Top News: Saudi Arabia Declares Muslim Brotherhood a ‘Terrorist Organization’

Saudi Arabia listed Friday the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as a terrorist organization, along with Syria’s two main militant groups, according to Al-Arabiya television network.


Amended law prevents Morsi, detained Brotherhood leaders from running for president
With Egypt’s newly-appointed cabinet on Thursday approving the law aimed at regulating the country’s upcoming presidential polls, Ali Awad, interim President Adly Mansour’s legal and constitutional affairs advisor, said on Thursday that he will hold a press conference to announce the details of the latest draft. The next step will be a meeting of the Presidential Election Commission (PEC) – the five-member judicial body tasked with supervising presidential polls – to prepare for the process which will see Egypt elect its second president in three years. The controversial Article 7, which would grant immunity to the PEC’s decisions was criticized by the Salafi Nour Party. Party secretary Galal Mara said that it will call into question the integrity of the elections. The council’s semi-final draft of Article 7 restricts the right to file appeals to “those directly concerned with the election process, mainly candidates.” The cabinet also agreed on Thursday to amend the Political Rights Law No. 73 of 1956 to prevent detainees pending investigation and criminal prisoners from running for president, a senior government official told Al-Masry Al-Youm. The new amendments prevent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood on remand, as well as toppled President Mohamed Morsi from running the presidential race, the official said. It would also apply to former President Hosni Mubarak, who is being tried on criminal charges. [Ahram Online, 3/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • National Salvation Front figures voting for Sisi | Mada Masr
  • “The love of country is not manifested in talking but in hard work”: Sisi | Ahram Online


Complaint against prominent judge Ahmed al-Zend referred to judicial council
Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered on Thursday that a complaint by a group of judges directed at the head of the Judges Club, Ahmed al-Zend, be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council. The thirteen judges accused Zend of intervening in politics, which would constitute a violation of the law on judicial powers. Zend had demanded that military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi form a “council of war” to deal with terrorists, acts of violence and vandalism allegedly committed by the Muslim Brotherhood. The judges who filed the complaint said that these statements constituted a direct intervention in state policy-making. [Ahram Online, 3/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Owner of Egyptian dairy giant Juhayna given jail term | Ahram Online


Prime Minister rules out privatization plans
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb asserted that the government was determined to restructure State coffers and develop assets of strategic industries such as iron and steel, Mahala weaving factories and others, ruling out any plans for privatization. [SIS, 3/6/2014]

Egypt tries harder to stop energy firm exodus
Egypt is enhancing exploration terms and striving to repay nearly $5 billion it owes to foreign oil and gas producers as it struggles to prevent them fleeing to more promising prospects elsewhere in Africa. Its new licensing rounds have attracted bids despite the turmoil. The new leeway is attractive to investors, allowing them to push for higher prices depending on distance from shore, reservoir depth and what the discovery will cost to develop. In an important change, new concessions would be able sell directly to commercial users, such as steel or power plants, bypassing government entities, executives and analysts said. Producers welcome the promise of higher future returns, but say new investment will not materialize while Egypt struggles to pay for output, even at today’s lower prices. [Reuters, 3/6/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Entrepreneurship grows in Egypt’s flailing economy | AP
  • Egypt stocks end week down on profit-taking | Ahram Online


Dozens wounded, arrested in Friday pro-Morsi protests
Clashes broke out between Muslim Brotherhood supporters on one side and police and local residents on the other in various Egyptian cities on Friday. Police forces arrested ten pro-Brotherhood demonstrators in Alexandria on Friday during clashes between the demonstrators and local residents, reported an Aswat Masriya witness. Security forces tear-gassed the two parties to end the clashes that erupted in Sidi Beshr, said the witness. In Suez, a medical source said that two police officers sustained minor injuries in clashes with Brotherhood supporters at al-Arba’een Square, with state-run EGYNews reporting five arrests. Fayoum also witnessed some violence between a group of pro-Brotherhood protesters and political activists, CBC channel reported. According to Ahram Gate, the clashes left five injured, with at least three arrested. Police fired teargas bombs to disband the clashing parties. In Damietta, a shooting occurred between masked gunmen and security personnel near Damietta Security Directorate with no casualties. In Sharqiya, EGYNews reported the arrest of three Brotherhood members. Central squares and areas in Cairo and Giza were secured on Friday morning in preparation for week-long demonstrations which the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) has called for. The NASL called for protests against “the presidential candidate supported by Zionists and Americans,” announcing its plan to torch photos of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi along with the flags of the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, 3/7/2014]

Dozens of detainees complain of torture in Egypt police stations
Dozens of detained Egyptians say they were subject to police brutality during their arrest or while in police stations, a rights campaigner said after a field visit to a prison near Cairo. Over one hundred Egyptian detainees, arrested during protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 revolution in January, told human rights campaigner Hafez Abu Saeda that they were tortured while detained at police stations. Saeda, a member of the semi-governmental National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) which recently investigated allegations of torture in jails and police stations said that 40 out of 119 recent prisoners interviewed by NCHR members at Abu Zaabal prison said they were tortured and beaten in police stations after being arrested. [Ahram Online, 3/6/2014]

Brotherhood denounces human rights report on crackdown
A Muslim Brotherhood statement condemned the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) report about the police and army crackdown on a Brotherhood sit-in in Cairo last August. The statement described the NCHR’s report as a crime and a death certificate for the council, adding that it is filled will fallacies and lies. This report is “a revival of the massacre’s memory” and will deepen the wounds, the Brotherhood statement said. The report aims to underestimate the brutal nature of the crime and holds only the police accountable, not the army, it added. [Aswat Masriya, 3/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Remaining 36 Gaza activists leave Cairo | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Policeman shot in Arish, police vehicles torched in Giza
Unknown assailants torched two police vehicles early on Friday morning in the district of Haram in the governorate of Giza. The fire injured three police conscripts. A low-ranking police officer was killed on Thursday night in the city of Arish in North Sinai, Aswat Masriya reported. Security sources told Aswat Masriya that Saad Lotfi Abdel-Hadi, 39, was shot by unknown assailants on his way home late last Thursday. He was transferred to Arish general hospital to receive treatment but died from his wounds there. [Ahram Online, 3/7/2014]


Egypt has no plans to send ambassador back to Qatar, says cabinet
Egypt’s ambassador to Qatar, who was recalled to Cairo last month over political tension between the two Arab states, will not go back to Doha for now, the cabinet said on Thursday. “The Egyptian ambassador to Qatar will not return to Doha at the moment,” a cabinet statement said. “Qatar’s problem is not (only) with us, but with the majority of the Arab states.”
[Reuters, 3/6/2014]

Saudi Arabia declares Muslim Brotherhood a ‘terrorist organization’
Saudi Arabia listed Friday the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as a terrorist organization, along with Syria’s two main militant groups, according to Al-Arabiya television network. The two groups are al-Nusra Front, which is al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a rogue group fighting in both Syria and Iraq. The Saudi Hezbollah was also included in the official decree. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Ahram (Arabic), 3/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Germany and The Netherlands repatriate their citizens from the Sinai | DNE
  • Belgium, Switzerland warn against travel to Sharm al-Sheikh | DNE
  • Egypt calls for setting up international fund to collect arms in Libya | Aswat Masriya