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Egypt Media Roundup (November 7)

[Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, who has been detained for over three years pending trial. Photo from the Freedom for Shawkan Facebook page.] [Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, who has been detained for over three years pending trial. Photo from the Freedom for Shawkan Facebook page.]

[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

Reporters Without Borders labels Sisi a ‘press freedom predator’ The Paris-based international organization Reporters Without Borders has included Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on a list of “predators of press freedom.”

International Rights groups demand end to 'arbitrary' travel bans Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Egypt to lift the "abusive and arbitrary" travel bans imposed on human rights defenders after prominent defender Malek Adly was stopped from boarding his flight on Monday.

Rights lawyers skeptical of committee formed to review cases of young detainees Human rights lawyers raised questions over the new committee formed at the behest of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to look into cases of imprisoned youth.

Egypt's press union sends list of 29 detained journalists to win pardons The freedoms committee of Egypt's press syndicate has submitted a list of twenty-nine detained journalists to a new committee that President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi tasked with reviewing the cases of young people held in pretrial detention.

Higher Education Ministry demands private universities ban research deemed ‘insulting to friendly countries’ Minister of Higher Education Ashraf al-Shihy has published a statement obliging private universities to review all research papers and thesis dissertations to ensure they do not include any “direct or indirect insult to societies or individuals belonging to any brotherly or friendly countries.”

Al-Azhar University professor suspended on accusations of promoting atheism Professor of religion and philosophy at Al-Azhar University, Yousri Gaafar, was suspended from his post for three months, following claims he was promoting atheism to students in his classes.

Will the private sector save Egypt’s education plea? In a new public-private partnership, Egypt’s government announced a program to build schools in an attempt to address the chronic problem of classroom density in public schools, and to provide “good education with affordable tuition.”

Saturday in Egypt’s courts: Verdicts in several cases concerning members of ‘banned organizations’ A number of high-profile cases were heard Saturday in Egyptian courts, including a hearing to determine the fate of two men arrested at the Salloum border with Libya last year — accused of being members of an armed militant group, the trial of several defendants in relation to the assassination of former General Prosecutor Hesham Barakat in 2015 and a case concerning a raid on Tebeen Police Station in 2013. Mubarak-era Interior Minister Habib al-Adly’s hearing for squandering public funds was also adjourned Saturday.

'Returnees from Libya' sentenced to death, life in prison The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced two people arrested at the Salloum crossing with Libya to death for belonging to an armed group.

Libya returnees case lacks minimum standards of fair trial - Rights group The court verdict of the returnees from Libya case lacked the minimum standards of fair trial, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said in a statement on Sunday.

21 Morsi supporters sentenced to 15 years over 2013 violence charges A Cairo criminal court handed on Saturday fifteen-year jail terms to twenty-one supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi over 2013 violence-related charges.

Church construction law legitimises religious discrimination, says study The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights called on the parliament to amend the church construction law, saying it legitimizes an already dire condition for Copts in Egypt, in a report issued on Wednesday.

Egypt PM’s speech on floods and the economy provokes roars in Parliament Following the deaths of dozens of people in recent floods amid a worsening economic crisis, Egypt’s prime minister delivered a speech before Parliament that was met with laughter and critique.

Left-leaning Egyptian parliamentary bloc calls for rescinding 'disastrous' economic measures The 25-30 bloc, a small left-leaning coalition in Egypt's parliament, have called for a meeting with other Members of Parliament on Sunday to demand the rescinding of what it described as "disastrous" economic measures taken by the government on Thursday as well as the sacking of the cabinet.

ElBaradei’s statement breaks 3 years silence on post-June 30 violence Former Vice President for Foreign Affairs, Mohamed al-Baradei, said in a statement on Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of former President Mohamed Morsi’s arrest on 3 July until after it happened.

Economy

Egypt’s Central Bank floats pound, reports of historic foreign currency auction Egypt’s Central Bank floated the currency on Thursday, starting at a guidance price of thirteen pounds to the US dollar, with media reports suggesting it would offer four billion USD in a historic foreign currency auction.

Egyptian pound weakens in first day of interbank trading The Egyptian pound weakened against the dollar in the first day of interbank dealing after the government abandoned its US dollar peg last week.

Egypt to raise fuel prices by up to 47 percent at midnight Egypt is set to raise fuel prices for the second time since the start of a fiscal reform program in 2014, in an effort to curb a ballooning fiscal deficit hours after floating the exchange rate on Thursday.

