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87 items tagged "Egypt Unrest"

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Morsi's Lawyers Appeal Jail Sentence

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 20 June 2015 09:43
Morsi Death SentenceLawyers for Egypt's deposed Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, on Thursday appealed his sentencing to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his mandate, AFP reported.
 
Morsi, who was ousted by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013, was convicted in April over the protest outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012.
 
He was accused of ordering violence to be used against protesters to disperse them.
 
"We had to appeal before the time available to do so expired," defense lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP.
 
He said he had submitted the request "in his capacity as legal representative of Mr. Morsi".
 
Abdel Maqsud said he had not been able to consult his client in advance, but did say that Morsi "refuses to appeal," as he considers himself still to be president and rejects the legitimacy of his judges.
 
The Islamist former president faces several trials in Egypt. On Tuesday, a court upheld a death sentence against Morsi for plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the country's 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
 
The sentence was originally given last month, but a final ruling on it had been postponed until June 16 pending consultations with Egypt's Grand Mufti, the country's highest religious authority.
 
It also sentenced Morsi to life in prison on charges of spying for the Palestinian Hamas movement, Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah and Iran.

Mubarak and Sons Sent to Jail for Corruption

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 14 May 2015 13:13
Alaa L and Gamal Mubarak 2nd RAn Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted president Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison on corruption accusations, after he was cleared of murder charges in another case, AFP reports.
 
Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal, also sentenced to three years, were present in the caged dock, wearing suits and sunglasses. Their lawyers may try to appeal.
 
It was not immediately clear whether the sentencing took into account time served, according to the report.
 
All three had been arrested in 2011, months after Mubarak was toppled in a popular 18-day uprising after three decades in power.
 
State news agency MENA later reported that prison authorities contacted the prosecution to inquire about how much time the three had already spent in jail.
 
They had initially been sentenced to three years on the same charges but an appeal court overturned the original verdict.
 
Mubarak, who waved at his supporters in the benches before the judge read his verdict, was taken to the military hospital where he has spent much of his time since his detention in 2011, noted AFP.
 
He and his sons were fined 16 million, the amount they were accused of embezzling from funds meant for the maintenance of presidential palaces.
 
Mubarak, who turned 87 this month, was cleared of charges in another trial over the deaths of protesters during the January-February 2011 uprising.
 
Seven of his police commanders were also acquitted in that trial. The prosecution has lodged an appeal.
 
Last November, a court dropped murder charges against Mubarak over the deaths of protesters during the uprising which ended his rule.
 
In the months following his ouster, Egypt's interim military rulers rounded up top Mubarak-era leaders and police commanders and put them on trial, under pressure from protesters.
 
Most have since been acquitted, as widespread anger shifted to Mubarak's now overthrown successor, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi.
 
Mubarak’s former military intelligence chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is now president after he overthrew Morsi in the summer of 2013.
 
Critics say Sisi is reviving the practices of the Mubarak era, which was marred by police abuses and arrests of dissidents.
 
Sisi has distanced himself from Mubarak and has insisted that Egypt is moving forward and not backwards. Mubarak, however, has expressed support for Sisi and called on the Egyptian people to stand behind the new president.

Former Morsi Aide Jailed for Three Years

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 12:17
behind barsA Cairo criminal court on Wednesday jailed deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi's former chief of staff for three years, after he was convicted of abusing his powers, AFP reported.
 
The man, Refaa al-Tahtawi had been charged with hiring someone banned from public service, a court official said.
 
Tahtawi had given a job to a man convicted of belonging to a terrorist group and of setting fire to several video clubs in the capital.
 
The man, who had been sentenced in the 1990s to 15 years in prison, was himself jailed for a year on Wednesday for having accepted the appointment.
 
Since the Egyptian army ousted Morsi, there has been a crackdown on Brotherhood supporters in the country.
 
Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters to death in recent months, many in mass trials condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as violating international law.
 
Morsi is on several trials in Egypt and is charged with, among other things, endangering national security, inciting the killings of opposition protesters and working with Lebanese and Palestinian Arab groups to carry out terror attacks in Egypt.

Sinai Terrorists Kill 10 Soldiers in Several Attacks

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 05 April 2015 22:10
Remains of Egyptian firefight in Sinai with terroristsReutersTen Egyptian soldiers were killed and 17 others were injured in several concurrent attacks by armed groups in southern Sheikh Zuweid City in the northern Sinai on Thursday, the Ma’an news agency reported.
 
According to the news agency, clashes erupted during the attacks that targeted five military posts in al-Kharruba, Qabr Amir, al-Shallaq, al-Jura and al-Daraib.
 
During the ambushes, the armed groups fired RPG shells at Egyptian soldiers, leading to many casualties.
 
Egyptian security sources said that 15 members of the armed groups were killed, and three civilians were injured.
 
Thursday's attack held the most casualties in a continuing string of violent insurgency activity that has rocked the Sinai in recent months, noted Ma’an.
 
Attacks on policemen and military targets began to increase following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Most of the attacks have been claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, a jihadist group that is affiliated with ISIS.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The Egyptian army imposed a curfew on Gaza on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and which were also claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.

Egypt Names 18 Muslim Brotherhood Members as Terrorists

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:49
Brotherhood behind barsEgypt's top prosecutor on Sunday named 18 Muslim Brotherhood members, including the group's leader and his deputy, as terrorists, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
 
In a statement, chief prosecutor Hisham Barakat said the decision follows a February court ruling that convicted Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, his deputy Khairat el-Shater, the head of the group's political party Saad el-Katatni and others of orchestrating violence in 2013 that killed 11 people and wounded over 90 outside their office.
 
The clashes were at the start of mass protests against President Mohammed Morsi, also a member of the group, and days before the military ousted him.
 
Badie, el-Shater and el-Katatni along with senior leaders Mohammed el-Beltagy, Essam el-Erian and nine others were sentenced to life in prison. Another four were sentenced to death. The sentences can be appealed, noted AP.
 
But the new law, passed in February, allows prosecutors to freeze assets of the designated terrorists, barring them from public life or travel for renewable three-year periods based on the preliminary verdict and with the approval of a panel of judges.
 
The law also broadens the state's definition of terrorism to include anyone who threatens public order "by any means."
 
Since the Egyptian army ousted Morsi in July 2013, there has been a crackdown on Brotherhood supporters in the country.
 
Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters to death in recent months, many in mass trials condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as violating international law.
 
The law passed in February drew criticism from rights groups who charged that it expands the state arsenal of legislation empowering authorities to go after political opponents with few, if any, options to redress miscarriages of justice.
 
The government says it needs the law in its campaign against an expanding insurgency by terrorist groups, including one that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group fighting in Iraq and Syria.
 
The government blames the Brotherhood for the violence, saying the group is seeking to destabilize the government after Morsi's ouster. The group denies the charges.
 
Brotherhood leader Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. A video of him released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows him telling the court that his movement was not against Egypt but only against the Jews.

Mubarak's Former Interior Minister Acquitted of Corruption

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 21 March 2015 14:49
habib al-adlyAn Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted an interior minister of ousted president Hosni Mubarak of corruption charges, AFP reported.
 
The former minister, Habib al-Adly, was cleared of illegally accumulating around 181 million Egyptian pounds ($25 million) and will be released, his lawyer Mohammed el-Gendy said.
 
The court also lifted an asset freeze on the former minister and members of his family, he added.
 
"Keeping him in jail for another hour would be illegal," Gendy said of the once-feared interior minister who ran Mubarak's security service with an iron grip.
 
Adly was convicted of taking advantage of his position and forcing police conscripts to work on his private property but has already served the full three-year sentence, noted AFP.
 
Thursday's verdict is the latest in a series of acquittals for Mubarak-era officials, including Mubarak himself. An appeals court last month overturned a suspended five-year sentence slapped on Adly and ex-premier Ahmed Nazif over other corruption charges.
 
Adly was also cleared of murder charges in a separate retrial with Mubarak in November, for which he had been sentenced to life in prison by a lower court.
 
Also last month, an Egyptian court acquitted an oil minister who served under Mubarak in a retrial after a 2012 conviction for selling Israel natural gas at below market price.
 
In January, Mubarak's conviction on corruption charges was overturned by a court and a retrial was ordered.
 
Trials of Mubarak and his former officials have been overshadowed by those against Islamist former president Mohammed Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was branded a "terrorist group" in 2013.
 
Since Morsi's ouster, the government has launched a brutal crackdown against his supporters that has left hundreds dead and thousands jailed after often speedy mass trials.
 
Morsi and leaders of his outlawed Muslim Brotherhood are facing several trials, punishable by death if found guilty.

Egypt Executes Muslim Brotherhood Supporter - Update with video

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 08 March 2015 20:04
islamists-roofEgypt on Saturday executed a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood for a murder committed during riots in mid-2013, Al Jazeera reported.
 
The execution marked the first death sentence carried out against a supporter of the banned Muslim Brotherhood under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
 
In a statement on its Facebook page, the Interior Ministry said that Mahmoud Hassan Ramadan Abdel-Nabi had been hanged for an incident where children were thrown from a building during protests in 2013 against the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi.
 
Security sources have described Ramadan as a "radical Islamist" who is not officially a Brotherhood member, according to Al Jazeera.
 
Since the Egyptian army ousted the Brotherhood's Morsi in July 2013, there has been a crackdown on Brotherhood supporters in the country.
 
Egyptian courts have sentenced hundreds of alleged Brotherhood supporters to death in recent months, many in mass trials condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as violating international law.
 
Saturday's execution came a month after Egypt's high court upheld the death sentence against Ramadan. Most of the other death sentences are still under review in a complex system of legal appeals.
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In one of the most dramatic scenes of the upheaval following Morsi's fall captured on video, Ramadan threw someone off a rooftop during clashes in Alexandria's Sidi Gaber district. An Al-Qaeda flag was seen tucked into the back of Ramadan's trousers.
 
57 others were sentenced to 15-25 years in the case, according to Al Jazeera.
 
Last week, an Egyptian court sentenced top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group's spiritual leader Mohammed Badie, to life in prison, for the killings of police officers and civilians during an attack on the group's Cairo headquarters in June 2013.

Explosion in Cairo Kills Two, Wounds Nine

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 05 March 2015 18:46
Cairo explosion Kills Two Wounds NineTwo people were killed and nine wounded, including seven policemen, in a bomb explosion on Monday outside the Egyptian supreme court in Cairo, AFP reported.
 
Health Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told the news agency that a 22-year-old man "died of injuries sustained in his backbone" in the attack.
 
Another man, aged 24, who had suffered head injuries and internal bleeding, also died of his wounds, he said.
 
Abdel Ghaffar said nine people, including seven policemen, were wounded in the attack.
 
The explosion appeared aimed at a police checkpoint near the court, a hospital official said.
 
The latest attack came a day after two civilians died in a bombing outside a police station in southern Egypt.
 
Egypt has been dealing with endless terrorist attacks in recent years, but those attacks have intensified since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
 
Most of the attacks have taken place in the restive Sinai Peninsula and have been claimed by the jihadist Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
However, Cairo has been hit several times as well. Monday’s blast was the second such attack near the supreme court, after an explosion wounded 12 people in October last year.
 
Monday's explosion came days after a series of bombings in Cairo in which one person was killed.
 
Five bombs struck within hours, four of them near mobile phone service companies and a police station.
 
Most of the bombings in the capital have been rudimentary and caused no casualties, but several have killed policemen, including two senior officers who died while trying to defuse bombs outside the presidential palace in June last year.

'I'm Still Egypt's President', Insists Morsi as New Trial Begins

Category: News
Created on Monday, 16 February 2015 13:28
Mohammed Morsi in courtFormer Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi was on Sunday placed on trial on charges of endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar, but he once again declared that he does not recognize the court’s authority.
 
Morsi, who was toppled by the army in 2013 after mass protests against his rule, insisted that he was still Egypt’s legitimate president, Reuters reported from Cairo.
 
“This court does not represent anything to me,” declared Morsi, who was on trial with 10 other people. The maximum penalty if he is convicted is death.
 
The former Islamist president is facing several trials in Egypt.  In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
In yet another one he is accused, along with 35 others, of working with Lebanese and Palestinian Arab groups to carry out terror attacks in Egypt.
 
The trial which began Sunday revolves around allegations that Morsi leaked secret documents to Qatar and its satellite news channel Al Jazeera.
 
Al Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar, has been called "the Muslim Brotherhood channel" and has been blamed for stirring up much of the violence that has rocked the Middle East in recent years and is often referred to as the “Arab Spring.” 
 
Relations between Qatar and Egypt have been icy since July 2013 when the army overthrew Morsi and launched a security crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Lately, however, Qatar and Egypt have been trying to restore their ties. In December, Qatar declared its support for Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, despite his crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Sisi later met with an envoy from the Gulf emirate, and Al-Jazeera also shut down its Egypt channel, quieting a major source of tension between the two countries.

Egypt Releases One of Three Detained Al-Jazeera Reporters

Category: News
Created on Monday, 02 February 2015 09:13
behind barsA reporter for Al-Jazeera English was released Sunday from an Egyptian prison and deported, after more than a year behind bars, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
 
His two Egyptian colleagues remain jailed in a case widely condemned as a sham by human-rights groups, the report noted.
 
Australian Peter Greste was whisked away on a flight to Cyprus. His release came as a welcome surprise to fellow reporters and activists who spent months pressing for his freedom.
 
At the same time, rights groups and Greste's Qatar-based broadcaster called on Egypt to release the other two defendants in the case.
 
Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohammed were arrested in December 2013 over their coverage of the violent crackdown on Islamist protests following the military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi.
 
Egyptian authorities accused the three of providing a platform for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, now declared a terrorist organization. Authorities provided no concrete evidence, noted AP, and the journalists and their supporters insist they were doing their jobs during a time of violent upheaval.
 
The three were seen as having been caught up in a regional power struggle between Egypt and Qatar, which funds Al-Jazeera and had been a strong backer of Morsi. Greste's release follows a thawing of ties between Cairo and Doha.
 
A Qatari envoy recently met with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the first such meeting since he was elected in June.
 
Al-Sisi’s office said Egypt hoped the meeting, which was attended by a Saudi royal envoy, was the beginning of a "new era" that puts the past disagreements between the two countries behind.
 
Egypt has accused Al-Jazeera in general, and its Egypt affiliate, Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, in particular, of doing Doha's bidding by serving as Islamists' mouthpiece at a time of a ferocious crackdown on their ranks.
 
The station denies any bias, saying it is simply covering Islamist protests, but recently shut down its Egypt channel as Qatar and Egypt grow closer.
 
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who had been negotiating for Greste's release, said that journalist had told her by telephone from Egypt that he was desperate to return to his family in the Australian city of Brisbane after spending 400 days in custody.
 
"He was immensely relieved and he was desperate to come home to Australia and reunite with his family," Bishop told reporters in Sydney, according to AP.
 
"From my discussion with him, he was very keen to be back on a beach and lying in the sun in Australia," she said.
 
Greste had been given short notice that he was being released "unconditionally," Bishop said.
 
Canada welcomed the "positive developments" and said it was hopeful that Fahmy's case would be "resolved shortly," according to a statement from the office of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular.

Cairo: 15 Dead in Clashes

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 25 January 2015 18:37
Cairo Clashes 01-25-15At least 15 people are dead in Cairo, according to Reuters, following clashes Sunday between police and Islamist protesters, marking the fourth anniversary of the uprising that ousted then-President Hosni Mubarak.
 
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The AP said 13 more people were injured in clashes in the Matariyah area of the capital.
 
Al-Ahram reported that police shot dead an armed pro-Muslim Brotherhood protester in the coastal governorate of Alexandria.
 
The man had been shooting randomly with a automatic rifle at people while marching with a number of pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Alexandria's Al-Awayed district, according to an interior ministry statement.
 
Police reportedly arrested another man with an automatic rifle, also in the march, along with two men who held firebombs.
 
On Friday, 17-year-old pro-Brotherhood protester Sondos Reda Abo Bakr was shot dead with birdshot, in clashes between police and protesters.
 
On Saturday, Shaimaa El-Sabagh, 33, who took part in a small-scale march organized by the Socialist Popular Alliance Party to commemorate the uprising, was shot dead with birdshot near Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo on Saturday. Police denied gunning her down.
 
Egypt called off official celebrations of the anniversary of the January uprising this year, as it mourns the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah.

Egyptian Court Overturns Mubarak's Conviction on Corruption

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 17 January 2015 14:45
02-16-11An Egyptian court on Tuesday overturned former president Hosni Mubarak's conviction on corruption charges and ordered a retrial, AFP reported.
 
