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Egypt Media Roundup (October 2)

[People raising a rainbow flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert at the Cairo Festival City mall on 22 September. Photo from the Rainbow Egypt Facebook page.] [People raising a rainbow flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert at the Cairo Festival City mall on 22 September. Photo from the Rainbow Egypt Facebook 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

Update: 7 arrested for ‘promoting sexual deviancy’ after raising rainbow flag at Mashrou’ Leila gig Security forces reportedly arrested seven people on charges of “promoting sexual deviancy” on Monday, after a rainbow flag was raised at a Mashrou’ Leila gig over the weekend.

At least 22 arrested in continued security crackdown on LGBTQ individuals Police apprehended four men on Friday night from an apartment in the Giza neighborhood of Hadayek al-Haram, according to gender and women’s rights officer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Dalia Abdel Hameed, in the latest spate of arrests in the recent security crackdown on LGBTQ individuals in Egypt.

All Forms of Support to the LGBT Community to be Banned on Media Outlets: SCMR The Supreme Council for Media Regulation has released an order to ban all forms of support towards the LGBT community on Media outlets.

Mashrou Leila Banned from Performing in Egypt Over ‘Rainbow Flag’: Syndicate The Syndicate of Musical Professions bans Mashrou’ Leila from performing in Egypt following Music Park concert, held in Cairo on 22 September, where the crowd raised the rainbow flag in support of the LGBTQ community in Egypt.

“Volcano of Homosexuality”: Coptic Church to Hold Conference to ‘Treat’ Homosexuals The Coptic Church in Egypt is set to organize a conference titled “The Volcano of Homosexuality” in order to combat homosexuality and offer ways of treatment.

Report reveals officers may have fabricated allegations to justify Abu Zaabal deaths Conflicting testimonies of police personnel involved in the death of thirty-seven prisoners trapped in a police van in August 2013 indicate that allegations that a police officer was kidnapped by inmates may have been fabricated by officers in charge to justify their deaths.

Court adjourns Mada Masr website blocking case until October 22 Mada Masr’s day in court came and went on Sunday, with the Dokki Administrative Court deciding to adjourn the investigation into the lawsuit concerning the company’s blocked website until 22 October.

Egyptian Students to Face One year in Prison If Disrespected Salutation of Flag: Media Reports Egypt’s Minister of Education Tarek Shawky has recently released an order for school students to respect the Egyptian flag or they might risk a jail time, according to media reports.

Amendments to Egypt’s nationality law: An obscure state for the ‘stateless’ Suggested amendments to the law governing Egyptian citizenship, approved by the Cabinet last Wednesday, may open the door to an unprecedented legal situation in Egypt: Egyptians without the nationality of any state and therefore without legal rights. 

Martin Ennals Award jury urges Sisi to lift travel ban on rights activist Mohamed Zaree The jury for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders submitted a request to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday to lift the travel ban on rights activist Mohamed Zaree to allow him to attend the jury’s award ceremony on 10 October in Geneva, where Zaree is one of three nominees.

Criminal court postpones verdict for ‘insulting judiciary’ case For twenty-eight months, a case involving twenty-five prominent figures from across the political spectrum, all of whom have been charged with insulting the judiciary in separate incidents in 2012 and 2013, has been ongoing. On Saturday, Cairo Criminal Court postponed a ruling on the case to 30 December.

On Alaa and cross-border solidarity This is the first in a series of reflections on Alaa Abd al-Fattah from his friends and colleagues. Within the next month there will be two court hearings that will determine Alaa’s near future. On 30 September, Alaa will appear before the court on charges of “insulting the judiciary.” If he is convicted, this could add years to his five-year sentence, of which he has already served three and a half years. On 19 October, there will be an appeal hearing before the Court of Cassation regarding his five-year sentence. Alaa’s family, friends and supporters have launched a campaign #FreeAlaa, counting down twenty-five days to build support in light of these hearings.

