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Egypt court: Morsi’s election was fair

A sign reading that Mohamed Morsi is Egypt’s legitimate President during a conference to mark the fourth anniversary of the Rabaa massacre

An Egyptian criminal court yesterday upheld a previous ruling that the 2012 election of Mohamed Morsi was fair, Egyptian news website Ahram Gate reported.

Former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq filed a complaint alleging that the Egyptian Elections Committee rigged the outcome in Morsi’s favour.

Shafiq complained that some ballots were rigged in certain constituencies, but Judge Ahmed Khafagi told Al-Shorouk newspaper that there were no more than a few hundred questionable ballots and they were excluded from the count.

Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president. After ruling the country for one year he was ousted in a military coup that was led by his defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Al-Sisi is now the country’s president who rules with an iron fist. Since taking over power he has quashed people’s right to free speech and expression, banned protests and gatherings, and authorities have on numerous occasion been accused of human rights violations by rights activists.

Read: Egypt police raid website office, arrest editor in chief

(Source / 09.04.2018)

Election Silence in Egypt

People walk by a poster of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the upcoming presidential election, in Cairo, Egypt, March 1, 2018

Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi campaigned heavily before entering the stage of electoral silence on Saturday, ahead of a three-day vote that starts Monday.

According to the law, electoral campaigning should stop 48 hours before polls open for voters to choose between Sisi and Ghad Party head Moussa Mostafa Moussa.

Head of the National Election Authority (NEA) counselor Lashin Ibrahim expressed confidence that Egyptians are aware of the importance of participating in the elections, especially amid the huge challenges facing the country and the exerted efforts to support stability.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Ibrahim affirmed the integrity of the elections, noting that one of the major guarantors of the electoral process is the fact that NEA’s board of directors is made up of judicial figures, and that the voting process will be held under their supervision.

He added that across Egypt there are 13,687 voting committees, which are monitored by 367 public commissions. The electoral process is supervised by 18,678 judges who are assisted by 103,000 employees.

Ibrahim stressed that NEA is fully prepared for the presidential elections.

Meanwhile, Asharq Al-Awsat monitored some activities carried out by Sisi’s supporters. For example, Yalla Sisi campaign posted on Facebook pictures of its latest event in order to urge a huge turnout.

The campaign also held its concluding conference on Friday, emphasizing that the world is watching and a historic stance is being made.

He said the voters will lay the cornerstone for democracy by benefiting from their constitutional right to choose a president.

(Source / 24.03.2018)

British MPs ask to visit Mohamed Morsi in Egyptian prison

Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi attends a trial session over the Wadi el-Natrun prison case at Cairo Police Academy in Egypt on 26 February, 2017. ( Moustafa El Shemy - Anadolu Agency )

Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi attends a trial session over the Wadi el-Natrun prison case at Cairo Police Academy in Egypt on 26 February, 2017

A cross-party group of senior British MPs has petitioned the Egyptian government to allow access to the jailed former president Mohamed Morsi, amid reports that his health has seriously deteriorated, says The Guardian.

Morsi is being held in isolation in Tora prison and his family have been allowed to visit him only twice since he was imprisoned after a military coup in 2013.

Morsi won the presidency in elections brought about by a popular uprising against the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, and had been in office for only a year when he was arrested. He was convicted of a series of offences including endangering national security by leaking documents to Qatar and inciting violence by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi in Egypt- Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

There have been reports he has been denied access to adequate medical treatment while in jail. The application to visit has been sent to the Egyptian ambassador in the UK and follows a request to British MPs from members of Morsi’s family.

Read: Egypt postpones Morsi’s trial

The MPs and international lawyers seeking access include the former chair of the foreign affairs select committee Sir Crispin Blunt. Other UK figures seeking to form a detention review panel include Lord Faulks, a former justice minister, and Paul Williams, a Labour member of the health select committee and a former GP. Tim Moloney QC would act as the legal adviser to the group.

Blunt said: “There are credible concerns that the conditions under which Dr Morsi is being held might fall significantly short of both international and Egypt’s own standards. We make this request to the Egyptian authorities seeking to see and assess for ourselves the conditions in which Dr Morsi is being detained.

“No person should be confined in inhumane conditions, and the implications of former national leaders who once commanded a popular mandate not being treated fairly could have an impact well beyond the proper concerns for any individual.”

Read: Morsi’s life at risk due to medical negligence

Abdullah Morsi, the former president’s 24-year old son, said: “This month, as Egyptians will be asked to vote for their next president, my father – Egypt’s first democratically elected president – remains imprisoned in appalling conditions, in breach of international laws.

“We believe he has not received any adequate treatment for his diabetes or blood pressure. Because he has not received any proper treatment for his diabetes, he has now lost most of his left eye’s sight and would need urgent surgery. But his request for urgent medical treatment during a trial session was refused. Regardless of any person’s opinion of my father or his beliefs, this is unacceptable for anyone.”

