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Egypt Media Roundup (September 11)

[Egyptian and American paratroopers conduct joint training exercises. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.] [Egyptian and American paratroopers conduct joint training exercises. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.]

[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

UN committee calls torture in Egypt a systemic practice The UN Committee Against Torture describes abuse of human rights in Egypt as routine practice in an annual report presented to the UN General Assembly. The report revealed the results of a five-year investigation launched in 2012 following complaints submitted by al-Karama Foundation regarding the issue.

Human Rights Watch: Torture a widespread practice under Sisi Torture is standardized practice under president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to a report issued by the New York-based Human Rights Watch on Wednesday morning. The investigation is based on interviews with people who were subjected to torture between 2014 and 2016.

Egypt Slams HRW Report Accusing It of “Systematic Torture Practices of Detainees” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Wednesday refuting the latest report of the international rights organization Human Rights Watch that tackled the human rights status in Egypt.

Egyptian judge lifts probationary measures on members of satirical trouppe Street Children A judge lifted on Saturday the one-year-old preventative probationary measures on four members of the Egyptian satirical performance troupe Atfal al-Shawaree, according to their lawyer Amr Mohamed.

Egypt court issues preliminary death sentences against 11 on terror-related charges Giza Criminal Court sentenced Saturday eleven members of what is known in the media as the “Giza terrorist cell” to death on a number of terror-related charges.

Court upholds ruling striking down ban on lawyers entering State Security Prosecution offices A 2016 judicial ruling striking down a decision that barred lawyers from entering the State Security Prosecution’s Cairo offices was upheld on Saturday by Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court.

RSF criticizes takeover of Egyptian media outlets by pro-state businessmen The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders has condemned the increasing acquisition of Egypt’s media outlets by businessmen close to the government and intelligence services in a report issued on Tuesday, following the takeover of the privately owned Al-Hayat channel.

Mada Masr court case adjourned to October 1 The case filed by Mada Masr requesting the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to reveal the legal and administrative grounds for the blocking of its website has been adjourned to 1 October by the administrative court, as per a request by the government representative to review the case documents.

MCIT and UNDP Launch the ‘Internet of Things’ to Support Persons with Disabilities The United Nations Development Program, in partnership with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and Telecom Egypt are launching an innovation Competition titled “The Internet of Things” to support persons with disabilities.

More than 14 million Egyptians unable to read and write: CAPMAS More than fourteen million people above the age of ten are illiterate in Egypt, the country's official statistics agency announced on Thursday.

Singing march in Aswan lands 24 Nubian protesters in detention Twenty four Nubians were ordered to remain in detention for four days late on Monday, after they were arrested in Aswan on Sunday during a singing march over the return of their lands.

Switzerland halts ‘mutual legal assistance’ with Egypt in Mubarak family funds case Swiss judicial authorities have decided to halt mutual legal assistance to the Egyptian government in the investigations into the funds of former President Hosni Mubarak, his family and others, as the investigations have not yielded any tangible results, according to a statement issued by the Swiss Embassy in Cairo on Wednesday.

Economy

Cairo’s white taxis enter the world of smart phones through Whatsapp Taxi Amid a proliferation of transportation apps like Uber and Careem, five Cairo taxi drivers have launched a new initiative to organize operations with their clients internally through a primitive system.

Foreign Relations

Egypt’s President al-Sisi Arrives in China to Attend BRICS Summit Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrives in Xiamen, China to attend the ninth BRICS Summit held between 31 August and 4 September, 2017.

Sisi holds talks with Putin on sidelines of BRICS summit in China Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday, on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen.

Egypt approves deal with Russia to build first nuclear power plant Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said on Tuesday that the contract with Russia to build the Dabaa nuclear power station has been finalized and approved by the cabinet.

Putin announces plan to visit Egypt for ceremony at Dabaa nuclear site Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he plans to visit Egypt soon, responding to an invitation from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Dabaa nuclear power plant on Egypt's Mediterranean coast.

