Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday a presidential pardon for two of the three Al Jazeera journalists serving seven-year jail sentences in his country was being considered.


Sisi says pardon for Al Jazeera journalists “being discussed”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday a presidential pardon for two of the three Al Jazeera journalists serving seven-year jail sentences in his country was being considered. “Let us say that this matter is being discussed to solve the issue,” Sisi said in an interview with the France24 network. [Reuters, 11/20/2014]

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Egypt’s electoral districts law undergoing further examination, says PM | Ahram Online
Former armed forces’ chief of staff says will not run for elections | Egypt Independent


Doctor and father acquitted in Egypt’s first FGM trial
An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted a father and a doctor over performing a female circumcision operation that killed a teenage girl, Sohair al-Batea, in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura last year. No reason was given – the verdict was instead scrawled in a ledger rather than announced in the courtroom in Agga, north Egypt. This was the first time Egyptian courts have looked into an FGM case, a practice that was officially banned in 2008. Reda al-Danbouki, a rights lawyer in Mansoura, said the defense team will appeal the ruling. The doctor was ordered to pay EGP 5,001 to Sohair’s mother after the pair reached an out-of-court settlement. However, the court acquitted the defendants of all other accusations, including performing female circumcision, endangering a child, and forcing the child to undergo the operation. It also acquitted the doctor of operating an unfit medical facility. [Ahram Online, The Guardian, AP, 11/20/2014]

Lawyer files lawsuit against new Brotherhood channel
Egyptian Lawyer Samir Sabry has filed a lawsuit at the State Council’s Administrative Court calling on Egypt’s NileSat to halt the broadcast of a new Brotherhood-run satellite channel, Misr Alaan (Egypt Now). Sabry pointed to the Brotherhood’s ownership of the channel as evidence that it will not differ from coverage by Qatar-owned satellite channel Al-Jazeera, seen by Cairo as biased towards Islamists. The lawsuit claims that the channel has broadcast false news with the purpose of fueling protests in Egypt and inciting students to violence. [EGYNews (Arabic), 11/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Guidance Bureau trial postponed to November 22 | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt to issue $1.75 billion one-year treasury bill
According to Egypt’s central bank, it has decided to offer a $1.75 billion one-year treasury bill to local banks and foreign financial institutions at an auction on November 25. With the reluctance to invest in Egypt by foreign investors the Egyptian government has turned towards the local money market to finance its public deficit.  [Ahram Online, 11/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Disney denies plans to open theme park in Egypt | Mada Masr
46.2 million local internet users by end of August 2014 | DNE
Israel’s Tamar gas group plans upgrade, including pipeline to Egypt | Reuters
UAE targets Brotherhood and other Islamists’ accounts in money-laundering clampdown | Reuters
Egypt says it resolves land dispute with Dubai’s al-Futtaim | Reuters
Egypt expects new African trade bloc in December, says minister | Reuters
World Bank approves $75 million loan to Egypt | SIS


Forty-eight arrested on Mohamed Mahmoud anniversary
Police forces arrested forty-eight protesters who took to the streets on Wednesday to commemorate the third anniversary of Mohamed Mahmoud clashes, and transferred them to the Abdeen and Qasr al-Nil police stations in Downtown Cairo. Human rights lawyer Mahienour al-Masry, and three others, were also arrested in Alexandria, and were released several hours later without charges being brought against them.  A press conference scheduled to be held at the Journalists Syndicate on Wednesday was cancelled following the arrests. Independent group Freedom for the Brave published several lists with the names of those arrested on its Facebook page, adding that some of the detainees had been released. A number of political parties and movements are scheduled to hold a conference on Thursday at al-Dostour party headquarters, to respond to what they described as “random arrests’ campaigns” that took place on Wednesday. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, Mada Masr, 11/20/2014]

Egyptian police arrest Brotherhood ‘moderate’ Mohamed Ali Bishr
Egypt on Thursday arrested a leading Muslim Brotherhood member who played a key role in negotiations between his now-banned group and the government. The early morning arrest of Mohammed Ali Bishr from his home in the Nile Delta was linked to a call for demonstrations at the end of the month, according to a security official. The rallies have been called by a hardline Islamist group called the Salafi Front, and not the Brotherhood. Bishr, who served as a cabinet minister under Mohamed Morsi, has since been transferred to Cairo’s State Security for interrogation. The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy condemned his arrest.  The Salafi Front also announced on its Facebook page that security forces raided the homes of several of its leading members nationwide, and made a number of arrests. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Mada Masr, The Guardian, Reuters, 11/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Security forces disperse al-Azhar University protests, fourteen students arrested | DNE, Ahram (Arabic)
Seven students arrested in Minya University | EGYNews (Arabic)


Egypt arrests leading militant figure after return from Syria
Egypt’s security forces arrested Wednesday a leading member of the militant al-Furqan Brigades after his return from fighting in Syria with al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front. An interior ministry statement alleged that Hani Shaheen returned to Egypt to train elements on explosives assembly.  The security force also arrested thirty-eight others from five different terrorist cells in al-Gharbiya governorate. [Ahram Online, Reuters, 11/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Sound bomb detonates at Cairo’s Ramsis train station | Ahram Online
Six injured in blast near Helwan University | EGYNews (Arabic)
Three public transportation buses torched in Sharqiya, no casualties | Aswat Masriya
Schools in parts of Egypt’s North Sinai indefinitely suspended, says governor | Ahram Online
Accidents, attacks occur at schools in governorates | Egypt Independent
Army spokesman says militants killed, sixty-one arrested in past three days | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Closing of Egypt’s Rafah crossing leaves thousands of Gazans stranded
Egypt’s decision to shut its border with the Gaza Strip has stranded thousands of Palestinians on the Egyptian side of the border while around a thousand people in Gaza are desperate to get out for medical treatment in Egypt, officials in Gaza say. Interior ministry spokesman in Gaza Eyad al-Bozom said in a press conference that there are 30,000 “humanitarian cases” that need to travel urgently, while 6,000 Palestinians are stranded on the Egyptian side, calling on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing that has been closed for four weeks. [Reuters, AFP, 11/20/2014]

Also of Interest
Egypt seeks Latin America support at UNSC elections | SIS
Egypt commends efforts to build prosperous Somalia | DNE
Germany allocates 12 million euros to support democratic transformation in Egypt, says ambassador | Aswat Masriya
Report: Egyptians among world’s least generous | Mada Masr
Sisi denies presence of Egyptian military in Libya | EGYNews (Arabic)
Egypt joins Arab convention against organized crimes | EGYNews (Arabic)