Two people died and nine were injured on Saturday night when security forces dispersed hundreds of demonstrators near Tahrir Square in central Cairo. The demonstrations came after a court dropped all charges against ousted president Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.


Egypt’s Sisi won’t comment on Mubarak verdict
Egypt’s presidency issued its first official reaction to Saturday’s court verdict on former autocrat Hosni Mubarak, saying the president has full confidence in the country’s judicial system. The presidency would not comment on the court’s judicial verdict, but gave orders to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to look into procedures for compensating the families of those killed and injured in the January 2011 uprising. The president also delegated a legislative reform committee to study the court’s suggested amendments to criminal procedures. The ruling was met with mixed reactions by Egyptian politicians and activists.  “The politicized decision to acquit Mubarak is a declaration of the collapse of the judiciary,” the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said on its website. The April 6 Youth Movement said on its Facebook page that one of its members was arrested for writing “down with Mubarak” on his bare chest. Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said the state was not willing to punish Mubarak for his crimes. “Mubarak’s lackeys may have won this round but they didn’t win the fight. January 25 is still on. I am furious but not surprised. The counter-revolution has ruled,” added Eid.  Former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh said that Mubarak’s verdict should be considered “a beginning of a new stage to struggle and learn from our mistakes. The people’s verdict on Mubarak has not changed.” The Revolutionary Socialists movement said the verdict does not mean much, stressing that it will cooperate with other revolutionary forces to expose the real goals behind the trial. On the other hand, Former MP and journalist Mostafa Bakry supported the ruling, saying that he had previously stressed that police and Mubarak were innocent of murder. [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 11/30/2014]

Also of Interest
Imams of mosques should ‘not even consider’ entering politics, says ministry | DNE
Education Ministry considers including Mubarak verdict in history syllabi | Egypt Independent
Sources: Illicit gains draft law concluded | Egypt Independent


Egypt judge drops murder charges against Mubarak; Prosecutor to appeal
A Cairo criminal court dropped charges Saturday against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak for responsibility in the killing of protesters in the January 2011 uprising. The judge dropped the charges on technical grounds, citing as explanation that the prosecution’s earlier decision on 23 March 2011 to charge Mubarak had no legal basis. The judge also ruled that the statute of limitations had expired on the charges against Mubarak, his two sons and businessman Hussein Salem on charges of profiteering from illegal gifts of villas. One of the protesters’ families’ lawyers accused the judge of basing his judgment on “tainted” testimonies from police. In his first interview after the verdict was issued, Mubarak told Sada al-Balad’s Ahmed Moussa, “I did nothing wrong at all.”  Meanwhile, Egypt’s prosecutor-general, Hisham Barakat said on Saturday he would appeal the verdict, and a judicial source said on Monday that Barakat will issue a decision on Mubarak’s release within 48 hours. For a series of reactions from legal experts, click here, while a Q&A breaking down the verdict can be found here. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, The Guardian, Reuters, 11/29/2014]

Court dismisses case demanding ban on religious parties
The Alexandria Court for Urgent Matters dismissed a case demanding banning religious parties from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections, citing a lack of jurisdiction.  The lawsuit, filed by Tarek Mahmoud, the legal advisor to the Popular Front Against the Brotherhoodization of Egypt, called for the dissolution of all religious parties, including the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi Nour Party. Meanwhile, a Cairo appeals court upheld on Sunday a decision to ban the Islamist Istiqlal (Independence) Party. The party was primarily banned in September, but it had challenged the verdict. The challenge was turned down on Sunday. [Egypt Independent, 11/30/2014]

Egypt jails seventy-eight minors for pro-Morsi protests
An Egyptian court sentenced seventy-eight minors to between two and five years in prison Wednesday for joining demonstrations calling for the return of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, judicial sources said. A court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria sentenced the boys, aged between 13 and 17, for joining the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood’s rallies during the past three months, a judicial official said. [AFP, Mada Masr, 11/26/2014]

Also of Interest
Following gas-deal verdict, Hussein Salem to return to Egypt | Egypt Independent
Acquitted of corruption, Mubarak-era businessman denies fortune waiver | Egypt Independent
Egyptian court brands Islamic State a terrorist entity | Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, AP, Aswat Masriya
Egypt court says hunger striking Soltan must remain in jail | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
Five get life for kidnapping prosecutor | Ahram Online
Twenty-six Brotherhood figures get three years in jail for insulting court | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, Reuters


