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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.

  • Egypt's police HQ destroyed in car bomb attack

  • Car bomb used in deadly attack 

    Tuesday's attack killed a dozen people [AP] 

    Egypt's army has said a car bomb was used in the attack on a security compound in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.

    Tuesday's attack killed 12 and wounded more than one hundred others. 

    The army spokesman described the attack as a "vile terrorist operation carried out by a car bomb" in a statement on Facebook. 

    [Reuters] 

  • #Mansoura #explosion #police 
    by amrtarekhelmy via Instagram
    Bomb blast in front of police station #Mansoura #city#dam upon #terrorism. أنفجار أمام مديريه #المنصوره #أمن #الدقهليه اللعنه علي الأرهاب
    by raniayassin10 via Instagram
    #المنصورة #إنفجار #مديرية_الأمن ... #حسبنا_الله_ونعم_الوكيل #طوارئ #ضروري #Mansoura #Egypt #explosion #police #police_station
    by mmedoshaker via Instagram
    Two bombs went off in mansoura around 130am .. around 2-3 km away from my house .. est 8 death and 70++ injured
    by bobby_iqram via Instagram
    Bomb explosion at the security directorate in #mansoura..Exact number of casualities remains unknown
    by foda91 via Instagram
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  • Human rights groups have condemned the Egyptian government for what they say is a widening crackdown on political dissent.

    This week a court sentenced three leading political activists to three years in prison for violating a controversial law restricting protests.

    Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith reports.


  • A car bomb has killed 14 people and injured 120 as it tore through a police headquarters in the Delta region city of Mansoura, Egyptian officials have said.

    Al Jazeera's Peter Greste, reporting from Cairo, said it was not yet clear whether he bomb that rocked Dakhalya Police Security Directorate in the capital of Dakhalya Governorate early on Tuesday had been operated by a suicide bomber or whether it was remotely detonated.

    FULL ARTICLE

  • Sherif Shawky spokesman of Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has said on state television that the Muslim Brotherhood is a "Terrorist Organisation".

    "Prime Minister Beblawi has declared the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation," the state news agency MENA quoted the premier's Shawky as saying.

    These remarks have not been confirmed by the minister, but a cabinet meeting is to be held later on Tuesday at which an official decision and announcement is expected to be made about the movement's status in the country, reports Al Jazeera's producer in Cairo.

    [AFP & Al Jazeera]
  • Five people have been killed and 62 injured in an explosion in the city of Mansoura, according to Egypt's Ministry of the Interior.

    This is the second incident within months, with indications pointing to inside information known to the perpetrators. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Al Jazeera's Mohamed Fahmy said that people in the area were in a state of fear due to the extent of the damage.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood says 450 prisoners are on hunger strike in Egypt. [AFP]
  • EU urges Egypt to review sentences for 2011 uprising figures

    The European Union urged Egypt to reconsider jail sentences handed down to three leading figures of the country's 2011 uprising, saying they stemmed from flawed laws curbing freedom of expression.

    The three men - Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel - are seen as symbols of the protest movement that ignited the revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Their sentences include prison labour and fines. 

    Sebastien Brabant, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said in a statement on Monday that the sentences "appear to be based on the recently enacted protest
    law which is widely seen as limiting excessively freedom of expression and assembly".

    Ashton expressed hope, he said, that "these sentences could be reviewed in an appeals process". [Reuters]
  • Activist jailings raise fears on return to polic state

    The jailing of three activists has triggered fears in Egypt of a return to the police rule that blighted the Mubarak era, eroding gains made in the march towards democracy.

    On Sunday, a court jailed Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel to three years for organising an unauthorised protest in a verdict seen as the military-installed government broadening the crackdown on dissent.

    It was the first such verdict against pro-democracy protesters since the July 3 overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, whose Islamist supporters have borne the brunt of a deadly crackdown.

    The three and Alaa Abdel Fattah, a vocal critic of the police and the military detained on similar charges, were at the forefront of the movement that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak in 2011, beginning Egypt's march towards democracy.

    But analysts said gains achieved since then are threatened by the targeting of such men and by other moves that could signal the return of a police state.

    Pursuing these activists "is a deliberate effort to target the voices who, since January 2011, have consistently demanded justice and security agency reform," Human Rights Watch's Sarah Leah Whitson said in a statement.

    "Almost three years after the nationwide protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak, security agencies feel more empowered than ever and are still intent on crushing the right of Egyptians to protest the actions of their government."

    The interim authorities justified the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, as a response to massive protests against his turbulent year-long reign, which critics said was marked by power-grabs and economic mismanagement.