The former president remains in detention pending a judicial order.
 
Supporters of the 86-year-old broke into cheers and chanted "Long Live Justice!" as the Court of Cassation in Cairo announced its decision, which concerns the last remaining of a series of charges laid against Mubarak following his 2011 ouster.
 
Another court in November dropped murder charges against Mubarak over the deaths of protesters during the uprising, which ended his three decades of autocratic rule.
 
If Mubarak walks free it would spur accusations against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that the former army chief is reviving the Mubarak era, something he has sought to deny.
 
A lower court had convicted Mubarak and handed him a three-year jail sentence last May on charges that he embezzled money earmarked for the maintenance of presidential palaces.
 
It had also given four-year jail sentences to the toppled leader's sons, Alaa and Gamal, whose convictions were overturned as well on Tuesday. Four other defendants in the case were acquitted.
 
The Court of Cassation did not specify on Tuesday whether Mubarak was a free man following its judgment and did not set a date for a retrial.
 
State media quoted a security official saying the ousted leader would remain in detention absent a judicial order for his release.
 
His lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, told AFP that Mubarak ought to be released as he "has already served" three years in detention, including the time he spent in custody awaiting trial.
 
But Deeb said that for now Mubarak would remain in the military hospital where he currently receives treatment.
 
Al-Sisi has insisted the country will never return to the corrupt ways of the past, despite Mubarak’s verdicts being overturned.
 
The ruling in November enraged Mubarak’s opponents, with about 1,000 converging on a central Cairo square to denounce the government. One person was killed in ensuing clashes.

Egyptian Officer and Soldier Killed by Roadside Bomb

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 27 December 2014 13:04
Roadside BombA roadside bomb struck an Egyptian army vehicle late Thursday, killing an officer and a soldier in the insurgent flashpoint of the Sinai Peninsula, security officials said, according to the AFP news agency.
 
The attack occurred south of the town of El-Arish, scene of frequent attacks by Islamist terrorists on security forces.
 
One army officer and a soldier were killed in the blast, while another soldier was wounded.
 
Egypt's military has been battling an insurgency on the peninsula since it overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last year and cracked down on his supporters.
 
Most of the attacks have been claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, the country's deadliest terrorist group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (ISIS).
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi’s ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
The government declared a state of emergency in parts of North Sinai after an October 24 suicide attack near El-Arish killed 30 soldiers in the deadliest assault on security forces since Morsi's ouster.
 
Egypt has been forming a “buffer zone” alongside the border with Gaza in response to the October attack, claiming it was aided by none other than Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
 
As part of the buffer zone plan, the Egyptian military is seizing and evacuating homes belonging to Gazans, a fact which has been mostly ignored by the world.

Obama Expresses Concern Over Mass Trials in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 16:14
Obama address the American public File -ReutersU.S. President Barack Obama spoke to his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday and expressed concern over mass trials and the continued detention of journalists and peaceful activists, AFP reports.
 
During a telephone call, the White House said, Obama encouraged Sisi to "invest in the political, economic, and social aspirations of the Egyptian people."
 
"President Obama also expressed concern about mass trials, the status of NGOs, and the continued imprisonment of journalists and peaceful activists in Egypt," the statement said.
 
Islamists have been the subject of an ongoing crackdown which began in the summer of 2013 when the army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
 
In early December, an Egyptian court sentenced 188 people to death for the murder of 13 police officers, the latest in a series of mass trials launched by authorities against Islamists.
 
A week later, a Cairo court referred four Muslim Brotherhood leaders, who are on trial for the killing of nine and injuring more than 90 in 2013, to Egypt's grand mufti to consider the death penalty.
 
The defendants in the case include 17 Brotherhood leaders, among which are former Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatni, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie, and his deputy Khairat El-Shater.
 
More than 500 people were sentenced to death in March for a separate attack on a police station in Minya on the same day.
 
In April, another 683 supporters of Morsi, including leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to death as well.
 
The rise of mass convictions in Egypt has been described by the United Nations as "unprecedented".
 
Egypt has also cracked down on the press, sentencing several journalists including three from international news network Al-Jazeera to lengthy prison terms.
 
In June, Australian Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohammed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian Mohammed Baher were convicted of supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Washington regularly expresses dissatisfaction over the country's poor human rights record, but also relies on its military alliance with Egypt as a centerpiece of American diplomacy in the Arab world.
 
During Thursday's telephone call, Obama emphasized the importance of cooperation between Washington and Cairo "to promote shared interests in counterterrorism and regional security."
 
"The president affirmed the United States’ continuing commitment to the strategic partnership with Egypt and emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation," Obama said, according to AFP.
 
The United States announced last year it would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt over its displeasure with the military's pace of restoring democracy following Morsi’s ouster.
 
American law forbids sending aid to countries where a democratic government was deposed by a military coup, though Washington has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a "coup" and has been cautious about doing so, choosing only to condemn the violence in the country.

Egypt: Court Suggests Death Penalty for 4 Brotherhood Leaders

Category: News
Created on Monday, 08 December 2014 15:40
Members of Egypts Muslim BrotherhoodA Cairo court on Sunday referred four Muslim Brotherhood leaders, who are on trial for the killing of nine and injuring more than 90 in 2013, to Egypt's grand mufti to consider the death penalty.
 
The defendants in the case include 17 Brotherhood leaders, among which are former Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatni, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, and his deputy Khairat El-Shater, according to the Al-Ahram newspaper.
 
The top Brotherhood leaders involved in the case are not among those referred to the grand mufti, however, the report stressed.
 
The court has set February 28 2015 for a final verdict on the remaining defendants.
 
The defendants are accused of murder, inciting violence, and possession of live ammunition.
 
The sentences are the latest in an ongoing crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood which began in 2013 when the army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
 
Last week, a court sentenced 188 defendants to death for a violent attack on a police station after Morsi’s ouster that left 11 police personnel and two civilians dead.
 
More than 500 people were sentenced to death in March for a separate attack on a police station in Minya on the same day.
 
In April, another 683 supporters of Morsi, including leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to death as well.
 
The rise of mass convictions in Egypt has been described by the United Nations as "unprecedented".
 
The United States and the European Union have decried the mass convictions as well, but Egypt rejected the criticism, terming it “unacceptable interference in the judiciary affairs”.

Egypt Hands Down Death Sentences to 188 Brotherhood Supporters

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 04:19
Muslim protestsMore than 180 supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were on Tuesday sentenced to death in Egypt over a 2013 attack on a police station near Cairo, the BBC reported.
 
The attack took place on the same day as Egyptian security forces broke up protest camps set up by Brotherhood supporters, leaving hundreds dead.
 
The latest sentences are subject to the opinion of Egypt's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti.
 
A final verdict is due on 24 January, after which defendants may appeal.
 
More than 140 of the 188 defendants are already in custody, while the rest have been sentenced in absentia, noted the BBC.
 
The sentences were passed for an attack on a police station in the village of Kerdasa on August 14, 2013, in which at least 11 officers were killed.
 
More than 500 people were sentenced to death in March for a separate attack on a police station in Minya on the same day.
 
In April, another 683 supporters of Morsi, including leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to death as well.
 
The prosecution of a further 919 suspected Islamists was ordered by the authorities in two separate trials in the same month. Just last week, a court in Egypt sentenced 78 youth to up to five years in prison for protesting with the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The rise of mass convictions in Egypt has been described by the United Nations as "unprecedented".
 
The United States and the European Union have decried the mass convictions as well, but Egypt rejected the criticism, terming it “unacceptable interference in the judiciary affairs”.

Sisi: Egypt is Going Forward, Not Backwards

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 03:11
Al Sisi for presidentEgypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the country will never return to the corrupt ways of the past, after a court dismissed murder charges against former leader Hosni Mubarak.
 
"The new Egypt, which emerged from the January 25 (2011) and June 30 (2013) revolutions, is on a path to establish a modern democratic state based on justice, freedom, equality and a renunciation of corruption," Sisi said in a statement released late Sunday and quoted by AFP.
 
Sisi was referring to the uprising which toppled president Mubarak in 2011 and the military's overthrow of his Islamist successor, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests two years later.
 
He said that Egypt is on a “path to the future and can never go back to the past.”
 
A Cairo court on Saturday dropped murder charges against Mubarak over the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended three decades of his autocratic rule.
 
Seven of his security commanders, including ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly, were also acquitted over the deaths.
 
Corruption charges against Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal were likewise dropped.
 
The ruling enraged Mubarak’s opponents, with about 1,000 converging on a central Cairo square to denounce the government. One person was killed in ensuing clashes.
 
Sisi, who was Mubarak's intelligence chief, won a landslide victory in a May presidential election after crushing Islamist and secularist opponents.
 
As army chief he removed Morsi in July 2013.
 
Since Morsi's ouster, a crackdown on his supporters has left at least 1,400 dead and seen more than 15,000 people imprisoned. The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization.
 
On Monday, leftist leaders condemned Saturday's verdict, on which Sisi said he could not comment because it was a judicial matter.
 
It was a "black day in Egypt's history," said Hamdeen Sabbahi, who lost the May presidential election to Sisi.
 
"The president must decide who he is siding with at this critical moment," Sabbahi told a press conference, according to AFP.
 
"Is he with the people, the revolution and its demands, or is he with those in the media calling for the return of Mubarak and his regime?"

Bomb Explodes Near Train Station in Southern Egypt

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2014 11:25
Bomb Explodes Near Train Station - EgyptA bomb went off near a train station in southern Egypt Saturday night, as police found three other explosive devices planted on railway tracks in the region, the government said, according to AFP.
 
A charred body was found near the railway station in Wasta, a town in the province of Beni Suef, the interior ministry said, adding it probably belonged to the person who had planted the bomb.
 
Security forces combed the region and found three other explosive devices on railway lines linking Cairo to the far southern city of Aswan, the ministry said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
 
Egypt has been hit by a wave of bombings and shootings since the military ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.
 
Assailants have stepped up attacks targeting public transport, including a bomb last week on a train north of Cairo that killed two policemen and two passengers.
 
Another recent attack targeted a navy vessel in the Mediterranean and left eight servicemen missing at sea.
 
On Thursday four people were hurt in a stampede at the capital’s Ramses station after a blast inside a compartment of a train that pulled in from the Nile Delta, security officials said.
 
The majority of the attacks in Egypt have been claimed by the jihadist Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, which has killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police over the last year.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group since the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 

Egyptian Prosecutors Ask for Death Sentence for Morsi

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2014 10:22
Mohamed Mursi - ReutersEgypt's state news agency reported on Wednesday that prosecutors have asked for the death sentence for ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on trial on espionage charges.
 
According to The Associated Press (AP), prosecutor Emad el-Sharawy said in closing remarks that Morsi and his aides leaked state security documents to foreign intelligence agencies, namely Iran, while in office for one year.
 
The military removed Morsi from office in July 2013 following mass protests against him accusing him and the Brotherhood of monopolizing power.
 
El-Sharawy said the defendants, who include Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and 34 others, cooperated with terrorist groups, including Gaza's Hamas, to destabilize Egypt.
 
Morsi told the court he refused its jurisdiction. He asked to defend himself in upcoming sessions, according to AP. The case resumes on November 26 for closing defense remarks.
 
The trial in question is one of several against the Islamist former president. In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
More recently, Egypt charged the ousted president and several other people with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar.

Sinai Jihadists Claim Attack Which Killed 30 Soldiers

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 22 November 2014 14:22
Ansar Bayt Al-MaqdisAnsar Bayt Al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest terrorist group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), claimed responsibility for a suicide attack last month that killed 30 soldiers, AFP reported on Saturday.
 
The group made the claim in a video posted on social media, according to the report.
 
Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has killed scores of policemen and soldiers since the army overthrew Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi last year, but the October 24 attack in which a jihadist rammed a military checkpoint in northern Sinai with an explosives-packed car was the deadliest such incident in years.
 
It said it was acting in retaliation for a crackdown on Islamist supporters following Morsi's removal from power.
 
At least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown, while more than 15,000 have been jailed and hundreds sentenced to death.
 
In the video, the group promises further attacks against the security forces and said it was speaking directly to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi and unleashed a crackdown on Islamists.
 
The October attack caused Egypt to declare a state of emergency in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, and has also resulted in Egypt beginning to form a “buffer zone” alongside the border with Gaza. Egyptian security sources have said that the deadly attack was aided by none other than Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
 
Earlier this week, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis pledged its allegiance to ISIS in Iraq and Syria, in a bid to oost recruitment and bolster its fight against the Egyptian army, according to analysts.

Egypt Sentences 68 Brotherhood Supporters to Jail

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 16:26
Muslim protestsAn Egyptian court sentenced 68 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to jail terms on Tuesday, judicial sources said, according to Reuters.
 
They were convicted in a case related to deadly violence a year ago after the army's ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
 
All were found guilty of killing 30 people and intending to kill others in Cairo on October 6, 2013, when more than 50 people died in clashes across the country between Morsi opponents and supporters.
 
Judge Mohamed Ali Al-Faqi gave 63 of the defendants 15 years in jail and five others 10 years, according to Reuters.
 
Since Morsi’s ouster, the Muslim Brotherhood has been the subject of a broad crackdown, which has seen thousands of Brotherhood supporters jailed.
 
Morsi himself is currently on trial in several cases. In one trial he is being accused of inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
 
In another trial, Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, are accused of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
Another of Morsi’s trials, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
In addition to these trials, Egypt recently charged the ousted president, along with several other people, with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar

Clashes in Cairo as Morsi Supporters Riot

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 05:41
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood shout slogans during a protest in CairoThree people were killed in Cairo on Friday as supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi held scattered protests for a second straight day, according to AFP.
 
Clashes erupted at one protest between Morsi supporters and local residents. Two people were killed in the fighting and four police were wounded as they tried to disperse the crowd in the Giza district, according to security officials.
 
At another protest in Giza, demonstrators fired birdshot, set off fireworks and tried to block a road. One protester was killed when police moved in to disperse the group, a statement from the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police said, adding that the man was armed.
 
In a third incident, protesters torched a public bus in a Cairo suburb after forcing the driver and passengers out. Police arrested at least 14 protesters at the events, the security officials told AFP.
 
The violence came one day after the anniversary of the forceful dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo, in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed. Clashes at small, scattered demonstrations on Thursday left four people dead, the Health Ministry said.
 
Morsi supporters have held regular demonstrations since the military overthrew him last summer amid massive protests against his year in power. Their numbers, however, have dwindled in the face of a massive crackdown that has seen hundreds of protesters killed in street clashes and tens of thousands detained.
 
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement was listed as a terrorist group after his overthrow last July 3 and many of its leaders, including Morsi himself, have been jailed.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, was sentenced to death on June 19 but the country’s top religious authority rejected the death sentence. He has been asked by a court to reconsider.

Egypt: Train Bomb Blast Kills 5 as Islamists Riot

Category: News
Created on Monday, 07 July 2014 15:42
Train Bomb Blast - Islamists RiotA bomb blast in a train in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on Thursday wounded five people, security officials said, according to AFP.
 
According to the report, the bomb, which was hidden in a briefcase near a passenger seat, exploded inside a train compartment.
 
The attack as Egyptian police swiftly quashed Islamist protests marking the first anniversary of the military ouster of president Mohammed Morsi, firing tear gas and arresting dozens of demonstrators.
 
The protests were seen as a test of the Islamists' strength, with the Muslim Brotherhood-led Anti Coup Alliance having issued an aggressive rallying cry demanding a "day of anger" to mark Morsi's overthrow.
 
Police closed off several main squares in Cairo and scoured neighborhoods to head off protests, AFP reported.
 
In Cairo's Ain Shams district, black-clad riot policemen fired tear gas and shotguns to disperse a few dozen protesters who burned tires on a road.
 
Police also dispersed other protesters elsewhere in the capital, security officials told AFP.
 
39 wanted activists were arrested ahead of Thursday's protests, and 157 allegedly illegal demonstrators were detained during the day, the interior ministry said.
 
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement was listed as a terrorist group after his overthrow last July 3 and many of its leaders, including Morsi himself, have been jailed.
 
The ex-army chief who toppled him, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has since replaced him as Egypt's elected president.
 
Security forces were also on high alert Thursday for further bombings, days after two senior policemen were killed when devices they were defusing outside the presidential palace exploded.
 
