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Egypt Media Roundup (October 3)

[Lawyers demonstrate in front of Egypt's High Court against the value-added tax law on 1 October, 2016. Photo from Aswat Masriya.] [Lawyers demonstrate in front of Egypt's High Court against the value-added tax law on 1 October, 2016. Photo from Aswat Masriya.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] 

Political Rights

Stories from the shores of Rashid An examination of why migrants took to the sea, how they survived, and how some lost their loved ones.

Sisi: State development projects could solve migration pressures President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi argued state-led development projects could resolve irregular migration pressures, in an address that was broadcast to the nation on Monday.

Sisi promises hope, job opportunities after migrant boat capsize President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Egyptians not to leave their country, during a speech on Monday, a few days after a boat capsized off Egypt's Mediterranean coast killing more than 160 migrants.

Egypt recovers capsized migrant boat, as confirmed death toll rises to at least 184 Egyptian rescue workers have recovered the wreckage of a vessel that capsized six days ago in Mediterranean waters with hundreds of migrants on board.

Update: death toll of migrant boat capsize reaches 202 The number of bodies recovered in the aftermath of a migrant boat capsize has reached 202.

Egypt arrests owner, crew of shipwrecked migrant boat Egyptian authorities have arrested the owner and crew members of a boat that sank last week carrying hundreds of migrants, the security chief of Beheira province was quoted as saying by state media on Wednesday.

Migration as agency Over the last few days, the personal views of different people — expressed through chats in taxi rides, while awaiting bank turns and coming out of television sets — has sounded like a single chorus coming together from different places. Lina Attalah examines how it is this pervasive single chorus that is the product of tightly enmeshed political propaganda and personal belief that is capable of turning one’s city, or entire country, into an open-air prison.

HRW sheds light on abuses inside al-Aqrab prison Human Rights Watch called on the Interior Ministry to end violations committed against prisoners in al-Aqrab maximum-security prison, allow visits and ensure regular access to doctors and medical treatment.

Giulio Regeni: From a small village to a world cause Lina Attalah traces Giulio Regini’s political, social, and geographic life trajectory before his untimely death.

Civil society organizations call for end to draconian abortion law The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights released a statement calling for amendments to legal provisions on abortion, demanding that women be permitted legal access to safe abortions in cases where pregnancy constitutes a threat to the woman’s life or health or if the pregnancy is the result of rape.

Women council to file complaint against MP for proposing college virginity tests Egypt’s National Council for Women will file a complaint against the member of parliament who proposed that female students undergo mandatory virginity tests before being admitted to university. 

Dozens of lawyers gather in demonstration against VAT law Dozens of lawyers gathered on Saturday in a demonstration in front of Egypt's High Court in protest against the recently-passed value-added tax law.

Supreme Constitutional Court to rule on protest law articles in December Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court is scheduled to issue its ruling regarding the constitutionality of articles 7 and 19 of the controversial protest law on 3 December.

Court blocks previous ruling voiding Tiran and Sanafir transfer to Saudi Arabia The Court for Urgent Matters issued a decision on Wednesday to halt implementation of an administrative court ruling that annulled the Egyptian-Saudi Arabian maritime border agreement under which Tiran and Sanafir islands had been transferred to the Gulf country.

Mohamed Badran resigns as president of Nation’s Future Party The Nation’s Future Party – largely seen in 2014 as the political party closest to the ruling regime – announced in a statement issued on Monday that party President Mohamed Badran has resigned.

Court order dissolves Commercial Professions Syndicate board A court ordered the dissolution of the Syndicate of Commercial Professions’ executive boards on Monday, placing the syndicate under court-appointed custody until new board members are elected.

Egypt court orders release of journalist, two others accused of inciting protests A criminal court ordered the release of journalist Mahmoud al-Saqqa and two others on bail on Thursday around five months after their arrest for inciting protests.

Egypt court orders retrial for 2 policemen convicted of torturing lawyer to death Egypt's Court of Cassation overturned on Saturday a five year jail sentence issued to two national security police officers over the torturing of a lawyer to death while in custody in 2015, ordering a retrial.

Economy

Beltone Financial: Sisi's speech indicates the pound will be floated soon Egypt’s largest asset management firm Beltone Financial said it is likely the pound will be floated imminently, based on warning signs from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s Monday address.

Egyptian pound to be floated within hours: Beltone Financial In a report issued Sunday morning, investment bank Beltone Financial predicted Egypt’s Central Bank would weaken the Egyptian pound to between 11.5 and 12.5 LE to the dollar tomorrow or the following day, diminishing it by as much as forty percent of its current official value

CAPMAS: Tourist arrivals decrease by over 50% in 2016 Tourist arrivals to Egypt in the first half of 2016 have declined by 51.2 percent in a comparison with last year’s figures, according to a report published on Monday by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

Industrial action roundup: Protesters demand employment, as transport strike organizers remain in detention Egyptians from various labor sectors across Egypt have mobilized in the past few days to pursue improvements in labor conditions and gainful employment in accord with previous government decrees, including protests organized by tree planters outside the Agriculture Ministry in Giza, demonstrations by postgraduates demanding employment opportunities outside the Cabinet’s headquarters in Cairo and the continued detention of six Cairo Public Transport Authority workers who had organized a strike that was suppressed by the government.

Prosecution detains labor strike leaders, accuses them of Brotherhood ties Six labor leaders from the Public Transport Authority arrested last Saturday in dawn raids were remanded in pre-trial detention, as the General Prosecution accused them of being members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization, inciting strikes and disturbing public order.

Foreign Relations

Russia lifts ban on import of Egyptian fruits and vegetables The Russian Ministry of Commerce announced on Monday that it would lift the temporary ban that had been imposed last week on the import of Egyptian fruits and vegetables, with the decision following negotiations with an Egyptian delegation to Moscow and the receipt of a Russian wheat shipment.

Egypt's Foreign Minister to attend funeral of Israel's Shimon Peres Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Domestic Security

Car bomb detonates near assistant attorney general in New Cairo, injuring at least 1 person At least one person was injured when a car bomb detonated in New Cairo on Thursday night.

Egypt's assistant prosecutor general survives bomb attack - MOI Egypt's assistant prosecutor general Zakaria Abdel Aziz has survived a car bomb attack targeting his convoy on Thursday night, according to a statement by interior ministry.

Recently-emerged militant group claims attack on Egyptian prosecutor A recently-emerged militant group called the Hasm Movement claimed responsibility on Friday for an assassination attempt on a senior Egyptian prosecutor, saying it was in revenge for death sentences handed to thousands of convicts.

Three civilian workers killed, three injured in IED explosion in North Sinai's Arish Three workers in an electrical company were killed and three of their colleagues were injured when the vehicle transporting them to work hit an IED in the west of Al Arish city in North Sinai. 

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