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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)

Egypt: Osama Morsi jailed for 3 years

Osama Mohamed Morsi, the son of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is seen during the trial over the breaking up the Rabaa Al-Adawiyyah protests, at the police academy in Cairo, Egypt on December 10, 2016 [Moustafa Elshemy / Anadolu Agency]

Osama Mohamed Morsi, the son of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is seen during the trial over the breaking up the Rabaa Al-Adawiyyah protests, at the police academy in Cairo, Egypt on December 10, 2016

A court in Egypt has sentenced ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s son to three years in prison over accusations that he allegedly possessed weapons at the time of his arrest in 2016.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud told journalists that the ruling against Osama Morsi is not final and that he will appeal it.

No evidence was submitted to support the charges except for the alleged eyewitness accounts of the police offers who arrested him at his home 10 months ago, Abdel-Maqsoud added.

Osama was arrested on 16 December on charges of violence related to the dispersal of the Rabaa protest sit-in, which was set up in 2013 after Morsi was ousted in a military coup by current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Read: Morsi’s son being beaten in prison

After Osama’s arrest, prosecutors referred him to trial on the charge of possessing weapons.

Activists in the Muslim Brotherhood group believe that the ruling is politically motivated and that the lawsuit comes in the context of a wave of politicised rulings against the former president’s family as well as his supporters.

(Source  / 27.10.2017)

Brotherhood leader demands Sisi regime be prosecuted

Essam El-Erian, senior leader in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood [File photo]

Essam El-Erian, senior leader in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

A senior leader in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Essam El-Erian, who has been imprisoned by the Egyptian authorities, yesterday asked the court to allow him to meet with international lawyers to file lawsuits against the government regarding human rights violations in prisons.

El-Erian said he wished to meet with lawyers Ramsey Clark from the US, Mustafa Al-Ramid and Khaled El-Sufayani from Morocco, Ali Abu El-Sukkar from Jordan, Asaad Harmoush from Lebanon and Mubarak El-Mutawaa from Kuwait.

He requested the men be allowed entry to Egypt and not be stopped at the airport in order for them to meet with him and file lawsuits in international courts.

The defendant, who was in court for a session in the case on the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in dispersal, explained that his family is banned from visiting him and are treated badly by security officials and prison guards.

Meanwhile, attorney Essam Sultan announced during the court hearing that he will go on hunger strike until a UN committee visits him and discusses the authority’s failure to investigate his arrest and torture on 28 July 2013.

The court postponed the session until next Tuesday.

Read: Brotherhood prisoners refuse to meet government-appointed delegation

(Source / 18.10.2017)

Egypt arrests well-known singer in restaurant

Egyptian singer Rami Sabry [Youtube]

Egyptian security services arrested a well-known singer on Friday morning while he was eating in a Cairo restaurant, local websites have reported. Rami Sabry was picked up following the issue of an arrest warrant.

Although Sabry’s family did not comment on his arrest, according to Al-Arab he was taken away after trying to avoid military conscription.

Masrawi news website said that the singer was handed over to the military for him to start his compulsory service in the armed forces.

(Source / 14.10.2017)