Russian flights to Egypt could resume within one month once ban is lifted: Russian minister Russian passenger flights to Egypt could resume within one month once the two-year-old Russia’s ban on flights to Egypt is lifted, Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov said on Thursday, though he did not specify when flights may resume.

Washington still deliberating cuts in aid package to Cairo: Egypt foreign ministry The Egyptian foreign ministry said on Thursday that the US is still discussing whether it will be introducing cuts to its financial aid package to Cairo for the fiscal year 2018.

US and Egypt to resume joint military training operation after 8 years US and Egyptian Armed Forces are set to resume joint training exercises known as “Operation Bright Star” from 10-20 September, after an eight-year hiatus, with a focus on anti-terrorism training, the spokesperson for the Egyptian military said in a statement on Tuesday.

INTERVIEW: Former commander of joint operations Qashqoush on resumption of Egypt-US military exercises The Bright Star maneuvers are an important indicator of the state of military relations between the two countries. Mohamed Qashqoush, general chief-of-staffs and professor of national security at the Higher Nasser Military Academy who served as the commander of joint operations, discusses the implications.

Egypt is keen to elevate principles of citizenship and equality: Sisi to the American NCC Representatives of the American National Council of Churches praised Egyptian efforts to combat terrorism and renew religious discourse.

Egypt's defence minister heads to S.Korea to discuss military cooperation Egypt's defense minister Sedky Sobhy headed to South Korea on Saturday upon an invitation from his South Korean counterpart Song Young-moo with the aim of boosting military cooperation between the two countries.

Egypt’s Sisi praises Vietnam's economic development during first visit to Hanoi Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi praised on Wednesday Vietnam’s economic and industrial achievements during the first-ever visit by an Egyptian president to Han.

Italian Ambassador to Return to Egypt Next Week: Italy’s FM Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano announced on Monday that Italian ambassador to Egypt will return to take up his position in Cairo on 14 September.

After Regeni, ambassadors to return and state leaders to meet A brief meeting is reportedly being set up between Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to be held in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to an Egyptian diplomatic source.

Egypt court releases Italian tourist accused of killing hotel manager on bail pending investigation A Hurghada Court has ordered on Sunday the release on bail of an Italian tourist allegedly involved in beating an Egyptian hotel manager to death in the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam mid August pending investigation.

Czech Ambassador: Egyptian authorities delay Hurghada attack results for fear of dissuading tourists Egyptian authorities are drawing out an investigation into a knife attack in Hurghada that resulted in the deaths of three tourists, for fear of negatively affecting tourism, Czech Ambassador to Egypt Veronika Kuchynová Šmigolová told the publically owned Radio Prague on 30 August.

Egypt's Azhar decries 'failure of global conscience' on Rohingya Muslims, calls for action Al-Azhar has condemned the violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called on international organizations and Arab and Muslim countries to intervene to end it.

Bodies of 13 Egyptian migrants found in Libya The bodies of thirteen Egyptian migrants were found 200 kilometers south of the city of Tobruk in Libya by an army patrol on Wednesday, according to Libyan Red Crescent Spokesperson Fatima al-Obaidy. The patrol later contacted the Red Crescent.

Domestic Security

Rafah: The city of blood and desertion Recounting August days of heightened bloodshed in the fight between the military and militants in North Sinai’s Rafah.

Police Forces Kill 7 Suspected Terrorists in Shoot Out in Giza At least seven suspected terrorists have been killed in a shoot out on Sunday after the police security forces had raided two apartments in al-Agouza district.

UPDATE: 10 militants dead, nine Egyptian policemen wounded in Cairo shootout Ten militants were killed and nine policemen were injured on Sunday in a shootout in central Cairo's al-Agouza district as police were executing a raid, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.

