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Egypt Media Roundup (December 19)

[Hundreds gather outside Coptic Orthodox Cathedral after the church explosion. Photo from Aswat Masriya.] [Hundreds gather outside Coptic Orthodox Cathedral after the church explosion. 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

Church bombing hurt all Egyptians, Pope Tawadros says Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II said that the St. Peter Church bombing that killed twenty-five people and left tens injured hurt all Egyptians, after funeral prayers for the victims. 

Death toll of church bombing rises to 26 - health ministry Death toll of the St. Peter and St. Paul church bombing increased to twenty-six after the death of a seventy-year old woman who sustained serious injuries caused by the explosion, the Ministry of Health said on Friday. 

Egypt to compensate families of Cairo church bombing victims The Egyptian cabinet decided in a meeting on Saturday to issue compensations to the families of the victims of the Sunday bombing at the St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Cairo.

Egyptian prosecution orders detention of four people 15 days over church bombing Egyptian prosecution ordered on Wednesday the detention of four people, including a woman, fifteen days pending investigation into the recent bombing of St. Peter and St. Paul church in Cairo. 

Egypt’s interior ministry links Muslim Brotherhood to church bombing Egypt’s interior ministry said on Monday that people in connection with Muslim Brotherhood group were behind the bombing of St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Cairo.

Sisi: Suicide bomber responsible for attack on St. Peter and St. Paul Church President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi identified Mahmoud Shafiq Mohamed Mostafa as the person responsible for Sunday’s attack on St. Peter and St. Paul Church, saying the blast came from an explosive belt the twenty-two-year-old was wearing.

What we know about the man Sisi named the St. Peter and St. Paul Church bomber Mahmoud Shafiq Mohamed Mostafa, the man identified by Egyptian authorities as the perpetrator of the St. Peter and St. Paul church bombing was reportedly arrested in 2014 in Hawatem Square in Fayoum along with a colleague, according to lawyer Yasmine Hossam al-Din, who represented him at the time.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry attacks HRW, Amnesty for statements on Sunday’s church bombing Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release on Wednesday denouncing recent statements by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on the deadly bombing of St. Peter and St. Paul Church on Sunday, defending the state’s attempts to tackle terrorism.

HRW says Egypt's law on irregular migration 'fails to affirm important refugee rights' Human Rights Watch praised on Thursday Egypt’s first law on irregular migration but said that it “fails to affirm important refugee rights”.

Number of imprisoned journalists reaches global high, Egypt 3rd worst offender: CPJ According to the Committee to Protect Journalists 2016 has seen a record number of journalists jailed worldwide, marking the worst year on record with an unprecedented 259 behind bars. 

Parliament disregards Journalists Syndicate in passing media regulators law: syndicate head The Journalists Syndicate has decried the decision by Parliament to pass legislation on Wednesday that created press and media regulatory agencies, saying in an official statement that the law does not reflect months of negotiation between stakeholders and government officials.

1 defendant in Belady Foundation case released on bail for health reasons A Cairo Criminal Court released one detainee involved in Belady Foundation case, in which several detainees, including Egyptian-American Aya Hegazy, face charges of child abuse.

Review of Azza Soliman’s, other rights workers’ asset freezes, adjourned to December 14 A final decision regarding the recommendation by an investigative judge to freeze the assets of human rights defender Azza Soliman and the organization she heads was postponed Monday to 14 December.

Court suspends sentence against writer Ahmed Naji, release imminent: Lawyer The two-year prison sentence against writer Ahmed Naji, who has been jailed since February on charges of public indecency, was suspended on Sunday pending review on 1 January, 2017.

Egypt prosecution orders detention of four policemen over custody death Egypt’s Prosecutor General ordered early on Sunday the detention of four policemen for four days pending investigations into the death of fish vendor Magdy Makeen in police custody.

Police officer, 9 police personnel charged with fatal torture of Magdy Makeen West Cairo prosecution charged a commissioned police officer and nine enlisted officers from Amereya Police Station with fatal torture on Sunday, in relation to the death of fifty-year-old cart driver Magdy Makeen.

Egyptian authorities confirm trace of explosives on remains of EgyptAir MS804 victims Egypt investigators confirmed on Thursday that trace amounts of explosives were found on the remains of victims of the EgyptAir flight MS804 that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea while en route from Paris to Cairo, according to a statement published by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Egypt promises to repatriate French victims of EgyptAir MS804 on receipt of investigation results After withholding the remains of victims from crashed EgyptAir MS804 for seven months, Egypt’s General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek announced on Saturday that they would be returned to their families upon the State Security Agency’s receipt of investigation results.

Egypt bans son of Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden from entry Egyptian authorities banned on Saturday son of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden from entering the country.

Chairman of Business News denies belonging to the Brotherhood Chairman of Business News Mostafa Sakr denies belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or any political faction, after the state committee charged with reviewing Muslim Brotherhood assets decided to freeze Sakr’s assets on Wednesday including the company.

