Top News: Twenty-Nine Men Arrested for Sexual Harassment

Police in Cairo arrested twenty-nine men for sexual harassment on the first two days of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, Al-Ahram reported. Police said one man was arrested for physically harassing a woman in downtown Cairo’s Qasr al-Nil area, while others were caught verbally harassing girls outside cinemas in the Roxy area in the district of Heliopolis. The “I Saw Harassment” initiative released a report Saturday stating that it documented at least seventy-seven instances of sexual harassment on the first day of Eid. According to the group, volunteers intervened in thirty-three acts of verbal sexual harassment and forty-four acts of physical sexual harassment, bringing the total number of incidents to seventy-seven. The level of verbal harassment in downtown Cairo on Saturday rose to “unprecedented levels,” while there were no incidents of mob harassment, according to the group. Rania Gaber, a volunteer with the group, also expressed her disappointment with the passivity of security forces with regards to violations. “Their interference is not sufficient, and sometimes they take a hands-off stance in the presence of volunteers like ourselves.” [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 7/20/2015]  


April 6, NASL condemn protester deaths on Eid al-Fitr
Opposition political factions strongly condemned the killing of seven civilians in protest clashes on Friday. While opposition movements say the deaths occurred in clashes with security forces, official statements state that protesters clashed with civilians before security forces intervened. The grassroots April 6 youth movement described the incidents that coincided with the first day of Eid al-Fitr as “Eid with the color of blood,” while the pro-Muslim Brotherhood National Alliance to Support Legitimacy held President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi responsible for the killings.  April 6 claimed the security forces shot live ammo and birdshot at civilians while the Brotherhood asserted that “fair and prompt retribution” is awaiting the “families of the martyrs, detainees, and abductees.”  The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party also called for a million man march on Tuesday. [DNE, 7/20/2015]  

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Four arrested taking selfies flashing Brotherhood gesture
Police at Cairo’s main train station arrested four young people for allegedly taking selfies while making a pro-Muslim Brotherhood gesture Sunday. The travellers, ranging between seventeen and nineteen, were posing for photos while flashing the Raba’a al-Adaweya sign, a four-finger gesture referring to the Muslim Brotherhood’s 2013 landmark sit-in calling for the reinstatement of former president Mohamed Morsi. Police searched the cellphones of the four youngsters and said they found photos deemed “insulting to the state and supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood.” They were referred to prosecution. [Egypt Independent, 7/20/2015]  

Egypt, Italy to sign MOUs on energy deals
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab will travel to Italy Wednesday for a three-day visit that will see him signing memorandum of understanding (MOUs) on prospective electricity, power and oil deals. Mahlab will meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, government officials and fifteen top businessmen in Italy, said Industry and International Trade Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour in a statement reported by state news agency MENA Sunday. In addition to signing the MOUs, Mahlab is expected to start procedures between the Egyptian and Italian governments for building a new center for furniture production in Damietta—a city on the Nile Delta known for furniture making. Meanwhile, Italy’s Eni has discovered gas reserves of up to 15 billion cubic meters in Egypt’s Nile Delta region, with production set to start in two months, the Egyptian oil ministry said on Monday. The discovery was made in Western Abu Madi, where Eni holds 75 percent of exploration rights through an Egyptian subsidiary. The oil ministry signed a $2 billion energy deal with Eni in June that for four years of exploration activities in the Sinai, Nile Delta, Suez and Port Said. [Ahram Online, SIS, 7/19/2015]

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  • Over 41,000 Egyptians, foreigners visited Giza Pyramids during Eid holidays | Ahram Online
  • Transport Minister: Ministry to implement largest metro projects in Egypt’s history | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s EGAS tenders for forty-five cargoes of LNG for 2015-16 shipment | Reuters

