Top News: United Nations Calls on Egypt Authorities to Enforce Sexual Harassment Law

The United Nations (UN) in Egypt on Wednesday commended the newly approved anti-sexual harassment law that was added as an amendment to the Egyptian penal code.


Sabbahi calls for new protest law
Popular Current leader and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi demanded a new Protest Law on his Twitter account on Thursday. Sabbahi tweeted, “Targeting young revolutionaries through unconstitutional legislation is unacceptable after two revolutions. We demand a new protest law that organizes [protests] and does not prevent or repress opposition.” His message comes one day after a fifteen year sentence was handed down to prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and twenty-four others for breaking the protest law. [Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 6/12/2014]

Nour Party says will not take up any positions in Sisi government
The Nour Party has not asked for any positions in the new cabinet currently being formed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Sherif Taha, the party spokesman said on Wednesday. Taha added in a statement that the party will also refuse any posts in President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s advisory team. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 6/11/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s new cabinet to meet Monday | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, SIS, AMAY (Arabic), Ahram (Arabic)
  • Amr Moussa’s coalition ‘needed to build new Egypt’: Former head of security court | DNE
  • Strong Egypt calls for the release of its student member | DNE


Tahrir sexual assault suspects expected in court in two days
An official source at Egypt’s forensic authority says that the eight women who were attacked in Tahrir Square during celebrations for the country’s newly-elected president were sexually assaulted and not raped. Hisham Abdel-Hamid, associate to the head of the forensic authority, said that medical examinations showed that the eight girls bore injuries resembling ones from sexual assault – but not rape. DNA samples have been taken from the eight victims and the defendants for further investigation, the official said. The prosecution is also awaiting videos of the incident that were posted on the Internet and blood samples to determine if the defendants were on drugs. A final report was expected be sent to prosecutors by Wednesday night. Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat has also opened extensive investigations with officials at the Health Ministry as one victim claimed the public hospitals of Mounira, Zahraa and Kasr al-Aini refused to admit her. [Egypt Independent, 6/12/2014]

Egypt judge rejects appeal on travel ban of four charged with insulting judiciary
A Cairo criminal court on Thursday rejected the appeals of four prominent political figures who faced a travel ban since last January. Former member of parliament Amr Hamzawy, journalist Abdel Halim Qandil, writer Abdel Rahman Yussef al-Qaradawy, and former member of parliament, Mostafa Naggar along with fifteen others, are accused of insulting the judiciary and interfering in the judicial process. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 6/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Court to review ‘October terrorist cell’ trial today | Egypt Independent, Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Defendants in Rafah massacre case released | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Suez Court acquits two Brotherhood supporters over lack of evidence | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Verdict in Habib al-Adly profiteering trial expected Thursday | Ahram Online
  • Fourteen acquitted, sixteen imprisoned in Safaga police station storming case | Egypt Independent


EGAS to offer limited international tender on gas for electricity imports
State-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) will offer a limited international tender this month to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for power plants over the next five years, according to the company’s chairman, Khaled Abdel-Badie. The tender will be awarded before the end of the year for the gas supply to begin in January 2015. [DNE, 6/11/2014]

Also of Interest:


Local, international rights groups condemn fifteen-year sentences for protesters
Local and international rights groups have condemned the fifteen-year prison sentence handed down to activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and twenty-four others on Wednesday. The Social Popular Alliance Party called on the Supreme Judicial Council to investigate the issuance of the verdict in absentia before the scheduled time of the trial despite the presence of at least three defendants in time for the trial, and called for their immediate release. The Freedom for the Brave campaign also condemned the sentence, adding that it aims to “terrorize whoever dares to oppose the [army] general’s rule.” International human rights watchdog Amnesty International called the sentence “an outrageous travesty of justice,” and called for the release of the defendants. Human Rights Watch also condemned Wednesday’s “harsh” sentence, saying it shows that “Egypt’s courts are content to enforce an outrageous law that effectively prohibits peaceful protest.” [DNE, 6/12/2014]

United Nations calls on Egypt authorities to enforce sexual harassment law
The United Nations (UN) in Egypt on Wednesday commended the newly approved anti-sexual harassment law that was added as an amendment to the Egyptian penal code. The UN called the amendment very encouraging as it defines “sexual harassment” for the first time in Egypt’s history. The UN also called upon authorities, civil society and stakeholders to join forces and take a firm stand against all forms of gender-based violence in Egypt. Meanwhile, an anti-sexual assault protest was held in Tahrir Square on Wednesday to voice objection to sexual assault against women in Egypt. [Ahram Online, 6/11/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Unaware of pesticide danger, rural Egyptians put their health at risk | DNE
  • NCHR slams sexual assault incident in Tahrir Square | SIS
  • Grand Imam condemns sexual assault incident in Tahrir Square | SIS
  • Two students arrested for allegedly leaking high school exams | Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Soldier killed, two wounded in North Sinai attack
A soldier was killed, and a conscript and civilian injured in a militant attack in the North Sinai town of al-Arish on Wednesday, according to army spokesman Ahmed Ali. The killed soldier has been identified as Lotfy Ateyya, said the spokesman. The culprits escaped after the attack, a security source told Aswat Masriya. Meanwhile, Assistant Interior Minister Abdallah Ashraf said in an interview with Al-Masry al-Youm that Egypt’s security forces had succeeded in ridding the Sinai region of 85 percent of all terrorist threats. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya , 6/12/2014]


Sisi, British officials discuss security in Cairo meeting
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi held talks in Cairo on Wednesday with senior British government officials in which they highlighted the mounting danger of terrorism in Egypt and the region. Sisi met with Kim Darroch, the British National Security Advisor, who congratulated him on his victory in last month’s election and gave him a letter from Prime Minister David Cameron. The British official voiced his country’s support for Egypt in any negotiation with the International Monetary Fund and stated that Britain is ready to help Egyptian police officers in the field of human rights. British officials also commented on Britain’s readiness to bolster its strategic partnership with Egypt to confront growing terrorism in the region, namely in Syria and Iraq. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, SIS, DNE, Ahram (Arabic), 6/12/2014]
Also of Interest:

  • France condemns ‘despicable’ sexual assault in Tahrir Square | DNE
  • Foreign Ministry forms task force for Egyptians in Mosul, Iraq | Egyptian Independent
  • Egypt delivers Arab group statement before UNHRC | SIS
  • FM: Arab-EU partnership to solve ME crisis | SIS
  • Further congratulatory phone calls to Sisi on inauguration | DNE
  • President of Uruguay congratulates Sisi | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Egypt files lawsuit against France, Hungary to restore five artifacts | SIS