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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.

  • Egyptian political activist Ahmed Doma looks on from behind dock bars during his trial in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday. The trial was adjourned till June 23. Doma and 268 others are accused of violence during clashes with security force outside the Egyptian Cabinet headquarters back in 2011. [EPA]  

  • Muslim Brotherhood leaders' assets seized in Egypt

    The Reuters news agency is reporting that the Egyptian security forces have seized supermarket chains owned by two leading figures of the Muslim Brotherhood as part of the government's crackdown against the banned organization.

    Quoting  judicial and security sources, it said the security forces, on the orders of a committee charged with identifying Brotherhood assets, seized the Zad chain of supermarkets owned by Khairat el-Shater, as well as the Seoudi chain of Abdulrahman el-Seoudi. 

    "We received an order from the committee to seize the chains, Zad and Seoudi, and we just went and took them," Reuters quoting a security source said.

    "We are currently going through the funds and goods and equipment and the reason for that is that they belong to Brotherhood leaders whose assets have been ordered to be seized."

    The committee and supermarket chains could not immediately be reached for comment. 


  • Egypt police confiscate rights group's publication

    Egyptian security forces have confiscated copies of a human rights group's newsletter, saying the publication threatened the government, according to the group.

    Gamal Eid, the head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, on Sunday said police seized 1,000 copies of the publication, entitled Wasla (or Link) from the print shop the night before, also arresting a worker at the press.

    The newsletter is a digest of blogs and social media content that has been distributed to select readers by mail since 2010. 

    The current issue focused on newly elected President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, with activists discussing the sources of his popularity. 

    The issue also included an article on journalist who works for Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera who has been in detention since last year, without formal charges and on hunger strike for over 100 days in protest.

    Security officials were not immediately available for comment. 

    Lawyers said a police investigation was underway.

    Eid said security officials told lawyers that the publication was part of a plan to "overthrow the regime'' and was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the government has declared a "terrorist" organisation. 


  • Egyptians protest against sex attacks on women

    Women protest against sexual harassment in front of the opera house in Cairo on Saturday, after a woman was sexually assaulted by a mob during the June 8 celebrations marking the president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's inauguration at the iconic Tahrir Square. Egypt has asked YouTube to remove a video showing the naked woman with injuries being dragged through the square after being sexually assaulted during the celebrations. YouTube removed copies of the video in which the woman can be identified, but is allowing other versions that blur her image to remain on the site because the company considers them to be newsworthy. Egypt also referred 13 men to trial for alleged sex attacks on women at Tahrir Square after the posting of the video, which caused an uproar in local and international media. [Reuters]  

  • Egyptians stage demonstration against sexual harassment

    An Egyptian girl holds a banner reading in Arabic 'discipline your boys instead of blaming your girls' during a protest against sexual harassment in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday.  The protests came as Egypt's prosecution service referred 13 men to trial for alleged sex attacks on women at Cairo's Tahrir Square, including during inaugural celebrations for new President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. [EPA]

  • YouTube declines to remove Tahrir sex attack video  

    YouTube has rejected Egypt's call to remove the video showing a woman being stripped and sexually assaulted in Cairo's Tahrir Square, according to the reports.

    Egypt had asked YouTube to remove the video while the country's prosecution service on Saturday said the police were searching for the person who recorded the video as this action was against "public morals".

    According to the Associated Press news agency, YouTube removed copies of the video in which the woman can be identified, but is allowing other versions that blur her image to remain on the site because the company considers them to be newsworthy. 

    Viewers who want to watch the blurred video also must vouch that they are at least 18 years old.

    Activists were outraged this week after a graphic video footage of a woman being sexually assaulted at Tahrir Square went viral on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

    The footage, apparently filmed using a mobile phone, shows a mob of men  surrounding a young woman, who was stripped of her clothes and badly bruised in  the assault. 

    It was unclear whether the victim in the video was among those attacked during the pro-Sisi celebrations. 

    [AP and AFP ] 

  • Egypt sends 13 to trial for Tahrir sex attack

    Egypt's prosecution service has referred 13 men to trial for alleged sex attacks on women at Cairo's Tahrir Square, including during inaugural celebrations for new President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, officials have said.

    The series of attacks took place on January 25, 2013, as Egypt marked the second anniversary of the 2011 revolt, and on June 3 and June 8 this year as locals marked Sisi's election victory and inauguration, the prosecutor general's office said on Saturday.

    The 13 accused, including a minor, are charged with "kidnapping, raping, sexually attacking, attempting to murder and torturing the women", it said.