    More than 1,000 people have died in a crackdown on Morsi supporters and thousands have been arrested. [AFP]
  • Egypt's approves oil, gas exploration agreements 

    Amid the ongoing political turmoil in the country, Egypt's cabinet has approved seven new oil and gas exploration agreements designed to bring investment of at least $1.2 billion to the sector, oil minister, Sherif Ismail.

    The deals signed on Sunday are with firms including BP, Dana Gas Emirati, Petroceltic International, and Sea Dragon Energy. 

    The agreements will now be sent for ratification to Interim President Adli Mansour, a statement from the oil ministry said. [Reuters]


  • A Cairo court has sentenced three leading activists to three years in prison for organising an illegal protest, the latest move in a widening crackdown on critics of the interim government.

    Read the full article here.

  • Photo sums up #Egypt perfectly. "The constitution: you're voice won't make a difference." #graffiti http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BcCCv4PIcAAZxEe.jpg

  • After the 2011 revolution, Egypt's economy has remained stagnant adding to the problem of child labour in the country.

    According to the International Labour Organisation, 1.6 million children in Egypt are working.

    Organisations like the World Food Programme have stepped in to reduce the problem, while encouraging families to send their children back to work.

    Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith reports from Cairo.

  • Muslim Brother cleric faces charges alongside Morsi

    A prominent pro- Muslim Brotherhood cleric Youssef el-Qaradawi, has been charged alongside deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi,  according to an Egyptian prosecution official,  speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

    Qaradawi is an Egyptian based in Qatar.

    On Saturday, Morsi and several others faces charges for allegedly organising prison breaks during the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. 

    Authorities said the jailbreaks were part of an organised effort to destabilise the country.

    Investigative Judge Hassan Samir on Saturday said other Brotherhood suspects in the case include the group's leader Mohammed Badie, his deputy Mahmoud Ezzat, who is still at large, former Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni and others.

    A prosecution statement from Samir's office didn't name all the 129 defendants. 

    No date has been set for the trial. But officials have suggested it would likely come after the January 14-15 referendum of the new constitution to avoid an earlier start that could fuel more political turmoil. [AP]


  • Two Egyptian soldiers have been shot dead and eight others wounded while they were trying to arrest a leader of an al-Qaeda inspired rebel group in the Sinai peninsula, the Egyptian army has said.

    Read full article here
  • Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi throw tear gas canisters back towards the police during clashes at Nasr City district in Cairo on December 20 [Reuters]

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  • A security official in Egypt said on Friday clashes between soldiers and wanted al-Qaeda-inspired fighters in the northern Sinai Peninsula have killed two soldiers and wounded eight.

    The official said heavy gunfire rocked a village called el-Mahdiya along the border between Egypt and the occupied Gaza Strip. He said troops backed by armoured vehicles were fighting against three of the most-wanted Ansar Jerusalem fighters, including Shadi el-Manaei, a suspected mastermind of the previous attacks.

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorised to speak to journalists.

    Ansar Jerusalem, like other Sinai-based al-Qaeda-inspired groups, have been blamed for rising attacks against Egypt's military and police since the military ousted former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3. [AP]


  • For the full story click here 


    Egyptian police have raided the offices of a local human rights organisation and arrested at least one person, the latest move in a widening crackdown on critics of the interim government.
  • Re-trial of 11 defendants in Port Said football massacre adjourned.

    The trial has been adjourned until February 19 so that more witnesses can be spoken to.

    The 11 defendants were sentenced to execution or 15 years of maximum security in absentia
    before they turned themselves in to police.

    The 'Port Said massacre' left 74 Ahly fans dead. Seventy-three people were accused of being involved, including nine police officials and three officials from the Port Said football club.



  • Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi will stand trial on charges of "conspiring with foreign groups" to commit "terrorist acts."

    Morsi, toppled by the military in July and already on trial for alleged involvement in the killings of opposition protesters, was also accused on Wednesday of divulging "secrets of defence to foreign countries" and "funding terrorism for militant training to fulfill the goals of the International Organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood", according to a prosecutor document seen by Al Jazeera sources.

  • Egypt prosecutor seeks father of arrested boy

    A prosecutor has ordered the arrest of an Egyptian man whose 15-year-old son was detained last month for bringing a ruler with a Muslim Brotherhood symbol on it to school, the family's lawyer said.

    The father, Mohamed Abdulghani Bakara, was accused of encouraging his son Khaled to bring the ruler to the classroom, the lawyer said, in a sign of a widening crackdown on the organisation since the army ousted former president Mohamed Morsi of the Brotherhood in July.