Egypt Prime Minister paves the way for imminent price hikes Prime Minister Sherif Ismail paved the way for a hike in prices of some products and services, including metro fares, heralded by the decision to float the Egyptian pound.

Egypt's army distributes 'largest food supplies' in bid to ease economic hardships The Egyptian army announced on Tuesday it would distribute its "largest quantity of food supplies" to date at reduced prices nationwide, in a bid to help citizens survive current economic hardships.

Investment council lifts taxes, offers free land to attract investors The Supreme Investment Council, chaired by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has decided to lift taxes and offer free or discounted land in a bid to attract investors amid economic and political instability.

Sisi says military economy is 1.5% of Egypt’s GDP, but how accurate is this? The economic activities of Egypt’s Armed Forces is a topic that has been widely discussed in recent months, with analysts speculating as to how much the military economy constitutes of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Estimates generally range from five to forty percent.

Foreign Relations

Kerry lauds Egypt’s “important” economic reform measures  US Secretary of State John Kerry has praised Egypt on Saturday for undertaking “important steps” as part of the country’s ongoing economic reform program.

Egypt endorses new OIC secretary general candidate Egypt’s Foreign Ministry endorsed Youssef bin Ahmed al-Othaimeen for the position of the secretary general for Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in a statement on Monday, after his predecessor Iyad Madani, resigned from his position for “health reasons.”

Egypt, Jordan military drills to begin next week: PETRA Egypt and Jordan will conduct joint military drills next week at Jordan's Armed Forces/Arab Army military fields, Jordanian news agency Petra reported.

Egypt to hand over Regeni's belongings to Italy Egypt agreed on Tuesday to hand over documents belonging to Italian student Guilio Regeni who was found dead in Cairo in February, a joint statement by the Egyptian and Italian prosecution read.

Domestic Security

Two miltants killed in security raid in Cairo after exchange of fire Two militants were killed and five others wounded Thursday when security forces raided a suspected militant hideout in Gesr al-Suez district, East Cairo.

Egyptian army brigadier general shot dead in North Sinai An Egyptian army brigadier general was shot dead Friday afternoon in al-Arish in North Sinai, a military spokesman said.

Egypt General Prosecutor orders investigation into Nasr City explosion Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordered an investigation into the explosion of a car bomb that targeted a judge on Friday morning.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry arrests suspects allegedly responsible for murder of general prosecutor, other terrorist attacks The Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of several suspects in connection with the assassination of Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat in 2015 and the attempted assassination of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa in August, according to a statement made on its official Facebook page on Friday.

11 militants killed in North Sinai military operation: Army spokesman Egypt's military raided three major “armed terrorist hotspots” in North Sinai, killing eleven militants, the army’s spokesman announced in an official statement on Saturday.

Arabic

الملفات الأساسية في العلاقات المصرية السعودية: لا احتمالات كبيرة للخلاف The article claims that the Egyptian-Saudi crisis is temporary and will be settled in the long run.

النائب العام المساعد الإيطالي يبحث قضية مقتل ريجيني مع نظيره المصري في القاهرة  Italian assistant solicitor general resumes investigations of the death of Guilio Regeni with Egyptian officials.

أزمة السيول في مصرتتسبب في تعكرمياه نهرالنيل ووزارةالتضامن والأزهرالشريف يبدآن تعويض المتضررين  A dozen of people died in recent floods that hit Egypt and caused damages to land and property.

مجلس النواب المصري يهدد الحكومة بسحب الثقة لفشلها في مواجهة الأزمات Egyptian parliament threatens the government with a vote of no confidence for its failure to resolve the current crisis.

النصوص الكاملة لأهم الوثائق المقدمة من الحكومة لإثبات سعودية تيران وصنافير Mada Masr publishes documents related to the Egyptian sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir.

مصر | القاهرة تبحث عن بدائل نفطية: الخلاف مع الرياض يتعمق؟ Amid Egypt-Saudi tension, Cairo has been looking for alternatives to Saudi oil which led the Egyptian petroleum minister to visit Jordan and Iraq to explore petroleum supplies for Egypt.

بعد منع سفر مالك عدلي.. أمنيستيوهيومنرايتسووتش تحذران مصر  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Egyptian government to lift “abusive and arbitrary bans” against human rights activists.

تأجيل طعن هشام جنينة على حكم حبسه لإتمام إجراءات رد المحكمة  Court adjourns former head of central auditing Hesham Genein’s appeal against charges of disseminating false news to 10 November.

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