. Security has been intensified at Al-Azhar University in Assiut after seven students were arrested. Twenty-five students at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University were also expelled for their alleged roles in riots that broke out on campus on Monday. Protesting students set fire to a parking garage near the university’s main administration in building, in addition to setting fire to a number of cars belonging to Al-Azhar faculty members. [Mada Masr, 4/1/2014]

Students organized 1,427 protests in fall semester: Democracy Meter
Democracy Meter Monday announced that 1,427 student protests took place during the fall semester, making an average of eleven protests per day. Protests occurred at more than 30 educational facilities, varying from universities, faculty, and institutions, according to the report.
Al-Azhar University hosted 20 percent of all protests, while Cairo University hosted 12 percent, or 169 protests. Alexandria University ranked third, with 8 percent, or 110 protests. The universities of Ain Shams, Zagazig, Helwan, Mansoura, Mounifeya, Assiut, Minya occupied the fourth through tenth spots. Together the ten universities saw 75 percent of all student protests. [DNE, 4/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Rights groups demand national strategy to fight sexual violence | Mada Masr
  • Journalists ‘systematically targeted’ in Egypt: Reporters Without Borders | Ahram Online, RWB
  • Cairo University bars presidential campaigning on campus | Aswat Masriya


Anonymous Against the Coup movement claims responsibility for torching Sisi Port Said campaign headquarters
An Egyptian movement named “Anonymous against the Coup” claimed responsibility for burning Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s campaign headquarters in Port Said on Tuesday. The group also claimed responsibility for burning a police car on the corniche near Helwan and another in Cairo. Supporters of Mohamed Morsi organized the movement earlier this year. The group claimed responsibility for several other attacks on the interior ministry via its Facebook page. The group aims to escalate conflict in Egypt by targeting security forces. [AMAY (Arabic), 4/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Army spokesman: Three ‘takfiris’ killed and IED diffused near al-Arish | Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Britain orders probe of Muslim Brotherhood
British Prime Minister David Cameron has told the country’s intelligence agencies to investigate the Muslim Brotherhood, amid reports the group is using London as a base to plan militant activities after a crackdown in Egypt. The review is being led by Britain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Jenkins. A Downing Street spokesperson said that “given the concerns about the group and its alleged links to violent extremism, it’s absolutely right and prudent that we get a better handle of what the Brotherhood stands for, how they intend to achieve their aims and what that means for Britain.” The Egyptian foreign ministry welcomed Britain’s decision to investigate Brotherhood’s activities on its soil, expressing hopes that the issue be dealt with in all seriousness and urgency. [AP, AFP/Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 4/1/2014]

US Embassy denies Washington postponing return of Egypt army helicopters
The US Embassy in Cairo issued a statement on Tuesday to correct what it called inaccurate reports that have been recently circulated about holding Apache helicopters belonging to Egypt by the United States. Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy claimed in a press statement earlier that the United States had refused to return the Apache helicopters belonging to Egypt sent to Washington for maintenance. “In fact, one helicopter was sent to the United States for an upgrade. That upgrade is complete, and it is available to be shipped back to Egypt at any time,” the embassy said in its statement. It however pointed out that “The United States continues to hold delivery of new Apache helicopters as a part of the US Administration’s review of assistance to Egypt.” [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 4/1/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • No new policy on Ethiopian dam: Foreign ministry | DNE
  • Foreign Minister Discusses al-Nahda Dam and Road map with Ashton | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Al-Ahram (Arabic)