    Lawyer Amr Abdel Maksoud told the Reuters news agency there was no legal basis for the charges and arrest warrants issued in the Nile Delta town of Kafr el-Sheikh.

    "They (the prosecution) are helping the army dominate the country," he said.

    Khaled remains in detention on suspicion of inciting violence, slandering the Egyptian army and membership of a banned group, legal sources said.

    'Spreading chaos'

    Two of the boy's teachers, Ashraf Raslan and Hamidou el Kheish, also faced charges of "spreading chaos among school students" by persuading him to keep the ruler, judicial sources said.

    "It shows the targeting of people not even on the basis of membership (in the Brotherhood), but also based on perceived allegiance or affiliation," said Heba Morayef of campaign group Human Rights Watch.

    She said the case is a way of intimidating voters ahead of the January 14 and 15 referendum on whether to accept the new constitution.

    The vote on Egypt's constitution will replace the one passed under Morsi and pave the way for new presidential elections.

    Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and jailed thousands more since July. The Brotherhood has won every election since 2011, but was banned by an Egyptian court in September.

    [Reuters]
  • Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi will boycott a referendum on a new constitution next month and organise a campaign against the vote, a spokesman said Monday.

    The Anti-Coup Alliance led by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement had initially considered calling on its supporters to vote against the constitution.

    But 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," said 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.

    AFP
  • Inside Story - Egypt: A campus revolution?

  • Talk to Al Jazeera - Amr Darrag: A 'perfect system' for Egypt
    As Egyptians are divided over a fresh draft constitution, we look back to the Constituent Assembly's amendment under then-President President Mohamed Morsi.

  • Fourth guy from left in "all Egyptians constitution" photo bit.ly/1k3YlDJ is also stock photo (not Egyptian): bit.ly/1k3YlU1
  • Egyptians divided on draft constitution vote

    Photo: Reuters/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany  
    The upcoming referendum on a draft constitution has generated mixed reactions among Egyptians. 

    The referendum, tobe held on January 14 to 15,  has been hailed by the interim government as the first step back towards democracy that was announced by the Egyptian military in July, following the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.

    A high turnout combined with a majority endorsement of the draft constitution would reflect the people's desire for transition and therefore end any claims by Morsi supporters of their legitimacy for the interim government.

    But public opinion in Egypt has ranged from cautious optimism to outright rejection. Many have said they had yet to read the document, such as Cairo resident Masry Abdallah.

    "I don't want to know anything about it," Abdallah said.  "I will boycott the vote. 

    "I don't think that any of the people who came to power cares about the country, whether its the Brotherhood or anyone else. They all want a share of power, and we suffer."

    Others, such as Cairo local Mohamed Fouad, said they would vote "Yes".

    "I have read some parts of the constitution and discussed it with other people. We hope it will lead to stability in the country," Fouad said.

    Egypt remains on edge, awaiting key sensitive dates in December and January, including the planned referendum, Morsi's trial, and most significantly, the third anniversary of the January 25 people's revolution.

    [RTV]
  • Father of boy 'arrested over pro-Brotherhood' ruler' 
    Morsi supporters use the four-finger symbol to remember the sit-in protest at  Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque | Photo: EPA 

    A prosecutor has ordered the arrest of an Egyptian man whose 15-year-old son was detained last month for owning a ruler bearing a symbol associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the family's lawyer has said. 

    Mohamed Abdulghani Bakara was accused of inducing his son Khaled to take the ruler to school, the lawyer said on Sunday.

    It was the latest sign of a widening crackdown on the organisation since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July.

    Two of the boy's teachers, Ashraf Raslan and Hamidou el Kheish, faced charges of "spreading chaos among school students" by inducing him to possess the ruler, judicial sources said.

    Hundreds of Brotherhood members have been killed during clashes with security forces since Mursi's overthrow. Authorities have jailed thousands more.

    Rights group say the crackdown is expanding to include anyone showing the slightest sign of support for the organisation - an allegation dismissed by the army-backed interim government.

    Lawyer Amr Abdel Maksoud told Reuters there was no legal basis for the charges and arrest warrants issued in the Nile Delta town of Kafr el-Sheikh.

    "They are helping the army dominate the country," he said of the prosecution.

    Khaled remained in detention on suspicion of inciting violence, slandering the Egyptian army and membership of a banned group, legal sources said.

    [Reuters]

  • Morsi supporters urged to vote in Egypt constitution poll

    Photo: Reuters 

    The chairman of a 50-member panel that drafted a new constitution for Egypt has called on supporters of the country's ousted president to participate in next month's referendum.

