Top News: Thousands of Egypt’s Islamists Protest Against State Security

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Thousands of Egyptian hardline Islamists marched from a mosque in a Cairo suburb on Thursday night to the state security headquarters to protest against what they said was a return to the force’s pre-revolution methods. 



Shura Council head addresses the armed forces
Shura Council head Ahmed Fahmy denounced on Thursday the attempts to involve the armed forces in the political process. Fahmy stated that different state institutions are trying to drive a wedge between the army and the people, reported state-owned news agency MENA. The Shura Council head called on all concerned parties to stop pushing the armed forces into battles which distract them from carrying out the main mission they are delegated to perform according to the constitution and law. [DNE, 5/3/2013]

Construction & Development welcomes elections coalition with Islamists
Construction and Development Party media adviser Khalid Sherif denied that the party has already entered into an alliance with Islamist parties to contest the upcoming elections. He described the move as premature, but added that the party is willing to work with Islamist parties to form a parliamentary bloc further down the line. The Construction and Development party has postponed all talk of alliances until the Election Law is finalized. [Shourouk (Arabic), EGYNews (Arabic), 5/3/2013]

Pakinam Sharqawy refuses position of Deputy Prime Minister
Presidential sources revealed that Dr. Pakinam Sharqawy, assistant to the president for political affairs, refused an offer for the position of deputy to the prime minister. The source added that her refusal is causing the Muslim Brotherhood to consider Dr. Osama Yasin, youth minister, or Mohammed Ali Bishr, minister of domestic development, for the position. The source added that despite the cabinet shuffle of 6 ministers, Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim, interior minister, and Mostafa Masaad, minister of higher education, will remain in their positions. [El Watan (Arabic), 5/3/2013]

Also of Interest:
Minister of Tourism denies reports that he was asked to resign | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic)
FJP: Tamarod campaign to withdraw confidence from Morsi is illegitimate | El Watan (Arabic)


Court jails supporters of black-clad Egypt protest group
Six men were jailed by a Cairo court on Thursday in the first ruling against a little-known group opposed to Islamist President Mohamed Morsi that the government has accused of participating in "terrorist acts". The men, aged from 19 to 25, were convicted of attacking security forces and damaging court and police property, and each sentenced to five and a half years in prison, state newspaper Al-Ahram said. [Reuters, 5/3/2013]

Public funds prosecution considers new settlement with fugitive businessman
Egypt’s public funds prosecution is currently considering a new request filed by fugitive businessman Hussein Salem for financial settlements to drop corruption charges against him. The request included allowing Egypt to acquire 75 percent of Salem’s assets and funds inside Egypt and 55 percent of his assets and funds outside of the country. It also entitles the government get 100 percent of the funds and assets that may be discovered in the future after Salem’s settlement with Egypt. Prosecutor General Talaat Abdullah is to give a final decision on the matter on Saturday. [Aswat Masriya, SIS, 5/2/2013]

Activist to Be Tried for Insulting Egypt President
Prominent Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma was arrested and immediately referred to trial for allegedly insulting the country’s president in a TV interview, a prosecutor said Thursday. Douma is to stand trial on Sunday — less than a week after being arrested. He is the first prominent opposition activist to be tried on charges of insulting Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Rawda Ahmed, a lawyer for the Arab Network for Human Rights Information which is part of Douma’s defense team, said the activist was swiftly referred to trial before his lawyers had a chance to see the charges or find out where he was held. [AP, 5/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt court to rule on deadly train crash Saturday | Ahram Online
Court to rule on Shafiq, Gamal, and Alaa Mubarak civil aviation lad case tomorrow | Ahram (Arabic)


Egypt’s main IMF negotiator stays in post
A senior Egyptian finance ministry official involved in talks with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan is continuing in his post, the government said on Thursday, reversing an earlier announcement that he had resigned. Hany Kadry Dimian, who has been the point man in Egypt’s protracted and so far fruitless negotiations to obtain a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF, had told Reuters on Sunday that he had quit his post but gave no explanation for his decision. Cabinet spokesman Alaa El Hadidi said Dimian was continuing his duties "particularly because the IMF negotiations are nearing completion". After the announcement of Kadry’s resignation, the finance minister appointed his economic adviser Abdallah Shehata to manage negotiations with the IMF, state news agency MENA said on Tuesday. Thursday’s statement made no mention of Shehata. [World Bulletin, Reuters (Arabic), 5/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt stocks surge on OCI tax settlement | Ahram Online
Finance Ministry Raises 8 Bln In Treasury Bills, Bonds | Amwal al Ghad
Cabinet achieves self-sufficiency in wheat by 60 to 65 pct, says PM Qandil | Aswat Masriya


