Top News: US Calls on Egypt to Investigate Raba’a Deaths in Response to HRW Report


The United States, on Tuesday, called on the Egyptian government to investigate the violence that left approximately a thousand people dead, according to a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.


Cabinet discusses draft law to combat ‘serious crimes of aggression’
The cabinet is to discuss a new bill that, according to a draft text, aims to combat “genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression.” The draft law will be debated before its presentation to the president, who has the right to approve the law in the absence of parliament. The law levies various levels of punishments for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression that range from imprisonment to death. It also stipulates that Egyptian citizens and foreigners residing in Egypt would be subject to its provisions. [DNE, 8/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Democratic Current: Revolutions are basis for the coalition’s principles | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • State Council receives bill regulating Chambers of Commerce | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Moussa says he will not run for parliament except through a unified national list | Ahram Gateway
  • (Arabic)
  • Khaled Dawoud: We will renew demands to amend parliamentary elections law | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Cabinet holds meeting to discuss security situation and economic stimulus plan | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Mubarak testifies in court, retrial verdict expected September 27
An Egyptian court resumed on Wednesday the retrial of former autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, his interior minister and six of his aides on charges of killing protesters and exporting gas to Israel. Mubarak arrived at court shortly after noon to attend Wednesday’s session in his trial on murder charges after bad weather grounded his helicopter. Mubarak testified on his own behalf during his trial’s final hearing and denied charges that he ordered the killing of protesters who participated in the January 25, 2011 revolution. “I am not speaking for sympathy, I am defending myself today in the face of accusations. I am only human and I make mistakes. I bore the responsibility,” he said, seated on his bed. “I did not order the killing of protesters.” In his 30 minute speech, he went on to remind the court of his personal achievements as president and said that he will accept the court’s judgment. Meanwhile, Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa, declined to speak in front of the court on Wednesday. During Mubarak’s remarks before the court, Alaa broke down crying and left the courtroom before hearing the judge’s decision. A Cairo criminal court will issue its verdict in the retrial on September 27. Egyptian politicians remain divided on Mubarak, with some supporting the trial and others defending the president. [AP, Aswat Masriya, EGYNews (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic), Reuters, Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic), 8/13/2014]

Former Intelligence chief slams Adly’s claims
Former head of the information authority in the Egyptian General Intelligence, Major General Hossam Khairallah, said that what former interior minister Habib al-Adly claimed in court on Saturday concerning Egypt’s warning to the United States about the 9/11 terrorist attacks ‘lacked objectivity’. Adly claimed that he warned the US in 2001 about a terrorist attack twice but that they ignored his warnings and plotted against his security apparatus in January 2011. In response to Adly’s claims, Khairallah told Ahram Online that “Adly is using the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood were ousted and that people are still angry with them to claim whatever he wants without anyone paying attention.” Meanwhile, in court on Wednesday, Adly renewed his attack on the 2011 revolution, claiming it was a “criminal conspiracy” and a US-orchestrated plot rather than a spontaneous popular revolution. Adly also denied charges that he ordered security forces to kill protesters who took to the street on January 28, 2011. [Ahram Online, 8/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Retrial of former minister of information postponed | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Activist Ahmed Douma given seat outside of glass cage after sound difficulties during trial | Shorouk (Arabic)


More than 50 percent of Egyptian youth are poor, says CAPMAS
Around 27.8 percent of Egyptian youth are poor while 24.1 percent are near the poverty line, the latest report issued by the Central Agency of Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reveals. The 18 and 29 year-old age group, represents 23.7 percent (approximately 20 million) of the total population. The statistics agency added that unemployment rate among the youth is 29 percent. [DNE, 8/12/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt cabinet seeks guarantees from Saudi Arabia, UAE for its global bonds | Al-Mal
  • Egypt expects to receive a new Gulf aid package in October | Al-Mal (Arabic)
  • Telecom Egypt posts 14 percent rise in Q2 profit, proposes dividend | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Businessman, real estate company donates EGP 45 million to Long Live Egypt Fund | DNE
  • MIGA insures future packaging plant in Egypt | DNE
  • Petroleum ministry assigns EGPC to pay for gas shipments through internal revenue | DNE
  • Overdue petroleum debts behind increasing power outages: Egyptera director | DNE
  • Emirati investor presents offer to implement $7.5 billion power plant: Cabinet | DNE
  • Electricity Ministry signs EGP 310 million contract for power project | Egypt Independent
  • New amendments to system of export subsidies | DNE
  • Egypt threatens DP World with port project withdrawal | Egypt Independent
  • Army invites companies to join digging works of new Suez Canal | SIS, Al-Ahram (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