    Since the uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the problem of sexual harassment has worsened in Egypt, with women regularly attacked during rallies by groups of men in and around Tahrir Square, the epicentre of protests.

    If convicted of the charges, the defendants could be sentenced to life imprisonment. Read more
  • Egypt arrests Sunni scholar sentenced to death

    Egyptian police have arrested a Sunni scholar who had been sentenced to death in absentia in a trial involving the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, state media reported.

    Abdallah Hassan Barakat, a former senior academic at the prestigious Al-Azhar University, was arrested on Saturday at a checkpoint in Cairo, the official MENA news agency reported.

    He was travelling in a car with his son and two of his brothers.

    Barakat was among 10 people sentenced to death earlier this month in a case in which Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badie and 37 others, all in custody, are awaiting a verdict on July 5.

    They are accused of inciting violence in which two people were killed in the Nile Delta city of Qaliub, only days after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi last July.

    Under Egyptian law, Barakat is now entitled to a retrial.

    Hundreds have already been sentenced to death in often speedy trials.

    Police also arrested 22 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday who were on the run and were wanted in several cases, security officials said.

  • Policeman shot dead in Egypt clashes

    A policeman was shot dead in the aftermath of clashes in Cairo, Egypt's interior ministry has said.

    The protests were staged by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

    The policeman was hit by a bullet in the chest as he took an arrested  protester to a police van after security forces broke up the protest on the outskirts of the capital's upscale Maadi district, the ministry said on its Facebook page.

    The pro-Morsi demonstration came after the anti-Coup Alliance  called for a week of protests from Friday under the slogan "Freedom For Egypt".

    The alliance regularly calls for and stages demonstrations against the  military-installed authorities since Morsi's ouster last July.

    State television also reported the policeman's killing, and in a separate report the official MENA news agency said at least 65 protesters were arrested  nationwide on Friday.


  • Egypt drops travel ban on columnist who slammed Morsi ouster

    Egypt has allowed a prominent columnist, who  strongly criticised the army ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, to travel abroad, airport officials said, just weeks after blocking him from leaving.

    The name of Fahmy Howeidy was not on any stop list at Cairo airport, and the columnist for the independent Al-Shorouk newspaper was allowed to fly to Casablanca, the officials said on Friday.

    Three weeks ago, he was blocked from flying to Spain, without any reason being given.

    Howeidy, who previously worked for state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, is widely across the Arab world and was strongly critical of the ouster of  Morsi last July.

    International rights group have raised fears that freedoms could be eroded in Egypt under the rule of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who overwhelmingly won last month's election.


  • Egypt asks YouTube to remove Tahrir sex attack video

    Egypt has asked YouTube to remove a video showing a naked woman with injuries being dragged through Cairo's Tahrir Square after being sexually assaulted during celebrations for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's inauguration.

    The Sunday night's assault took place as thousands of people enjoyed inauguration festivities, raising new worries about Egypt's commitment to fighting sexual violence.

    Authorities arrested seven men aged between 15 and 49 for sexually harassing women on Tahrir Square after the posting of the video, which caused an uproar in local and international media. 

    It was not clear whether the men arrested took part in the assault shown on the video.

    "The Egyptian embassy in Washington DC and a number of Egyptian authorities, at the direction of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have requested the YouTube administration to remove the video of the sexual assault victim," Sisi's spokesman said on Friday.


     A handout photo shows Abdel Fattah al-Sissi (R) visiting the victim of sexual assault (L, face obscured by the source) currently receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Cairo, Egypt [EPA] 

  • Egypt has asked YouTube to remove a video showing a naked woman with injuries being dragged through Cairo's Tahrir Square after being sexually assaulted during celebrations for President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's inauguration.

    Authorities arrested seven men aged between 15 and 49 for sexually harassing women in Tahrir Square after the posting of the video, which caused an uproar in local and international media.

    It is not clear whether the men arrested took part in the assault.

  • At least 25 female political prisoners have been injured after being physically assaulted by fellow prisoners and prison guards in Qanater prison in Cairo, lawyers and right groups reported.

    The Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms and lawyer Montaser al-Zayat, said the prisoners had suffered fractures and serious bleeding.

    The incident is reported  to have started after a detainee was involved in a dispute with one of the guards.

    [Al Jazeera]
  • The British Foreign Office has expressed concern after the sentencing of dozens of activists by a Cairo court.

    Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East Hugh Robertson said Alaa Abdel Fattah and other activists had been charged in relation to their "participation in a peaceful protest".

    Robertson was in Cairo when the protest  happened in December.

    "Egypt’s constitution rightly demands respect for freedom of expression and association and I call on the new Egyptian government to ensure that they implement these rights for Egyptian citizens,"
    he said in a statement on Thursday.

