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Egypt Blog

Keep up with all the latest developments in Egypt as unrest continues to cripple the country following the military's removal of Mohamed Morsi as president on July 3.

  • The role of western nations in Egypt's referendum

    Michele Dunne is an expert on political and economic change in Arab countries. To read her opinion on the role of western governments and international organisations in Egypt's referendum, click here.

  • Egypt referendum results to be announced

    Security forces clashed with Morsi supporters in the streets of Cairo on Friday [AP] 

    Official results of Egypt's referendum are due to be announced on Saturday.

    Interim authorities hailed the Tuesday-Wednesday poll as a chance for voters to show their support for the army's overthrow of Egypt's first freely elected president in July 2013, following massive street protests.

    State-owned daily Al-Ahram hailed a 98 percent vote in support of the new charter drafted to replace the one adopted under Mohamed Morsi in 2012.


  • Protesters clash with security troops across Egypt

    Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi continued their rallies against the referendum on Friday, with dozens taking to the streets in Egyptian cities and clashing with security troops.

    Security reports said protesters were armed with shotguns and petrol bombs, which according to a report were used against citizens. 

    An official report showed that five were injured and at least one was killed. The death happened in Egypt's southern city Fayoum.

    In Cairo there were clashes near Al-Azhar University and the dorms of Cairo University and some students complained that their studies have been disrupted by the protests.
  • A freelance Egyptian TV cameraman who was detained while covering the country's constitutional referendum for The Associated Press has been released on bail Friday, but the case remains open, authorities said.

    Hassan Abdullah Hassan was producing live video coverage of the first day of voting Wednesday outside a polling station in Cairo when police seized him.

    Hassan said he was detained after police saw his footage being broadcast live on Al Jazeera Television's Egyptian affiliate and wrongly concluded that he was an Al Jazeera employee.

    Authorities in Egypt have been highly critical of Al Jazeera's Arabic-language local affiliate, alleging it is biased against the government.

  • State media say one person has been killed in Fayoum, a city south of Cairo. People there marched in defiance of a ban on unsanctioned protests.

  • Al Jazeera sources say dozens of protesters have been arrested in Alexandria. 

  • Al Jazeera sources in Cairo say that clashes have occurred around the University of Cairo in Giza Governorate between students and police. 

    In Al-Azhar University in Naser city in Cairo, police fired tear gas toward students after they tried to block the road.

    Clashes also occurred in Almohandsen in Giza, Pyramid ST in Giza, ,Omrania in Giza, Suez governorate in east Cairo , Ismailia governorate in northeast Cairo  and Al-Alf Maskan east of Cairo. 

  • Streaming TV and movie provider Netflix won its first Oscar nomination Thursday for "The Square," a documentary about the 2011 revolution and ongoing strife in Egypt.

    The movie, to be released on Friday, recounts the turmoil in Egypt centered on Cairo's Tahrir Square since the uprising nearly three years ago that ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak.

    Netflix made television history last year when its political drama "House of Cards" became the first online-only series nominated for a major Emmy award.

    Last weekend, Netflix won its first Golden Globe, with Robin Wright taking best drama actress for her "Cards" role as the wife of Kevin Spacey's scheming congressman Francis Underwood.

    It bought the streaming rights for "The Square" in November, after the documentary won critical acclaim on the festival circuit.

    The film follows the revolution through the eyes of six different protestors, starting in the tents of Tahrir Square before Mubarak's fall, according to the movie industry website IMDb.

    "This film and this nomination is in honor of not only people in Egypt, but for all who are still struggling," the film's director Jehane Noujaim said in a statement emailed to AFP.

    "We made this film to tell the stories of people who are risking all that they have to fight for change -- and to share their hopes and dreams with the world," he added.

    He added: "Making this film took us into Tahrir Square and revealed the beauty, power and courage of people -- a courage that has taught us and inspired us, and has personally changed our lives forever.

    "The struggle for human rights and freedoms is a universal one and this nomination is an international recognition of that struggle and of that right to have expression.

    "The Square" is one of five documentary features nominated for the Academy Awards, to be handed out in Hollywood on March 2. The others are "The Act of Killing," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars," and "20 Feet from Stardom." [AFP]

    "We are humbled to be sharing this honor with so many other critical films and very talented storytellers who have worked so hard to bring light to untold stories of the world," said Noujaim. [AFP]

  • A coalition led by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which has organised near daily rallies against his overthrow, claimed the referendum was a "farce" and pledged further protests.

    "We will continue the days of rage," the Anti-Coup Alliance said in a statement.

    A student was killed on Thursday in clashes between pro-Morsi students and opponents inside Cairo University campus, the interior ministry said. [AFP]
  • Al Jazeera has denied that its journalists held in Egypt have confessed to the charges leveled against them. 