Read: Egypt reduces Morsi’s son’s prison term

Morsi’s lawyers and family say he told them in June last year that he had experienced two diabetic comas and was not receiving proper treatment in prison. He asked to be moved to a private hospital at his own expense.

The Egyptian authorities insist he is receiving proper treatment. The Egyptian government would need to give MPs visas to travel to Egypt and grant permission to visit him in jail.

(Source / 06.03.2018)

Egypt closes Rafah Crossing after 3-day opening

Gazans wait for a bus, which will transport them to Egypt, after Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border gate on 8 February 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Gazans wait for a bus, which will transport them to Egypt, after Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border gate on 8 February 2018

The Director of the Rafah Crossing said yesterday that the Egyptian authorities had told his officials that the border was going to be closed after being open for three days, Al-Jazeera Arabic TV Channel has reported. Rashid Al-Buji cited security developments in the Sinai Peninsula as the reason for the closure.

The crossing was opened suddenly by the Egyptians on Wednesday after a 40-day closure. Fewer than 1,000 Palestinians out of a total of 30,000 registered to travel for urgent purposes were able to leave the besieged enclave during the opening period.

On Friday morning, the Egyptian military announced the start of a wide-scale military operation in the north of Sinai in the hunt for “terrorists”. Reports claim that Egyptians living in the region have been fleeing their homes since the Egyptian forces started to prepare for the campaign.

(Source / 10.02.2018)

Egypt: Politicians Call for Boycott of Presidential Elections

People walk by a poster of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi from the campaign titled “Alashan Tabneeha” (So You Can Build It) for the upcoming presidential election in Cairo, Egypt, January 22, 2018

Egypt’s National Electoral Authority announced on Tuesday the preliminary list of candidates for the presidential elections scheduled for the end of March, including current president Abdul Fattah el-Sisi and the head of Ghad Party Musa Mustafa Musa.

Meanwhile, seven political parties and a number of figures including the presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi called to boycott the presidential elections because of what he considered as “a lack of guarantees of competition.”

In return, Sisi campaign denied that it was responsible for the lack of candidates and their withdrawal from the race.

During a press conference, Civilian Democratic Movement, a coalition of several movements and parties, announced they will not vote during the elections and called on voters to stay away from ballot boxes and on Egyptians not to recognize the vote’s outcome.

The parties came up with the slogan “stay home” for the boycotting campaign.

Sabahi called on other pro-democracy groups to join the coalition: “Come and let us stand together. This is a moment when the people will make their say known and, God willing, the say of the people will prevail.”

Seven parties participated in the announcement of the boycott: Reform and Development, Popular Alliance Party, al-Dastour Party, Justice Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, al-Karama Movement, and Freedom Egypt Party.

This is not the first call to boycott the presidential elections. Former presidential candidate Abdul Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, former MP Anwar Sadat, and team members of former presidential candidate Sami Anan: Hisham Geneina and Hazem Hosni called for canceling the elections that have lost all credibility.

In a joint statement, the signatories called for boycotting the elections expressing their concern of a possible change of the constitution by opening presidential terms and eliminating any opportunity for a peaceful rotation of power.

“We urge our glorious people to boycott the vote and not to recognize whatever result it would produce,” said the statement.

Legal adviser and spokesperson for the electoral campaign of Sisi, Mohammed Abu Shoka, said Monday that his candidate should not be asked about the lack of other candidates in the upcoming election.

Speaking at a press conference, Abu Shoka indicated that Sisi is not responsible for politicians’ “reluctance to engage in political life, the blame should be directed towards those who did not succeed [in meeting candidacy requirements].”

Abu Shoka indicated that Sisi’s campaign submitted 173,000 endorsement forms from citizens to the National Electoral Authority, although more than 900,000 forms were received by the campaign.

Several politicians had announced their intentions presidential election, but withdrew later, including: former prime minister of Egypt, Ahmed Shafiq, former MP Anwar Sadat, lawyer Khalid Ali, and head of Wafd Party al-Sayyid Badawi, whose party refused his candidacy and announced its support to Sisi.

In addition, Former Chief of Staff Sami Annan removed his name from the database of voters after he was accused by the “armed forces” of forging the required documents and “inciting against the Egyptian army with the aim of driving a wedge between the armed forces and the Egyptian people.”

The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) organised an indoor rally on Tuesday for its members to back Sisi in the upcoming presidential elections in March.

The NEA announced on Monday the end of the ten-day deadline set for receiving presidential election applications.

The Authority had received applications from Sisi and Mostafa Musa, the leader of al-Ghad Party, to run for the coming presidential elections due to be held in March.

The NEA said it will examine the papers presented from the would-be candidates ahead of announcing the candidacy list on Wednesday.

Spokesman of the Authority Advisor Mahmoud El-Sherif, announced that 48 local organizations, 9 international organizations, National Human Rights Council, National Council for Women and the National Council for Disability have all been approved to monitor the upcoming elections.