    [Al Jazeera]

  • Leading Egyptian activist jailed for 15 years

    Alaa Abdel Fattah and 24 other defendants are sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail for violating protest law.
  • لحظة دخول السيسي إلى فتاة التحرير حامل بوكيه ورد للإعتذار لها
    by RadarMasrTube via YouTube

    Egypt's newly sworn-in president has apologised in person to a woman who was sexually assaulted by a mob during weekend celebrations marking his inauguration.

    Local television networks showed Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi visiting the woman in a Cairo hospital.
  • Egypt sentences leading anti-Mubarak activist to 15 years in prison

    An Egyptian court sentenced leading activist Alaa Abdel Fattah to 15 years in jail on Wednesday for violating a protest law and other charges, his lawyer said.

    Abdel Fattah was one of the most prominent activists in the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. 

    The ruling came three days after former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was inaugurated as president.
    by Faisal Edroos edited by Rabii.Kalboussi 6/11/2014 8:02:13 AM

  • President Barack Obama called new Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Tuesday and affirmed their commitment to a US-Egyptian strategic partnership, the White House said.

    The White House said Obama called Sisi to congratulate him on his inauguration and "to convey his commitment to working together to advance the shared interests of both countries."

    "The president reiterated the United States' continuing support for the political, economic, and social aspirations of the Egyptian people, and respect for their universal rights," the White House said.
  • String of sexual assaults reported during Sisi's inauguration celebrations

    A string of sexual assaults on women during celebrations of Egypt's presidential inauguration including a mass attack on a 19-year-old student who was stripped in Cairo's Tahrir Square have prompted outrage 

    A video has emerged purportedly showing the teenager, bloodied and naked, surrounded by dozens of men.

    Seven men were arrested in connection with the assault and police were investigating 27 other complaints of sexual harassment against women during Sunday's rallies by tens of thousands of people celebrating Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's inauguration late into the night, security officials said.

    The Interior Ministry, in charge of police, identified the seven suspects and gave their ages as between 15 and 49. It said they were arrested for "harassing several girls" but made no mention of the student.

    Sexual violence has increasingly plagued large gatherings during the past three years of turmoil following the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak, and women's groups complained Monday that tough new laws have not done enough.
    [Associated Press]
  • Egypt arrests seven over Tahrir sex attack

    Arrests made after woman was assaulted in Cairo square during celebrations marking president's inauguration.

  • Egypt's government to resign following Sisi's inauguration

    Egypt's military-installed government is expected to resign on Monday, with new President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi expected to make changes to the cabinet on his first day in office, state media has reported.

    Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab will present his government's resignation to the new President, as Sisi decides which ministers he will retain.

    Egyptian newspapers have been reporting that Sisi is expected to ask Mahlab to continue in his post, but could make minor changes to the cabinet.

    "The cabinet ended its last meeting on Monday morning... during which it prepared its letter of resignation to be presented to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi," state news agency MENA said.

    The former-army chief was sworn in on Sunday, nearly a year after ousting elected president Mohamed Morsi after millions protested against the Islamist's divisive one year rule.

    The government installed by Sisi, who has been the de facto leader since he ousted Morsi, has carried out a brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in which more than 1,400 people have been killed and thousands more jailed.
  • Night protests continue in Egypt following the inauguration of former Army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

  • Egypt's President warns of 'no leniency' for those who commit violence

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi warned  on Sunday, hours after being sworn in, that there will be "no leniency" for those who commit acts of violence.

    In a televised address to the nation, Sisi promised to work toward "reconciliation" but not with those who have "shed blood".

    Sisi said there will be "no leniency and truce with those who resort to violence".

    "I am looking to a new era built on reconciliation and tolerance... except with those who committed crimes or used violence as a tool," he said.

    "I am saying clearly that those who shed the blood of the innocent and killed ... the sons of Egypt, they don't have a place in (our) march."
  • Sisi promises to defeat 'terrorism' in Egypt

    Ex-army chief says there will be no reconciliation with those who use violence, and vows to improve economic prospects.
  • Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi celebrate his inauguration in Tahrir Square in Cairo.

  • Sisi takes power in Egypt
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

  • [AFP] 

    1 of 3

    Former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in as president of Egypt. 