Since Morsi's ouster after a turbulent year in power, at least 1,400 people, mostly his Islamist supporters, have been killed in street clashes and more than 15,000 have been imprisoned.
 
Despite the crackdown, the Islamists have insisted on continuing their protests with the aim, they say, of making Egypt ungovernable for Sisi

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Given Another Death Sentence

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 17:49
Egypt Muslim Brotherhood headAn Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie and 13 others to death over violence that killed 10 people in Cairo last summer, AFP reports.
 
Since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July of 2013, hundreds of his supporters and Badie himself have been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials that have sparked international outrage.
 
The court is due to meet again on August 3 to give a final ruling, according to AFP.
 
Death sentences in Egypt are referred to the country's top Islamic scholar for an advisory opinion before being ratified and courts may commute sentences, which can later be challenged in an appeals court.
 
Other defendants include Mohamed al-Beltagui and Essam al-Erian, top leaders from Morsi's Brotherhood, as well as Gamaa Islamiya chief Assem Abdel Maged and well-known preacher Safwat Hegazy.
 
They were convicted of inciting violence that killed 10 people near Al-Istiqama's mosque in the Giza neighborhood, days after Morsi's July 3 ouster.
 
Since Morsi's ouster, his supporters have staged regular protests calling for his reinstatement, rallies that have often degenerated into street clashes with security forces and civilian opponents.
 
A crackdown on Morsi supporters has left more than 1,400 people dead in street clashes and at least 15,000 jailed.
 
Thursday’s verdict marks the second time that Badie has been given a death sentence. In April, a court in the central city of Minya sentenced Badie, who is being tried in some 40 cases, and around 700 others to death over the murder and attempted murder of policemen. A final ruling is expected on June 21.
 
The same court in March handed down the same sentence for 529 alleged Morsi supporters on similar charges. The judge subsequently upheld only 37 of those sentenced and commuted the rest to life in prison.
 
Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. A recently released video of him shows him telling the court that his movement was not against Egypt but only against the Jews.
 
“We have fought only against the Jews, and Kamel Al-Sharif may testify about the conduct of the Muslim Brotherhood in the [1948] war in Palestine. We fought against the Jews. The Israeli strategic research institute wrote in a report: ‘Our greatest enemies in the world are the Muslim Brotherhood.’ This is an honor for us, yet now we are being accused of conspiring with Hamas against the Egyptian people. This is an absolute lie,” he said.

Sisi: Egypt is Moving Forward, Not Backwards

Category: News
Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 23:02
Al Sisi for presidentEgypt’s newly elected president, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, vowed on Thursday that the country would not go backwards but move forward, Al Arabiya reports.
 
Speaking to the Kuwaiti newspaper Aljarida, Sisi said, “We know that some people fear a return to the past, but this will not happen, there is no going back and we will move forward.”
 
“The population has ambitions and there are humble people who need us to work and fight for them,” he added.
 
"We will please Egyptians through actions and not through words," declared Sisi.
 
The interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper came after results from this week’s presidential election in Egypt indicated that Sisi overwhelmingly won the contest with more than 90 percent of the votes.
 
Sisi gained favor among Egyptians after he ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi last July.
 
Since that time, hundreds of Islamists have been placed on trial, and the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed and designated as a terrorist organization.
 
It is hoped that Sisi’s election will bring about a calm in Egypt, though former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Tzvi Mazel told Arutz Sheva on Friday that Sisi will have a hard time putting the country in order.
 
"Egypt is a poor country, with 85 million residents. Every half year another half a million babies are born there, and every year 800,000 residents join the mass of job seekers; the financial situation is very difficult," Mazel said.
 
Without support from the West, Mazel says Sisi will have a rough time rehabilitating the Nile state which has been engulfed in violence since the 2011 "Arab Spring" which led to the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
 
"At this stage, Europe and also Obama have turned a cold shoulder on Sisi, claiming that he held a military coup and suspended the elected president; that's a serious problem," remarked Mazel.

Leader of Sinai Al-Qaeda-Inspired Group Eliminated

Category: News
Created on Friday, 23 May 2014 10:12
Sinai TerroristThe leader of an Al-Qaeda-inspired group that fired rockets from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula towards the Israeli city of Eilat was killed in a drive-by shooting on Thursday, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
 
Three associates of the leader of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group were killed in the same incident as well, senior Egyptian security officials said.
 
The development deals a heavy blow to the group, which has claimed scores of deadly attacks across Egypt since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July.
 
According to three senior security officials, Shadi el-Manaei, who headed the group, and the three others were found dead after unidentified gunmen sprayed their vehicle with bullets on a road in central Sinai.
 
The officials said that according to the police investigation, 15 men in vehicles and armed with automatic machineguns, attacked el-Manaei's car to avenge the killings of tribesmen by his terror group.
 
Among the attacks claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in recent months was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
Several months ago, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis denounced the Egyptian army as “an enemy of Allah” because of its crackdown on Sinai terrorists and called for “jihad” against it.
 
Egypt's military-backed interim government has blamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group for the violence, outlawing it and calling it a terrorist organization. The Brotherhood denies being involved in the violence.
 
The United States has designated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis a foreign terrorist organization. Egypt just recently charged 200 suspected members of the group with carrying out over 50 terrorist attacks, killing 40 policemen and 15 civilians and conspiring with Hamas.

Brotherhood Leader: We Fight the Jews, Not the Egyptians

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 22 May 2014 18:02
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Badie File -AFPMohammed Badie, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, claimed during his trial that his movement was not against Egypt but only against the Jews.
 
Footage from the trial was posted to the internet and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
 
Badie faces charges that include inciting violence during a Brotherhood sit-in at Cairo University in mid-July. He is one of 683 members of the Muslim Brotherhood who were recently sentenced to death in a mass trial.
 
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“Never have we responded to violent attacks against us with violence. We are commanded to spread Allah's mercy through peaceful means,” Badie claimed during the trial.
 
“We have fought only against the Jews, and Kamel Al-Sharif may testify about the conduct of the Muslim Brotherhood in the [1948] war in Palestine. We fought against the Jews. The Israeli strategic research institute wrote in a report: ‘Our greatest enemies in the world are the Muslim Brotherhood.’ This is an honor for us, yet now we are being accused of conspiring with Hamas against the Egyptian people. This is an absolute lie,” he said.
 
“Beware of being used in this political conflict, the likes of which we have not seen in the entire history of Egypt. Such crimes, killings, and bloodshed have not occurred in the history of Egypt,” said Badie.
 
“Let me tell you, Allah knows that we are innocent of all these accusations. Our evidence will be decisive, because Allah defends those who believe,” he declared.

1 Killed, 6 Hurt in Sinai Bomb Attack

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:32
Sinai Bomb AttackOne Egyptian was killed and six others were injured in a bomb attack on Wednesday on a security vehicle in the Sinai Peninsula, security sources told Reuters.
 
Officials and witnesses said the casualties included both civilians and security officers.
 
Witnesses said Wednesday's attack was carried out by two men riding a motorcycle who threw a bomb at a security vehicle in the North Sinai city of El-Arish and fled.
 
Egypt’s Ministry of Interior confirmed the attack and said seven people had been injured. State television said the attack had resulted in deaths and injuries but did not provide details.
 
The attack is the latest in a string of terrorist attacks that have occurred in Egypt since the ouster last July of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.
 
On Monday night, three Egyptian policemen were killed at Cairo's al-Azhar University.
 
The attack occurred when assailants stepped out of two cars and opened fire on a security checkpoint just outside the university.
 
In a previous attack on Saturday, a bomb wounded three people at a Cairo election rally for Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the former army chief who led the military in Morsi’s ousting and is the leading candidate to replace him in the election which takes place next week.
 
The Sinai Peninsula has been particularly hit by terror attacks, which started shortly after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak and have only increased since Morsi’s ouster.
 
Many of the attacks in Egypt have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, 200 members of which were charged last week with carrying out over 50 terrorist attacks.
 
Egypt’s interim government says there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member, and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
 
The Brotherhood denies having any connection to terrorism.

Egypt: 3 Killed in Shooting at Cairo University

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 22:33
Al-Azhar students clash with riot policeReutersThree Egyptian policemen were killed at Cairo's al-Azhar University on Monday night, the Interior Ministry said, according to Al Jazeera.
 
The attack comes a week before the presidential election that former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is expected to win.
 
According to security sources, assailants stepped out of two cars and opened fire on a security checkpoint just outside the university.
 
Nine people were also wounded in the attack, the ministry said. It said the shooting happened as students were protesting in favor of former President Mohammed Morsi, who was toppled by the army after mass protests against his rule last summer.
 
Al-Azhar is Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning and has been the scene of frequent anti-government protests since Morsi’s ouster.
 
Armed groups have also stepped up attacks on security forces since Morsi's overthrow, killing hundreds of police and soldiers.
 
In a previous attack on Saturday, a bomb wounded three people at a Cairo election rally for Sisi.
 
Many of the attacks in Egypt have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, 200 members of which were charged last week with carrying out over 50 terrorist attacks.
 
Egypt’s interim government says there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member, and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, and on this basis blacklisted the Brotherhood as a terror organization.
 
The Brotherhood denies having any connection to terrorism.

Egypt Jails More than 160 Brotherhood Members

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 08:39
behind barsEgypt is continuing its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, and on Sunday a local court jailed more than 160 supporters of the Islamist movement to up to 15 years in prison.
 
According to a Reuters report, the defendants chanted "Down with military rule" as Judge Hassan Fareed handed down 10-year jail terms to 126 Brotherhood supporters accused of violence and membership of a terrorist group in one of the cases.
 
A further 37 people received 15-year sentences in a second case related to an alleged attempt to blow up a Cairo metro station.
 
The security forces have detained thousands of Brotherhood supporters since the military ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last July following mass protests against his rule.
 
Hundreds of Brotherhood supporters have been sentenced in mass trials since Morsi was ousted, including 79 who last week were given jail terms of between five and 10 years over their involvement in deadly clashes.
 
Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, who was among 683 people sentenced to death last month, made a rare address in court, rejecting the accusations leveled against his group.
 
"We have never responded to any attack against us with violence," said Badie, according to Reuters, addressing the judge in footage uploaded to YouTube. The judiciary was being used in a political conflict the likes of which Egypt had never seen before, he claimed.
 
The government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group after an upsurge in attacks on the police and army following Morsi’s removal from power.
 
Most of the attacks have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, but Egypt’s interim government says there is a direct link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.
 
Last week, Egypt charged 200 suspected members of Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis with carrying out over 50 terrorist attacks, killing 40 policemen and 15 civilians and conspiring with Hamas.
 
Among the attacks claimed by the group is the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 
 
Several months ago, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis denounced the Egyptian army as “an enemy of Allah” because of its crackdown on Sinai terrorists and called for “jihad” against it.

The Washington Report on the Middle East is a Joke

Category: Op-Eds
Created on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:49
The Washington ReportThis is not a Purim article, unfortunately.
 
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs claims that it is in the business of “Interpreting the Middle East for North Americans • Interpreting North America for the Middle East”.
 
Unfortunately the only place in the Middle East that the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has ever heard of is Israel. That’s strange since the people who run it tend to be closely acquainted with their old Middle Eastern jobs in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
 
Here’s the most recent cover for the publication which brings you such timely stories about the Middle East as…
 
1. The Assassination of Yasser Arafat (by Israel)
 
2. Israel’s Discriminatory Practices
 
3. Israel’s Iran  Debacle
 
4. American Jews are traitors (dual loyalty)
 
and
 
5. The death of Nelson Mandela
 
You might assume that at least the death of Nelson Mandela would not be about Israel. But this is the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. If it’s not about Israel, it’s not in the magazine.
 
So the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs publishes two articles on Mandela by Palestinian Arabs who talk about how evil Israel is.
 
One of them is Marwan Barghouti whom the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs describes as the “Palestinian Mandela” who is in prison for running a terrorist group responsible for numerous murders, including that of a Greek Orthodox monk.
 
Barghouti spends most of the piece talking about himself and defeating Israel. It’s a real tribute to Mandela.
 
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs was always a propaganda outlet for the Saudi lobby, but it wasn’t always a complete joke.
 
Scroll down the site’s table of contents and you have to get through 13 articles to find one non-Israel article. There’s only one story about Syria where some say there’s a little war going on.
 
Even Der Sturmer wrote about something other than Jews, but that’s more self-control than the editors of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs seem to be capable of.
 
If space aliens read the the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, they would assume that the Middle East consists entirely of Israel.
 
This article also appeared in FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com
 
Daniel GreenfieldDaniel Greenfield
The writer is a popular New York City based freelance commentator and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He blogs at sultanknish.blogspot.com

Journalist Killed in Day of Violence in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 29 March 2014 18:23
Miada AshrafFour people, including an Egyptian woman journalist, were killed in Cairo Friday as police clashed with Islamists protesting against ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's presidency bid, a security official told AFP.
 
The violence erupted in a deeply polarized Egypt as supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi took to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other cities to vent their anger at Sisi who was instrumental in ousting the Islamist Morsi nine months ago.
 
Mayada Ashraf, who worked for the privately owned Al-Dustour newspaper, was shot in the head while covering clashes in the northern neighborhood of Ein Shams, the official told AFP, adding that three more people were killed in the same violence and 10 wounded.
 
Four people were also wounded in clashes in the northern province of Damietta.
 
In Cairo's eastern neighborhood of Madinat Nasr, students from Al-Azhar Islamic university hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at riot police who fired tear gas to disperse them, security officials said.
 
Clashes also erupted between Morsi supporters and his opponents in the northern Cairo districts of Ein Shams and Matareya, the officials told AFP.
 
Ten Morsi supporters were arrested in clashes with security forces in Damietta province, and 28 were arrested in the southern Minya province for carrying leaflets hostile to the military and the police, they added.
 
On Wednesday, after months of speculation, Sisi resigned as Defense Minster and announced his plan to run for president, saying it would be the last time he wears his military uniform. “I give up the uniform to defend the nation,” he declared.
 
In his speech, he reminded Egyptians of the security and economic challenges facing them, noting that he cannot “perform miracles” and calling on Egyptians to work hard to improve their country.
 
He also said Egypt was threatened by terrorists and he would work to make a country “free of fear.”
 
The Brotherhood voiced its opposition to Sisi’s bid for the presidency, saying he was not a suitable candidate.
 
"He led a coup to become president. He is a man who has killed daily since the coup," the Brotherhood's political bureau member Ibrahim Munir said.
 
Supporters of the widely popular presidential hopeful, who toppled Morsi after massive street protests against his turbulent one-year rule, also demonstrated on Friday to celebrate his candidacy, reported AFP.
 
Carrying Egyptian flags and portraits of Sisi, dozens marched in Alexandria and scores gathered in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, symbol of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak.
 
Since Morsi was ousted, more than 1,400 people have died in street clashes, and thousands have been imprisoned. The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the army-led government.

Morsi Accused of Leaking Secrets to Iran

Category: News
Created on Friday, 07 March 2014 16:40
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Cairo AFPProsecutors in Egypt on Sunday accused deposed president Mohammed Morsi of leaking state secrets to Iran's Revolutionary Guards as part of a plot to destabilize Egypt, AFP reported.
 
The accusations came at the second hearing of the former Islamist president’s trial for espionage.
 
The trial, one of three that are under way against Morsi, is part of a relentless government crackdown targeting him and his Muslim Brotherhood movement since his ouster by the army in July.
 
Prosecutors accuse Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
On Sunday, the second hearing since the trial opened on February 16, they detailed the charges against Morsi and his co-defendants.
 
They were specifically accused of "delivering to a foreign country ... national defense secrets and providing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards with security reports in order to destabilize the security and stability of the country," according to AFP.
 
The statement read in court did not identify the "foreign country", the report noted, but prosecutors said Morsi and the defendants carried out espionage activities on behalf of the "international Muslim Brotherhood organization and Hamas with an aim to perpetrate terror attacks in the country in order to spread chaos and topple the state" from 2005 to August 2013.
 
During Morsi's one year presidency, ties flourished between Cairo and Hamas, the offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which rules neighboring Gaza.
 
At Sunday's hearing Morsi was held separately in a soundproof glass cage, designed to keep him and the other defendants from interrupting the proceedings with outbursts.
 
This, however, did not stop defendants, including Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Badie, his deputy Khairat al-Shater and other Islamist leaders from shouting and rejecting the accusations against them.
 
The defendants were represented by a new team of 10 defense lawyers appointed by the lawyers' union, to replace the original team that withdrew from the case, noted AFP.
 