Egypt's Sisi appoints new commanders for Navy and Air Defense Forces Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on Saturday in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, appointing new commanders for Air Defense Forces and Navy Forces.

Top Swiss prosecutor says probe into Egypt frozen funds 'nears final phase' The Attorney General of Switzerland Michael Lauber said on Saturday that investigations into the assets of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and associates are approaching a final phase and that tens of million of Swiss francs have recently been released

Economy

IMF’s failure to meet transparency timeframe on Egypt’s loan suggests government objections: EIPR The IMF has failed to meet its timeframe for publishing its staff report on Egypt’s economy, and other documents relevant to the loan, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

IMF intervention: Lessons from Asia and Latin America On 11 November, Egypt received the first installment of a three-year, twelve billion USD International Monetary Fund loan, a move countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America know too well from their own experiences during economic crises throughout the 1990s.

Egypt's pound weakens to almost 19 per dollar as banks seek dollar flows The Egyptian pound weakened on Wednesday as banks paid more to buy dollars from clients in an effort to attract dollar liquidity into the banking system, but volumes remain low.

Foreign Relations

Egypt's President Sisi calls for uniting international efforts to fight terrorism Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has reiterated his call on uniting efforts to fight terrorism in the wake of the St Paul Church bombing in Cairo Sunday that killed twenty-six in his meeting with Volcar Chowder, the head of the parliamentary bloc of the ruling coalition in the German Bundestag on Saturday.

Egyptian FM denounces GCC statement implicating Qatar in church bombing The Foreign Ministry denounced the Gulf Cooperation Council’s position on Egypt’s statements following the bombing of St. Peter and St. Paul Church in a statement on Friday.

Egypt reiterates its call for a political resolution to end Syrian conflict Egypt’s permanent ambassador to the UN Amr Abouelatta said the Syrian conflict embarks on a new level of a comprehensive war that will not settle down except by a political resolution.

Egypt condemns blast targeting Yemeni soldiers Egypt’s foreign ministry condemned on Sunday an attack that killed at least forty-eight Yemeni soldiers in Aden and left eighty-four people injured.

Domestic Security

Authorities execute Adel Habara, security forces on high alert in northern Sinai The Interior Ministry’s Prisons Authority announced that it carried out the death sentence issued against forty-year-old Adel Mohamed Ibrahim, commonly known as Adel ‘Habara,’ on Thursday morning. He was convicted of an attack on security forces in 2013.

Conscript, militant killed in exchange of fire in Giza - agency A conscript and a militant were killed in an exchange of fire in Sixth of October City on Saturday, a source at the Giza security directorate said. 

From Jadaliyya Egypt

How Not to Understand Egypt’s Sectarianism Paul Sedra frames the recent sectarian tragedy in relation to commentary by Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, arguing that such statements embrace the very sectarian logic of governance that continues to prevail in Egypt under Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi – a sectarian logic that makes the violence we have witnessed of late more rather than less likely.

Two Stories by Radwa Ashour Two short stories by Egyptian author Radwa Ashour, translated by Emily Drumsta

In Memoriam: A Coptic Eucharist Adel Iskandar examines the public response to the recent sectarian tragedy as yet another moment of revisionism, of revolutionary promise, and of honesty in the face of death that is buried at the hands of the usual suspects—the state and the church.

Arabic

طلبات للتحفظ على أموال مزيد من الحقوقيين.. وغموض بشأن مصير قانون الجمعيات Cairo’s criminal court postponed ruling on asset freeze of Azza Solaiman and other human rights defenders to 14 December session.

لجنة التحقيق: آثار مواد متفجرة في رفات ضحايا الطائرة المصرية المنكوبة Forensic report reveals explosion downed EgyptAir airplane that crashed in the Mediterranean after detecting traces of explosives on remains of victims.

تعديلات دستورية مرتقبة: تعزيز السلطة العسكرية على القضاء  Members of parliament are tasked with drafting legislative and constitutional amendments as the government calls for the referral of convicted civilians to military courts.

مصر | الأقباط بعد «البطرسية»: أكثر من غضب أقل من ثورة The latest Cairo church attack against civilians prompts reconsideration of Copts and state relations

شريف عازر يكتب: متى سنعترف بفشل الحل الأمني في مواجهة الإرهاب؟ Despite of the intensified state’s measures to combat terrorism, Egypt is still threatened and in a dire need of reconsideration of its security strategy and practices.

حتى لا ننسى.. 5 أعوام على أحداث مجلس الوزراء: معركة رفض الجنزوري التي خلفت 17 شهيدًا على باب الحكومة Egypt is marking five years since the cabinet clashes incident took place between security forces and protesters in 2011 and resulted in dozens of deaths.

الداخلية: غلق 163 حسابا على "التواصل الاجتماعي" لتحريضهم ضد الدولة Egypt’s interior ministry blocked one hundred sixty three social media accounts and arrested fourteen people accused of “inciting violence against the state”.  

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