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Egypt Media Roundup (April 3)

[Posters from the #FreedomFirst counter-campaign highlighting the plight of Egypt’s political prisoners launched in Washington, DC ahead of President Sisi's visit. Photo from The New Arab Twitter page.] [Posters from the #FreedomFirst counter-campaign highlighting the plight of Egypt’s political prisoners launched in Washington, DC ahead of President Sisi's visit. Photo from The New Arab Twitter 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

CPJ denounces Egypt’s continuous detention of journalists Ahead of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s meeting with Donald Trump on Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement condemning the continuous detention of twenty-five journalists in Egypt’s prisons and detention centers.

Egypt court upholds 'terror group' designation for leading Muslim Brotherhood figures Egypt's Court of Cassation rejected on Sunday an appeal by eighteen Muslim Brotherhood members against an order placing them on an official list of "terrorist organizations."

Egypt court issues preliminary death sentence against controversial Muslim preacher Wagdy Ghonim A Cairo criminal court issued a preliminary death sentence on Sunday against controversial Muslim preacher Wagdy Ghonim and two other men after they were convicted of inciting to murder security forces and Christians.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry agrees to transfer detainee with rare infection to private hospital The Interior Ministry announced its willingness to transfer detainee Ahmed al-Khatib to a private hospital for medical treatment after he was diagnosed with the rare visceral leishmaniasis infection.

Copts, analysts dismiss church claims they can move freely in Sinai North Sinai Bishop Father Quzman claims Coptic Christians in Arish are “not besieged” and can move relatively freely, contrary to stories from Copts themselves and recent media reports.

Court of Urgent Matters rules in favor of Tiran and Sanafir agreement, lawyers say court has no jurisdiction A January ruling that rejected the government’s controversial plan to transfer Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia has been annulled.

Parliamentary committee approves judicial appointment bill in surprise move Parliament’s Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee has approved a bill which grants the president powers to appoint Egypt’s top judicial posts. The decision, which affects all judicial branches, has been decried as a blow to the independence of the judiciary.

Judges take on escalatory measures against judicial appointment bill A number of judicial authorities announced their rejection of a draft law that passed a preliminary vote earlier this week and grants the president the power to appoint the heads of Egypt’s top judicial bodies, pointing to the growing tension between legislative and judicial authorities over the proposed amendments to the law.

One detained, 5 released in mob sexual harassment incident in Zagazig Police detained a seventeen-year-old boy on Friday in Sharqiya’s Zagazig city after the victim of a mob sexual harassment incident identified him as one of the perpetrators. Five other suspects were released.

Egyptian judge jailed for life over drug trafficking Suez Criminal Court on Saturday handed down a lifetime jail sentence against a judge arrested in possession of dozens of kilograms of cannabis in November 2016.

Economy

What does news that Amazon will come to the Middle East mean for consumers? Amazon announced this week that it had acquired Souq.com, the major e-commerce website in the Middle East, in a deal that has long been speculated over and whose final value came in at 650 million USD. While Amazon described both companies as “sharing the same DNA,” the question remains as to how the company’s foray into the region will affect consumers and the e-commerce market.

BP announces discovery of new gas field in Nile Delta British Petroleum announced the discovery of a gas field off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt’s Damietta governorate, with BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley asserting that “this latest discovery confirms our belief that the Nile Delta is a world-class basin,” in a statement issued Monday.

Egypt sees increase in tourist bookings: Thomas Cook UK tour company Thomas Cook announced on Tuesday that it is seeing a rise in bookings by holidaymakers looking to visit Egypt and Turkey for the summer season.

Egypt may face fresh water shortage by 2025 The ongoing reduction in Egypt’s Nile fresh water may subject the country to fresh water and energy shortages by 2025, according to a report published in the Geological Society of America’s March issue.

Foreign Relations

Egypt's Sisi arrives in Jordan for Arab League summit Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi arrived in Jordan Tuesday afternoon to attend this year's Arab League summit, which will see the attendance of a much larger number of Arab leaders than last year's gathering.

Rival campaigns mount ahead of President Sisi’s visit to the US US supporters of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are planning a solidarity march during his meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington DC on Monday, amid a counter-campaign highlighting the plight of Egypt’s political prisoners led by Muslim Brotherhood affiliates.

Egyptian MPs in Washington to rally support against Muslim Brotherhood in Congress circles Two Egyptian members of parliament who are members of a delegation currently visiting Washington said they met a number of US Congress leaders to gather support for designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in the United States.

Egypt's Sisi to focus on economy in trip to Washington: FM Shoukry President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will focus on Egypt's economy during his trip to Washington, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a televised interview Sunday.

Egypt, Jordan renew call for Palestinian state ahead of US visits Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed their commitment to a two-state solution to the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict in a tripartite gathering in Jordan on Wednesday.

Israel issues level 1 travel warning urging citizens to leave Sinai Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning on Monday warning citizens to avoid traveling to the Sinai Peninsula, and urging those present to leave the area immediately.

Ireland to send medical expert to assess health of detainee Ibrahim Halawa The Irish government has stated it will send an independent medical expert to assess the health of Irish-Egyptian political detainee Ibrahim Halawa, who has been imprisoned in Egypt since August 2013, according to a report by the Irish Times.

