Top News: State Owned Al-Ahram Slams Police Abuse of Power

State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, renowned for its pro-government stance, released a report Saturday slamming police abuses of power and negligence.


Egyptians should stand behind their president, says Hosni Mubarak
Former President Hosni Mubarak participated in a phone-in interview Sunday evening on the satellite channel Sada al-Balad on the thirty-third anniversary of the Liberation of Sinai. During the fifteen minute-interview, Mubarak said that that there are “fateful decisions” that need to be taken by current president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and that Egyptians should stand behind him. “We all have to work. No president can work on his own. Although I am confident in President Sisi’s wisdom, each Egyptian has to support him to get through this difficult stage.” He added, “Media has a great responsibility and it has to clarify to youth the challenges we are experiencing and the reality of our history.” Mubarak reiterated that the army, headed by Sisi, clearly “understands the sanctity of the national territory.” “Happy anniversary to Egypt, its army, its people and its leadership. April 25 for me is a day where I feel as proud as every Egyptian fighter and soldier who had the honor of serving in the Egyptian army,” Mubarak said. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 4/26/2015]

Cabinet to discuss anti-illegal immigration draft law on Wednesday
The Egyptian Union for Human Rights (EUHR) drafted a law to counter illegal immigration, which will be passed on to the cabinet Wednesday for discussion, head of the organization Naguib Ghobraiel said. The seventeen-article law defines illegal immigration as “any action of an individual or group that leads to exiting or attempting to exit the country to any other place regionally, internationally or continentally, without authorization or license from respective authorities.” The draft law calls for penalties for the crimes of committing, participating in or inciting illegal immigration and infiltration that range between fifteen years in prison and death sentences. In related news, Egypt moderated a European-African agreement on an action plan to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking. A Thursday Sharm al-Sheikh meeting between EU and African Union officials witnessed cooperation on the fight against illegal immigration and human trafficking. Egypt has dedicated all its efforts towards the issuance of a strategy with concrete results, development plans and providing international funding, the foreign ministry said Saturday. The ministry added that the agreement should achieve the interests of all parties. [DNE, 4/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Hala Shukrallah’s term as Constitution Party leader ends | Ahram Online, MENA
  • Egypt returning to central role in world says Mahlab | DNE


ICJ calls for ‘impartial’ investigations on lawyers’ death
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) called on Egyptian authorities “to ensure a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into the deaths of two lawyers, Imam Afifi and Kareem Hamdy.” Hamdy, along with two other detainees, was allegedly killed in the detention room of Matariya police station. Afifi, 63, died last week amid allegations of torture following his arrest on April 10.  The ICJ expressed its “deep concern” over the two deaths, as they are part of “a widespread and sustained campaign targeting hundreds of lawyers since 2013″ including opponents of the current regime and human rights activists, read the ICJ statement. [DNE, 4/25/2015]

Human Rights Watch says Morsi’s trial flawed
International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the Egyptian authorities of carrying out an unfair trial against former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, in a statement it published on Sunday. The trial was “compromised by due process violations, the appearance of bias and an absence of conclusive evidence,” the statement said. In the first verdict against the ex-president who is on trial in four separate cases, Morsi and another fourteen defendants were sentenced last week to twenty years in prison for inciting violence that led to the death of ten people during clashes outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012. HRW said Morsi was convicted on the basis of “little evidence” other than the testimony of senior security officers who testified to his “complicity in the unlawful detention, torture, and intimidation of protesters carried out by top aides and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.” [Ahram Online, DNE, Anadolu Agency, Reuters, 4/26/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt hangs five for murder and theft: Interior ministry  |AFP
  • ‘Missiles Cell’ trial postponed to May 10 | DNE
  • Court postpones Ultras ban verdict to May 16 | DNE
  • Urgent Matters Court declines jurisdiction in Ultras ban case | Egypt Independent
  • Lawsuit to rescind Wael Ghoneim’s citizenship referred to State Commissioners | Egypt Independent
  • Prosecution: Initial investigation shows disinfectants are behind Sharqiya poisonings | Aswat Masriya


Gulf deposits will raise Egypt’s foreign reserves to over $20 billion
Egypt’s foreign reserves are expected to rise to over $20 billion after recent Gulf deposits, the Governor of Egypt’s central bank has said. Egypt received deposits worth a total of $6 billion from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait last week. The deposits are viewed as crucial in shoring up Egypt’s foreign reserves and ensuring the stability of its local currency.  The deposits will be used to meet large parts of the central bank’s debts and import obligations over the next twelve to eighteen months. Meanwhile, the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank said Egypt will need to start completing projects and repaying loans before the bank will grant it more funds. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, 4/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Ending Egypt’s currency black market brings new challenges | Reuters
  • Second increase in electricity prices to take place in July | Egypt Independent
  • Minister says EGP11 billion to be allocated for state security pensions | Egypt Independent
  • Petroleum Ministry owes EGP100 billion to Finance Ministry | DNE
  • Housing ministry requests tightened measures to avoid construction violations | DNE
  • Consumer Protection emphasize maintaining mineral water prices | DNE
  • CBE reduces commission of credit letters to facilitate imports | DNE
  • Prime Minister says expenditures in social sector to rise in 2015/2016  | Egypt Independent
  • German Daimler Motor Company withdraws from Egyptian market | Egypt Independent
  • Mercedes Benz explains its reasons to leave Egypt | Egypt Independent
  • Egyptian businessmen rattled by new regulations | Al-Monitor
  • While lobbying for coal imports, cement industry boomed | Mada Masr