    Amr Moussa said on Sunday that the constitution was for all Egyptians and did not exclude any individual or group.

    He said Mohammed Morsi's supporters must show they were part of the nation and co-operate in taking Egypt out of a chaotic situation.

    The new constitution is a significantly amended version of one that was adopted by a predominantly Islamist panel last year. 

    The adoption of the new charter is the first step in a political road map announced in July by Egypt's military chief when he removed Morsi in a popularly backed military coup.

    Morsi's supporters have staged near-daily protests since his ouster. They have often ended in clashes with police.

    "Violence will not solve the problems, it will complicate them," said Moussa, a longtime foreign minister and secretary-general of the Arab League.

    He said Egypt needed a calm and and candid movement towards the future.

    Addressing Morsi's supporters without naming them, he said: "They are acting against the interests of society."

    The Muslim Brotherhood, which backs Morsi, has yet to announce whether it will call on its supporters to boycott the January 14-15 vote or rally for a "no"  vote. 

    Moussa reaffirmed that there would be no going back on the road map, which envisages parliamentary and presidential polls by the summer of 2014.

    [AP]

  • Inside Story - Egypt: A campus revolution?

  • People & Power - Egypt: Revolution Revisited

  • Full text of interim president Adly Mansour's speech explaining how draft constitution is the greatest thing ever bit.ly/1ecMItZ
  •  Mansour pushes for referendum 'yes' vote


    Egypt's interim president has called on citizens to vote "yes" in a key referendum on the country's amended constitution.

    Adly Mansour said on Saturday the vote on the amended draft constitution,  set for January 14-15, which has been finalised by a 50-member panel Mansour appointed, was a first step towards implementing a political transition plan activated by the military after it removed President Mohammed Morsi from power in July.

    Adly Mansour | Photo: AFP/ HO/ Egyptian Presidency 
    The charter replaces an earlier constitution approved in a referendum last year that galvanised opposition against Morsi.

    Opponents considered the constitution then to give religious interpretations a greater role in legislation and trampling on rights and freedoms.

    "It is time we complete our revolution and rebuild this nation to realise the popular aspirations and ambitions,'' Mansour said in a televised speech.

    Mansour appealed to opponents of the documents, and in clear reference to supporters of Morsi, to end their "stubbornness", stop  "chasing illusions" and accept the transition plan.

    Islam Tawfeeq, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's political party, said they were heading towards a campaign to boycott the referendum. 

    "Participating in the referendum, even with a no vote, would be an implicit recognition of the legitimacy of the (military-backed) road map," he said.

    Amnesty International said the new amended constitution is an improvement from the 2012 charter, guaranteeing women equality and criminalising torture, but it said the charter fell short of Egypt's international human rights obligations - allowing for military  trials for civilians and not fully protecting rights of expression and assembly.

    [AP]


  • Egyptian Copt gets life over sectarian killings

    An Egyptian Copt has been sentenced to life  in prison and 10 others have received jail terms from six months to 15 years over sectarian deaths in April, judicial sources have said.

    Seven people - five Christians, one Muslim and an unidentified man - were killed when sectarian violence erupted in Al-Khusus, north of Cairo, after a Muslim objected to children drawing a swastika on a religious institute.

    He then insulted Christians and the incident flared into an exchange of gunfire between Muslims and Christians, security officials said at the time.

    Several shops and houses were also set ablaze.

    On Saturday, a court in Benha, north of the capital, delivered the verdicts against 11 Christian and Muslim men.

    It acquitted 32 others out of a total of 43 defendants in the case, said the judicial sources, who added that five defendants were still at large.

    [AFP]

  • Father of activist Abdel Fattah says Egypt will try his son, 24 others

    Prominent Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was at the forefront of the 2011 uprising, will face trial  for taking part in an unauthorised protest, his father has said.
     
    Ahmed Seif, who is a lawyer, said on Monday that he would represent his son and 24 other pro-democracy activists charged with holding an unauthorised demonstration and aggression against the police.

    "The prosecution informed us that he and the 24 others have been referred to the criminal court," Seif said. 

    No date has yet bet set for the trial but it will be the second of its kind since Sunday when three other prominent secular activists went on trial  following a restrictive new law on protests.
    I expected this trial and I think he will be sent to prison because this is what this regime wants; it wants to sentence revolutionary activists.

    Abdel Fattah was arrested on November 28, two days after taking part in a Cairo protest against a provision in the draft constitution that allows military trials of civilians in certain cases. The other 24 activists were released on bail last week.

    Two days before the protest interim president Adly Mansour passed the new law allowing only police-sanctioned demonstration, a move that triggered an international outcry.