Domestic Security

Egypt's army reveals identity of Ansar Beit El-Maqdes founder killed after North Sinai airstrikes Egypt's army has named a prominent leader of militant group Ansar Beit El-Maqdis who it said was killed by the Egyptian armed forces weeks ago.

Update: 1 killed, 5 critically injured in explosion outside Tanta police facility Low-ranking police officer Mohamed Nofal died Saturday night from his injuries after an explosion targeting a police training facility in Gharbiya’s Tanta city on Friday.

Hassm expands armed operations from Sinai into Nile Delta The armed Islamist Hassm movement has claimed responsibility for a Sunday explosion that occurred in the town of Bahtim located in Nile Delta governorate of Qalyubiya.

Province of Sinai militants release footage of religious policing in North Sinai Islamic State-affiliate Province of Sinai released a promotional video on Tuesday showing members of the organization carrying out what it alleges to be Hisba, or religious policing. The group claimed the footage is from locations in North Sinai, which it did not identify

Militant group Lewaa al-Thawra condoles 4 of its members in video The Islamist militant group Lewaa al-Thawra released footage on Monday condoling four of its “martyrs” and pledging to continue its operations in Egypt. 

Egypt army kills 14 top dangerous takfiri elements in Sinai Egypt's army killed fourteen Takfiris and arrested twenty-one others during the past 2 days in northern Sinai, as part of the troops' continued operations in the peninsula to uproot terrorists.

Army gains full control of al-Halal mountain in Sinai The Egyptian Armed Forces has declared its complete control over al-Halal mountain after purging all the caves, killing several extremists, arresting others and confiscating huge amounts of ammunition.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

الوضع العارض والمؤقت للشباب: ريادة الأعمال ليست حلاً  Linda Herrara examines how labor economist Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class speaks more pointedly to the realities of many young people in the Middle East and North Africa than the much-anticipated 2016 Arab Human Development Report.

إسطنبول.. لجوء في انتظار اللجوء  Yasser Ashour recounts the stories and struggles of asylum seekers in Istanbul.

Arabic

)زيارة السيسي إلى أمريكا تعزز المشاركة بين القاهرة وواشنطن (تحليل  Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s visit to Washington will seek to strengthen US-Egypt strategic ties.

»وقفة أمام «الأطباء» للمطالبة بالإفراج الصحي عن «الخطيب  Dozens of activists rallied at the Egyptian Medical Syndicate headquarter calling for the urgent release of prisoner Ahmad al-Khatib on medical grounds.  

»السجن المشدد 5 و7 سنوات لـ10 متهمين في «اقتحام محكمة ملوي Military Court hands ten defendants five to seven years prison sentences, while acquitting two others accused of storming Malwy police station in Minya.

رئيس «اقتصادية النواب»: حجم الدَّيْن العام بالموازنة الجديدة 3.5 تريليون جنيه  The increasing public debt in Egypt negatively affects the country’s economic growth.

التعليم العالي» تعلن الانتهاء من اللائحة الطلابية الجديدة«  The new student bylaw finalized, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced.

»نقابة الأطباء: منظومة الصحة تعاني من «الفساد  The Egyptian healthcare system is corrupt and is failing to provide the essential services, according to the Doctors’ Syndicate. 

وزير الشباب: «تعويم الجنيه» أوقف تنفيذ معظم المشروعات الرياضية Major sports projects were suspended since the floatation of the Egyptian pound, Minister of Youth and Sports disclosed.  

سلامة»: الصحافة تتعرض لمخاطر كبيرة ونحضر لمؤتمر لمناقشة مشاكل المهنة« The newly-elected Journalists’ Syndicate head Abdel Mohesn Salama vows to forge ahead despite challenges facing press freedom in Egypt.

أعضاء بمجلس «الصحفيين» يطالبون الداخلية بكشف مكان احتجاز بدر محمد  Members of Journalists Syndicate released a statement denouncing the arrest of journalist Badr Mohammed Badr former Editor-in-Chief of El Osra El Arabeya, who has been held without charge at an undisclosed detention site. 

المركزي» يوضح أسباب تثبيت الفائدة: تراجع معدل التضخم خلال فبراير«  Egypt’s Central Bank records a significant decline in the monthly inflation rate by 2.63 percent in February compared to 4.07 percent in January.

القاهرة والرياض: «تجاوز» تيران وصنافير... وعودة «الأموال»  Saudi Arabia announced that it will resume economic agreements with Egypt.

مصر | «استنفار» قضائي بمواجهة البرلمان: التعديلات لن تمر  Judicial bodies reject the judicial appointment bill which expands the president's power to appoint heads of judicial bodies, triggering a tension between the judiciary and parliament.

عودة مصرية مشروطة لمبادرة «حوض النيل» Egypt is likely to reactivate its membership in the Nile Basin Initiative after seven years of reservations against Entebbe Agreement.

هيئة الرقابة الإدارية: ذراع السيسي الضاربة في مصر The administrative supervisory authority tightens its control over political life in Egypt. 

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