The trial was adjourned to February 27.
 
This trial is only the tip of the iceberg for Morsi, who faces a total of four trials against him. Two of his other trials have already begun: the first, which started in November, holds him responsible for killing protestors outside the Presidential Palace in 2012; the second, which began in January, cites his role in a 2011 jailbreak which saw the deaths of several police officers. A fourth trial will be held over charges of insulting the judiciary. 
 
This trial is seen as another step in Egypt’s crackdown not only on the Muslim Brotherhood but also on Hamas.
 
While Morsi’s government was friendly with Hamas, the military-led government that ousted him has cracked down on the group, which it accuses of a December attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and planning church bombings in Sinai last Christmas.
 
Last week, Egyptian border forces destroyed 10 tunnels and seven homes in the Sinai, as part of a new campaign to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza that would extend 500 meters in some places.

Egypt: Gunmen Murder Police Guard of Morsi Judge

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 08:54
Supporters and opponents of Morsi clash in Alexandria - AFPGunmen on Friday killed an Egyptian policeman who was on a security team guarding the home of a judge in the jailbreak trial of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, security officials told AFP.
 
Attacks on Egypt’s security forces have surged since the army ousted the Islamist Morsi last July, and as the military-installed authorities press a deadly crackdown on his supporters.
 
Sergeant Abdallah Metwally was shot dead as he rode his motorbike across a bridge over the Nile in the city of Mansoura north of Cairo, according to AFP.
 
The attack on Metwally, who was wearing plain clothes, was carried out by assailants who were also on a motorbike, at about 7:30 a.m. local time, Brigadier General El-Saeed Omara of Mansoura police told the news agency.
 
His killing comes with an appeal court on Saturday set to examine a defense request to appoint a new panel of judges in Morsi's jailbreak trial.
 
Morsi and 130 other defendants, including Palestinian Arab and Lebanese militants, are charged with organizing jailbreaks and attacking police stations during the 2011 revolt against former President Hosni Mubarak.
 
The case, one of three already opened against Morsi, is part of a relentless government crackdown targeting him and his Muslim Brotherhood movement since his ouster.
 
Earlier this week, prosecutors in one of Morsi’s trials accused the deposed president of leaking state secrets to Iran's Revolutionary Guards as part of a plot to destabilize Egypt.
 
The accusations came at the second hearing of the former Islamist president’s trial for espionage.
 
Prosecutors accuse Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, of conspiring with foreign powers, the Hamas terror group and Iran to destabilize Egypt.
 
Mansoura, in the Nile Delta, where Friday’s killing took place, was the site of a deadly car bombing in December when the city's police headquarters was attacked, killing 15 people, mostly policemen.
 
That bombing resulted in the Brotherhood being  designated as a terrorist organization by the army-led government.
 
The Mansoura bombing was the deadliest since Morsi's overthrow outside the Sinai Peninsula, where terrorists have killed scores of police and soldiers. While most of the attacks have been claimed by the Al-Qaeda inspire Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, interim Egyptian authorities have long claimed a link between the Brotherhood and the string of bloody attacks that followed Morsi’s ouster.
 
The Brotherhood, for its part, has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt. 

Christian Family Murdered in Alexandria

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 08:51
Christian Family MurderedFour members of a Christian family of Syrian origin living in Alexandria, Egypt, were stabbed to death Monday. A man was seen walking out of their apartment holding a black plastic bag.
 
The father of the family, 44, who was employed in one of Sharm el-Sheikh's hotels, was found stabbed in the stomach, the chest and the shoulder. His 35-year-old wife was stabbed in the neck, and so was the husband's 43-year-old sister. Their six-year-old daughter was also found murdered.
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The attackers started a fire in the kitchen, in an apparent attempt to set the entire apartment aflame and destroy evidence.
 
The large Christian community in Egypt, which numbers about 10 million people, has increasingly been coming under attack from Muslims in the last few years. Many Christians have been murdered and wounded, and over 100 churches, homes and businesses owned by Christians have been attacked, with some being burned down.
 
The Egyptian regime has blamed the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist forces for these attacks.

Egyptian Court Upholds Ban on Muslim Brotherhood

Category: News
Created on Monday, 03 February 2014 11:56
deadly attack in Mansoura01An appeals court for urgent matters in Egypt turned down Saturday a legal challenge by members of the Muslim Brotherhood against a verdict ordering the seizure of the group's funds by the interim government.
 
According to the Al Ahram newspaper, the court upheld the verdict, declaring that the Brotherhood's funds, assets and NGO would remain seized.
 
The appeal was filed against both Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi and Minister of Social Solidarity Ahmed El-Borai, the report said.
 
The initial verdict, issued on September 23, banned the Muslim Brotherhood and its NGO, leaving the Islamist group with no legal status.
 
The Brotherhood existed outside Egyptian law for decades and was only officially registered as an NGO in March 2013. The registration came after a panel of judges recommended the movement’s dissolution.
 
The group has criticized the verdict, saying it was issued by “an incompetent court,” and should have been dealt with by the administrative court.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood has been the subject of a wide-ranging crackdown since the army ousted its president, Mohammed Morsi, last July.
 
Last month, Egypt froze the assets of more than 500 leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood has also been blacklisted as a "terrorist organization". That designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
 
The Mansoura attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, but Egypt’s government has said that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in the country.
 
The Brotherhood has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt.

Egypt Announces Early Presidential Elections

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 17:34
Adly MansourEgypt on Sunday announced early presidential elections likely to anoint the general who overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
 
AFP reported that the country’s interim president Adly Mansour announced the elections in a televised address, a day after 49 people died in clashes between Islamist protesters and police and thousands rallied in support of military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
 
Sisi was expected to declare his candidacy for the election, scheduled before mid-April, after a show of support including Saturday's large rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
 
The weekend clashes and bombings also highlighted the interim government's precarious grip seven months after Morsi's overthrow.
 
On Sunday, an Al-Qaeda inspired group released a video it said showed its fighters downing with a missile a military helicopter in the lawless Sinai peninsula.
 
The group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, also claimed credit for a car bombing outside police headquarters in Cairo on Friday morning that killed four people.
 
The military has acknowledged five soldiers were killed in an incident involving a helicopter on Saturday, but said it was "an accident," according to AFP.
 
Over Friday and Saturday, five bombs went off after the attack on the Cairo police headquarters, killing to more people.
 
The violence came as Egypt commemorated the 2011 uprising that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak, leading to three years of tumult that many hope Sisi's election will end.
 
As Mansour addressed the nation to announce the early presidential election, relatives of those killed on Saturday assembled outside a Cairo morgue, chanting anti-military slogans.
 
In his address, Mansour, a judge the military appointed as interim president to replace Morsi, pledged to "uproot (terrorists) and show them no mercy".
 
The government says a series of polls that started with a constitutional referendum in January and will end in parliamentary elections will restore an elected government by 2015.
 
Sisi took the approval of the constitution earlier this month as a vote of confidence for his presidential bid.
 
A parliamentary election had been scheduled ahead of the presidential poll, but Mansour said Sunday he had revised the timetable following many demands.
 
Sisi, accused by Morsi supporters of carrying out a coup ending the Islamist's single year in power, still faces a determined opposition and a semi-insurgency.
 
Hours before Mansour spoke, terrorists ambushed a bus carrying soldiers in the restive Sinai Peninsula, killing four, according to AFP.
 
The army vowed in a statement to "eliminate those belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood who call for darkness and dissension and excommunication".
 
The interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters.
 
The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. While Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the attack, the interim government says there is a connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorist attacks in Egypt.

Egyptian Official Hints Constitution was Overwhelmingly Approved

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 16 January 2014 08:17
Egyptians poll for Constitution referendomEgyptian voters have overwhelmingly approved a new constitution in a referendum held over the past two days, an Interior Ministry official said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
 
"Turnout so far may exceed 55 percent and the approval of the constitution is perhaps more than 95 percent," Major General Abdel Fattah Othman, director of public relations for the ministry, was quoted as having told private satellite channel Al-Hayat.
 
He was citing preliminary results of the two-day vote that ended at 9:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday. An overwhelming approval of the new constitution could pave the way for popular army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to announce his candidacy for president.
 
After polls closed, Al Jazeera quoted state radio as having said that 28 percent of voters participated in the first day of voting. Voters said the lines were shorter than during the 2012 referendum, but there were also more than twice as many polling stations, which should result in shorter queues.
 
Visits to polling stations, noted Al Jazeera, suggest that second-day turnout was lower. A queue in the upscale Zamalek district that stretched for two blocks on Tuesday had just four voters on Wednesday afternoon.
 
There were no reports of violence on Wednesday, in contrast to Tuesday when at least 11 people were killed in clashes across the country, and a bomb damaged a courthouse in Cairo two hours before polls opened.
 
Police arrested one man in Cairo for writing "no to military trials" on his ballot, according to Al Jazeera.
 
Final results will be announced within 72 hours, according to the high electoral commission.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose President Mohammed Morsi was ousted by Sisi and the military in July and which has been since branded a terrorist group, called for a boycott of the vote.
 
The revised charter preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases. This has angered secular groups that backed the military in ousting Morsi.
 
Other articles include one stipulating that Islamic Sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
Another main article of the new charter forbids the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds.

Egypt: Prison Sentences for 63 Brotherhood Supporters

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 22:37
Muslim protests63 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt were sentenced Thursday to three years in jail on charges including rioting, thuggery and weapons possession, Al Arabiya reports.
 
It was the largest number of Brotherhood supporters sentenced in one case since the army-backed authorities began cracking down on the movement after former President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in July.
 
The judge set a bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($720) which allows those sentenced to avoid prison while they appeal the verdict. The ruling also includes a fine of 50,000 pounds per person, according to the report.
 
In a different part of Cairo, another 24 Brotherhood supporters were also sentenced to three years in prison, with labor, over clashes.
 
The charges against them included rioting, illegal gathering, attacking the police and belonging to an armed terrorist gang.
 
The government accuses the Brotherhood of turning to violence since the army deposed Morsi after mass protests against his rule. The group says it is committed to peaceful protest.
 
Tensions in Egypt have increased in recent weeks, especially after the interim government blacklisted Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and re-launched its wide-ranging crackdown on the group. 
 
In response to the blacklist, the Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the military-ruled government.
 
Meanwhile, Morsi’s trial on charges of inciting murder of protesters was postponed on Wednesday until February 1 after officials said that bad weather had prevented him being flown to court, according to Al Arabiya.
 
Morsi is to face three different trials: Prosecutors have announced he will also stand trial for espionage involving Hamas as well as for organizing prison breaks with the help of foreign groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Egyptian Officials Kidnapped in the Sinai

Category: News
Created on Monday, 13 January 2014 12:25
An armoured personnel carrier positioned outside Ramses Square near al-Fath mosque in Cairo ReutersAn Egyptian labor ministry official and three trade union activists were kidnapped in the Sinai on Tuesday, the ministry said, according to AFP.
 
Local police were investigating whether Sinai terrorists were behind the abduction, the report said.
 
Meanwhile in Cairo, assailants threw a bomb and opened fire on a small traffic police station without causing casualties, security officials told the news agency.
 
It was the latest in a string of militant attacks on security forces following the overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
Much of the violence has taken place in Sinai, where the officials were abducted while en route to a conference in the southern resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.
 
Police found their abandoned car near the resort, labor ministry spokesman Alaa el-Din Mohamed told AFP.
 
An interior ministry official said police were investigating the kidnappings.
 
The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency. The terror groups have hit back - a torrent of attacks by gangs of Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorists have killed many Egyptian soldiers and policemen since Morsi's overthrow.
 
In September, Egypt’s Interior Minister survived an assassination attempt. The attempted assassination occurred as a car bomb ripped through the his convoy as he was leaving home for work.
 
Tensions in Egypt have increased in recent weeks, especially after the interim government blacklisted Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and launched a wide-ranging crackdown on the group. 
 
In response to the blacklist, the Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the military-ruled government.

Egypt's Sisi to Run for President

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 05 January 2014 14:30
1General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will keep his post as defence minister AFPEgypt's deputy prime minister and defense minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is expected to step down in the coming days to pave the way for his nomination in the upcoming presidential elections, Gulf News reported on Saturday.
 
The report cited the Egyptian Al Wafd newspaper, which said that Sisi’s exit will be part of a government reshuffle in the second half of January that will also see vice president Ziyad Baha’ Al Deen leave his post.
 
The paper cited "political sources with connections to ruling circles", adding that the country’s Supreme Council for the Armed Forces decided in a meeting on Tuesday to select Lt. Gen. Sidqi Subhi to replace Sisi as defense minister.
 
The local pro-military channel CBC aired a breaking news report on Saturday night revealing that Sisi had decided to run for presidency, according to Gulf News.
 
Sisi led the military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3. The military-installed interim government subsequently launched a fierce campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belongs, leading to violent clashes that have resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand civilians.
 
Prominent presidential hopefuls have lent their support to Sisi’s candidacy, offering to drop plans to run if he decides to, according to Gulf News.
 
According to Egyptian media reports, Sisi is expected to announce his bid for the presidency following a referendum on the country’s new constitution.
 
The already tense situation in Egypt has deteriorated in the past week, since the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters.
 
The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
 
The Mansoura attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, but Egypt’s government has said that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in the country.
 
In addition to cracking down on Brotherhood protesters, the interim government has also confiscated the assets of more than 500 of its leaders.

Egypt Summons Qatari Ambassador Amid Row Over Brotherhood

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 05 January 2014 08:36
Morsi supporters clash with riot police in Cairo - ReutersEgypt summoned the Qatari ambassador in Cairo on Saturday, following concerns expressed by the Gulf state over the crackdown on Islamist demonstrators, reported Al Arabiya.
 
“The Qatari ambassador was summoned over a statement by the Qatari foreign ministry,” Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty was quoted as having said.
 
In a statement earlier on Saturday, Qatar had said the recent decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group was “a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy” against demonstrators.
 
“The decision to designate popular political movements as terrorist organizations, and labeling peaceful demonstrations as terrorism, did not succeed in stopping the peaceful protests,” the statement said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
“It was only a prelude to a shoot-to-kill policy on demonstrators,” the statement published by state news agency QNA said, adding that “inclusive dialogue” between all sides was the only solution to Egypt’s crisis.
 
The already tense situation in Egypt has deteriorated in the past week, since the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters. The government has been engaging in a wide-ranging crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters.
 
Tensions have mounted between Qatar and Egypt since the July 2013 ouster of Egypt’s former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, whom Qatar firmly supported.
 
Egypt accuses Qatar and its Doha-based Al Jazeera television channel of backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Last week, Egypt’s general prosecutor detained several journalists for 15 days for broadcasting graphics on Al Jazeera, alleging that they damaged Egypt’s reputation.
 
In the latest violence, 17 people were shot dead as supporters of the Brotherhood clashed with police across Egypt on Friday. The protesters had been defying a widening state crackdown on the movement that ruled the country until six months ago.

Bloody Friday Kills 11 Across Egypt

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 January 2014 18:18
Morsi supporters clash with riot police in Cairo - ReutersA bloody Friday in Egypt has claimed the lives of at least 11 protesters in Cairo and several other cities, Al Arabiya reported.
 
Clashes broke out between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and Egyptian security forces throughout Egypt, said the report.
 
One demonstrator was shot dead by police in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia after a march set off from a mosque after midday prayers.
 
In the rural province of Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, a protester died from a bullet wound to the head.
 
Fighting spread through heavily populated residential areas in several cities and provinces including Cairo, Giza, Ismailia, and Alexandria, as dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members and their supporters threw rocks at security forces who responded with water cannons and tear gas.
 
Brotherhood supporters have been holding daily protests since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood, was ousted by the military in July.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed since July 3 when he was ousted and authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
The tensions deepened last week when the interim Egyptian government blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization".
 
The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
 
The government has been engaging in a wide-ranging crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters, which began even before the terror group designation.
 
On Tuesday, Egyptian officials seized the assets of at least 500 Brotherhood leaders. On Monday, three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested on charges of meeting with Brotherhood officials. 

Morsi's Third Trial to Begin January 28

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 January 2014 16:03
Mohammed Morsi in jialAn Egyptian judge said on Thursday that January 28 has been set as opening day for the third trial of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
 
The ousted president faces several trials, and this one is related to charges of organizing prison breaks with the help of foreign groups.
 
Judge Medhat Idriss said the Cairo Appeals Court set the date Thursday. The charges for the third trial were announced in late December.
 