    "I expected this trial and I think he will be sent to prison because this is what this regime wants," Seif said of his son. 

    "It wants to sentence revolutionary activists."
     
    Abdel Fattah was previously jailed under Mubarak, the military junta that immediately ruled Egypt after his overthrow, and also under Morsi.

    [AFP]

  • Egypt claims to have killed kill Sinai rebel leader in gunbattle


    Egyptian troops have shot dead a fighter described as a leader of the Sinai group that claimed a failed attempt on the life of the interior minister and the murder of a high-level security official, the military has said.

    Attacks on soldiers and policemen in the Sinai Peninsula, bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, have become commonplace since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi in July in the face of mass unrest over his rule.

    The Egyptian army said on Monday that Ibrahim Abou Eita was killed in an exchange of gunfire with soldiers near the town of Sheikh Zuweid in Sinai and it described him as a leader of the group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. 

    The army referred to Abou Eita, also known as Abou Suheib, in a statement posted to Facebook as "one of the most dangerous"militants in North Sinai who had been sought for attacks on security forces in the region.

    Ansar Bayt al-Maqtis claimed responsibility for killing an official who security sources say had been due to testify in one of several legal cases against Morsi, and for a bid to kill Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim with a car bomb in September.

    [Reuters]


  • Photo: AFP/ Tarek Wajeh 

    Police arrest 144 protesters after violent clashes

    Police have arrested 144 protesters over clashes at a Cairo university that left five students injured, one critically, Egypt's ministry of interior has said

    The ministry said that the critically injured student  was in intensive care with a bullet wound to the chest after the clashes at Al-Azhar University. 

    The arrested students were being questioned and referred to prosecutor. 

    [Al Jazeera]


  • Egyptian riot police and al-Azhar University students have clashed outside the Cairo campus | Photo: AFP/ Tarek Wajeh




  • Police and students in Azhar University flashpoint 

    A security official  has said police have entered the campus of a Cairo university to quell a second day of protest by supporters of Egypt's ousted president.

    Students of Al-Azhar University have held persistent protests since the start of the academic year in September. 

    The rallies have frequently descended into clashes with police.

    The head of university security, Mahmoud Subeiha, told Egypt's private CBC TV on Monday that he asked the police to enter the campus Monday to put down the protests.

    A security official said the students set a security vehicle on fire and threw fire bombs at police. 

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

    Students rallied on Sunday against the referral of 21 of their colleagues to trial for earlier.

    [AP]
  • Cairo court adjourns prominent protesters' case



    Political activist Ahmed Maher displays a T-shirt reading "Dropping the law on demonstrations" at his trial | Photo: AFP/ Mahmoud Khaled 

    Three activists at the forefront of Egypt's 2011 uprising have gone on trial over an unlicensed and violent demonstration.

    After an opening session that lasted almost four hours, the court in Cairo said on Sunday that it would deliver its verdict on December 22 in a case that has widened opposition to the government beyond supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

    Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma and Mohamed Adel are the first secular activists to go on trial amid a massive months-long crackdown on Morsi supporters following the  military's July 3 overthrow of the country's first democratically elected leader.

    They are also charged with violating a controversial new law that bans all but police-sanctioned protests.

    Rights groups have cast the trial as an extension of the government's crackdown on public dissent less than three years after Hosni Mubarak was toppled by massive pro-democracy protests.

    Maher is the founder of the April 6 youth movement that led the revolt against Mubarak. All three defendants were leading dissidents under Mubarak and  supported the military's overthrow of Morsi, whom they accused of betraying the 2011 uprising.

    The activists face charges including assaulting police officers and joining a protest without seeking a police permit as required by the new law.

    [AFP] 
  • Azhar students continue protest

    Students have spoken of a standoff with police in which officers fired tear gas at them at the dormitories of al-Azhar University in Cairo. 

    A security official said on Sunday that students at the university had hurled rocks at the police and tried to block traffic on a major thoroughfare outside the campus in eastern Cairo.

    Student Spokesman Mahmoud Salah said the police later left the area, and protesters who had taken cover inside the dorm went out to continue their protest.

    Salah said the students had lit a fire at the dorm gates to lessen the impact of tear gas fired by the police. 

    He said a number of students were injured and that the police fired shotgun pellets.

    The security agencies always deny using them.

    [Al Jazeera and AP]
  • Egypt: A case of selective justice?
    As more demonstrators appear in court, Inside Story looks back at the 12 pro-Morsi protesters sentenced to 17 years in prison and asks what is behind the verdict.

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