Egypt pays back $2.5 billion deposit to Qatar
According to Egyptian Central Bank officials, Egypt has paid back $2.5 billion to Qatar. The Qatari deposit had been made in an effort to help prop up the Egyptian central bank’s hard currency reserves. The payment brings the amount Egypt has returned to Qatar to $6 billion. Only $500 million remain outstanding which are reportedly expected to be repaid in the second half of 2015. [Reuters, 11/28/2014]

Also of Interest
Report: Egypt’s private sector most corrupt in world | Egypt Independent
Egypt expects 25 percent savings on fuel subsidies due to cheaper oil | Reuters
NBAD, HSBC, National Bank of Egypt arrange $1.5 billion syndicated loan for Egypt’s state oil company | Reuters, Mada Masr
Government spending, revenue on the rise | Mada Masr
Egypt keeps key interest rates steady, eyes risks to growth | Reuters
UAE’s Dana Gas in talks with Egypt over revising gas prices | Reuters
Egyptian pound steady at official auction, weakens on black market | Reuters
Egypt’s stocks falter as Gulf markets slide | Ahram Online


Two dead as protests against Mubarak verdict continue
Two people died and nine were injured on Saturday night when security forces dispersed hundreds of demonstrators near Tahrir Square in central Cairo, the health ministry said. Around three thousand protesters had gathered after a court dropped all charges against ousted president Hosni Mubarak in connection with the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising. At least eighty-five protesters were arrested, and on Sunday, and according to the Front to Defend Egyptian Protesters (FDEP), an independent group of lawyers, four of them remained in detention. Egypt’s interior ministry issued a statement Saturday night claiming that that protests were peaceful until 6 pm, when elements of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood joined the protests in Abdel-Moneim Riyad Square, off of Tahrir Square.  Student protests were also organized at eleven universities on Sunday to condemn Saturday’s verdict. The protests were called for by a number of political forces including the 6 April Youth Movement and Freedom for the Brave, a campaign to free Egyptian political detainees. Clashes erupted at universities in Alexandria, Zagazig, Tanta, and Assiut. Security forces temporarily shut down Gamal Abdel Nasser metro station, near Tahrir Square on Sunday. Tahrir Square itself, closed off on Saturday afternoon, was reopened to traffic on Monday morning.  Rival Islamist and revolutionary groups have vowed to protest this week against the verdict, while refusing to coordinate with each other. The Constitution Party, Strong Egypt Party, Bread and Freedom Party, April 6 Youth Movement, Youth for Justice and Freedom and Resistance student movement announced a “revolutionary week” on Sunday. Meanwhile, the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) called for mass protests on Tuesday. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, The Guardian, Reuters, 11/30/2014]

Matareya protests turn deadly, but elsewhere, ‘Islamic revolution’ fails to materialize
Security visibly intensified across Egypt on Friday in anticipation of the so-called “Islamist revolution” protests announced earlier this month by the Salafi Front. The military took control of specific buildings in downtown Cairo, including the state broadcaster and central bank, located in the downtown area close to Tahrir Square. The al-Azhar tunnel was closed from 10pm on Thursday until Saturday morning. Ahead of the protests, police arrested more alleged Muslim Brotherhood members, with 107 detained, for “incited and planned violence.” Security forces also took strict measures around churches in anticipation of the protests. The interior ministry said it will prosecute those who participate in the protests in military court, while the Muslim Brotherhood called for protesters to remain peaceful. However, amid tightened security measures, few people ultimately took to the streets. According to a report from Democracy Index, media outlets’ overstated the protests, and that turnout was much lower than expected. According to the report, more than 200 were arrested by the end of the day. Protests in Cairo’s Matareya district, which according to Reuters had a turnout of about 200 people, devolved into deadly clashes. At least one man was shot dead in the violent confrontations in Matareya, according to the health ministry. Hours before, an army brigadier general and soldier were killed when gunmen in an unmarked car fired on a parking lot in nearby Gisr al-Suez. Other cities around Egypt saw small-scale demonstrations. Several towns and villages in the Nile Delta’s Sharqiya governorate saw protests where hundreds of demonstrators took part. Police apprehended three Egyptians they accused of burning tyres on a road connecting Zagazig with a nearby village. A police officer and four security personnel were injured when an unidentified assailant threw an improvised bomb at a police station in the town of Abu-Kebir. Nine people were arrested after police dispersed a small rally in the Kafr al-Sheikh governorate. In the city of Alexandria, a junior military officer was severely injured after being shot at from the roof of a residential building amid clashes. A police conscript was also injured during the clashes. [Mada Masr, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 11/29/2014]