The jailbreaks took place during the January 2011 uprising against Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
 
Morsi was jailed in Cairo at the time and escaped with more than 30 others, while more than 20,000 inmates escaped from prisons across Egypt, including members of Hezbollah and Hamas.
 
Prosecutors claim that Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and other jihadists attacked prisons and police stations during the first few days of the revolt against Mubarak, killing policemen and helping thousands of inmates escape.
 
The ousted president is already on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of opposition activists during his one year in power and prosecutors have announced he will also stand trial for espionage involving Hamas.
 
AP noted that most of the charges which Morsi faces carry the death penalty.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed since July 3 when he was ousted and authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Last week, the temporary government in Cairo blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization".
 
The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.

Egypt Probes Telecoms Company Over Alleged 'Terror Ad'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 03 January 2014 15:44
VodafoneEgyptian prosecutors are probing Telecoms giant Vodafone over claims a company advertisement featuring a popular Muppet-like character contains coded messages calling for terrorist attacks, company executives said Thursday, according to AFP.
 
Vodafone Egypt says the advert, featuring the puppet Abla (Aunt) Fahita, is merely a marketing tool and has no hidden message or meaning.
 
The case stems from claims by a political activist who calls himself Ahmed Spider, who said, according to AFP, that next week's Coptic "Christmas day will be a bitter day because of explosions (planned) by anarchists with the help of (ousted president Mohammed) Morsi's supporters."
 
Copts, who make up the majority of Christians in Egypt, celebrate Christmas on January 7.
 
In his remarks to private television channel Tahrir, Spider said the four branches of a cactus used as a Christmas tree in the advert symbolize the four-finger Islamist salute used by Morsi's supporters.
 
Spider, an avid supporter of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, also said an ornamental ball dangling from the tree represents a bomb, while stuffed turkey breasts spoken of in the commercial symbolize "car bombs."
 
On Wednesday, prosecutors summoned Vodafone executives for questioning following the complaint, reported AFP.
 
"Our marketing director went with our lawyer to the prosecution," Noha Saad, head of Vodafone's public relations told the news agency on Thursday.
 
"The prosecution heard their statements in response to the complaint filed by Ahmed Spider. There were no accusations by the prosecution. They are in the phase of gathering information."
 
Speaking on another show broadcast by private television channel CBC, Spider also accused "British intelligence services" of being behind it all.
 
The advert is for an offer under which Vodafone customers can re-activate their old SIM cards.
 
A company statement said "any other explanations are pure fiction and personal opinions of some viewers and Vodafone is not liable for the personal attitudes and interpretations that are far from reality."
 
The latest controversy highlights the tense atmosphere prevailing in Egypt since the military ousted Morsi in July, following mass protests calling him to step down.
 
It also comes amid a volatile security situation, with Egypt shaken by nearly daily terrorist attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula and an ongoing crackdown on Morsi's supporters.
 
The already tense situation in Egypt has deteriorated in the past week, since the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters.
 
On Tuesday, Egyptian officials seized the assets of at least 500 Brotherhood leaders. On Monday, three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested on charges of meeting with Brotherhood officials. 
 
Egypt has also brought Hamas, the terror group which controls Gaza and is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, into the mix, and has accused it of being involved in the bombing of police headquarters in Mansoura last Monday that killed 16.

Egypt: Tear Gas, Water Cannons Fired at Pro-Brotherhood Protest

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 02 January 2014 16:59
Egypt-clashesEgyptian officials continued their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday, firing tear gas and water cannons at a student demonstration in Cairo. 
 
Egyptian state media reported that about 300 pro-Brotherhood students blocked a road near the Defense Ministry, chanting anti-police and anti-government slogans. When the protesters refused to move, anti-rioting tactics were used, officials say - including tear gas and water cannons. 
 
Police also fired tear gas on student protesters from the state's main university in the Nile Delta city of Zakazik, the hometown of ousted President and Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi, according to Reuters. Hundreds of protesters have been killed since Morsi's ouster in July - many of them students. 
 
Last week, the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terror organization, sparking new tensions between the military and the Brotherhood's supporters. The government has been engaging in a wide-ranging crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters.
 
This week has been particularly tumultuous. Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian officials seized the assets of at least 500 Brotherhood leaders. On Monday, 3 Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested on charges of meeting with Brotherhood officials. 

Egypt's Interim President Promises Elections Within 7 Months

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 31 December 2013 10:39
Adly Mansour  Al ArabiyaEgypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, said on Sunday that the government is committed to holding parliamentary and presidential elections within six months of approval of the new constitution, to be voted on next month, reports Reuters.
 
The timetable means that Egypt would have an elected government by next summer to replace the interim government installed by the army after it ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
Mansour said that it would not be unconstitutional for presidential elections to be held before parliamentary elections.
 
The initial plan unveiled in July required parliamentary elections to be held first, but the constitution to be voted on in a referendum on January 14 and 15 would allow presidential elections first.
 
The new draft constitution approved several weeks ago, preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases. This has angered secular groups that backed the military in ousting Morsi.
 
Other articles include one stipulating that Islamic sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
Another main article of the new charter forbids the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds.
 
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was quick to reject the new constitution due to the fact that it preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases.
 
Later, the Anti-Coup Alliance led by the Muslim Brotherhood announced it will boycott the referendum and organize a campaign against the vote.
 
There has been endless violence as well as terror attacks in Egypt since July when Morsi was ousted.
 
The tension between Morsi supporters and opponents reached a new turning point last week, when the military-installed government designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
 
This was followed by a crackdown on the Islamist movement, as Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of its members.
 
The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
 
The Mansoura attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, but Egypt’s government has said that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in the country.
 
A senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has blasted the decision to declare the organization a “terrorist group” and said the Islamists in Egypt would continue with their near-daily demonstrations despite the blacklist.

Washington: Egypt Going 'Way Too Far' with Brotherhood

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 29 December 2013 06:59
Obama and Chairman AbbasWashington believes that Egypt’s latest crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood is a bit too much but won’t take action against the interim government in Cairo, a United States official said Thursday.
 
The official, who was quoted by the Reuters news agency, said the administration believed the Egyptian government was going "way too far" in its current crackdown on the Brotherhood and its supporters.
 
The comments came as Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The latest crackdown on the movement started a day after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s interim government.
 
The official who spoke to Reuters said that the administration of President Barack Obama was not considering, or even discussing, the possibility of the U.S. government designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization as Egypt had done.
 
The official also said that despite its reservations about the Egyptian government's actions, the Obama administration also was not planning to take any action against Egypt or its authorities in response to the crackdown.
 
In October, the United States announced it would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt to register displeasure over the military's pace of restoring democracy following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.
 
U.S. law forbids sending aid to countries where a democratic government was deposed by a military coup, but until now, Washington has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a "coup" and has been cautious about doing so, choosing only to condemn the violence in the country.

Egypt’s Defense Minister Vows to Fight Terrorism

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 28 December 2013 06:05
1General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will keep his post as defence minister AFPEgypt’s Defense Minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, vowed on Thursday to fight terrorism and stabilize the deeply divided country, Al Arabiya reported.
 
The remarks came hours after an explosion hit a public bus in Cairo, killing one person and wounding at least five others.
 
“Do not worry or fear, the army will sacrifice for Egypt. We will eliminate” terrorism, Sisi was quoted as having said at a military ceremony, in his first comments after Egypt was rocked by two bomb attacks this week.
 
“Do not allow these terrorist actions to affect you. If you want freedom and stability, which is not achieved easily, then you have to trust God and your army and your police,” said Sisi in a statement released by the army.
 
Sisi, whose popularity has soared since he ousted former President Mohammed Morsi, said the defense forces had the capability to make Egypt “stable, secure and progressive,” AFP reported.
 
Terrorist attacks have been on the increase in Egypt since Morsi’s ouster on July 3. On Tuesday, a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
 
Tuesday's attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
 
Following the Mansoura attack, Egypt’s interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist group”, banning all its activities, including protests.
 
The Brotherhood has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt, saying the Mansoura attack was “a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people” and saying it “demands an inquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be  brought to justice".
 
A senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood blasted the decision to declare the organization a “terrorist group” and said the Islamists in Egypt would continue with their near-daily demonstrations despite the blacklist.

Muslim Brotherhood Blasts Terror Group Designation

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 26 December 2013 08:21
Islamists rally in support of Morsi 5th July - ReutersA senior leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood blasted on Wednesday night the decision by Egypt’s interim government to declare the organization a “terrorist group”.
 
Speaking to AFP, Brotherhood member Ibrahim Munir made clear that the Islamists in Egypt would continue with their near-daily demonstrations despite the blacklist.
 
"The protests will continue, certainly," said Munir, a member of the group's executive council who is in exile in London, denouncing the government's latest move as "illegitimate."
 
"This is an attempt to frame the Brotherhood," he claimed.
 
Wednesday’s designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization came one day after a deadly attack on a security building in the city of Mansoura killed 14 people and wounded more than 100 others.
 
"The government has decided to declare the Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organization," read a statement by Egypt’s government quoted by AFP.
 
"Members who continue to belong to this group or organization following the release of this statement will be punished according to the law," warned the statement.
 
Social solidarity minister Ahmed al-Borei was quoted as having said the government would ban all the Brotherhood's activities, including "protests."
 
Tuesday's attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
 
The Brotherhood has denied any connection to terrorism in Egypt. In an email to Al Jazeera, the group stated that "The Muslim Brotherhood considers this act as a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people and demands an inquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be  brought to justice".
 
Nevertheless, interim Egyptian authorities have long claimed a link between the Brotherhood and the string of bloody attacks which followed the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood is already the subject of a court ban by an Egyptian court. Egypt has also frozen the assets of senior leaders of the movement and has arrested dozens of its members since Morsi’s ouster, including most of its leadership.

Salafist Organization Claims Deadly Egypt Attack

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 25 December 2013 14:50
deadly attack in Mansoura01A Salafist organization in Egypt on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a security building in the city of Mansoura that killed 14 people and wounded more than 100 others, Al-Arabiya reported.
 
“Dakahlia Security Directorate was attacked and the operation was carried out successfully thanks be to God and to our Jihadist brothers,” the report quoted the Twitter account of the group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, as having said.
 
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.
 
The terror group has in the past also claimed responsibility for firing rockets from the Sinai Peninsula at the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
 
Monday night’s attack in Mansoura was one of the deadliest attacks in Egypt since the army deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has declared three days of mourning.
 
The army-backed government vowed to fight “black terrorism,” saying the blast would not derail a political transition plan whose next step is a January referendum on a new constitution, according to Reuters.
 
“We face an enemy that has no religion or nation,” Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the survivor of an assassination attempt in Cairo in September also claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said at the scene of the blast.
 
The army said a car bomb had been used in what it called a “vile terrorist attack”, while the presidency said such attacks “only increase the state’s determination to uproot terrorism.”
 
There were conflicting reports following the attack over whether the government had designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
 
A spokesman for Egypt’s Prime Minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, said that the interim leader had fingered the Muslim Brotherhood movement as being behind the attack and has declared it a "terrorist" organization.
 
Beblawi himself, however, branded the Mansoura attack an “act of terrorism”, but refused to confirm that Egypt has decided to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.
 
“Whoever is behind this act is a terrorist and will be brought to justice and punished according to the law. But I don’t want to anticipate the incidents,” he said.
 
But the Brotherhood denied any involvement in the blast and condemned it in an emailed statement to Al Jazeera.
 
"The Muslim Brotherhood considers this act as a direct attack on the unity of the Egyptian people and demands an enquiry forthwith so that the perpetrators of this crime may be  brought to justice," the statement said.

Morsi's PM Arrested While Trying to Flee

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 25 December 2013 14:07
Hisham Qandil warned that no one was above the law.  Egypt state TVEgyptian police have arrested the former prime minister who served under ousted President Mohammed Morsi, the BBC reports.
 
The local interior ministry said Hisham Qandil was caught in a mountainous area with smugglers trying to flee to Sudan.
 
Qandil was sentenced to a year in prison while in office for not carrying out a court ruling to renationalize a company that was privatized in 1996, noted the BBC.
 
A Cairo appeals court upheld the sentence in September, two months after the military overthrew Morsi.
 
Qandil represented an alliance of pro-Morsi Islamist groups in meetings with European Union mediators, who tried to persuade the military-installed interim government to launch a fully inclusive transition process that included the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
However, he kept a low profile after the authorities launched a fierce crackdown on the Brotherhood in August, in which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands detained.
 
Qandil resigned from office several days after Morsi’s ouster, addressing his letter of resignation to the ousted president and saying it had become “impossible to work in view of the bloodshed.”
 
Qandil, who became Egypt's youngest prime minister since 1954 in August of 2012, is not a member of the Brotherhood or any other Islamist political organization, but is said to be religious.
 
Since July 3, when Morsi was ousted, Egypt’s interim authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi Supporters to Boycott Referendum on Constitution

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 13:53
Bihand barsThe Islamist supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi will boycott a referendum on a new constitution next month and organize a campaign against the vote, a spokesman said Monday, according to AFP.
 
The Anti-Coup Alliance led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement had initially considered calling on its supporters to vote against the constitution, according to the news agency.
 
However, an extensive police crackdown on the Islamists has decimated their grassroots network, weakening their chances of defeating the new constitution at polls.
 
“We reject any vote under military rule,” declared Hamza al-Farawy, a spokesman for the Anti-Coup Alliance, which demands Morsi’s reinstatement.
 
The referendum on January 14 and 15 is expected to ratify the new constitution, which replaces the one suspended by the military when it ousted Morsi in July.
 
Farawy told AFP the coalition of Islamist groups, which conducts almost daily protests, would launch a boycott campaign.
 
He did not elaborate on how the campaign would unfold, as thousands of Islamists, including the Brotherhood's top leadership, have been arrested. Morsi himself is behind bars, accused of inciting violence against protesters last year.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed in street clashes since the president was overthrown by the military amid massive protests against his turbulent year-long rule.
 
The new constitution will be the first step in the army's political transition plan that should conclude with parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
 
The revised charter, approved several weeks ago, preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases. This has angered secular groups that backed the military in ousting Morsi.
 
Other articles include one stipulating that Islamic sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
Another main article of the new charter forbids the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds.
 
One article says that “no civilian can be tried by military judges, except for crimes of direct attacks on armed forces, military installations and military personnel.” Secular artists have demonstrated against this provision, saying it could be applied to protesters, journalists and dissidents.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood was quick to reject the new constitution due to the fact that it preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases.

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Appears in Court

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 13:00
Egypt Muslim Brotherhood headThe Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide turned on his accusers on Monday, when he appeared in court for the first time since he was arrested following the army's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, reports Reuters.
 
"Why aren't you investigating the killing of my son, and the burning of my house and the group's offices?" Mohammed Badie asked of the judge, referring to his 38-year-old son who was killed in August in the midst of a crackdown on the group.
 
Badie claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had perpetrated no violence, as his trial began at a police academy where Morsi went on trial last month. They were his first public remarks since his arrest on August 20.
 
The supreme guide faces charges that include inciting violence during a Brotherhood sit-in at Cairo University in mid-July.
 
The court ordered the trial to reconvene on February 11, Al Arabiya reported. Badie, 70, appeared with other prominent Islamists including Mohammed el-Beltagi and Essam el-Erian, who was arrested in late October.
 
On July 25, days after Morsi’s overthrow, Badie described the military’s actions as an act worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba.
 
“I swear by God that what [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] al-Sissi did in Egypt is more criminal than if he had carried an ax and demolished the holy Kaaba, stone by stone,” Badie said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.
 
Following Badie’s arrest, his lawyer claimed that he had beaten by police. Subsequent reports indicated that Badie had suffered a heart attack in prison, but Egypt’s Interior Ministry denied those repors.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed since July 3 when he was ousted and authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Opposes New Constitution

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 03 December 2013 08:44
Brotherhood Challenges  Seizing Group FundsEgypt's Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the country's new constitution, nearly half a year since the ouster of Brotherhood-backed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
 
138 of the 247 articles of the draft new constitution, which has been deemed controversial even by secular opponents of the Brotherhood, was approved by a panel of 50 yesterday. The panel included groups who were left out of deliberations over the previous charter tabled by Morsi, including the Coptic Church and other secular representatives of civil society and political groups.
 
It includes just two Islamists, neither of whom is from Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Part of the resistance it has met is due to the fact that it preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases.
 