    Commenting on the statement issued by the Egyptian prosecutor’s office regarding the Al Jazeera English journalists they are detaining, an Al Jazeera spokesman said:

     “The accusations against our journalists do not stand up to scrutiny. Our detained team had been working in Cairo for some time and people can still watch their work online. It was all of the highest journalistic standards and integrity, as has been all out output since the start of the momentous events in Egypt three years ago.

     "The prosecutor’s measure of issuing a statement like this is unusual, as it looks like a prejudgment on an ongoing investigation. Claims that anyone has 'confessed' are rejected by our journalists and legal team.

     “We have been overwhelmed by the global calls for our journalists to be released, and the Egyptian authorities would be well advised to take heed.”


  • Egypt's presidency hails "high turnout" in key referendum vote 

  • Egypt's prosecutors say three detained journalists working for Al Jazeera English are being interrogated on suspicion of having unlicensed equipment and broadcasting false news that harmed national security.

    Formal charges against the three, who were taken into custody on Dec. 29, have not yet been filed as the investigation is ongoing.

    Thursday's statement from the chief prosecutor's office doesn't include earlier police allegations that the three men belong to a terrorist group.

    However, it says some of them confessed to being members of the Muslim Brotherhood, without specifying. The government declared the group a terrorist organization.

    Al Jazeera insists Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian acting bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were just doing their job. 

  • Egyptians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a new constitution drafted by the army-backed interim government, according to early results.

    The tally, released on Thursday, also show that turnout in this week’s referendum was at least modestly higher than a 2012 constitutional ballot held during the rule of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi.

    An unofficial tally from 25 of Egypt’s 27 governorates showed that 97 percent of voters said yes to the constitution, with less than one percent voting no. The remaining ballots were spoiled or otherwise invalid.

    There are no results yet from Cairo, the country’s most populous governorate, or from North Sinai.

    Read more here.
  • Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste received a consular visit yesterday in prison. 

    In the conversation with consular officials Peter again wished to "express his gratitude for the overwhelming support of family, friends and colleagues who understand the importance of his case, which relates to freedom and freedom of the press". 

    His family echoes these sentiments and thanks everyone for their assistance. 

    Peter continues to remain housed in a solitary cell but is allowed out for four hours exercise every day. 

    He is said to be in good health.
  • Egyptians who voted in a referendum overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, official sources said, citing early results of a ballot that could set the stage for army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president.

    About 90 percent of voters approved the constitution, the state news agency and a government official said.

    It comes as no surprise: the constitution won wide support among Egyptians who backed the army overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July, and there was little or no trace of a no campaign as the state presses a campaign on dissent.

    Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which is sure to dispute the official numbers, had called for a boycott of the two-day vote, seeing it as part of a coup against a leader freely elected 18 months ago. It had called for anti-government protests.

    After nine people were killed in clashes between police and Mursi supporters on Tuesday, the protests stretched into Wednesday. Protesters skirmished with the police near the presidential palace. There were no reports of deaths.

    The Interior Ministry said 444 people were arrested during the two days of voting. [Reuters]

  • Reuters 

    An Egyptian army soldier stands guard as officials count the ballots from the referendum on Egypt's new constitution in Cairo.
  • This video, posted on Youtube, appears to show special forces patrolling near a polling station in Cairo.

  • Kerry hopes for 'transparent' Egypt referendum

    US State Secretary John Kerry said he hopes Egypt's constitutional referendum, in which voting ends Wednesday, will be a "transparent and accountable" process.

    If there is strong support for the new charter, that may launch a presidential bid by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in July.

    "Our hope is that it will be a process that is transparent and accountable and one that can give confidence to people that they are going down the road  that has been promised. But we don't know yet," Kerry said in Kuwait, where he attended a Syria donors conference. [AFP]
  • A voter boasts his inked finger after participating in the constitution referendum, while indicated the letter "C" with his other hand, in reference to army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
    #Yes...#CC...#Mokatel..#Insta#Constitution :DD
    by mohyadel via Instagram

  • Local television channel CBC Extra airs the alleged detonation of a bomb by a team of explosive experts. This has not been confirmed officially yet.

  • Egypt's Sate Information Service (SIS) Chairman Ambassador Salah Abdel Sadek said 25 media centers for communication inside Egypt, in addition to 29 centers abroad, are monitoring media coverage of the constitution referendum for "attempts to distort the positive image of Egypt."

    Abdel Safek was speaking to "CBC" satellite channel on Wednesday.

  •  An Egyptian street vendor sells the country's national flag and masks of the Egypt's Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as voters queue up outside the polling station during the second day of voting on a new constitution on January 15, 2014 in the southern Cairo Giza district. [AFP] 

  • Dozens of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi blocked a metro railway station in a Cairo suburb on Wednesday, security officials
    but there were no reports of disruptions to polling. [AFP]
  • About 28% of Egypt's more than 52 million eligible voters have participated in the first day of constitution polls, state-run Ahram newspaper quoted Minister of Administrative Development as saying.