  • President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reviews guards of honor after he was sworn in as president of Egypt, at the presidential palace in Cairo [Reuters] 

  • Highlights from Abdel Fattah el-Sisi first speech as president of Egypt 

    It is a historical moment that for the first time there is a handover between two presidents in Egypt 

    It is a big responsibility to be a president of Egypt with all of its potential and role in the Arab, African and Muslim world

    We are going to establish a new state for the future and revive its role in regional and international arena 

    The differences between our people should be for the benefits of the country 

    We appreciate the role of Arab and international friends and special thanks for king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for his call for economic conference to help Egypt 

  • "Everyone has to listen to the other in a receptive way, we need to use our differences to enrich the nation" Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, president of Egypt 

  • "Egypt will never forget the people who supported Egypt when it was having hard times" -  Adly Mansour

  • Sisi sworn in as Egypt's president

    Security tightened across Cairo for inauguration of retired field marshal declared winner of recent presidential vote.
  • The inauguration of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

  • Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been sworn in as Egypt's president
  • Sisi to be sworn in as Egypt's president

    Security tightened across Cairo for inauguration of retired field marshal declared winner of recent presidential vote.
  • Egypt bans unlicensed preachers, tightens grip on mosques

    Egypt has banned unauthorised preachers from giving sermons or teaching Islam in mosques and other public places, according to a decree on Saturday marking a further step in official efforts to curb opposition Muslim Brotherhood's influence.

    The decree, according to the Reuters news agency,  issued by interim President Adly Mansour's office also threatened fines and jail for freelance imams, especially if they wore clerical garments associated with the respected Al-Azhar centre of Sunni learning in Cairo.

    Selected employees of the religious endowments ministry will be empowered by the justice ministry to arrest anyone caught violating the decree, it added.

    "No preacher will mount a minbar next Friday without a permit," the ministry said on its Facebook page, referring to the traditional raised pulpit in a mosque. The decision was taken to "preserve national security," it said.

  • Egypt and the United Arab Emirates announced on Saturday that they had contracted a state-run company headed by a retired Egyptian army officer to build wheat silos that are a key part of the UAE's $4.9bn aid package to Cairo.

    [Source: Reuters]
  • On Saturday, Egyptian appeals court overturned the conviction of a policeman for the deaths of 37 prisoners from tear gas, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

    The court also overturned suspended one-year sentences handed to three other officers over the August deaths of the prisoners, who were alleged supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

    [Source: AFP]
  • An  Egyptian court postponed to July 5 the verdict in the trial of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 47 others for inciting violence that killed two people last summer.

    The same court sentenced to death 10 defendants who are on the run on Saturday, and a final ruling on their cases is also expected on July 5.

    After the army ousted Islamist Mohamed Morsi last July, Badie was one of thousands of the deposed president's supporters arrested in a crackdown that also left more than 1,400 dead.

    He is being tried in nearly 40 cases, all of which potentially carry the death penalty, and has already been sentenced to die in one case. 

  • An Egyptian official says an appeals court has upheld a five-year sentence for a Coptic Christian author convicted on charges of contempt of religion.

    The official says the court in Beni Suef, south of Cairo, on Thursday confirmed the original sentence for Karam Saber. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to media.

    Saber was tried and sentenced in absentia last year over his 2010 novel "Where is God." After the initial sentencing, he turned himself in and received the same sentence in a retrial, in accordance with Egyptian law. He then appealed and was free on bail pending Thursday's decision. [AP]

  • Anti-coup protesters in the Cairo district of Dokki [Anti-Coup Alliance

  • Reporters Without Borders has called on Egypt's President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to guarantee freedom of press during his rule.

    The organisation, which campaigns for the right of journalists to work without impediment, asks Sisi to respect articles in the country's constitution that protect free expression,  in an open letter dated on Thursday

    The letter says Egypt had become one of the three most deadly countries for journalists in 2013 and added journalists deemed sympathetic to ousted President Mohamed Morsi were targeted for their political views.

    The message signed by the organisation's secretary general, Christophe Deloire, also called for the release of 17 journalists imprisoned by Egyptian authorities, including four Al Jazeera journalists.

    "Reporters Without Borders reminds you that, like other citizens, journalists must be treated fairly and justly, in ways that respect national and international judicial standards," he said.

    [Al Jazeera]

  • The father of jailed Al Jazeera English journalist Peter Greste has condemned his son's continued imprisonment.

    Juris Greste, Peter's father said the prosecution's case included "wild and sweeping" allegations against the his son and Al Jazeera colleagues.

    "If you have an issue with a corporate group, you take it out on a vulnerable front-line personnel, in this case, journalists. You punish them, you intimidate them, make their next-of-kin suffer and inflict pain on their extended families", Greste told a Australian TV station.

    Peter Greste and his colleagues Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, made their 11th appearance in front of Cairo court on Thursday. [Reuters]
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