Egyptian Population Reaches 104.2 Million: CAPMAS Egyptian population hits 104.2 million; 94.98 million live within Egypt while 9.4 million live abroad, said Abu Bakr El Gendy, the head of Egypt’s Statistics Body Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

Egypt Opens Community Centers in South Sinai to Serve People with Disabilities, Empower Women Seeking to fulfill its promise to create a more inclusive environment for all citizens, Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology inaugurated on 16 September several upgraded community centers in South Sinai, which are now equipped to serve people with disabilities and empower women in the area.

Egyptian court refers Mahalla imam to trial for authorising marriage of 27 underage girls Egypt's Administrative Prosecution ordered on Sunday the referral of an imam in the city of Mahalla to urgent trial for his involvement in the marriage of twenty-seven minor girls.

Health Ministry to Launch Campaign to Combat the Stigma of Mental Illness Egypt’s Health Ministry to launch a new campaign in October in order to raise awareness about mental illness, eliminate the social stigma surrounding it, and to offer its mental health services.

Egypt Approves Establishing Egyptian Space Agency  The Council of Ministers has approved on Wednesday establishing a space agency aimed at scientific research following years of preparation, according to Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.

Egypt parliament to open third session Monday Following a three-month summer recess, Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – will begin Monday the third session of its five-year term.

Q&A: Egypt parliament speaker talks exclusively to Ahram about chamber's achievements, challenges The Egyptian parliament begins its third legislative session next week after a three-month respite. Al-Ahram newspaper sat down with speaker Ali Abdel-Aal to discuss the chamber's biggest challenges, achievements and its interaction with the government.

Q&A: Egypt parliament speaker talks exclusively to Ahram about chamber's achievements, challenges - part 2 Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal speaks exclusively to Alaa Thabet, the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper.

Q&A: Egypt parliament speaker talks exclusively to Ahram about chamber's achievements, challenges-part 4 Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal speaks exclusively to Alaa Thabet, the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper.

Ministry of Health dismisses recent reports of Dengue fever in Egypt Egypt's Ministry of Health dismissed reports of Dengue fever cases in both the Red Sea city of Qusair and in Upper Egypt's Qena governorate, saying that all the cases received by hospitals on Saturday varied between normal fever, headaches and muscle pain unrelated to the mosquito-borne disease.

Economy

World Bank to Triple Funding to Egypt to $US 1 Billion, Focus on Renewable Energy The World Bank’s private sector lending branch of the International Finance Cooperation has announced plans to triple its funding to Egypt from approximately 300 million USD, in the past year, to one billion USD during the current financial year.

Despite Obstacles Egypt Economic Reforms On Track: IMF Amid surging inflation and many Egyptians finding it difficult to make ends meet, the International Monetary Fund said in a new report on Tuesday that Egypt “is off to a good start” in implementing its new economic reform program.

Investment Minister Signs 8 Economic Cooperation Agreements with USAID The Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr signed eight economic cooperation agreements worth 121.6 million USD with Direct of the US Agency for International Development Sherry Carlin.

International Festival of World Tourism to be Held in Alexandria Next Week In a bid to boost its struggling tourism sector, Egypt’s second city of Alexandria will be hosting an international festival on World Tourism Day on Saturday next week.

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to attend 4G launching ceremony Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail will attend a ceremony at the Giza Plateau on Thursday celebrating the official launch of 4G services for the country's four mobile network operators. 

Foreign Relations

Hamas approves prisoner swap deal proposed by Egypt Hamas has agreed on an exchange of prisoners with Israel, a deal suggested by Egypt two weeks ago.

Hamas leader receives Egyptian delegation in Gaza ahead of national reconciliation talks The head of Palestinian group Hamas Ismail Haniyeh received an Egyptian delegation Sunday to oversee national reconciliation efforts between the movement and its rival group Fatah.

Egypt voices 'deep concern' about Kurdish independence vote Cairo warns all parties to steer clear of 'unilateral measures' that could destabilize Iraq and 'encourage a climate of chaos in the region.'