US calls on Egypt to investigate Raba’a deaths in response to HRW report
The United States, on Tuesday, called on the Egyptian government to investigate the violence that left approximately a thousand people dead, according to a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report. Speaking about the report on the August 14 dispersal of the pro-Morsi Raba’a al-Adaweya sit-in, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said, “It’s troubling that one year later, no security forces have been held accountable in events that resulted in the deaths of approximately a thousand Egyptians.”  She added, “In order for Egypt to achieve long-term stability, security, economic prosperity, it must investigate these events in a fully transparent and credible manner, one that’s grounded in impartial application of the rule of law, and to hold people accountable.” Meanwhile, Egypt’s State Information Service issued a second statement on the report on Wednesday, again accusing HRW of bias, adding that the government had formed an independent fact-finding commission tasked with investigating post-June 30 violence, and that HRW’s report “preempt[s] the results of the work of the national fact-finding commission.” [State Department, 8/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Brotherhood supporters plan protests for Raba’a anniversary | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Civil Aviation Authority: Brotherhood protests will not affect air traffic | Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Interior ministry: Security preparations taken in advance of Brotherhood protests | Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Interior ministry takes preemptive strikes to thwart terrorist plots | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Interior ministry: Attempts by Brotherhood to burn public buses thwarted | Shorouk (Arabic), Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • April 6: We will not participate in Brotherhood protests on Raba’a anniversary | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Local NGO criticizes state inaction regarding violations against journalists | Mada Masr
  • Police clash with students at Cairo University | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Photo Gallery: Work underway at the new Suez Canal project | Ahram Online
  • Mahlab inspects downtown Cairo’s Torgoman area | SIS
  • Mahlab opens national festival for heritage crafts | SIS
  • National Association for Change launches campaign to examine corruption during Mubarak era | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


Al Monitor: Egypt may ban Brotherhood supporters from joining army
In an announcement before the public prosecutor following the killing of 21 Egyptian border guards at Farafra, attorney at law Azeb Makhlouf said that Egypt may ban Muslim Brotherhood supporters from joining the army. The announcement, in which Makhlouf warned about the recruitment of young men affiliated with the outlawed group, aroused major controversy in judicial, political, and military circles. The announcement referenced the fact that one of those killed by the armed forces during the Farafra incident was said to be a Brotherhood supporter and was suspected of having helped facilitate the attack. In response to the possible ban, legal expert Mohammed Kbeish told Al-Monitor, “Blocking a group from mandatory military service is not right according to the 2014 Egyptian Constitution of 2014. It stipulates that all citizens are equal in right, duty and freedom.” [Al Monitor, 8/12/2014]

Also of Interest:


Russia to boost trade with Egypt after Western food ban
During a press conference with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to export a minimum of five million tons of wheat to Egypt, as well as increase agricultural imports from Egypt by 30 percent and loosen restrictions on Egyptian products entering the Russian market. The establishing of a free trade zone in collaboration with the Customs Union — which includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan — was also discussed. Sisi added that both countries agreed to build a Russian industrial zone as part of the new Suez Canal development project within the upcoming year. According to a Russian official, bilateral trade between Russia and Egypt will increase to $2.5 billion in the next six months. Sisi and Putin also agreed to continue military-technical cooperation between the two states and cooperate “in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East”, according to the Egyptian State Information System (SIS). Putin promised to speed up the delivery of billions of dollars in arms. [Mada Masr, Reuters, Aswat Masriya, SIS, 8/13/2014]

US says relationship with Egypt ‘strong’ despite Sisi’s Russia visit
Reflecting on president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s recent visit to Russia, state department spokesperson Marie Harf said Tuesday that “Egypt is free to have relationships with whoever it wants.” In a State Department press briefing, Harf called US relations with Egypt “strong and strategic.” She added that the two countries’ relationship is based on ‘unique capabilities’ in both security as well as aspects of economic reform. She added, “We believe we have a strong and strategic relationship, and don’t have much more analysis beyond that.” [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 8/13/2014]

Palestinians mull Egyptian proposal for Gaza truce
Palestinian negotiators mulled over an Egyptian proposal to end the month-long Israel-Hamas war as the latest 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was due to expire at midnight Wednesday. A member of the Palestinian delegation to Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo said Wednesday that his team was considering an Egyptian proposal, which was tabled Tuesday. On Tuesday, Palestinian delegates said that talks to end the hostilities are “difficult” while Israeli officials said no progress had been made so far and fighting could soon resume. Egyptian mediators have been ferrying between the Palestinians and their Israeli counterparts in an attempt overcome the differences between the sides. Meanwhile, the executive committee of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation hailed on Tuesday the Egyptian efforts to reach a ceasefire in Gaza. [AP, Al-Ahram (Arabic), 8/13/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s top cleric condemns Islamic State | Ahram Online, AP, Reuters
  • Azhar sheikh denounces situation in Iraq | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • More Egyptians fleeing Libya pushes government to extend flight schedules | Ahram Online
  • Algerian deputy foreign minister arrives in Cairo | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Egypt congratulates new Iraqi prime minister | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)