    Hany Mahmoud said this percentage is not official but is "indicative," according to the newspaper.
  • Results of the constitution referendum will be announced 72 hours after polling booths close, Al-Yawm el-Sabea reported, citing the Higher Elections Commission.

     Polls end today at 17GMT.
  • Three members of a trade union abducted last week in Egypt's restive Sinai were freed Wednesday after a ransom was paid for their release, security officials said, with a fourth man still held.

    The four men, an official from the labour ministry and the three union members, were snatched while travelling to a conference in the southern resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.

    The union members were released after their families and the trade union paid a ransom of 150,000 Egyptian pounds ($21,000 and 17,000 euros) for each of them, the officials said. [AFP]

  • السيدات ترقص على تسلم الأيادي والرجال يصفقون و الجيش يستمتع برؤيتهم بالطائرات
    by RadarMasrTube via YouTube
    This video shows supporters of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dancing to a song dedicated to him, named "Bless your hands."

    The cheerful crowd are standing in balconies overlooking a balloting booth, and are making hand gestures in reference to Sisi, who's decision to for presidency may hinge on the polls' results and turnout.

  • Al-Yowm El-Sabea newspaper reported that security forces arrested a voter who wrote "No to the Military Trials of Civilians" on his electoral form.

    The judge monitoring the voting process in the Nasr City's balloting booth saw the remark and reported it to the police who took the voter in for questioning, the newspaper said.

    Citizens boycotting the constitution criticize it for not putting a ban on referring citizens to military tribunals.
  • This picture shared on Instagram shows an old man who is attached to an oxygen tube, stands in line to vote on the constitution. There were no further details on where about in Egypt was this image taken.

    Old man in the line with oxygen tube
    To #vote for the #constitution
    by michealzaki94 via Instagram
  • Anti-coup protesters, boycotting the ongoing vote on the constitution, are staging marches in Giza, Sohag, Menya and other parts of the country.
  • Egyptian local newspaper al-Yowm al-Sabe reported the arrest of a 18-year old student and a worker carrying a school bag that allegedly contains 11 Molotov cocktails.

    Security forces in charge of protecting polling booths detained the two who allegedly confessed of planning to stage attacks against voters, the newspaper said.

  • The second day of a vote on the constitution has started in Egypt, amid protests by anti-coup protesters in the capital's suburbs.

  • Al-Shorouk Newspaper reported today that the votes of Egyptians abroad have been tallied and will be received by the Higher Elections Commission today, while initial reading indicates that the majority voted in favor of the constitution.

    The Egyptian diaspora community, which is about 640,000 citizens, voted from January 8 to 12 in at least 160 countries.

  • السفير هاني صلاح: يتم التعامل مع المخالفين في الاستفتاء والتصدي لهم بكل حسم
    by ONtv via YouTube
    Cabinet spokesperson Hanu Salah said  in a phone interview with local private channel ON tv that the first day of the constitutional referendum witnessed "positive feedback and turnout rates that can be the highest in all polls organized since the 2011 revolution." 

    Footage shows queues of male voters in front of a polling station in coastal city of Alexandria as well as the Ismaileya and Port Saeed 

  • Egypt is braced for the second day of a constitutional vote, after the first day marked jubilant crowds of voters and clashes across the country.

    To follow the story, click here.
  • Local newspaper "Egypt Independent" carried unofficial reports that former Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi was unable to vote due to a database error.

  • Egyptians have voted on a new constitution, in a ballot widely seen as a referendum on the army's decision to overthrow former President Mohamed Morsi in July last year.

    David Foster speaks to Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston from our Doha newsroom.

    Watch here:

  • D. Parvaz, Al Jazeera's special projects editor, speaks to Dahlia Kholaif who covers Egypt for Al Jazeera about the wrap up of Egypt's first day of constitutional referendum.
  • Egyptians voted on a draft constitution on Tuesday, a referendum that will decide whether the country adopts a text drawn up under the military-backed interim government that ousted Egypt's president in a July coup.

    Abdullah Al-Arian speaks to Al Jazeera the voting process.

    Abdullah Al-Arian speaks to Al Jazeera on Egypt's voting process
    Al Jazeera English
  • Egyptians vote on draft constitution

  • The Egyptian Health Ministry says 11 people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters loyal to toppled  President Mohamed Morsi.

    Tuesday's violence comes as a two-day referendum begins on a new constitution that, if adopted, would replace an Islamist-tilted charter approved under Morsi's rule. Morsi was ousted in a popularly backed coup last July.

    The ministry says the deaths occurred in Cairo, the adjacent province of Giza and two provinces south of the capital, Bani Suef and Sohag.
    The statement says 28 people also have been wounded.

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