Top News: Sexual Harassers in 340 Reports Released After Girls Failed to Sign Police Report

Perpetrators of sexual harassment in 340 incidents during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, mostly verbal, were reportedly released because the women who were harassed did not go to police stations to sign the police reports. The Morality Police issued 340 reports, in which most of the perpetrators were boys and teens. The department also commended the work of I Saw Harassment, a grassroots movement that releases reports on sexual harassment and includes volunteers that intervene in such cases on streets. The grassroots group released a statement Monday saying it had intervened in 223 incidents of sexual violations during the three day holiday, compared to thirty-five incidents in 2014’s Eid al-Fitr. [Cairo Post, 7/21/2015]

Tax workers concerned over new civil service law
The General Syndicate for Finance and Tax Workers sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab on Monday, urging the cabinet not to apply the new Civil Service Law on administrative institutions. Syndicate Director, Magdy Shaaban, said in the memorandum: “The new law abandons most custom and tax workers’ rights by depriving them of promotion, incentives, freedom of expressing their opinions on the working system.” The memorandum added that the syndicate has previously requested to meet Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Arabi to discuss new amendments on the civil service law. No response, however, was received, which is considered a violation of Article 14 of the currently valid workers syndicate law. The Syndicate called on all tax workers to rally in front of the cabinet headquarters in Cairo on August 10. The syndicate said the protest aims at hindering the ratification of the new law due to its purported major financial and administrative harm on workers. The protest also aims at improving the standards of living for workers in the syndicate and tax institution, in addition to calling on the president to call on the cabinet to draft a bill that turns the Egyptian Tax Authority into an independent institution. “No one will be harmed by the new law,” said Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian in an official statement last Monday. The law ensures periodic increases in the wages of state administrative agencies’ employees, Dimian said. [DNE, 7/21/2015]  

Also of Interest

  • Sabbahi slams anti-terror bill, says not running for parliament | Egypt Independent
  • Terrorism empowers ‘military dictatorship’: Political opposition | DNE

Morsi, Badie back in Egyptian courts as trials of Brotherhood leaders resume
The trials of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood resumed on Tuesday after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Cairo criminal court resumed proceedings in the ‘Qatar espionage trial’ in which Morsi and ten others face charges of leaking classified documents to the Gulf country. Ismailia court also resumed the trial of Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 104 others, in the case known as the “Ismailia incident.” The defendants are charged with planning illegal protests, threatening public peace, committing acts of violence, and murder. [Ahram Online, 7/21/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Man arrested for taking photos of metro station | DNE

Egypt’s trade deficit grows 52.7 percent in April
Egypt’s trade balance deficit reached EGP 24.6 billion in April, marking a 52.7 percent increase compared to EGP 16.11 billion in the same period last year, the state-run body CAPMAS reported on Tuesday. State exports were valued at EGP 14 billion in April, declining from EGP 17.26 billion in April 2014, due to a drop in the price of certain goods including crude oil and petroleum products. Meanwhile, the value of imports rose by 15.67 percent. [Ahram Online, 7/21/2015]

Also of Interest

Two preachers suspended in Qalyubiya
Two imams in the Qalyubiya governorate were reportedly suspended from their positions on Monday for belonging to “terrorist groups.” The two preachers were accused of encroachment in talking about the police, the army, and insulting state institutions. The Ministry of Religious Endowments representative in the governorate said that they had been referred to the prosecution pending investigation into their alleged violations, which he said uncovered their allegiance to terrorist groups. Also on Monday, the Ministry of Religious Endowment announced the formation of a company to oversee all large and ancient mosques across the country. This company will be responsible for securing, maintaining, cleaning, and administering all large and ancient mosques across the country. [DNE, 7/21/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Pro-Morsi alliance calls for million man march Tuesday | DNE


HRW report documents dozens of forced disappearances since 2014
The New York-based international human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on Monday documenting dozens of cases of secret detentions and state security-enforced disappearances in Egypt since April 2014. The report documented five specific cases where HRW talked to family members, lawyers and activists about the disappeared individual. The cases studied by HRW reveal instances of torture, undocumented detention and, in two cases, the death of the detainee. The rights watchdog also investigated two other cases, but was unable to confirm that the individuals were forcibly disappeared in these instances. HRW also quoted figures from the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), which released a report on May 29 stating it had documented and verified nine cases of forced disappearances, and were reviewing fifty-five cases of relatives alleging that someone in their family had disappeared. HRW noted that the report did not state whether prosecutors were investigating said disappearances. [Mada Masr, 7/21/2015]

NGOs: Terrorism down 50 percent during first half of July
A coalition of NGOs tracking the rate of violence in Egypt has said that the rate of terrorist incidents halved in the first two weeks of July. A report by the Parliamentary Election Observatory, an alliance of thirty-five local and international human rights groups, said terrorist crimes dropped by 50 percent during the period between July 3-16, compared to the last week of June. “The reports issued by the Mission revealed that terrorist crime rates decreased remarkably during the two weeks following the anniversary of the June 30th revolution, which witnessed a qualitative development in the nature of terrorist crimes. These crimes dropped in the second week of July 2015, which was attributed, in the reports issued by the Mission, to the relative success of the security measures taken by the Egyptian government,” the report said. [Egypt Independent, 7/21/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Several car accidents in Upper Egypt leave 4 dead and dozens injured | Ahram Online
  • One dead, two injured in large downtown Cairo blaze: VIDEO | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
  • Explosion in Fayoum, no injuries reported| DNE
  • 15 million counterfeit cigarette packs seized in Alexandria | Egypt Independent

German lawyer barred from entering Egypt
Lawyer and activist Silke Noa Kumpf was reportedly barred from entering Egypt on Sunday after arriving at Cairo airport. A report by Aswat Masriya indicates that during passport control Kumpf was found to be on a list of people barred from entering the country as per orders from a branch of the security apparatus. Kumpf studied in London as well as at Stanford University, California. She worked in Cairo, London and Moscow for different law firms. The German Embassy in Cairo told Daily News Egypt it had no knowledge of the case and was therefore unable to comment. [DNE, 7/21/2015]  

Egyptian workers in Libya allegedly ‘liberated’ by ‘Islamic State’
Libyan militant group “State of Barqa” released a gallery of pictures online of alleged Egyptian workers after being “liberated from bandits” in the Libyan city of Nufaliya. The pictures showed masked militants allegedly returning passports and identification papers to a group of men.  Other pictures show the “liberated Egyptians” waving the black “Islamic State” flag. The group also says that they provided trucks to deliver the men. The authenticity of the pictures is yet to be confirmed. Nufaliya is one of the cities controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) affiliate State of Barqa. Lying on the Eastern side of Sirte, Nufaliya was also reported to have witnessed the kidnapping of three Christians, one of whom is Egyptian. Meanwhile, authorities arrested 181 people attempting to illegally travel to Libya, among them seventy-nine from five Upper Egyptian governorates, sixty-three from Fayoum, thirty-five from the Delta governorates, two from Giza, and two from Sudan. [DNE, 7/21/2015]
Also of Interest

  • Egypt-Turkey tensions at unprecedented level | Egypt Independent
  • Mahlab opens Egypt’s new embassy in Equatorial Guinea | SIS, Ahram Online
  • Egypt condemns terror attack in Suruc, Turkey | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent   
  • Egypt participates in African Ebola conference | DNE, SIS
  • China chooses Egypt as guest of honor for 2017 Chinese-Arab trade fair | SIS