Top News: Sisi Calls for Saving on Fuel Costs by Taking Part in Cycling Marathon

During a cycling marathon in Egypt on Friday, newly elected president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called on Egyptians to walk more to save the country money on fuel. 


Cabinet introduces plan to combat sexual harassment
A ministerial committee tasked with examining the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt announced twelve actions to combat harassment and assault. In a statement issued after the meeting, the committee said it would intensify security measures in public squares and crowded areas and seek to implement the sexual harassment law that was recently passed. The interior ministry also announced plans to assemble an “integrated security team” that would focus on curbing sexual harassment and assault and added that it would increase the number of personnel working in its human rights division in coordination with the National Council for Women. Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawy announced on Thursday that Egypt has asked for a recent video showing a sexual assault victim in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to be removed from YouTube. Badawy explained that the demand comes at the request of both the victim and President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who visited her in hospital on Wednesday. [DNE, SIS, Reuters, Mada Masr, AMAY (Arabic), 6/13/2014]

Sisi calls for saving on fuel costs by taking part in cycling marathon
During a cycling marathon in Egypt on Friday, newly elected president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called on Egyptians to walk more to save the country money on fuel. Sisi described the cycling marathon as symbolizing the possibility for Egyptians to “unite around one goal” and that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Around a fifth of Egypt’s state budget is devoted to subsidizing energy, at an estimated cost of EGP 130 billion for the 2013/2014 fiscal year. The government aims to trim the fuel subsidy bill in the coming fiscal year to EGP 104.5 billion. [Reuters, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 6/13/2014]

Also of Interest:
Moussa to form pro-Sisi alliance to ‘guard’ Egypt’s constitution | Ahram Online
Mahlab continues consultations for formation of new cabinet | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Nour Party calls for government of technocrats to manage parliamentary elections | Shorouk (Arabic)


Former interior minister Adly acquitted of profiteering; Illicit gains trial postponed
A Giza court has acquitted Mubarak’s minister of interior Habib al-Adly of profiteering and money laundering charges in his retrial Thursday afternoon. Adly, Mubarak’s era longest serving minister of interior, was convicted of money laundering and profiteering, for which he received a twelve year jail sentence in May 2011. In May 2014, the Court of Cassation overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial. Adly still faces other retrials, including one on charges of killing protesters during the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Mubarak, as well as charges over illicit gains worth EGP 181 million. The illicit gains trial has been adjourned to September 18, 2014. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 6/13/2014]

Also of Interest:
Five public housing residents referred to prosecution for sit-in | DNE
Detention renewed for six suspects over Tahrir sexual assault | Egypt Independent


EFG-Hermes sees IMF Egypt loan as Gulf backers seek partners
Egypt will probably restart loan talks with the IMF as Gulf Arab allies say they need partners to help revive the struggling economy, according to the country’s biggest investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding SAE. Egypt needs between $10 billion to $15 billion in the fiscal year starting next month to help finance the budget deficit and stabilize foreign currency reserves that have fallen 50 percent since 2011. [Bloomberg, 6/12/2014]

NBE: Egypt receives $22 billion in expats’ remittances in 2014
Remittances from Egyptian expats in 2014 are up 22.2 percent so far as compared to the previous year. In 2014, remittances are worth some $22 billion compared to $18 billion last year, said Zeinab Hashem, head of the treasury department at the country’s biggest bank, National Bank of Egypt (NBE). [Ahram Online, 6/12/2014]

Also of Interest:
Egypt pushing ahead with Suez port expansion projects | Reuters
EU, Egypt discuss fostering economic relations | SIS


Police launch crackdown on street vendors in Cairo, governorates
The interior ministry has launched a concerted campaign to remove unauthorized street vendors and their stalls from the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities. Cairo governor, Galal Said, visited Ramsis Square in central Cairo on Thursday to track the campaign, and told state news agency MENA that all the illegal vendors had been removed from downtown Cairo and from the square. As part of a new campaign to restore security to Egypt`s streets, the interior ministry has said it plans to remove all illegal street vendors, intensify the presence of security forces, and ease traffic. [Ahram Online, 6/13/2014]

Rights groups hold press conference condemning Shura Council trial
A press conference was held at Cairo’s Journalists’ Syndicate on Thursday to denounce a recent court verdict against twenty-five activists accused in what is known as the “Shura Council” trial. The press conference was called by seven rights and freedoms groups and organizations including El-Nadim Centre for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. Meanwhile, the April 6 Movement condemned the arrest of one of its members on Thursday during a protest against the verdict. [Ahram Online, 6/12/2014]

Also of Interest:
Online test leaks ‘hard blow’ to Egypt’s education system | Ahram Online
Minister of education issues decree to regulate exams | EGYNews (Arabic)
Writer Fahmy Howeidy travels to Morocco after being barred from travel | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
NASL calls for weeklong protests starting Friday | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
Pro-Morsi protesters stage march in Alexandria | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Security forces disperse Brotherhood protest in Maadi | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
Morsi supporters march in Kafr al-Dawwar | Shorouk (Arabic)
Security directorate in Beni Suef imposes state of alert in response to Brotherhood protests | Shorouk (Arabic)


Interior ministry denies reports of violence at Qanater prison
A group of Al-Azhar University students detained at Qanater women’s prison claim they were brutally beaten by other inmates and security personnel earlier this week, according to the women’s families. However, on Thursday, the Ministry of Interior’s Prisons Authority denied the allegations of abuse, claiming these were false reports intended to arouse sympathy for the detainees. A statement by the authority insisted that it adheres to the principles of human rights. [Mada Masr, 6/13/2014]

Also of Interest:
Wounded soldier shot dead by smugglers on border with Israel | AMAY (Arabic)


UK ‘very concerned’ over sentencing of Egyptian activists
The UK has called on Egypt’s government to respect the freedoms outlined in its 2014 constitution after Alaa Abdel-Fattah – a key figure from the 2011 uprising – was sentenced to fifteen years in jail for holding an illegal protest. Hugh Robertson, UK Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East, said in a statement on Thursday he was “very concerned” about the sentencing over charges of a “peaceful protest”. He urged Egyptian authorities to reconsider the protest law which led to the defendants’ conviction and implement the rights contained in the constitution. [Ahram Online, 6/12/2014]

African court to consider Cabinet clashes case
Two and a half years after deadly clashes in front of the Cabinet building that left eighteen people dead, the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights has agreed to consider the case against security forces filed by the families of the victims. This would be the first time a case of killing protesters in post-revolution violence would be brought to international arbitration. The violent confrontation started on December 16, 2011. Police and Armed Forces personnel attacked protesters at a sit-in near the Cabinet building as they demonstrated against the appointment of an old regime figure, Kamal al-Ganzouri, as prime minister. The clashes lasted for five days and left more than 900 people injured. [Mada Masr, 6/12/2014]

Egyptian committee demands Amnesty’s report on torture, secret prisons
A state-affiliated fact-finding committee has sent a letter to Amnesty International requesting information that the human rights organization published regarding torture and “enforced disappearance” in Egypt. The committee, formed by former interim president Adly Mansour, has been investigating the violent events that have taken place since Mohamed Morsi’s ouster last summer. In a statement issued on Thursday, the committee said that this is not the first letter to be sent to Amnesty, explaining that a similar request in May received no response. [Ahram Online, 6/12/2014]

Also of Interest:
Fahmy discusses African relations | DNE, Shorouk (Arabic)