Article 204 stipulates that "no civilian can be tried by military judges, except for crimes of direct attacks on armed forces, military installations and military personnel." However, opponents say that even under such terms the constitution provides a very wide scope for the military to try civilians - including activists - in military courts.
 
Another main article approved was one forbidding the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds - although yet another aticle stipulates that Islamic sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
It will be put to a national referendum early next year as the first step in a "democratic transition" promised by the interim government headed by military strongman General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
 
The referendum is set be followed by presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2014.
 
But pro-Brotherhood demonstrators protested angrily in Cairo's Tahrir Square, shouting "the people want the fall of the regime" - the slogan of popular protest movements which sprung up during 2011 at the start of the so-called "Arab Spring".
 
Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds, following which the army sealed off the square, according to local sources.
 
Tahrir has been at the center of the various mass-protests which brought down two successive Egyptian presidents - Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and Mohammed Morsi two years later.

Egypt’s New Draft Constitution Approved

Category: News
Created on Monday, 02 December 2013 12:25
MusaEgypt’s new draft constitution was approved Sunday for a referendum billed as the first stage in a “democratic transition” promised by military-installed authorities after Islamist president Mohammed Morsi’s July ouster.
 
“Now we have approved the draft,” Amr Mussa, the head of the 50-member constitution-drafting panel, announced on live television, according to the AFP news agency.
 
The revised charter preserves the military’s wide-ranging powers, including the ability to try civilians in certain cases. This has angered secular groups that backed the military in ousting  Morsi.
 
The constitution will be put to a popular referendum early next year in the first step in a “democratic transition” promised by authorities.
 
This is set to be followed by presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2014.
 
On Saturday’s first day of voting the 50-member panel approved 138 of the 247 articles of the draft charter.
 
Those articles included one stipulating that Islamic sharia law will be the main source of legislation, as was also the case during the regime of toppled ruler Hosni Mubarak.
 
The other main article approved was one forbidding the formation of religious parties or parties based on religious grounds.
 
Article 204, according to AFP, says that “no civilian can be tried by military judges, except for crimes of direct attacks on armed forces, military installations and military personnel.”
 
Secular artists have demonstrated against the provision, saying it could be applied to protesters, journalists and dissidents. Activists and rights groups say that the draft charter also fails to curb the powers and privileges of the military.
 
The interim authorities suspended the previous constitution written under Morsi’s presidency after his removal on July 3. That charter was drafted by a 100-member panel that was dominated by his Islamist allies.
 
The current panel includes representatives from civil society, political parties, institutions such as the army and police, and the Coptic Church.
 
It includes just two Islamists, neither of whom is from Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
 
There have been conflicting reports over when the referendum over the amended constitution will be held. Last week the panel said the referendum will be held in December, while interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has the referendum would be held in the second half of January.
 
The unrest that has gripped Egypt since before Mubarak’s ouster has only worsened in the months that have passed since Morsi was ousted.
 
Egypt has witnessed protests and clashes that have left scores dead since Morsi’s ouster. The worst violence was in August, when police forcibly dispersed two protest camps set up by Morsi supporters.
 
Authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Leading Anti-Mubarak Activist Arrested in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Friday, 29 November 2013 15:53
Alaa Abdel-FattahEgyptian police arrested on Thursday a leading political activist who was active in the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak, Al-Ahram reports.
 
The activist, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, was arrested after the prosecutor ordered he be detained for inciting protests.
 
Abdel-Fattah's wife, Manal Hassan, tweeted that policemen beat and insulted her while arresting her husband, in addition to taking their laptops and cellphones.
 
Alaa Abdel-Fattah was a symbol of the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.
 
According to Al-Ahram, he was ordered arrested after taking part in protests organized in defiance of a new law that imposes heavy restrictions on demonstrations.
 
On Sunday, Egypt's interim president, signed the new law which stipulates that any group that attempts to hold a public gathering without permits will find its members carted off to prison.
 
The new law was met with anger by protesters who took to the streets in defiance of the new orders.
 
Egypt has been in turmoil since Mubarak’s ouster, but things have gotten worse in recent months since his successor, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted in July.
 
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed since July 3 when he was ousted and authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member.
 
The Egyptian government just recently lifted a state of emergency that was declared on August 14, the day of the crackdown on the protesters.
 
On Wednesday, a court in Egypt sentenced 21 female supporters of Morsi to 11 years in prison.
 
They were found guilty of multiple charges, including belonging to a terrorist group, obstructing traffic, sabotage and using force at a protest in the city of Alexandria last month.

Mubarak to Face New Trial in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Monday, 25 November 2013 19:48
MubarakEgypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons will face a new trial for using state funds to acquire personal property, judicial sources said Sunday, according to AFP.
 
Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are accused of using 125 million Egyptian pounds ($18 million), which had been allocated for presidential palaces by the ministry of housing, for personal purchases.
 
Four others are accused in the same case, the sources said, adding that the date for the trial has yet to be set.
 
Mubarak is already facing a retrial on charges of complicity in the deaths of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his more than three decades of rule.
 
His sons are also on trial in a separate corruption case.
 
Mubarak and his former interior minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life in prison in June of 2012 for failing to prevent the deaths of over 800 protesters during the 18-day uprising that began on January 25, 2011.
 
The court later accepted Mubarak’s appeal and ordered a retrial, but the former President remained behind bars because other corruption charges were filed against him. In August, following the ouster of Mubarak’s successor Mohammed Morsi, an Egyptian court ordered Mubarak’s release, after these charges were dismissed.
 
Mubarak was subsequently released from prison and taken to a military International Medical Center.

Senior Security Officer Shot Dead in Cairo

Category: News
Created on Monday, 18 November 2013 11:34
Mohammed MabroukUnknown gunmen shot and killed a senior national security officer in Cairo late Sunday as he headed to his office, reports The Associated Press.
 
A statement from the Egyptian Interior Ministry said that gunmen opened fire on a car carrying Lt. Col. Mohammed Mabrouk of the national security agency, killing him on the spot near his home in the eastern Cairo suburb of Nasr City.
 
Mabrouk reportedly worked in the agency's branch in charge of monitoring Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
He is one of the most senior security officers to be targeted and killed in Cairo in the violence that has gripped Egypt since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
A security official quoted by AP said Mabrouk was hit by seven bullets in his chest and head fired by gunmen whom witnesses described as masked.
 
The incident comes just three days after the government lifted a state of emergency that was declared on August 14, the day the army - which had installed an interim government - dispersed two Islamist protest camps, killing hundreds of protesters.
 
In September, Egypt extended it by two months, raising the ire of the United States, which urged Egypt to lift the state of emergency and pressed it "to create an atmosphere where Egyptians on all sides can peacefully exercise their right to freedom of assembly and expression."
 
Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt has been hit by a spiral of violence. Suspected Islamist supporters of Morsi have torched dozens of churches and police stations in retaliation.
 
The country’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, survived an assassination attempt by a suicide car bomber several months ago.
 
The Sinai Peninsula has been of particular concern, since it has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since Morsi’s removal.
 
The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency.

Morsi Refuses Prisoners' Uniform, Trial Halted

Category: News
Created on Monday, 04 November 2013 07:11
Bihand bars
 
The first session of the trial of Egypt's ousted ex-President Mohammed Morsi was halted shortly after it began and will not resume until January 8. The panel of judges trying Morsi ended the court session after Morsi refused to wear a prisoner's uniform and due to in-court disruption by the defendants, who were chanting "illegal, illegal.”
 
Morsi refused to take off his suit and wear the white uniform that was worn by ex-president Hosni Mubarak during his own trial, as required by Egyptian law, refusing to accept the court's authority and insisting that he was still the rightful president.
 
He reportedly shouted at judge -- "I am the legal and legitimate president of Egypt!" -- and called for the removal of the military regime.
 
Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012, when he was president.
 
Protests took place Monday outside the court and elsewhere in Cairo.
 
Morsi was ousted by the military in July after millions poured into the streets to protest against his rule.
 
Early on Monday he was airlifted into the Police Academy compound by helicopter, the BBC reported. Other leaders of the Brotherhood, including Essam el-Erian, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdel Aatie, were said to have been brought in by armored personnel carriers.

State Department Confirms Cut in U.S. Aid to Egypt

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 20:52
Barack Hussein Obama  The Obama administration will cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt to register displeasure over the military's pace of restoring democracy following the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, reports USA Today.
 
The U.S. provides $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt, but the State Department did not provide a dollar amount of the aid being cut, according to the report.
 
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted as having said the United States will withhold delivery of certain large-scale military systems, as well as cash assistance to the Egyptian government, until "credible progress" is made toward an inclusive government set up through free and fair elections.
 
A U.S. official told CNN on Tuesday about the planned cut to aid in Egypt, but the administration subsequently denied the report.
 
The decision to cut some of the aid to Egypt marks a change in the U.S. attitude to Morsi’s ouster in July.
 
U.S. law forbids sending aid to countries where a democratic government was deposed by a military coup, but until now, the U.S. has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a "coup" and has been cautious about doing so, choosing only to condemn the violence in the country.
 
Washington did, however, cancel military exercises with Cairo and delayed the delivery of military shipments to Egypt, including F-16s.
 
Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said any plan to cut military aid to Egypt would be a mistake, and that the U.S. should choose the side of the military in Egypt and stick with it.
 
The decision to continue military aid to Cairo "should be based on our national security interests and those of our allies in the region," Engel said in a statement quoted by USA Today.
 
"If the choice is between working with Egypt's military leadership or the Muslim Brotherhood, then I believe we must not jeopardize the decades-long relationship that we have built with the military," he added.

Brotherhood Supporters Protest at Egypt's Universities

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 15:45
Protest against the military in front of Cairo University -ReutersHundreds of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood chanted “Down with the military government” outside Cairo University on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
 
Supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi had urged university students to protest against the army following the violence on Sunday, one of Egypt's bloodiest days since the military ousted the Islamist leader on July 3.
 
The death toll from Sunday's unrest rose to 57, state media said, with 391 people wounded. Sunday’s clashes took place as Morsi supporters protested in several cities as thousands took to the streets on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel.
 
“We are here standing against the coup,” said a 19-year-old student who took place in Tuesday’s march near Cairo University, where security forces had parked two tanks and blocked the main road with barbed wire.
 
“I'm against Morsi but I'm not for people killing others and I'm not for the military government we have now,” said the student.
 
Small protests also occurred at Helwan University in southern Cairo, witnesses told Reuters. At Zagazig University, northeast of Cairo, pro-Brotherhood students clashed with residents and Brotherhood opponents with fists, sticks and stones, security sources said. Eight people were wounded.
 
Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 2,000 arrested in a police crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement since August 14, when police forcibly dispersed two protest camps that were set up in Cairo.
 
Since August, Egypt's authorities have rounded up dozens of senior leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, including the movement’s Supreme Guide, leaving the group unable to rally huge crowds to protest for Morsi's reinstatement.
 
Last month, a court banned the Brotherhood and froze its assets, pushing the group, which had dominated elections since Hosni Mubarak's fall in 2011, further into the cold. A court is due to hear an appeal of that decision on October 22.

34 Killed in Cairo Clashes

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 06 October 2013 15:43
October 6 Cairo Clashes
 
At least 34 people have been killed and scores more injured Sunday in Egypt as pro-Mohammed Morsi protesters took to the streets on the 40th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel - known as the "Yom Kippur War" by Israelis, and the "October War" by Arabs.
 
There were rival protests Sunday throughout Egypt. On the one hand, there were demonstrations by Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other members of the Anti-Coup Alliance - a coalition that opposes the way the Brotherhood's political leader Morsi was deposed. On the other hand, there were government-organized demonstrations to commmemorate the 1973 war.
 
Al Jazeera quoted Khaled Al Khatib, a Health Ministry official, who confirmed the number of deaths. Seven of those were killed in Ramses Square in Cairo, while another 85 people were injured in clashes throughout the country. Another man was reportedly shot to death in Delga, south of Cairo.
 
Egypt's Interior Ministry announced that 300 protesters were arrested thoughout the day.
 
Police reportedly fired tear gas and shots “into the air” to disperse crowds opposed to the military-backed government, who were trying to make their way to Tahrir Square. Inside the square, thousands of pro-military Egyptians were gathered to mark the anniversary of the war, which is hailed as a victory by Egyptians despite the ultimate military failure of the Arab alliance to achieve its military objectives.
 
Anti-Coup Alliance called on “all Egyptians” to stream to Tahrir Square in a message on Saturday, in a continuation of anti-government protests launched since the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.
 
But Interim President Adly Mansour took advantage of nationalist sentiment to mobilise its own demonstrations in commemoration of the Yom Kippur War's anniversary.
 
In a televised speech on Saturday, Mansour said that authorities will “defeat much-hated terrorism and blind violence with the rule of law that will protect the freedom of citizens and resources.”

Egypt Outlaws Muslim Brotherhood

Category: News
Created on Monday, 23 September 2013 16:55
Muslim Brotherhood head quraters
 
An Egyptian court has outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, in a Monday ruling banning "all activities" by the group in Egypt and its assets.
 
The court had been asked to review the Brotherhood's application for non-governmental status back in March, and returned its verdict this afternoon. 
 
The move is the latest in a string of blows leveled by interim Egyptian authorities against the Islamist movement which once ruled northern Africa's most populous nation.
 
The Brotherhood's successful presidential candidate, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted from power by the Egyptian army in July following rising protests and demands he step down, as his administration sought to rewrite the constitution in a way that would give him absolute power - something many Egyptians saw as an attempt to undo the revolution which overthrew long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and on the back of which Morsi was voted into power.
 
Morsi's ouster saw weeks of violent clashes between his supporters on the one hand, and security forces and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood on the other, which left scores dead. Armed Islamist groups also stepped up attacks against Egyptian military and government positions, and targeted members of Egypt's Coptic Christian community as "punishment" for their support of the interim government. In response, the Egyptian army launched an unprecedented military operation in the Sinai Desert, as well as more recently in central Egyptian towns seized by armed Islamists.
 
On August 14th, the army moved in on two large protest encampments in Cairo, triggering violence which killed more than 1,000 people. That marked the start of a deliberate crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as an institution; much of its leadership has been arrested and others killed or forced into hiding.
 
But the decision to effectively outlaw the group - and inevitably force its activities underground - sees the Muslim Brotherhood come full circle, having previously emerged from a decades-long ban to take power in June 2012.

U.S. Calls on Egypt to Cancel State of Emergency

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 14 September 2013 14:30
State of EmergencyThe United States on Thursday once again called on Egypt's interim authorities to lift a state of emergency which has been in force since August. The call came after Cairo announced it would extend the state of emergency for two months.
 
"We remain opposed, as we have from the beginning, to the state of emergency. And we urge the interim government to end it immediately," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters, according to the AFP news agency.
 
She pressed Cairo "to create an atmosphere where Egyptians on all sides can peacefully exercise their right to freedom of assembly and expression."
 
"The interim government and military must ensure due process and that any citizens arrested by police or military are referred only to civilian courts," she said.
 
Egyptian authorities said Thursday they had extended the state of emergency that has been in force since mid-August, at a time when deadly unrest swept Egypt following the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
 
The state of emergency was declared on August 14, the day the army -- which had installed an interim government -- dispersed two Islamist protest camps, killing hundreds of protesters.
 
In the days following, at least 1,000 people were killed, most of them Morsi supporters.
 
Egypt's authorities have also rounded up dozens of senior leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, including the movement’s Supreme Guide, leaving the group unable to rally huge crowds to protest for Morsi's reinstatement.
 
The U.S. has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a "coup" and has been cautious about doing so, though Secretary of State John Kerry condemned last month's crackdown as "deplorable" and has called for a return to democracy.
 
Washington has also cancelled military exercises with Cairo and delayed the delivery of combat aircraft. Under U.S. law, a country in which a military coup has taken place cannot receive military aid from the U.S.

Morsi to be Tried for Inciting to Murder

Category: News
Created on Monday, 02 September 2013 12:49
Mohammed Morsi in jial
 
Egypt's state prosecutor said on Sunday he has referred ousted President Mohammed Morsi for trial on charges of inciting the murder of protesters, the BBC reported.
 
The accusations relate to violence outside the presidential palace in Cairo last December when seven people were killed in clashes.
 
Fourteen other members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood are to stand trial on the same charges, according to the BBC.
 
The state prosecutor referred the former president for trial late on Sunday, Egypt's state media reported. The report said he would go on trial on charges of "incitement to murder and violence" in December 2012.
 