State owned Al-Ahram slams police abuse of power
State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, renowned for its pro-government stance, released a report Saturday slamming police abuses of power and negligence. The provocatively-worded article, titled “Those who don’t die of torture, die of suffocation,” focuses primarily on poor treatment, overcrowding and filthy conditions inside Old Cairo police station where two detainees died earlier this month. The article follows a report published in private daily Al-Masry al-Youm (AMAY) detailing alleged police violations, for which five journalists have been referred to investigation. A group of journalists took part in a demonstration in front of the Press Syndicate building in downtown Cairo Saturday afternoon in solidarity with the five AMAY journalists.  [DNE, 4/26/2015]

Also of Interest


Blasts in Nile Delta, Upper Egypt target power lines
Two electricity pylons in the Nile Delta were hit by blasts on Sunday night, injuring six people and cutting off power supplies, state news agency MENA reported. Unknown assailants targeted two high-pressure electricity pylons with six bombs in Beheira governorate’s al-Nobareya city. Power lines fell on the road as a result of the blast, bringing traffic to a halt and cutting off electricity to the city. Two electricity pylons in Upper Egypt were also targeted with explosives on Sunday, with damages estimated to cost nearly EGP200,000, the state’s main electricity distribution company said. In a statement, the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) said that unidentified assailants placed bombs in the base of the pylons. The two pylons, which transmit electricity from the High Dam to the southern city of Nagaa Hamady, did not fall and are still working after being temporarily fixed. [Ahram Online, 4/ 27/2015]

Sisi extends North Sinai curfew for another three months
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree Saturday extending for another three months a curfew applied seven months ago in some part of restive North Sinai. The extension will come into effect starting Sunday. The curfew was first applied, on October 25, 2014, for just three months but has been renewed since. It was applied a day after thirty-one army personnel were killed in a car bomb attack, with thirty others injured. Last week, the overnight curfew was reduced to eight hours. Also last week, Twitter hashtag “#Enough_Curfew” expressed local opposition to the security measure and detailed the difficulties of living under an eleven-hour curfew. Some said the curfew did not reduce militant attacks. One al-Arish resident said Sunday that the government’s extension of the curfew “is no use.”  He said that since the curfew was enforced, “militancy increased during the curfew hours. It is neither securing the residents nor security personnel as it is leaving the army vulnerable to attacks.” He added that the residents of al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid feel their movements are restricted, as the three areas are connected to each other and share common interests. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 4/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Alleged ‘Helwan Brigades’ member arrested | DNE
  • Four people killed while making bombs in Egypt’s Beni Suef say police | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Two conscripts wounded by gunshot at Rafah border | Egypt Independent
  • Gunmen set truck heading to central security facility on fire | Egypt Independent
  • Tight security measures in North Sinai on liberation day | Aswat Masriya


Egypt and the United States launch $250 million US-Egypt Higher Education Initiative
The US Embassy in Cairo announced on Sunday a partnership with the Egyptian Ministries of International Cooperation and Higher Education to provide educational opportunities for high-achieving Egyptians. Through the $250 million US-Egypt Higher Education Initiative, the US government will provide up to 1,900 university scholarships and exchanges to Egyptians to study in Egypt and the United States and will support up to twenty higher education partnerships to strengthen research and exchanges between Egyptian and US universities. [Egypt Independent, 4/26/2015]

Egypt’s bid for non-permanent UNSC seat aims at UN ‘reform’ says Foreign Minister
Egypt bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is centred on “reforming the United Nations and expanding the Security Council to become more democratic and representative of developing countries,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdel Atty said Saturday. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry flew to New York Thursday to promote Egypt’s bid for a UNSC for 2016-2017. Shoukry said in a ministry statement that Egypt is seeking to defend African interests from within the UNSC, adding that African affairs are at the top of the priorities of the Egyptian government. Egypt is also looking to push Third World issues and the resolution of regional crises, including Palestine, Libya and Yemen, Abdel Atty told state news agency MENA. Permanent delegates of the African countries in the United Nations as well as the Latin and Caribbean group have expressed their support for Egypt’s membership. [Ahram Online, DNE, 4/25/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Irrigation Minister in Ethiopia for African Climate summit | Ahram Online
  • Russian Space Web adviser: Egyptian Satellite ‘Egypt Sat 2’ lost | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt receives over 374 illegal contraband antiques from France, US | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Stranded Yemenis in Egypt protest embassy ‘lies’ | DNE
  • World Intellectual Property Day celebrated by the League of Arab States | DNE
  • Egypt ambassador absent from Armenian anniversary | DNE
  • Official Egyptian delegation leaves for Qatar to attend aviation conference | Aswat Masriya
  • Tourism Minister meets Vatican delegation over promoting tourism in Egypt |Egypt Independent
  • International study warns of Renaissance Dam risks |Egypt Independent
  • Foreign Minister receives phone call from Kerry | SIS