Top News: US and EU Condemn Mass Life-in-prison Sentences in “Cabinet Clashes” Trial

The United States and the European Union condemned the mass sentencing of 230 defendants, including political activist Ahmed Douma, to life in prison in the “cabinet clashes” trial on Wednesday. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in a press briefing on Wednesday its government was “deeply troubled” by the verdict. The EU said the sentences violate Egypt’s international human rights obligations. 


Governors’ reshuffle to witness seventeen new faces
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi approved the new governors’ reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, the presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef announced in a statement. Sisi met with Mahlab at the presidential palace on Thursday to discuss the proposed reshuffle, which will involve seventeen new governors who they are scheduled to be sworn in on Saturday. Yet the statement did not specify which governors would be replaced. [Aswat Masriya, 2/5/2015]

Liberal party alliance conditions elections run on interior minister’s removal
In a meeting on Wednesday, coalition members agreed to meet with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab to set out their conditions for participating in the upcoming polls. Conditions include the removal of the interior minister, amending the protest law, releasing detainees arrested based on the law and investigating the death of Shaima al-Sabbagh. The Democratic Current has decided to postpone announcing its decision on running the upcoming race to next Monday until it convenes with its member party, Karama. The Democratic Current also comprises the Dostour party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Masr al-Hureyya (Freedom Egypt), and the Popular Current. [Egypt Independent, 2/5/2015]

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  • Sisi, Lebanese Mufti meet amid turmoil in Arab region | DNE
  • Sisi issues three decrees for an airport, industrial zone, and transfer of ownership | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Ezz undergoes required medical examinations before running for parliament | Egypt Independent
  • Political figures demand clear requirements for medical examinations | Egypt Independent
  • New ‘For Egypt’ list launched to run in parliamentary elections | Egypt Independent
  • HEC currently reviewing applications for media coverage | Egypt Independent


Egypt sentences Morsi’s investment minister to one year for slapping child
The Azbakeya Misdemeanor Court sentenced a Morsi-era investment minister, Yahia Hamed, to one year in jail for slapping a child. Hamed accused the child of bad-mouthing the former president when he allegedly attacked him. The court convicted Hamed based on video evidence of the protest. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 2/5/2015]

Egypt court upholds death sentence of Islamist who threw teens from rooftop
Egypt’s Court of Cassations turned down a request for a retrial of fifty-eight defendants accused of violence in Alexandria’s Sidi Gaber, which involved throwing boys off a rooftop in July 2013. Footage showed one of the defendants throwing a boy off a building on July 5, 2013, creating an uproar following the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood after mass protests against his rule. The defendant was sentenced to death in March 2014, while sixty-two other defendants in the case received lengthy life sentences in May 2014. [Ahram Online, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, 2/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Morsi prison break trial to resume today | DNE
  • Alaa Abdel Fattah says charges against him are illegal | Egypt Independent
  • Trial of Alaa Abdel Fattah and twenty-four others adjourned to February 9 |EGYNews (Arabic)
  • State commissioners recommend minimum wage for private sector | Egypt Independent
  • Standing trial for libel, media host Ahmed Moussa apologizes to lawyer | Egypt Independent


Egypt’s foreign reserves rise to $15.43 billion
According to the Egyptian central bank, Egypt’s foreign currency reserves rose to $15.43 billion at the end of January from $15.33 billion the previous month. In November, Egypt repaid to Qatar a $2.5 billion central bank deposit received under Morsi, which some traders had warned could have an impact on reserve levels. [Reuters, Ahram Online, 2/5/2015]

Prime minister denies reports on new Gulf aid
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has denied recent news reports claiming that his country would receive $10 billion in depository aid from a number of Gulf countries ahead of its economic development conference slated for March 13. Mahlab denied the reports in statements on Wednesday. [Egypt Independent, 2/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Egyptian pound holds steady for third straight day | Ahram Online
  • Egypt imposes new limits on US dollar cash deposits | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority says expansion work on schedule, tolls unchanged | AP
  • Tourism ministry refuses tax for historical hotels based on market value | DNE
  • Army supervises the building of a new steel factory | Egypt Independent
  • Residential, tourist projects to be implemented on textile holding company lands | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s GASC says could tap local market for Black Sea grain | Reuters
  • Butane gas cylinder price reaches LE50 in black market | Egypt Independent


Journalists launch a week of protests for release of detained colleagues
A group of journalists will begin a week of protests demanding the release of detained colleagues, condemning what they called “systematic assaults” by security authorities against people of the profession. The Front for Defending Journalists and Freedoms said the week of demonstration starts Sunday afternoon, with a protest scheduled on Tuesday at the Journalists’ Syndicate. The events will also involve a conference for journalists’ families and a symbolic hunger strike in solidarity with the detainees. In a Facebook statement, the group plans to collect signatures demanding the release of all detained journalists, including Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed. [Egypt Independent, 2/5/2015]

International, local organizations denounce Egypt’s mass sentencing
Freedom House and local rights organizations condemned Egypt’s mass sentencing of 230 defendants to life imprisonment and thirty-nine minors to ten-years in prison on Wednesday. “Egypt’s courts have become a tool of repression rather than a pillar of justice, as the life sentences imposed on Douma and his co-defendants make horribly clear,” Freedom House’s vice president of regional programs Robert Herman said in a statement. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called the sentence oppressive, and said that the conditions for trial were unjust. “This sentence was made to punish citizens for partaking in the January 2011 revolution,” ANHRI stated. [DNE, 2/5/2015]

Also of Interest


One dead, another injured in attack at KFC in Menoufiya
One person was killed in an attack on a restaurant north of Cairo on Thursday, Egypt’s state news agency reported. A fire broke out at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in a town in the province of Menoufiya, after assailants on a motorcycle threw flammable materials and then opened fire, it said. One person was wounded. Civil protection forces along with security forces went to the scene to extinguish the fire. [Reuters, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 2/5/2015]

One killed, another wounded in Sinai drive-by shooting
One conscript was killed and another was injured in a drive-by shooting by unidentified assailants outside a hotel in North Sinai’s al-Arish on Thursday, security sources said. Police sources told Aswat Masriya the two conscripts were inside a tourism police vehicle at the time of the attack. The assailants were riding a private vehicle when they opened fire on the conscripts, eye-witnesses said. Both conscripts were transferred to Arish military hospital. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya, 2/5/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Interior ministry denies thousands are in jail due to protest law | Aswat Masriya
  • Officer who killed hospitalized Islamist says charged by president’s speech | Egypt Independent


US and EU condemn mass life-in-prison sentences in “cabinet clashes” trial
The United States and the European Union condemned the mass sentencing of 230 defendants, including political activist Ahmed Douma, to life in prison in the “cabinet clashes” trial on Wednesday. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in a press briefing on Wednesday its government was “deeply troubled” by the verdict. “Mass trials and sentences run counter to the most basic democratic principles and due process under the law,” Psaki said. The EU said the sentences violate Egypt’s international human rights obligations, in a statement by the spokesperson in Brussels released late Wednesday. “The EU calls on the Egyptian authorities to abide by their international obligations, to uphold the right to a fair trial and safeguard due legal process,” the statement read. Mohamed Nagy Shehata, the judge overseeing the trial and head of Cairo criminal court, insisted the verdict was fair, saying the evidence supported the convictions. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 2/5/2015]

Also of Interest

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