Egyptian military arrests two militants in central Sinai: Spox The Egyptian military arrested two "extremely dangerous" militants in central Sinai and seized two cars carrying a large amount of drugs, the military's spokesman said in a statement on Friday.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

Egypt’s Power Game: Why Cairo is Boosting its Military Power Recent spending patterns in Egypt pose a dilemma. While experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades, which involves a dwindling of resources, a sharp currency devaluation and an acute shortage of foreign exchange, levels of military spending in Egypt have dramatically increased. How can the two trends be reconciled?

Arabic

فاقد الحجة لا يرد إنما يحجب The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms issued a statement denouncing the authorities' blockage of its website.

في اليوم العالمي لمحو الأمية.. واحد من كل خمسة مصريين لا يعرف القراءة  According to the Egyptian Center for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the rate of illiteracy among Egyptians hasn't changed since last year recording twenty percent of Egyptians who can't read or write.

رغم انعقاد أول اجتماعاته..«الأعلى لمكافحة الإرهاب» لم يستوف الشروط القانونية  The formation of the Supreme Council to Combat Terrorism and Extremism did not meet the legal measures yet as it should be approved by Parliament.

أهالي النوبة ينتظرون وعد «عبد العال».. ومخاوف الأجهزة الأمنية تمنع التوطين  Despite government promises, the Nubian issue continues to ignite tension without clear solutions in sight.

النوبة على صفيح ساخن بعد القبض على شباب مسيرة الدفوف  Security forces arrested twenty-four Nubians in Aswan over unauthorized protest demanding the right to return to their lands as stated in the constitution, sparking outrage among Nubians.

»الضوابط الجديدة للتحفظ على الأموال والمنع من السفر بتعديلات «الإجراءات الجنائية  The new amendments to the Penal Code provided for obligations concerning the prevention of defendants from money disposition as well as imposing travel ban.

بحظر السياسة وإدخال تعديل على طباعة العملة.. «قانون البنوك الجديد» يضبط القطاع المصرفي  The Egyptian Center for Legal and Economic Studies issued a recent study on the new banks law.

بعد تجميد المساعدات الأمريكية.. ما هي فرص تعديل قانون «الجمعيات الأهلية الجديد»؟  The article reflects on the extent to which the latest US aid cuts to Egypt would put a pressure on the Egyptian government to introduce amendments to the controversial NGOs law.

مُصادرة الصحف.. متى تتوقف الوصاية على الصحافة في مصر؟  Egyptian authorities continue to muzzle the press through the seizure of newspapers critical of the government.

نصف في المائة.. نصيب النساء في منصة القضاء  Egyptian women are unfairly represented in the Supreme Council for the Judiciary, transmitting a culture of gender inequality since decades.

الترويج للعاصمة الإدارية الجديدة.. الحكومة تحاول الخروج من مأزق التمويل  The new Cairo capital failed to secure the needed financial support, amid calls for foreign investments.  

"ردود فعل متباينة حول تقرير "هيومن رايتس ووتش Human Rights Watch report on the current human rights situation in al-Sisi’s Egypt sparked intense reactions between opponents and proponents of the regime. 

النجم الساطع" و"الصداقة".. مناورات عسكرية مصرية مع القطبين"  Egypt military announced preparations for joint military exercises with the US and Russia.

ارتفاع متواضع لاحتياطي النقد الأجنبي في أغسطس  Egypt’s central Bank announced Wednesday that foreign exchange reserves recorded a slight increase by 107 billion dollars at the end of August.

النقض» تقرر عدم تنفيذ تعديلات «الإجراءات الجنائية والطعن» بأثر رجعي« The Public Authority for the consolidation of Legal Principles dismissed the Cassation Court’s provisions to amend Criminal Procedure Law issued last April. 

Quick Thoughts

Quick Thoughts is designed to provide our readers with background and analysis on topics in the news. We take our cue from current events, and ask informed observers to provide short-form commentary and context. The focus of Quick Thoughts is on the Middle East, but the column is intended to be global in reach. Send your commentary to info@Jadaliyya.com