The date for the trial is yet to be announced.
 
The deposed president has previously been accused of the "premeditated murder of some prisoners, officers and soldiers" when he and several Muslim Brotherhood leaders were freed during a breakout at a Cairo prison in January 2011.
 
He is also alleged to have plotted attacks on jails in the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and of conspiring with the Hamas terrorist group in this plot.
 
Morsi has been held by the army since his overthrow on July 3. His location remains unknown to the general public, though several foreign diplomats who have visited Egypt visited him.
 
The army-backed government has arrested most of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood since Morsi was toppled on July 3, including the movement’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie.
 
Violence has been on the rise since Morsi was ousted and it peaked on August 14 when police cleared two Brotherhood-led sit-ins in the capital, killing more than 600 people. The move caused days of nationwide violence that has killed more than 1,000 people, most of them Morsi's supporters.
 
Many of Morsi’s supporters have retaliated by attacking police stations, torching churches and setting government buildings on fire.

Morsi Supporters Call for 'Day of Martyrs' on Friday

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 22 August 2013 18:16
Morsi and Hamas
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have no intention of backing down on their protests against the military.
 
With Friday, the day on which the largest protests usually take place following prayers at the mosques, just around the corner, a group of Morsi supporters is calling on Egyptians to hold "Friday of Martyrs" protests against the military.
 
A grouping calling itself The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy, which has been demanding Morsi's reinstatement, said in a statement quoted by Reuters on Wednesday, "We will remain steadfast on the road to defeating the military coup."
 
Almost 900 people, including more than 100 soldiers and police officers, have been killed since the authorities forcibly dispersed Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo last Wednesday.
 
The ongoing violence since the military deposed Morsi in July has prompted the Egyptian government to begin deliberations on whether to ban the Muslim Brotherhood, as it had been for years until the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak.
 
The United States and the European Union are both reviewing aid to Cairo in light of the bloodshed, but Saudi Arabia, a foe of the Brotherhood, has promised to make up any shortfall.
 
On Wednesday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to suspend the sale of security equipment and arms to Egypt that could be used for internal repression.
 
The 28-nation bloc's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the ministers strongly condemned the disproportionate use of force by the Egyptian security forces but also violence by some of those opposed to the authorities.
 
“We strongly condemn all acts of violence and we do believe the recent actions of the military have been disproportionate,” Ashton told a news conference at the close of a four-hour meeting between the ministers.
 
The EU ministers stopped short of halting aid programs for fear of hitting ordinary citizens.
 
Last Friday, protests by Morsi supporters turned violent with over a hundred reported dead across the country as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a "Day of Rage."

Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Arrested

Category: News
Created on Monday, 19 August 2013 22:02
Mohammed Badie
Mohammed Badie, the Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested shortly after midnight on Monday in northern Cairo, Egypt’s interior ministry said, according to Al Ahram.
 
Ministry spokesman Abdel-Fattah Osman was quoted as having said in a television interview that Badie was hiding in a building in Cairo’s Nasr City district near Rabaa El-Adaweya mosque, where hundreds of Brotherhood supporters were killed when police dispersed a six-week-old sit-in last Wednesday.
 
The state news agency, MENA, reported that Badie's arrest was made possible after security forces received information about his hiding place.
 
Photos circulated on social media showed Badie, dressed in a traditional white robe, sitting between two policemen wearing bulletproof vests in what looked like a police van, reported Al Ahram.
{youtube}qMUO4LHzPac{/youtube}
Egyptian satellite channel ONTV later broadcast live footage showing the 70-year-old Brotherhood leader sitting on a couch in an unidentified location after being captured. A policeman holding a rifle was seen standing next to him.
 
Badie is one of nine Muslim Brotherhood officials in Egypt against whom arrest warrants were recently issued. He is likely to be charged with incitement to violence, reported Al Arabiya.
 
On July 25, Badie described the military’s overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi as an act worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba.
 
“I swear by God that what [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] al-Sissi did in Egypt is more criminal than if he had carried an ax and demolished the holy Kaaba, stone by stone,” Badie said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. His son, Amar Badie, was one of at least 173 people who were killed over in Egypt on Saturday, as security forces broke into the Al-Fatah mosque in central Cairo, where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters had holed up.

Merkel Considering Halting Arms Exports to Egypt

Category: News
Created on Monday, 19 August 2013 17:48
German Chancellor Angela Merkel shakes hands with Mohamed Mursi  AFP
 
German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that stopping arms shipments to Egypt would be an appropriate way to put pressure on the country as it is gripped by deadly violence, AFP reported.
 
Speaking to German television station ZDF, Merkel said arms exports to Egypt could be "subject to measures which clearly show our skepticism about what is happening."
 
"There will probably be a meeting of European Union foreign ministers" in the coming days to assess the Egyptian situation, she was quoted as having said.
 
"We will examine what steps can be taken... we must act together and take the same measures," said Merkel, who described the situation in Egypt as "worrying."
 
The European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, on Friday said she had asked the 28-nation bloc to agree "appropriate measures" in response to escalating violence in Egypt.
 
The EU has said top officials from its 28 members will meet Monday to review the crisis in Egypt, notably looking at convening a meeting of EU foreign ministers as soon as possible.
 
More than 750 people were killed in four days of violence after a military and police crackdown on ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s protesters.
 
In an interview with the German weekly magazine Focus, published on Sunday, the German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, said that Berlin's export of arms to Egypt was "already restrictive."
 
"And it will remain so, particularly in view of current developments," he added, according to AFP.
 
Germany's economic ministry indicated on Saturday that it had frozen all decisions on arms exports to Egypt.
 
European Union leaders, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, warned Cairo on Sunday that the EU was ready to "reexamine" its relations with Egypt if there was no end to the current violence.

Egypt's Christians Attack Western Media Coverage

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 18 August 2013 20:01
Church in fireThe Egyptian Coptic church has released a statement backing the country's military-backed government, and slamming the western media for its coverage of the violence in Egypt, which has killed more than 600 people.
 
Referring to perceived sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood by western media outlets, the statement, translated by Al Arabiya, called on the West to "read objectively the facts of events, and not give international and political cover to these terrorists and bloody groups."
 
The church reaffirmed its support for the Egyptian authorities, following the ouster of Muhammed Morsi.
 
“The Egyptian Coptic Church is following the unfortunate developments on the ground of our country Egypt and emphasizes its strong stance with the Egyptian police, armed forces and other organizations of the Egyptian people in the face of groups of armed violence and black terrorism.
 
“While we appreciate the sincere and friendly position that understands the nature of the developments, we strongly deplore the media fallacies that are prevalent in Western countries,” the statement read.
 
Egypt's Coptic Christian community makes up around 10% of the country's  90 million-strong population. Copts are indigenous to Egypt, their presence predating the Arab conquests of northern Africa. Egyptian Copts have long complained of widespread discrimination, persecution and violence by both the Egyptian state and Islamist non-state actors.
 
Anti-Christian violence has seriously escalated in the aftermath of the removal of Islamist Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, whose supporters have been accused of scapegoating the Coptic community, after its leader, Pope Tawadros II, came out in support of the move by the army to oust Morsi.
 
A number of Christians have been murdered, and scores of churches and Christian-owned houses and businesses have been torched, ransacked and vandalized in the weeks since Morsi's removal.
 
At least two more Christians have been murdered since Wednesday, when Egyptian security forces forcibly broke-up protest camps in the capital Cairo. Two Christian schools were also attacked, in addition to churches and other Christian establishment.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose members have been accused of playing a major part in anti-Christian attacks, has denied that it has anything to do with them, and has issued a condemnation of such violence on its official website.
 
The post was taken from the Facebook page of Dr. Murad Ali, who was identified as "Media Spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party" (FJP). The FJP is the party which successfully fielded Morsi as a presidential candidate.
 
The statement addressed "false Twitter and Facebook accounts in the name of the Freedom and Justice Party publishing justifications for the burning of churches," saying:
 
"These are attempts to ignite sectarian divisions to distract everyone from the real issue. Our stance is clear, we have announced it, and we reiterate:
 
“Based on the true nature of our religion, and pursuant to our party’s indivisible principles, we strongly condemn any attack, even verbal, against Copts, their churches or their property."
 
The statement went on to condemn "violence and vandalism" as harmful to the Brotherhood's reputation, insisting that the protest movement against Morsi's removal was "peaceful."

Israel Assured Egypt that U.S. Aid Won't be Cut

Category: Reports
Created on Sunday, 18 August 2013 11:02
An armoured personnel carrier positioned outside Ramses Square near al-Fath mosque in Cairo Reuters
 
Israel has been pressuring the United States not to stop the military aid that it provides to Egypt, fearing the fate of the peace between the countries, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing diplomatic sources.
 
According to the report, Israel and Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi have been in close contact throughout the latest crisis in Egypt. The diplomats told the New York Times that Israel assured Egypt it did not have to worry about the U.S. threat to cut its enormous aid package to that country.
 
Israel fears that without the American aid to Egypt, the country will no longer have an interest to maintain the peace agreement.
 
In response to the violence in Egypt this past week, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the United States "deplores" and "strongly condemns" violence in Egypt, and as a result is canceling U.S.-Egyptian military exercises scheduled for next month.
 
He said the United States believes the Egyptian government's "state of emergency should be lifted" and a process of reconciliation must begin.
 
At the same time, Obama did not suspend other forms of aid to Egypt and said that U.S. "engagement" with the military government in Cairo will help Egypt make the transition back to democracy.
 
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday his country will retain its military ties with Egypt but more violence by the army could jeopardize the relationship.
 
The White House has thus far been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi a “coup.”
 
Under U.S. law, a country in which a military coup has taken place cannot receive military aid from the U.S.
 
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have called on the Obama administration to cut off the aid the U.S. provides to Egypt, saying that “Not all coups are created equal, but a coup is still a coup.”

Ashton Asks EU to Agree on 'Measures' Against Egypt

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 17 August 2013 15:48
EU foreign policy chief Catherine AshtonThe European Union's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, on Friday said she had asked the 28-nation bloc to agree "appropriate measures" in response to escalating violence in Egypt, AFP reported.
 
"The toll of death and injury is shocking," Ashton said in a statement. "I have asked member state representatives to debate and coordinate appropriate measures to be taken by the European Union in response to the situation in Egypt."
 
The EU has said top officials from its 28 members will meet Monday to review the crisis in Egypt, notably looking at convening a meeting of EU foreign ministers as soon as possible.
 
Egypt has faced growing international condemnation since around 600 people were killed in clashes on Wednesday as police broke up protest camps of supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
 
On Friday, scores were killed in Egypt as a Muslim Brotherhood-led "day of rage" turned to bloodshed.
 
At least 80 people were killed and hundreds injured in Cairo's Ramses Square as anti-coup protesters were fired on by government forces.
 
In a statement earlier on Friday, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the idea of the EU rethinking its cooperation with Egyptian authorities.
 
They also called for the EU's foreign ministers to meet as soon as next week "to take stock of cooperation between the European Union and Egypt, and to develop common responses."
 
Ashton said responsibility for the "tragedy" taking place in Egypt in the last days "weighs heavily on the interim government, as well as on the wider political leadership in the country."

Egypt: Official Death Toll Tops 500

Category: News
Created on Friday, 16 August 2013 12:16
A soldier Rand member of the Muslim Brotherhood at Tahrir Square. ReutersThe official death toll in the clashes that took place between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday has topped 500, and the actual number could be in the thousands.
 
The Egyptian Health Ministry said Thursday that 525 people were killed a day earlier, when security forces stormed Islamist protest camps in Cairo after a stand-off that had lasted several weeks. However, the official toll only includes bodies which have passed through hospitals – but many bodies are being processed in makeshift morgues and never reach hospitals.
 
A BBC reporter said that he saw at least 140 bodies wrapped in shrouds at the Eman mosque, close to the main protest camp at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. The Muslim Brotherhood said 300 bodies had been taken to the mosque. It said more than 2,000 people were killed in the fighting
 
A month-long state of emergency has been imposed by the interim government, which took power after the army removed Morsi from power on July 3. A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been placed on Cairo and 10 other provinces.
 
Security forces succeded in clearing out Muslim Brotherhood supporters at Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya, at a heavy cost in lives, and remains of the encampment could be seen going up in flames, as could a military armored vehicle. Mobs later carried out reprisal attacks on government buildings and police stations as well as churches belonging to the country's Coptic Christian minority.
 
Supporters of Morsi plan to march in Cairo Thursday afternoon “to protest the deaths," a coalition of Morsi's supporters said.
 
"We will always be non-violent and peaceful. We remain strong, defiant and resolved," Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad wrote on his Twitter feed. "We will push (forward) until we bring down this military coup.”
 
Vice president Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, resigned in protest over the use of force to end the long-running standoff between the security forces and the Islamists.

'We Won't Stop Until Morsi Reinstated'

Category: News
Created on Friday, 16 August 2013 07:19
A torn poster of deposed  Mohammd Mursi  Reuters
 
The Egyptian Health Ministry has revised the death toll in deadly clashes from 278 to 525, as the country emerges from its most violent and bloody period since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
Officials said that 43 of the dead were police officers.
 
More than 3,500 people have also been wounded in the clashes triggered when the interim government finally made good on its promise to forcibly clear protest camps set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, who are demanding the reinstatement of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Morsi was ousted by the army on July 3rd and has been held in detention since, facing a number of criminal charges.
 
The main camps were located in the capital, Cairo, but violence quickly spread to the rest of the country.
 
Muslim Brotherhood officials have claimed the bloodshed is far greater than the government admits, saying that at least 2,000 people have been killed in what they termed a "massacre" by security forces against "peaceful demonstrations" by their supporters.
 
In a bid to quell the violence, the interim Egyptian government announced a state of emergency yesterday, but the situation has continued to escalate regardless. The continuing bloodshed led to the resignation of Egyptian Vice President Mohammed El-Baradei, who said in a statement that he could not "continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood."
 
Speaking to CNN, senior Muslim Brotherhood official Essam Elerian struck a defiant tone, declaring that he was undeterred by the violence or by calls for his arrest, as well as those of other senior Brotherhood leaders:
 
"We will continue our sit-ins and demonstrations all over the country until democracy and the legitimate rule are restored in Egypt," he said.
 
"They can arrest me and 100 of us, but they can't arrest every honorable citizen in Egypt. They can't stop this glorious revolution."
 
"Peaceful Protests"?
 
Despite claims of the "peaceful nature" of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations, security forces claim to have come under fire by armed supporters of Mohammed Morsi. 
 
A series of gruesome images and videos have emerged since last night which seem to corroborate claims of Muslim Brotherhood violence, showing the lynching of Egyptian police.
 
In one video, seen by Arutz Sheva, the body of a man - apparently a member of the security forces - is dragged through through a baying mob as supporters of Morsi hurl insults and physically attacks the body. At the end of the clip, someone off camera points a rifle at the body and opens fire to "confirm the kill."
 
Islamist supporters of the ousted president are also accused of upping their campaign of violence against the country's indigenous Coptic Christian population.
 
Since yesterday at least 17 churches and a number of Christian-owned homes and businesses were torched by Muslim mobs. Coptic Christians have been a target for violence - sometimes deadly - since Morsi's ouster, amid fears that they are being scapegoated by frustrated Islamists.
 
But government forces are also being blamed for using deadly violence, calling in "special forces" to use deadly force to put down the protests, according to CNN.

U.S. May Cancel Joint Exercise with Egypt

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:46
Naval exerciseThe United States hinted on Wednesday it was considering cancelling a joint military exercise with Egypt, as Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the violence in the country as “deplorable”.
 
A U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Reuters news agency that the possibility of scrapping the biennial "Bright Star" exercise was discussed at a meeting of the so-called "deputies committee," which gathers the number two officials from key U.S. national security agencies.
 
In 2011, the terrorism in the restive Sinai Peninsula forced the sides to cancel the drill.
 
Kerry, meanwhile, appeared to fully recant his previously expressed support for Egypt's military-backed government, on which he had recently backtracked.
 
"Today's events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy," Kerry told reporters, according to the AFP news agency.
 
"The interim government and the military -- which together possess the preponderance of power in this confrontation -- have a unique responsibility to prevent further violence and to offer constructive options for an inclusive peaceful process across the political spectrum,” he stated.
 
"This includes amending the constitution and holding parliamentary and presidential elections, which the interim government itself has called for," said Kerry.
 
The Secretary of State said a political solution was the only option, but acknowledged, "It has been made much, much harder and much, much more complicated by the events of today."
 