Egyptian soldiers head to Saudi Arabia for military maneuvers, says military source
Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to perform the first joint military maneuver in the history of the two countries’ armed forces, a military source which declined to be named said on Thursday. Three thousand and five hundred Egyptian soldiers will head to Saudi Arabia on Friday to take part in the joint military maneuver. The Egyptian armed forces are currently preparing to travel on board of military aircrafts and ships with heavy weaponry to be used in Friday’s maneuver. [Aswat Masriya, 5/3/2013]

CSF disperse Islamist protest, Abu Ismail referred to State Security Prosecution
Central Security Forces (CSF) dispersed on Thursday night an Islamist protest denouncing Homeland Security practices. Islamist movements called for a protest at the Homeland Security headquarters in Nasr City on Thursday, denouncing what they described as; “Homeland Security’s re-implementation of practices of cracking down on Islamists”. CSF fired teargas to disperse the protesters. Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah referred on Thursday a complaint filed against Hazem Salah Abu Ismail to the Supreme State Security Prosecution. Abu Ismail, who is the leader of the Al-Raya Islamist Party and infamous for rallying protesters to surround the Egyptian Media Production City, was among the main Islamist leaders who called for Thursday’s protest. [DNE, Ahram Online, Ahram (Arabic), 5/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Stray bullet hits Alexandria church: Security source | Ahram Online
Mob beats FJP leader’s son to death after he kills 2 in Sharqiya | Shorouk (Arabic), El Watan (Arabic)


Rights centre: 1462 protests in Egypt during April
Egypt witnessed 1462 protests during April, making it the top country worldwide in number of protests during that month, a report for the International Development Centre (IDC) has said. April’s record number compares with 1354 protests in March and 864 in February. Forty-seven categories of Egyptians staged the protests. Economic and social demands were the major drive for 62.4 percent of the protests. The main demands of these protests included releasing detainees and toppling the regime.[Aswat Masriya, Ahram (Arabic), 5/3/2013]

Thousands of Egypt’s Islamists protest against state security
Thousands of Egyptian hardline Islamists marched from a mosque in a Cairo suburb on Thursday night to the state security headquarters to protest against what they said was a return to the force’s pre-revolution methods. The protest points to lingering suspicion harboured by the hardliners about security agencies used against them by ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and which, they say, Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has been unable to reform. Several Salafi Islamist groups issued a statement earlier in the day saying state security organs had returned to "criminal practices" such as summoning citizens for investigation, threatening the achievements of the 2011 uprising. [Reuters, 5/2/2013]

Egypt among 15 worst violators of religious freedom: report
Egypt is one of the 15 worst violators of religious freedom, according to a report released by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The report included Egypt in the “Tier 1” of its findings, in a category named “countries of particular concern.” The USCIRF says that those countries are ones in which “governments…have engaged in or tolerated ‘particularly severe’ violations of religious freedom.” The report includes findings ranging from 31 January 2012 to 31 January 2013. Egypt “continues to prosecute, convict, and imprison Egyptian citizens including Copts and dissenting Muslims, for ‘contempt’ or ‘defamation’ of religion.” [DNE, 5/2/2013]

Also of Interest:
Dirty cutlery behind Al-Azhar second food poisoning, says official | Ahram Online
Dozens protest in Tahrir demanding release of detainees | Shourouk (Arabic)
EIPR rejects limitations on right to protest | DNE
March in Alexandria calls for removal of Deputy Governor Hassan al-Brince | Youm7 (Arabic)


Egypt signs deal to host UN regional office for women
Egypt and the United Nations signed an agreement to host the UN regional office for women in Cairo. Moataz Ahmadein Khalil, Egypt’s permanent representative to the UN, and Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women, signed the deal. Through the new office, the UN will contact with Arab governments, non-governmental organizations, and Arab think tanks to support women’s rights in the region. [SIS, 5/3/2013]

Also of Interest:
Morsi affirms Egypt’s steadfast commitment to development efforts in Sudan | SIS

Photo: Zeinab Mohamed


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