Top News: Sisi Meeting with SCAF, Expected to Submit Resignation

Several Egyptian media outlets, among them state-run Al-Ahram, reported that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is currently meeting with military officials where he is expected to submit his resignation as defense minister.


Sisi meeting with SCAF, expected to submit resignation
Several Egyptian media outlets, among them state-run Al-Ahram, reported that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is currently meeting with military officials where he is expected to submit his resignation as defense minister. A source told the state newspaper that the top army chief is resigning in order to officially announce his intention to run for the upcoming presidency. According to Aswat Masriya, however, there are conflicting reports from military sources about the exact time of the meeting. According to their source, the meeting will not begin until 7:00 pm CLT. According to Al-Ahram, a statement will be broadcast after Sisi submits his resignation to interim President Adly Mansour upon his return from the Arab Summit in Kuwait. [Aswat Masriya, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 3/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Brotherhood dissidents to form Islamist electoral alliance with Nour Party | Egypt Independent
  • Mahlab visits Upper Egypt for first time as prime minister | Ahram Online, AMAY (Arabic)
  • Hala Shukrallah signs April 6 petition against protest law | Ahram Online


Mubarak trial resumes in Cairo Criminal Court
The trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, along with his two sons, the former Minister of Interior and six others, on charges of killing protesters, resumed Tuesday in the Police Academy.
The defendants are charged with the “incitement of, agreeing to, and assisting in the killing” of peaceful protesters following January 25. Other charges include “igniting chaos, and causing a rift in the safety and security of the country,” reported state-owned Al-Ahram. The prosecution presented several medical documents as evidence that the police specifically targeted the heads and necks of protesters. [DNE, 3/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Fifteen Brotherhood members handed one to three year prison sentences in Daqahlia | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s top prosecutor orders investigation into alleged rape of UK woman in Sinai | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Egyptian police officer charged with attempted rape of Russian tourist | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Badie and fifty-one others to stand trial next week for ‘operations room’ case | DNE


Egypt mulls free trade zone with Russia’s customs union-official
Egypt is considering the creation of a free trade zone with the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Egyptian industry and investment minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said on Wednesday. He added that Egypt is also considering buying liquefied natural gas from Russia. [Reuters, 3/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt develops corporate governance and disclosure mechanisms – Interview | Aswat Masriya


Activists continue call for detainees release, end to protests law
On Monday, the Thuwar Front organized human chains across Egypt, calling for the release of political detainees held since the 2011 uprising. In Giza, human chains extended across 6th of October Bridge from Agouza to Zamalek, where protesters held posters carrying names and pictures of different detainees. Human chains were also simultaneously formed in Mansoura, Damietta, Alexandria, Beni Suef, North Sinai and Gharbiya. A similar protest was held on 6th of October Bridge last month, when demonstrators attempted to avoid using any political slogans, in order to remind the public that political prisoners are being forgotten regardless of their political affiliation. In related news, a campaign for the release of political prisoners called “Freedom for the Brave” said that they will file a report with the country’s prosecutor-general regarding the alleged torture they faced in central Cairo’s Azbakia police station. The group also invited all detainees who say they have been tortured to also file a report with the prosecutor-general. [Mada Masr, 3/26/2014]

Students across Egypt demonstrate against Minya death sentences
Protests by Muslim Brotherhood supporters took place on Wednesday outside Cairo University, according to privately owned TV channel CBC, as well as at Al-Azhar University and Zagazig University. Protests were also scheduled to begin on Wednesday at universities in Minya, Tanta, and Mansoura, according to a statement from the Students Against the Coup. The students are protesting the mass death sentences of over 500 defendants in Minya, and the political detainment of others. Security forces fired tear gas at Cairo University to disperse the protest, with injuries reported among both students and police. Security forces also intervened in protests in Zagazig, with eight arrested. According to a statement from the interior ministry, a number of Brotherhood-linked students smashed the glass frontage of the administrative office of Zagazig University, damaged professors’ vehicles and injured twelve students. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, DNE, 3/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • AFTE blames government policy for university tension | DNE
  • Cairo central distribution point joins postal workers strike | DNE
  • Police arrest Alexandria workers as strikes continue nationwide | Mada Masr


Bomb thrown at Cairo police station, no casualties
Two unidentified men threw a bomb at a police station in Cairo on Wednesday morning, which damaged parts of the building but no injuries were reported. The two men were riding a motorcycle when they attacked the Shubra al-Khaima police station, according to Security Director Mahmoud Yousri. Yousri said, “The whole area is being combed by explosive experts to handle issues of any other bombs,” adding that the perpetrators had not yet been arrested.  [Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, 3/26/2014]

Authorities arrest militants in Northern Sinai
Egyptian authorities arrested twenty-one terrorists and criminals in security operations on Tuesday and Wednesday, Egypt’s army spokesman Ahmed Ali said. In an official statement posted on Facebook, Ali said suspects were arrested in several villages in Sinai’s Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid areas. According to Ali, seventeen of those arrested had escaped from the Wadi Natrun Prison during the January 25 uprising. The other four, according to the statement, belong to a Tafkiri group responsible for monitoring activities of security personnel. [AMAY (Arabic), 3/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Three Brotherhood members arrested in Alexandria | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt calls on UN, Arab leaders to fight terrorism
Walid Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations’ office in Geneva, delivered on Tuesday a statement to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) calling for an international framework for preserving the rights of victims of terrorism. Nasser called for taking effective measures to protect victims of terrorism and enshrine their human rights through the creation of an international framework which is in line with domestic legislations, procedures and practices. In his speech Tuesday at the Arab League summit in Kuwait, Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour called on his Arab counterparts to join in the fight against terrorism.
Terrorism is “threatening the whole region,” said Mansour, but he insisted that terrorist groups would only make their opponents “more determined to uproot them.”Mansour urged those attending the summit to reactivate the Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, an anti-terrorism pact signed in 1998 by eighteen out of twenty-two members of the Arab League, but which has never been enforced. [DNE, 3/26/2014]

Washington denounces Egypt’s mass death sentences, evaluating aid policy
The United States on Tuesday strongly condemned Egypt’s mass death sentencing of more than 500 members and supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement, saying it would be “unconscionable” for Egyptian authorities to carry out the ruling. Speaking at a press briefing, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said verdicts handed down on Monday to 529 defendants and the beginning of another mass trial on Tuesday of Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 682 others “represent a flagrant disregard for basic standards of justice.” Harf added that Washington is “currently evaluating our aid policy” toward Egypt, saying it is important that the US maintain its ties with the country “for a variety of security, economic [and] regional reasons.” [Ahram Online, 3/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Human rights group calls for UN investigation into ‘systematic campaign of killing’ at hands of interim government | DNE
  • Egyptian shot dead in Libya | Ahram Online, DNE
  • UNRWA chief appeals to Israel, Egypt over Gaza restrictions | Reuters