So far, the White House has been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ouster of Morsi a “coup,” noting that it will need to “review what has taken place.”
 
Defining the overthrow of Egypt’s government as a coup would mean the United States could continue providing $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt.
 
Hundreds were killed on Wednesday as Egyptian police began a crackdown on supporters of the deposed president.
 
The killing took place when police swooped down on protesters camping out in support of the Islamist leader at Rabaa al-Adawiya, where Morsi supporters have been staging sit-ins for weeks, demanding he be reinstated.
 
The Egyptian interim government declared a state of emergency, as the death toll continued to mount in clashes between security forces and Morsi supporters.

Morsi’s Wife: He’ll be Back

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 10 August 2013 19:28
Morsis WifeNaglaa Morsi, the wife of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, made a surprise appearance Thursday night at a rally in Morsi’s support.
 
Naglaa told the crowds that her husband would return to power. “He is coming back, if Allah wills it,” she declared.
 
Morsi’s supporters chanted, “Returning! Returning!” in response.
 
Thursday night was the first time Naglaa had been seen since Morsi’s ouster. She did not address rumors that she had been held in custody alongside her husband.
 
Morsi’s children were at the rally as well, and called for their father’s release from prison. Morsi has been held in an undisclosed location since the July 3 military coup.
 
He faces charges of working with the Gaza-based terrorist group Hamas to stage an attack on an Egyptian prison that killed Egyptian guards and freed dozens of members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group.
 
Leaders of the new interim government say they plan to hold new elections in nine months.

Egypt Headed toward Bloody Monday, Tuesday?

Category: News
Created on Monday, 29 July 2013 07:42
MB Members
 
Supporters of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi have called for protest marches to be held Monday and Tuesday, raising the possibility of further bloodshed, after 72 Morsi supporters were killed Saturday.
 
Marches toward security buildings are being held on Monday, and a "million-person march" against his ouster to be held on Tuesday.
 
With tension running extremely high between security forces and the Morsi camp, the marches appear designed to create a bloody clash. At least 72 Morsi supporters were killed in violence at the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest site in Cairo early on Saturday. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed that about 120 of its people were killed in what the movement described as a “massacre” in “an attempt to complete the coup.”
 
In a statement, the Anti-Coup Alliance of Islamist groups urged Egyptians "to go out into the streets and squares, to regain their freedom and dignity – that are being usurped by the bloody coup – and for the rights of the martyrs assassinated by its bullets."
 
The Anti-Coup Alliance called for protesters to march to security buildings in provinces across Egypt on Monday night "to condemn the criminal acts and the firing of live ammunition by the interior ministry at peaceful demonstrators", reported Al Jazeera.
 
The marches are being held in defiance of an army warning issued early Monday. Egypt’s National Defense Council warned Morsi supporters “not to exceed their rights to peaceful, responsible expression of their opinions,” or they would face “decisive and firm decisions and actions in response to any violations.”
 
The warning from the council, which includes interim President Adly Mansour, army chief General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the prime minister and interior minister, came in a statement published by state news agency MENA and quoted by AFP.
 
The council also called on Morsi loyalists gathered at two sites in Cairo to “immediately announce their clear and categorical rejection of violence in all forms, and the immediate cessation of violence, terrorism and the verbal and physical abuse of citizens.”
 
The protesters accused security forces of using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, but the interior ministry said forces had fired only tear gas.
 
On Sunday, the interim presidency said it was “saddened” by the deaths but described Rabaa al-Adawiya as a “terror-originating spot” and said the bloodshed came in the “context of terrorism,” reported AFP.
 
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is in Egypt attempting to mediate between the embattled factions. She was expected to meet interim president Adly Mansour and vice president for international affairs Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Tamarud group that organised protests calling for his removal.

Morsi Accused of Working With Hamas

Category: News
Created on Friday, 26 July 2013 12:55
Morsi and HamasThe Egyptian state prosecutor has ordered that ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi be held for questioning for 15 days on suspicion of working with Hamas to attack and kill Egyptian security personnel.
 
The accusations relate to attacks and prison riots in early 2011, during mass protests against the rule of then-President Hosni Mubarak.
 
Morsi is accused of having coordinated prison breaks in which prisoners and guards were killed. Dozens of members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group escaped jail in the breaks.
 
Egyptian media outlets have previously reported rumors that Hamas was involved in the attacks. Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, having been formed in the 1980s from Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations in Gaza.
 
Muslim Brotherhood leaders have denied receiving assistance from foreign terrorist groups in the prison break. They say their group was helped by Egyptian citizens.
 
The state prosecutor’s announcement came as the Egyptian capital prepares for mass rallies following Friday prayers. Protesters are expected to turn out both in support of and against Morsi.
 
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad denounced the detention order Friday, saying it signified the return of Mubarak's regime.

Egypt: 7 Die in Overnight Clashes

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 14:44
 
Overnight Clashes 
Seven people have died and scores have been left wounded after a night of violence on the streets of Cairo.
 
The clashes came as supporters of the deposed Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi, continue to oppose what they are calling a "military coup" by the military against his rule.
 
Morsi was deposed on 3rd July after refusing protesters' demands for a referendum on his continued rule.
 
According to the BBC, Monday night's clashes broke out after Morsi's supporters blocked the "6 October bridge", which is a major arterial route. 
 
In response, police fired tear gas, and the demonstrators responded by throwing stones. The violence then spread to the Giza district of the capital, where at least two people were killed, according to the head of Egypt's emergency services, who said that security personnel were among the casualties
 
Egyptian state media reported that 261 people were injured in the clashes.
 
This latest violence comes only a week after more than 50 people were killed in clashes outside the compound where the deposed president is allegedly being held by security forces.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood denounced that incident as a "massacre" by the security forces against "unarmed protesters", but events surrounding that incident remain unclear.
 
Last night's clashes will also be seen in the light of increasingly belligerent rhetoric by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.
 
After last weeks' death, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie called for an "uprising", and this week informed his followers via social media that they should "suspend" their Ramadan fast in preparation for a "jihad."

Egyptian Opposition Calls for Brotherhood to be Outlawed

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 11 July 2013 23:25
Muslim BrotherhoodThe Egyptian opposition group Tamarod, which led the recent protests that resulted in the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi, on Monday called on the country’s interim president Adly El-Mansour to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood to which Morsi belongs.
 
Tamarod’s demand came as Egyptian security forces closed and sealed the offices of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in Cairo after finding in it weapons and materials that can be used to make explosives.
 
A similar demand was also made by Baha Anwar, spokesman for the Shiite Muslim community in Egypt which numbers one million and is subject to persecution by extremist Islamic organizations.
 
Anwar claimed that the authorities should ban the Muslim Brotherhood because its members threaten security, cause the deaths of protesters and provoke internal conflicts and violence in Egyptian society.
 
He also called for the prosecution of the Muslim Brotherhood, the former prime minister appointed on its behalf and of other ministers who were responsible for Egypt's current situation.
 
Meanwhile, the death toll in Monday morning’s clashes between the Egyptian army and pro-Morsi protesters at the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo has risen to 51 civilians and two soldiers, according to Al Ahram. 435 people were injured in the clashes, said the report.
 
Armed supporters of Morsi later kidnapped two Egyptian soldiers in the Ain Shams area of Cairo.
 
An army official, cited by state news agency MENA, confirmed the news, adding that the soldiers were pushed into a vehicle and forced to make pro-Morsi and anti-military statements on a loudspeaker.

Sadat's Daughter: Thank You for Avenging my Father

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 06 July 2013 11:52
Sadats Daughter0
 
Egypt's new transitional government has received thanks from Rokaya Sadat, the daughter of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
 
“I thank the Egyptian people for the demonstrations of June 30 that led to Morsi’s downfall. I thank you, because you have helped to avenge my father’s blood,” she said.
 
Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by the Islamic Jihad in Egypt.
 
Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi are not sitting silently by following his removal from power following mass demonstrations. Supporters are now calling for counter-rallies to show support.
 
The Islamic coalition lead by the Muslim Brotherhood issued a call to Egyptians to come to a mass demonstration Friday.
 
“Come out and protest peacefully against the military coup of the arrests of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders,” organizers said. “Say no to military curfew, say no to a military coup.”
 
The coalition further called to “break the ties with corrupt figures from the Mubarak regime.”
 
On Thursday, Egypt’s transitional leaders denied that Morsi’s ouster at the hands of the army had been a military coup.
 
“This is not a military coup in any way. This was actually the overwhelming will of the people," said Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr.
 
Chief Justice Adly el-Mansour has been officially sworn into office as the new transitional president of Egypt.

Renewed Violence in Egypt

Category: News
Created on Thursday, 04 July 2013 15:28
Renewed Violence in EgyptViolence in Egypt has been renewed, some 24 hours after elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed by the military.
 
Egyptian media reported that there were clashes Thursday afternoon between supporters of Morsi and security forces at A-Nahda, near Cairo University.
 
Several protesters climbed atop military armored personnel carriers and called out slogans against the military council that deposed Morsi. Security forces fired in the air to disperse the crowd. One person was arrested on suspicion that he held explosives.
 
A-Nahda Square was a focus of opposition to the rebellion against Morsi. That is why police and military are making a concentrated effort to prevent Muslim Brtherhood supporters from reaching the place.
 
Sky News in Arabic reported that extremist Salafist leader Hazem Abu Ismail, whose candidacy for Egypt's presidency was disqualified in the past, has been arrested by the military. The security forces have been carrying out a wave of arrests of senior Muslim Brotherhood figures.
 
One of those arrested, reportedly, is Muhamd Badi, the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood. Senior officials in the security establishment said he was arrested on suspicion of incitement to violence at a coastal town and taken to Cairo by helicopter.

Morsi Rejects Army's 48-Hour Ultimatum

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 07:41
Egypts revolution was marked by severe infringements against womens rights in Tahrir square Reuters 
Egypt’s presidency on Tuesday rejected an army ultimatum threatening to intervene if Islamist President Mohammed Morsi does not meet the demands of millions of protesters.
 
Instead, the presidency said army declaration had not been cleared by the presidency and could cause confusion, AFP news agency reported.
 
The presidency also denounced any declaration that would “deepen division” and “threaten the social peace”.
 
The army statement, which was read out in a televised address on Monday, gave Morsi 48 hours to comply with its call.
 
“If the demands of the people are not met in this period... (the armed forces) will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation,” the military said.
 
Al Arabiya reported that the statement was welcomed by cheers and celebrations from Morsi’s opponents, who are still camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
 
Tamarod, the grassroots campaign behind Sunday’s massive protests against Morsi, said that the statement by the armed forces meant that the military had “sided with the people”.
 
It “will mean early presidential elections”, Tamarod’s spokesman Mahmud Badr told reporters, according to AFP.
 
For its part, the presidential statement said that Morsi was consulting “with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will.”
 
“The civil democratic Egyptian state is one of the most important achievements of the January 25 revolution,” said the presidency, referring to the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. “Egypt will absolutely not permit any step backward whatever the circumstances,” it added.
 
But Morsi’s rejection of the army ultimatum “has raised the stakes in the country’s political crisis,” Al Arabiya noted. Sixteen people were killed in protests on Sunday, including eight in clashes between supporters and opponents of the president outside the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Resigns, Islamists Call for Rallies

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 07:24
egyptian foreign Minister-mohammed-kamel-amr
 
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr tendered his resignation on Monday night, the state news agency MENA reported, after millions of Egyptians rallied against President Mohammed Morsi.
 
The report did not elaborate or cite any sources for the information. At least five other ministers have resigned since Sunday's mass protests.
 
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Islamist National Alliance has called for mass rallies in support of embattled President Mohammed Morsi, following a 48-hour army ultimatum for all parties to reach a resolution.
 
Al Arabiya reported that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups began amassing their supporters in different provinces on Monday night, with a focus on Cairo and Giza.
 
Activists reported that a pro-Morsi rally headed toward Cairo University, where Islamists plan to stage an open sit-in to counter opposition rallies.
 
During its press conference, the National Alliance of Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, rejected the use of army to “assault legitimacy” in a way that leads to a coup.
 
Earlier, the country’s Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi issued a 48-hour ultimatum to all Egyptian political forces to reach a resolution or face a military “road map for the future” that “will not exclude anyone.”
 
A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) later rejected the ultimatum, saying that “the age of military coups is over."
 
The Islamist Alliance said it respects all initiatives to resolve the crisis but it must be based on the constitution. It also condemned acts of violence that killed a dozen protesters and wounded hundreds others.
 
Supporters and opponents of Morsi exchanged gunfire in the city of Suez at the mouth of the Suez Canal on Monday, witnesses said, according to Al Arabiya.
 
At least 16 people have been killed in clashes between rival protesters since Sunday, when millions of Egyptians flooded the streets to demand that Morsi resign.
 
Meanwhile, Nour, Egypt's second biggest Islamist party, said it feared the army's return to public life "in a big way".
 
A member of Nour told the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper that the party believed Egypt's national security was threatened by the division between the ruling Islamists and their opponents.
 
The party released a statement calling for early presidential elections and the formation of a technocratic government, reported Al-Ahram.
 
The party further demanded the formation of a committee tasked with amending Egypt's post-revolution constitution, albeit without changing articles related to the "state's identity."

Egypt's Defense Minister: Egypt could Collapse

Category: News
Created on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 07:36
clashes at Tahrir this week. AFPEgyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sisi warned Tuesday that Egypt could be facing collapse.
 
Al-Sisi explained that military units have been stationed in cities next to the Suez Canal, where riots have broken out, in order to protect the canal.
 
"The continuing conflict between political forces and their differences concerning the management of the country could lead to a collapse of the state and threaten future generations," Al-Sisi said in a speech to army cadets that was also quoted on the Egyptian military spokesman's Facebook page. Sisi said the country's economic, political and social challenges signify "a real threat to the security of Egypt and the cohesiveness of the Egyptian state".
 
Some see Sisi's statement as an attempt to remind Egyptians about the power of the military and as a veiled threat to opposition forces.
 
At least 52 people have been killed in riots that broke out a few days ago, at the two year anniversary of the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Many of the casualties were in the city of Suez, where the military was sent to quell the riots.
 
The situation worsened when a court sentenced to death 21 soccer fans who were found guilty of causing the riot in a stadium in Port Said last year, in which 74 people were killed.
 
Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi announced Sunday that he was placing three cities under curfew because of rioting – Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya. The curfew will be in force from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM for the next 30 days, as part of a state of emergency declared in these cities.

Tanks Deployed Outside Morsi's Palace

Category: News
Created on Saturday, 08 December 2012 17:55
Tanks Outside Morsis PalaceEgyptian security forces deployed at least five tanks outside the presidential palace in a street where supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi had been clashing into the early hours of the morning, witnesses told Al Jazeera Thursday.
 
"The Republican Guard began a deployment around the headquarters of the presidency ... to secure the headquarters of the presidency in its capacity as a symbol of the state and the official headquarters of government," the Egyptian state news agency reported.
 
Nine armored personnel carriers were also reported to be on the street outside the palace. Five people have been killed and 446 injured in deadly clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi demonstrators outside the palace that began Wednesday, the Egyptian health ministry said Thursday. At least 35 police officers are among the injured, the state-run MENA news agency reported.
 
The state news agency also quoted General Mohammed Zaki, head of the Republican Guard, as saying that "the armed forces, and the Republican Guard, will not be an instrument of oppression against protesters."

10,000 Rally in Cairo, Demand Sharia Law

Category: News
Created on Sunday, 11 November 2012 07:25
Egyptian girls hold posters that say Islamic Egypt AFPMore than 10,000 ultraconservative Muslims demonstrated Friday in Tahrir Square central Cairo, demanding that Egypt's new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic Sharia law.
 
The rally was organized by a number of minority Salafi groups, but neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor the main Salafist Al-Nour party backed the protest, according to Al Jazeera.
 
Islamists are not in agreement over the interpretation of Islamic law and its proper place in the new constitution.
 
Demonstrators demanded that the panel tasked with writing the new constitution override liberal and secular objections and include language that could allow religious scholars to influence legislation.
 
The panel is led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
"Sharia [Islamic] is our constitution" and "The people demand the application of God's law," protesters chanted.
 
The controversy is centered on the constitution's second amendment. The former constitution stated that the "principles of Islamic Sharia" are the basis of legislation. Conservative Muslims want the wording changed to state that the basis of law will be "the rulings of Sharia," implying Egypt's laws may be left to the interpretation of religious scholars.

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