Egypt to restore up to fifty-four houses in Boulaq damaged in consulate blast
Egyptian state-owned construction company Arab Contractors will start Saturday preparations for restoring the bomb-struck Italian Consulate in Downtown Cairo. The consulate was hit last Saturday by a blast caused by a car bomb claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) group. In addition, nearby homes also sustained damage and residents staged a protest in the wake of the explosion demanding authorities restore their homes. The number of houses set to undergo repairs could amount to fifty-four, a local official has said. The head of Boulaq Abu al-Ela district, Ibrahim Abd al-Hady said that forty-one buildings have been registered so far to be restored, but the number could reach fifty-four. Mahlab visited the owners of the destroyed homes on Friday and checked the damages from the bomb. [Ahram Online, Cairo Post, 7/20/2015]  

Seven soldiers, fifty-nine militants killed in North Sinai
Egypt’s army said it had killed fifty-nine Islamist militants over the weekend as part of a continuing campaign in the restive Sinai Peninsula. The ground operations and airstrikes carried out in fourteen districts demolished two warehouses used to store explosive elements and led to the capture of four armed fighters, an army spokesperson said.  Internet and phone services in Sinai were cut for seven hours, the outage coinciding with the security campaign, returning late Sunday, an official source said. Meanwhile, the Islamic State claimed its fighters attacked multiple checkpoints and military installations on Saturday in North Sinai, but the army didn’t confirm or deny the claims. According to security sources, at least five soldiers were killed Saturday when several mortar rounds hit two checkpoints. By the end of the day, Military Spokesman Brigadier-General Mohamed Samir announced that the death toll among soldiers had risen to seven. In a statement late Saturday, Samir condemned “lies” used in favor of “terrorist organizations” staging attacks against police and army installations and personnel.  Samir said on his official Facebook page that news reports detailing higher casualties within the army were “lies” used by terrorist organizations to “promote false victories” and hide their “heavy losses.” Samir also said Sunday that the military is in control of every inch of Sinai, in comments to state-owned media. [WSJ, Ahram Online, AP, 7/19/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egypt army conscript ‘killed’ in recent Sinai attack discovered alive | Ahram Online
  • Six dead, 114 require medical treatment on second day of Eid al-Fitr: Health Ministry | DNE
  • Egyptian firefighters control large downtown Cairo blaze: VIDEO | Ahram Online
  • Sixteen Egyptian police conscripts injured in South Sinai bus accident | Ahram Online

ISIS claims abduction of three Christians in Libya, including an Egyptian
Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) group affiliates in Libya have kidnapped three Christian men, including an Egyptian, they said in a brief statement circulating on social media Sunday. The statement featured copies of their passports, showing one man from Nigeria, another from Ghana, and the third an Egyptian man from Upper Egypt’s Sohag who, according to the published picture, is a manual laborer. Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Saturday that the kidnapping took place in Noufliyah, an ISIS stronghold southeast of the city of Sirte, according to a resident who asked not to be named. Mohamed al-Hejazi, a military spokesman loyal to the internationally recognized government based in the east, also told Reuters that the abduction happened in the small town. Al-Azhar on Sunday condemned the kidnapping. [Ahram Online, Cairo Post, 7/19/2015]

France delivers first batch of fighter jets to Egypt
Egypt on Monday took delivery of three Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter from France, the first of twenty-four warplanes sold in a 5.2 billion euro ($5.6 billion) deal earlier this year, AFP reported. Egyptian authorities took charge of the planes at an air base in southern France, and they will be flown to Cairo by specially trained pilots on Tuesday. Egyptian pilots were in France for two months to train on how to use the new jets, a military source said. [AFP, Aswat Masriya, 7/20/2015]
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  • UK renews travel ban to parts of Egypt after attack on navy vessel | Cairo Post
  • Italy arrests three Egyptian smugglers from boat where diabetic girl died | AP, Reuters
  • Egypt’s Prime Minister in Equatorial Guinea for two-day visit | Ahram Online, Cairo Post  
  • Egypt’s Pope Tawadros prays for Armenian genocide victims in Lebanon visit | Ahram Online
  • Egyptian FM warns European counterparts of ‘imminent dangers’ of terrorism | Ahram Online
  • Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam talks to resume in Khartoum | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Egypt condemns ‘terror attacks’ in Iraq, US, Nigeria | Cairo Post