At least 4,000 doctors gathered in front of the Doctors Syndicate headquarters in downtown Cairo on Friday morning, to attend an emergency general assembly meeting in the wake of a reported police assault on doctors. In a statement distributed at the general assembly, the syndicate said that medical staff at various hospitals had been repeatedly subjected to violations including physical violence. The statement also objected to the cabinet’s decision to form an authority to train doctors, a move that the syndicate says the cabinet is not authorized to make. The syndicate said the decision was issued without consulting any relevant body, which is a violation of the constitution. The general assembly is expected to discuss the aforementioned decision, as well as the issue of abuses committed against doctors. Several public figures and members of other syndicates attended the meeting in solidarity. The meeting was called for two weeks ago after policemen purportedly assaulted doctors at the Matariya Teaching Hospital. Prior to the rally, the East Cairo Prosecution ordered the release on bail of the nine Matariya policemen accused of assaulting “two physicians, eight nurses and one security administrator” on Thursday. [Mada MasrAhram OnlineAswat Masriya, 2/12/2016]

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  • Minister of Higher Education says four new universities to be established | MENA


Ministry of Industry prepares legislation to regulate issuance of licenses and allocation of land
Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil said that the ministry is in the process of preparing new legislation to regulate the issuance of licenses and allocation of land, and will submit a draft to the cabinet before seeking the approval of parliament. Kabil announced that the ministry intends to introduce four industrial zones by the end of this year and will aim to provide industrial land to investors. The minister indicated that Egypt can institute legislative reform to attract key industries, such as the automotive industry. For this, he suggested Egypt look to its African partners who have had success in this field for guidance. The ministry has tentative plans to establish five commercial offices in Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, and Ghana that will facilitate Egyptian exports to the African market, part of a long-term plan to increase the industrial sector’s share of Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to Kabil. The ministry will also establish logistical centers to assist trade between Egypt and other African countries. [DNE, 2/11/2016]

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  • Prime Minister says government will not tolerate corruption | SIS


Court reasoning shows journalist’s filming of ‘gay bath house orgy’ as serving public interest
An appeals court declared that the work of an Egyptian female journalist who had reported “a gay bath house orgy” to the police in late 2014 is “journalistic work that serves public interest.” In the reasoning released by the Cairo Misdemeanor Appeals Court Wednesday, the court stated that Mona Iraqi was acquitted of charges of defamation and “publishing false information” because the intention to “defame” did not exist in her case. Instead, the court argued, Iraqi intended to raise awareness regarding the causes of the AIDS or HIV virus and reveal the reasons behind its spread in Egypt to commemorate World AIDS Day through her TV show, which the court views as a matter of public interest. The court had reversed on January 19 a six-month prison sentence previously handed to Iraqi in the case known as the “Ramses Bathhouse” case. A defense lawyer for the 26 men whom Iraqi had filmed asserted that the appeals court’s ruling is in “complete violation” of the law because “the judge cannot rule on the validity of slanderous statements.” The defense is expected to file a complaint against Judge Amr Sakr, who presided over the appeals court, to the judicial inspection unit of the Ministry of Justice. In addition, the defense will request an appeal of the latest verdict in front of the Cassation Court. [Aswat Masriya, 2/10/2016]  

Egyptian train driver, dispatcher detained over train derailment
A train driver was ordered detained for four days pending investigations along with a railway dispatcher after a Thursday derailment of a train in Upper Egypt. The train crashed into a concrete fence causing the locomotive and the front coach to flip over, leaving around 70 people injured, most of whom were released from hospital. During investigations, the dispatcher who works at the rail system communication tower said he sent a signal about the switch so that the driver would reduce his speed, however the driver denied receiving a signal. The Transport Ministry has assigned a technical committee to investigate the crash, determine the reason behind it and whether the driver was speeding. [Ahram Online, AMAY, Cairo Post, 2/12/2016]


Egypt’s central bank injected $14 billion in three months to ease dollar shortage
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has injected over $14 billion dollars into local banks over the past three months to facilitate import activity and curb inflation on essential goods, a government statement said Thursday. “The central bank and Egyptian banks have embarked on an urgent plan to facilitate foreign trade in order to provide for production and for essential consumer goods for Egyptian citizens,” a CBE report cited in the statement said. “To this end the central bank has provided more than $14 billion over three months and this has had an immediate impact on foreign trade and industrial activity.” The dollar injections have helped push down prices on essential food items by 25 to 35 percent, the statement added. The CBE report said the dollar injections did not affect its level of foreign reserves, which have remained steady around $16 billion dollars in recent months. [Reuters, 2/12/2016]

Egypt, EU launch trade program
Egypt’s Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Kabil and Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt Ambassador James Moran announced on Thursday the implementation of a Trade and Domestic Market Enhancement Program. As part of the program, the EU will provide Egypt with technical assistance in foreign trade and will provide Egypt with EUR 20 million to support industrial development and infrastructure. Kabil said the program is a central part of the ministry’s plans to increase industrial sector growth by 9 percent. The program also aims to align Egypt’s industrial sector with Europe’s 2020 sustainable development strategy to mitigate trade barriers. Moran noted that EU investment in Egypt rose by 4 percent in 2015 and that the volume of trade between Egypt and the EU increased by 11 percent since 2015. [DNE, SIS, 2/11/2016]

Also of Interest

  • General Motors to resume operations in Egypt | DNE, Reuters
  • Egyptian wheat security under threat | DNE, Reuters
  • British Trade Envoy says businesses must be partners of choice for Egypt’s energy future | DNE
  • How Egypt plans to boost its stock exchange | Al Monitor


Sisi orders opening of Gaza border crossing on February 13, 14
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the opening of the Rafah border crossing, which links Egypt with Gaza, in both directions on February 13 and 14, state news agency MENA reported on Friday.
It will be the first time the border crossing will be opened this year. It was last opened in both directions for two days on December 3. The news comes days after the Egyptian military announced the destruction of a tunnel connecting northern Sinai to the Gaza Strip. [Ahram Online, 2/12/2016]

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