President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the African Union’s 23rd Ordinary Summit in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo on Thursday afternoon.


Legislators inundated by conflicting laws, reform committee necessary
Egypt is inundated by redundant and conflicting legislation, said Dr. Hany Sarieddine, Chair of Cairo University’s Faculty of Commercial Law. The Supreme Committee for Legislative Reform formed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is “necessary,” Sarieddine continued, to review conflicting legislation impeding ministries’ work and hindering the expansion of investment. The committee, formed according to Presidential Decree 187/2014, and headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, held its first meeting on Saturday. The meeting was attended by the ministers of justice and transitional justice, and a number of specialists and representatives from concerned bodies Mahlab said the committee will promote a  legislative environment that stimulates growth, especially economically, where it will encourage investment in the Egyptian market. [DNE, 6/25/2014]

New presidential decree stokes fears of state intervention in universities
Students and some faculty members in public Egyptian universities have expressed their disappointment and frustration with a presidential decree mandating that university heads and deans are to be directly appointed by the president. The decision by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, issued Tuesday evening, overturns a change ushered in from the popular revolt of 2011, that university heads are to be elected, and brings back the system from 2010, in theory and practice. The change to the law, which previously allowed the election of heads, came after a long struggle and months-long sit-ins that both students and faculty members participated in, said Mohamed al-Shafei, a student working with the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. “From experience, we know it will be a state-security controlled campus, which will also affect academic levels,” al-Shafei said. The Popular Current’s student movement also called on Sisi to revoke the decree. [Ahram Online, 6/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s prime minister to donate half his salary and part of his wealth to Sisi initiative | Ahram Online
  • June 30 fact-finding committee to submit procedural report to Sisi | SIS
  • Cabinet discusses budget, parliament elections preparation | SIS
  • Farmers’ Union decides to contest parliamentary elections | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Presidential election commission rejects Ahmed Shafiq appeal on 2012 elections | Aswat Masriya (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Free Egyptians Party calls on Sisi to amend protest law | DNE, Aswat Masriya (Arabic)


Jailed Al Jazeera reporter to give EGP 15,000 to Sisi initiative
Egyptian-Canadian Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was sentenced to seven years in prison on Monday for spreading false news and assisting a “terrorist organization,” has decided to donate EGP 15,000 to a new initiative launched by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to assist Egypt through its economic crisis. Fahmy’s brother, Sherif, said that the donation is meant to help Egypt’s troubled economy and is not aimed at not seeking a presidential pardon. Meanwhile, Adel, Fahmy’s younger brother, said, “We’re trying to make his case resonate more locally. His patriotism in making this donation is separate from his anger at the verdict.” [Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, 6/26/2014]  

Suez reporter to appeal prison sentence; Peter Greste vows to exhaust all means to overturn conviction

The lawyer of jailed reporter Abdel Rahman Shahin said he would appeal the verdict, after Suez Misdemeanor Court sentenced the defendant to three years in a maximum security prison, the official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on Thursday. Meanwhile, jailed Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste who was sentenced to seven years in jail on Monday said he intends to “do everything and consider all possible measures to overturn this conviction.” In a statement published by Al Jazeera he said, “Throughout this trial, the prosecutor has consistently failed to present a single piece of concrete evidence to support the outrageous allegations against us.”
[Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, DNE, Ahram Online, The Guardian, 6/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Morsi aide’s father released for health reasons | DNE
  • State Council approves £45,000 for treatment of comatose protester | DNE
  • Morsy Ittihadiya trial postponed to July 15 | Egypt Independent, Ahram Gate (Arabic)
  • Arrest order for three suspects accused of kidnapping, assaulting girl in Badrasheen | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s judicial council asks judges to refrain from blogging to remain neutral | Aswat Masriya
  • Nine pro-Brotherhood Azhar students sentenced to five years | Aswat Masriya
  • Trial of fifteen Brotherhood students postponed | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Zakaria Azmy corruption trial postponed to October 30 | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
  • Retrial of former prosecutor general Talaat Abdallah on wiretapping charges begins | Ahram Gate (Arabic)
  • Trial of MB leader and former parliamentarian Mohsin Radi begins today | Ahram Gate (Arabic)