EgyptAir suspends flights to Iraq's Kurdish region after ban by Baghdad Egypt's national airline EgyptAir is suspending flights to and from Iraq's Kurdish regional capital of Erbil starting Friday after the Baghdad government banned flights to the region.

Egyptian parliament's rights committee welcomes Saudi decision to let women drive Egypt's parliamentary human rights committee has praised Saudi King Salman's decree which allows women to drive cars for the first time in the history of the Gulf kingdom.

Sisi approves cooperation agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy with Saudi Arabia Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has approved an agreement on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy with Saudi Arabia.

South Sudan's Kiir stresses to Sisi importance of bilateral relations South Sudan President Salva Kiir relayed to Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi a message stressing the importance of reinforcing bilateral relations, according to the Egyptian presidency.

20,000 applicants registered in new Japanese schools in Egypt: Ministry Over 20,000 applicants have registered in Japanese schools in Egypt since registration opened on 27 September, education ministry spokesperson Ahmed Khairy said in press statements on Saturday.

Domestic Security

The perils of taking a bus to work in Sinai Two accounts of getting to work in North Sinai reveal the unpredictability of daily life amid conflict between militant groups and security forces.

Hassm claims responsibility of alleged Myanmar Embassy bombing in Cairo, Embassy denies The militant group Hassm claimed responsibility on Sunday for an alleged attack on the Myanmar Embassy in Cairo on Saturday night.

Egyptian air force 'destroys 4x4 vehicles carrying weapons' across Libya border: Spox Egypt's air force foiled an attempt by "criminal elements'' to illegally enter the country via the western border, the armed forces announced on Thursday.

Arabic

مصر: السجن لاثنين من «الإخوان» بتهم الإرهاب  Cairo Criminal Court handed prison sentences ranging from ten to five-year prison terms to two Muslim Brotherhood members over joining illegal group and inciting violence in Hilwan, South Cairo.

»القاهرة تطلب اجتماعاً وزارياً لحسم النقاط المُعطلة في دراسات «سد النهضة  Cairo stressed the urgent need to hold a trilateral meeting with foreign ministers of Cairo, Sudan and Ethiopia with the aim to address the delay of issuing technical studies on Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam.

جدل حول إغلاق «مكتبة البلد» القاهرية  Security forces shut down Elbalad library in Cairo last Sunday over administrative irregularities, stirring public anger. 

بعد قضائه العقوبة.. تفاصيل التحقيق مع منسق «6 أبريل» في قضية جديدة  The article covers the details of the re-trial of the « 6 April » coordinator over “supporting legitimacy coalition,” after completion of his prison sentence.

السلطات تستنفر ضد المثلية الجنسية  A video showing young people raising rainbow flags in Mashrou Leila’s concert in Cairo sparks controversy among the Egyptian society and Egypt’s security, judicial and religious authorities. 

النكتة السياسية.. لماذا اختفت السخرية من أحاديث المصريين؟  The article examines the development of political humor in Egypt.

تعديلات قانون الجنسية.. ماذا سيكون مصير الـ «بدون»؟  The new Egyptian nationality law poses unprecedented legal measures in violation of the constitution against stateless persons and opposition supporters.

في رئاسية 2018..العسكريون يتنافسون والمدنيون خارج السباق   Four months ahead of presidential elections, civilian candidates have few chances to run for 2018 presidential elections against Sisi.

ماذا يربح النظام المصري من إرسال جنوده للصراعات الدولية ومهام حفظ السلام؟  The article investigates Egypt’s contribution to peacekeeping missions.

مفخرة الحكومة».. لماذا تعتبر استثمارات الأجانب في ديون مصر «نقطة ضعف»؟«  The article explains the negative impacts of foreign investment on the Egyptian economy.

الداخلية» تفرج عن 196 سجينا«  The Interior Ministry granted pardon to 196 prisoners on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha in accordance with presidential decree N427 for 2017.

"ترحيلة.. تقرير عن حادث عربة ترحيلات "أبو زعبل  The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression issued a report on Abu Zaabal incident that killed thirty-seven prisoners during a van transport to prison in August 2013. 

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