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March 15-26, 2014

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Egypt
Posted on March 28, 2014

Contents

Compiled by Vanessa Bassal, MIGS Desk Officer for Egypt

  1. Update on Hamas Ban
  2. Possibility of a Two Day Election
  3. Khalid Ali resigns from Presidential Candidacy
  4. Half of Egypt’s Population Uncertain About who to Vote for
  5. Egyptian Court sentences 529 Egyptians to Death by Minya Criminal Court
  6. Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros urges General Sisi to Run for President
  7. JUST IN (more to come in next week’s report): General Sisi has announced his resignation as Defence Minister  - announcement should be made later tonight or tomorrow as the deadline is Sunday

Update: Hamas and Egypt Court Ban
Privately Owned Media

Daily News Egypt (19/03/2014)

  • A Hamas spokesman has announced that the halt in transport of medication, aid, and fuel to Gaza due to the Rafah closing constitutes as an act against humanity and calls on all the Arab world to help lift the ban
  • The Egyptian Court has mentioned that the ban is temporary and will be re-assessed following the results of both of Morsi’s trials. 

Possibility of a Two Day Election in 2014
Privately Owned Media

Egypt Independent (18/03/2014)

  • There is a possibility that the High Election Committee will decide to hold a two day election in Egypt for 2014.
  • The High Election Committee is meeting on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 to discuss final preparations as well as dates for announcement of the candidates.
  • Each candidate is required to have 25, 000 signatures from the Egyptian populace prior to announcing candidacy. 

Khalid Ali Resigns from Presidential Candidacy
Privately Owned Media

Egypt Independent (16/03/2014)

  • Khalid Ali, a leftist candidate for the upcoming Egyptian elections has resigned from Presidential candidacy fearing the election is a “farce”
  • Ali exited by mentioning that the army should not involve itself in the country’s politics, and should rather protect the country.
  • He also mentioned that the left is against both a police state and a theocracy in Egypt.

Half of Egypt’s Population Uncertain about who to Vote for
Privately Owned Media

Egypt Independent (20/03/2014)

  • 48% of Egypt’s population has not yet decided on who to vote for in the upcoming election
  • Activists believe it is the result of the constant uncertainty and political instability taking precedence in the country since January 25, 2011. The daily living conditions have not improved for most Egyptians since the ouster of President Mubarak; inflation rates are still very high.
  • Following a study on the upcoming elections, the results indicated that 51% of the Egyptian population will vote for General Sisi, however the latter has yet to announce his official run for president. The reason given for this outpour of support regards the image of unity provided to Egyptian society by General Sisi.

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros urges General Sisi to Run for President
State Owned News

Al-Ahram (23/03/2014)

  • Pope Tawadros II, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt has urged General El- Sisi to run for President, calling him a ‘savior’ from the Muslim Brotherhood 
  • Sisi has yet to announce his run for President, while many other candidates have. What is taking so long? Earlier reports show that el-Sisi has prepared his electoral campaign. Some sources mention that now people do not want Sisi to run for President, but it is too late to back down as many hours of work have been put into finalizing his programme.
  • Pope Tawadros II condemns the Arab Spring and rather calls it an “Arab Winter” claiming that foreigners are trying to break-up the Middle East all the while creating various religious sectarian states as an alternative to the political problems the region has been faced with since 2011.

Court Sentences 529 Egyptians to Death
Privately Owned Media

Daily News Egypt (25/03/2014)

  • Minya Court -529 have been sentenced to death as a result on police attacks over the summer following the deposition of President Mohammad Morsi
  • The attack resulted in one policeman being killed. Many others who were attacking the police were responsible for stealing and seizing weapons from the police office. The violence in the city of Minya was for the most part based on sectarianism and was the city that experienced violence in the worst form following removal of Morsi from power. 

Concern and condemnation as Egypt court sentences 529 to death

  • Only 124 defendants were present at the second trial; all others were absent. The US is concerned that the trial does not come into standards with established legislation in International Law 
  • Many believe this is not a fair trial and that the accusations are very general therefore it is a violation of rights to “fair trial and right to life”
  • Human Rights Activists groups in Egypt have stated that the death sentences will not halt any act of terrorism in the country
  • The Muslim Brotherhood has used this news to further emphasize the notion that the Army commanders are trying to suppress the Revolution and advocate for a regime of brutality which was in place prior to the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
  • If the decision still remains by April 28, the accused will be hung, as is the custom in Egyptian Law 
State Owned Media

Response of the United Nations following Sentence

Al-Ahram (25/03/2014)

  • UN has condemned the sentences because it did not conform to international law regulations
  • UN afraid of result for the remaining defendants
  • The fact that the trial was conducted in two days demonstrates lack of fair trial - the specific charges against the defendants were unclear because they were not read to defendants in court. not all the defendants had a lawyer
  • Some of the lawyers who were present at the Minya court had suggested that they did not have enough access to their clients and that evidence was not even being considered by the court. 

Social Media and the Death Penalty Trial

  • @TheBigPharaoh: One of the defendants sentenced to death for no reason. He stole clothing 30 years ago, but was not part of the protests against the police in Minya. 
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