Spokesman for the Presidency Bassam Radhi stated that President Sisi held a meeting with the Prime Minister Sharif Ismail and a number of minister. During the meeting, the officials reviewed the government’s efforts to provide basic food commodities in the markets with appropriate quantities and prices, and the procedures for monitoring the markets.

The spokesman added that the steps were taken to activate the National Academy for Training and Rehabilitation of Youth and activate its training programs aimed at achieving the human development requirements of the youth in all sectors and upgrading their abilities and skills to achieve comprehensive human, economic and social development.

(Source / 31.01.2018)

Report: Sisi regime killed 571 Egyptians in 2017

Egyptians security forces fire tear gas at Egyptians [file photo]

Egyptian Coordination of Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) revealed that the Egyptian regime killed 571 Egyptians from the opposition in 2017, including 511 killed at the hands of the Egyptians security forces, Rassd.com said on Sunday.

In its annual report, the ECRF said that the Al-Sisi regime executed 15 Egyptians in December and 51 others died due to medical negligence, including four in April alone.

The report noted that 88 Egyptian police and army officers were killed, as well as 15 Christians and 532 Muslim worshipers, who were killed in Al-Rawda Mosque in Sinai.

Meanwhile, the report noted 602 cases of enforced disappearance, including 160 cases in which the ECRF could not find any information about them.

Among those disappeared were 17 secondary school students, one prep school student and three university professors.

Read: ‘Egypt’s January 25 rebels were united by the great revolution but later divided by conspiracies’

The report also added that 25 university professors were sacked and five others were arrested. In addition, it reported that 27 journalists were arrested and 28 others blacklisted, and 465 websites were blocked.

The report also said that 52 women were arrested, 16 of whom were sentenced and 36 of whom are in remand detention. In addition, it reported 125 women were disappeared, noting that the number of women who had been forcefully disappeared since 2013 rose to 148.

It also recorded 65 violations against children, including forced disappearance.

(Source / 22.01.2018)

Egypt has Abandoned Palestine

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (Thibault Camus/AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Egypt sentences ex-President Morsi, 19 others to 3 years in jail for insulting judiciary

A file photo dated January 24, 2016 shows Egyptians holding portraits of deposed President Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown in a military coup lead by Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, now President, next to Consulate General of Egypt in Bebek district of Istanbul, Turkey. ( Mohammed Elshamy - Anadolu Agency )

A file photo dated January 24, 2016 shows Egyptians holding portraits of deposed President Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown in a military coup lead by Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, now President, next to Consulate General of Egypt in Bebek district of Istanbul, Turkey

A Cairo criminal court sentenced former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and 19 others to three years in prison on Saturday, and fined him 2 million Egyptian pounds ($112,700) on charges of insulting the judiciary.

Others tried by the court in the same case including leading Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and lawmaker and television presenter Tawfik Okasha were instead given fines ranging from 30,000 to 1 million Egyptian pounds.

The verdicts can still be appealed.

Opinion: The danger posed to life of President Morsi

Morsi, democratically elected after Egypt’s 2011 revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, through a military coup.

He was immediately arrested and is now serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted of inciting the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012 and a 25-year sentence for spying for Qatar.

(Source / 31.12.2017)

Egypt allows routine medical check for Morsi at his expense

Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing an orange uniform while in prison on 18th August 2016 [Anadolu Agency/Facebook]

Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing an orange uniform while in prison on 18th August 2016

An Egyptian court yesterday allowed a comprehensive medical examination of former President Mohamed Morsi at his own expense.

The medical check-up results will be presented to the court at its next hearing on 3 December.

During a session of his trial in Cairo, Morsi asked the court to allow him to have a comprehensive medical examination at a private hospital at his own expense, where adequate equipment will be available for specialist tests.

“If this is not possible, I ask that the examination be conducted in a government hospital with the necessary means for these medical examinations,” he said, noting to the deterioration of his health, especially after he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Morsi is being tried on several charges including espionage and insulting the judiciary.

Read: Morsi tells lawyer of threats to his life

(Source / 20.11.2017)

Abbas meets with Sisi to discuss reconciliation

Abbas and Sisi

The Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, on Monday met with the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to discuss the Palestinian reconciliation before heading to Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

According to a statement issued by the Egyptian presidency, Abbas and Sisi discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian issue as well as ways of reviving the peace process in the region.

During the meeting held on the sideline of the second day of the World Youth Forum launched in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, Sisi stressed the importance of continuing efforts to completely end the Palestinian division and achieve reconciliation.

He said that his country will work to resume negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to reach a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the Palestinians’ right to establish their independent state.

For his part, Abbas affirmed that the Palestinian Authority is determined to make its utmost effort to unite the Palestinian people, the same statement noted.

Abbas’s visit to Egypt is the first since the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation deal was signed on 12th October between Hamas and Fatah movements.

The Palestinian factions are expected to meet in Cairo on 21st November to discuss mechanisms for the implementation of the agreement.

Wafa news agency reported that Abbas headed to Saudi Arabia following the meeting to meet with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

(Source / 06.11.2017)