Egypt says to pay $1.5 billion oil debt this year as energy crisis mounts
Egypt will pay $1.5 billion of the money it owes to foreign energy companies by the end of 2014, its oil minister said on Thursday, as the government tries to stave off a worsening power crisis. [Reuters, DNE, 6/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Cabinet approves draft decree limiting maximum wage to EGP 42,000 | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Government may temporarily maintain last year’s budget due to time constraints: Cabinet source | DNE
  • Minister: Tourism improved in May | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s oil minister says $10 billion gas project with BP restarted | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt gets $385 million IDB loan for power station | Reuters
  • Egypt-Saudi company to invest $245 million in housing units | Aswat Masriya, Mada Masr, SIS, Ahram Online
  • Finance Ministry provides billions to ensure availability of public goods and services | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Samih Sawiris: I do not plan to invest in Egypt until legislation is amended to protect investors | Aswat Masriya (Arabic)
  • Interior Minister: We are committed to applying the maximum wage | Shorouk (Arabic)


Jailed activist Mahienour al-Masry wins international rights award

Egyptian human rights lawyer and leftist activist Mahienour al-Masry, sentenced to two years in jail for organizing an unauthorized protest, has won this year’s Ludovic Trarieux Award, given annually to a lawyer for contributions to the defense of human rights, AFP reported. The award committee decided award Massry this year, noting that she had been imprisoned many times under the rule of former presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, 6/26/2014]

NGO condemns assault on Al-Watan photographer
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned on Wednesday the assault on a photographer for private Al-Watan newspaper during skirmishes outside the paper’s headquarters between staff and policemen. The photographer was hospitalized following the incident, which occurred on Tuesday night when twenty policemen gathered and “assaulted” the paper’s staff using “metal tools,” injuring the photographer and four others, the paper said. “Policemen abused their positions and violated the law instead of carrying out their duty [of] organizing the streets and protecting citizens. In addition, surrounding a newspaper is a crime and a lack of respect to the law they claim to apply and protect,” said ANHRI. [DNE, 6/25/3014]

Also of Interest:

  • Health Ministry: Man catches bird flu in Minya | Egypt Independent
  • Human rights organizations criticize data on sexual assaults | AMAY (Arabic)


Stepped-up security measures at Cairo Airport after subway bombings
Security measures were stepped-up at Cairo Airport on Wednesday after a string of subway bombings targeted several metro stations in the capital. Security was tightened in car parks, terminals and the companies operating inside the airport. The security caused crowding in the hallways, but airport authorities said the measures will continue for some time. [Egypt Independent, 6/26/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Head of Read Sea Ports Authority supplying devices to detect explosives | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Two explosive devices defused in Rafah | Egypt Independent


Sisi addresses African Union summit
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the African Union’s 23rd Ordinary Summit in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo on Thursday afternoon. “Egypt returns to you after what it achieved from the 25 January and 30 June revolution (the date of mass protests against Morsi’s rule) in terms of goals of freedom, democracy and social justice, which Egypt achieved through the constitution,” said Sisi in his first international speech, adding that “no one can claim to have achieved perfect democracy.”  “In the 30 June revolution, the Egyptian armed forces took the side of the people and not the other way around, saving Egypt from a civil war and chaos,” he added. Sisi, met with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, late Wednesday on arrival to Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo, and is also to meet other head of states participating in summit. [Ahram Online, SIS, AMAY (Arabic), DNE, Aswat Masriya, 6/26/2014]

Egypt defends itself at UN amid outcry over jailing of journalists
Egypt defended its judicial system at the United Nations (UN) on Wednesday amid a global outcry over the jailing of Al Jazeera journalists, telling diplomats and reporters that it respects the role of the media and does not consider journalism a crime. Diplomats from more than seventeen countries, including eight members of the UN Security Council, attended the meeting organized by the UN Correspondents Association to show solidarity with the three imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists. “The Egyptian judicial system is very well-known for providing full guarantees for the defendant,” Egypt’s deputy UN Ambassador, Osama Abdelkhalek Mahmoud, told the meeting. “I have confidence that the due procedures will be followed and justice will be done in such cases and in all other cases.” [Reuters, 6/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • President of Equatorial Guinea welcomes Sisi |  Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Egypt recovers 24 smuggled artifacts from Germany | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Spokesman: Sisi’s visit opens a new era of Egypt-Algeria ties | SIS
  • Egypt keen on launching new economic partnership with Kuwait | KUNA
  • Sisi announces establishment of Egyptian partnership for Africa’s development | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Sisi says he wants Egypt to invest in Algeria | Ahram Online
  • Algeria, Egypt’s Sisi talk security, gas shipments | Reuters