Also of Interest
HRW calls on Egypt to end FGM | Ahram Online
Woman tries to file sexual assault report, officer assaults her | Egypt Independent
Egypt joins international ‘Group of Friends’ against torture | DNE
Transparency International slams Mubarak verdict | Ahram Online


Egypt’s Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claims killing of US citizen
The Sinai based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) has taken responsibility for killing a US citizen in Egypt’s Western Desert in August of this year. ABM, which recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and changed its name to the Sinai Province, said on its social media sites that it had abducted and killed William Bill Henderson, 58, a production expert working for Texas-based Apache energy company in the Western Desert. The group published photos of Henderson’s US passport and two ID cards issued by Apache and Qarun Petroleum. Public Affairs Director for Apache told Daily News Egypt: “The tragic carjacking incident this past August involving our colleague Bill Henderson is still under investigation by the US government.” Meanwhile, a video released on YouTube Wednesday by militant group Ajnad Misr has threatened continued attacks against Egyptian security forces until Islamic rule is enforced in Egypt. The video, produced by the group’s Kenana media organization, features footage of the planning stages of militant attacks on Egyptian police forces and coverage of their aftermath. The video shows a series of attacks on security forces while titling each attack and its date and the number of casualties and injuries caused, describing officers and conscripts as criminals. [Ahram Online, DNE, AP, 12/1/2014]

Sisi decree establishes ‘forbidden’ areas along Egypt’s borders
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree Saturday on the demarcation of areas adjacent to the western, southern and eastern border areas of Egypt, in an effort to secure them. The decree authorizes the armed forces to safeguard areas contiguous to the borders by prohibiting individuals “to go over or under the land.” The latter indirectly refers to the smuggling tunnels connecting the town of Rafah to the Gaza Strip. The resolution sets forth rules regulating the presence of foreigners and Egyptians in the restricted areas. It allows the armed forces to take all actions and measures against anyone who violates the rules of the areas demarcated by the decree. [DNE, 11/30/2014]

Also of Interest
Brotherhood says former Morsi-era government adviser arrested | Egypt Independent
Bomb injures two officers and four conscripts in north Sinai | Ahram Online
Sound bomb goes off near Cairo’s Tahrir Square | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Police officer shot dead in Egypt’s Fayoum | Ahram Online
Amnesty condemns Egypt’s ‘unlawful evictions’ on Gaza border | AFP
Three ‘terrorists’ killed in Sinai military operations: Armed forces | DNE, Aswat Masriya
Ansar group claims responsibility for Friday officers’ murder | Egypt Independent
Police officer, three soldiers injured in Sharqiya blast | Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya


Bahraini king congratulates Mubarak on favorable court verdict
Bahraini King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah congratulated Egypt’s ousted president Hosni Mubarak in a phone call Saturday, hours after the Cairo Criminal Court dismissed murder charges against Mubarak. According to Bahrain’s state agency BNA, the king thanked Mubarak for his efforts in developing ties between Bahrain and Egypt. Mubarak was said to have expressed appreciation for the king’s feelings. [DNE, 11/30/2014]

Also of Interest
Congress tackles aid to Egypt | Al Monitor
Jordan’s King Abdullah II to meet Egypt’s Sisi | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya
Qatar should support Egypt’s national security, says FM | Ahram Online
Shoukry calls for cooperation to combat terrorism in Middle East and Africa | DNE
Egypt’s FM: Libya’s neighbors to meet in Khartoum | Ahram Online
Libyan FM expresses thanks for Egyptian support |DNE