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Egypt Media Roundup (June 19)

[Protesters chant after the ruling against the Egypt-Saudi border demarcation agreement on Monday, 16 January, 2017. Photo from Aswat Masriya.] [Protesters chant after the ruling against the Egypt-Saudi border demarcation agreement on Monday, 16 January, 2017. Photo from Aswat Masriya.]

[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

5 websites offering VPN services added to list of blocked sites in Egypt Egyptian authorities banned access to five more websites on Monday, bringing the total number of sites blocked in Egypt to sixty-three.

Another website is blocked in Egypt, taking total to 64 Egyptian authorities banned access to another website, international polling site Avaaz, on Tuesday, bringing the total number of sites blocked in Egypt to sixty-four.

Block extends to four new websites, bringing total to 73 Access to Al-Manassa, Noonpost, Ida’at and 6 April on Egyptian service providers was barred on Friday, bringing the total number of websites blocked since 24 May, which includes Mada Masr, to seventy-three.

17 striking workers acquitted as court demands right to strike be included in civil service law Seventeen post office workers facing charges of peaceful striking were acquitted by the Supreme Administrative Court on Saturday. In the absence of legislation governing the right to strike for public sector workers, the ruling stipulated that it is a right enshrined within Article 15 of the Constitution, noting that legislators have failed to include it in the civil service law.

Egypt appeals court reduces sentence on workers jailed for illegal protest A Cairo misdemeanor appeals court reduced on Sunday a three-year prison sentence against thirty-two factory workers to two-months in prison on charges of illegal protest.

Peaceful labour strikes over work-related issues protected by constitution: Egypt's High Administrative Court Egypt’s High Administrative Court ruled on Saturday in a labor dispute dating back to 2014 that peaceful strikes over work grievances are not a punishable offense, even in the absence of a legislation regulating the action.

Court issues 30 preliminary death sentences in Hesham Barakat assassination case Preliminary death sentences were handed to 30 defendants accused of involvement in the 2015 assassination of former General Prosecutor Hesham Barakat on Saturday. A final verdict is expected on 22 July, pending review by Egypt’s Grand Mufti.  

Egyptian MP resigns over parliamentary proceedings prior to vote on Red Sea island deal Egyptian parliament member and Wafd Party spokesperson Mohamed Fouad resigned from parliament on Thursday in protest over what he says was MPs opposed to the Tiran and Sanafir deal not being allowed to properly present their viewpoint on the agreement.

Excerpts from Parliament’s landslide vote on Tiran and Sanafir In a parliamentary session today, about 400 MPs voted in favor of the maritime border agreement brokered between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in April 2016. As per the agreement, sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands will be transferred from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.

Parliament dismisses previous court rulings in 1st session on Tiran and Sanafir Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal has stated that Parliament does not acknowledge the State Council’s January decision which ruled that the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian.

Newspapers focus on state’s official position on Tiran and Sanafir and marginalize oppositional voices Discussions over whether or not Parliament will approve the Tiran and Sanafir agreement began in its Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on Sunday, complicated by a Supreme Administrative Court ruling in January that annulled the government’s agreement with Saudi Arabia and declared the islands to be Egyptian.

Parties announce joint protests against Parliament debate on Tiran and Sanafir handover Several political groupings and oppositional parties organized a press conference on Sunday to reject Parliament’s debate and upcoming vote on a maritime border agreement with Saudi Arabia, slated to involve the handover of the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

Dozens hold sit-in at Egypt press syndicate over parliamentary committee’s approval of Saudi island deal Dozens of Egyptians held a sit-in on Tuesday at the press syndicate in Cairo shortly after parliament’s legislative and constitutional affairs committee voted in favor of Egypt’s Red Sea island deal with Saudi Arabia.

Update: Prosecution to detain 8 arrested near Journalists Syndicate sit-in till Thursday Eight people arrested from the area surrounding the Journalists Syndicate will remain in police custody until Thursday as the National Security Agency conducts background checks on them, the Qasr al-Nil prosecution decided on Wednesday, according to lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz. Prosecutors will decide on Thursday whether to jail them pending investigations or release them.

8 activists and journalists arrested in connection to Tiran and Sanafir protests released on bail Eight people arrested in connection to the political action against Parliament’s approval of an agreement to transfer sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia were granted release on 10,000 LE bail by the Qasr al-Nil prosecution.

Security forces release journalists arrested at syndicate for protesting against Tiran and Sanafir discussions, sit-in continues Late Tuesday evening, Central Security Forces arrested a number of journalists and activists protesting on the Journalists Syndicate steps, according to former syndicate leader Khaled al-Balshy. All those arrested were released shortly after and the sit-in is ongoing, according to eyewitnesses.

11 released following arrest campaign targeting Tiran and Sanafir opponents Dostour Party member and lawyer Tarek Hussein was released on 2,000 LE bail on Sunday after he was arrested from his home early Saturday on charges of inciting protests and belonging to a terrorist group, according to lawyer Malek Adly.

Rights monitor: Police have arrested 60 opponents of the Tiran and Sanafir agreement Police have arrested a total of sixty people connected to political action against the agreement to concede sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, according to the Freedom for the Brave campaign.

Rights lawyer Ahmed Ragheb released on bail after questioning in NGO foreign funding case Prominent human rights lawyer Ahmed Ragheb, one of the founders of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, was released on Monday on bail of 5,000 LE after he was questioned in relation to the ongoing NGO foreign funding case.

Egyptian court sentences 26 defendants to life in jail over illegal protests linked to 'terrorist' group A Zagazig Criminal Court in the Nile Delta city of Sharqiya has sentenced 26 defendants to life in prison for crimes related to illegal protests in 2015 that authorities say were linked to a "terrorist organization".

Parliament scraps discussion on punishments for giving Egyptian children ‘foreign’ names A bill to penalize Egyptian parents for giving their children “foreign” names was withdrawn by the MP who proposed it on Tuesday, hours ahead of a parliamentary session to discuss it.

Egypt removes mention of 2011 and 2013 uprisings from school curriculum Egypt's Ministry of Education has removed mention of the uprisings on 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013 from the history class curriculum in the country’s high schools.

Economy

Egypt's GDP growth projected to hit 5.3 pct by 2019, World Bank says Egypt's gross domestic product is projected to grow 5.3 percent by 2019, suggesting the economy of the most populous Arab state is recovering after years of turmoil, the World Bank has said.

Egypt's investment law executive regulations to be finalised in 10 days: Minister Nasr Egypt will finalize the executive regulations of a newly issued investment law within seven to ten days, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said on Saturday.

Remittances from expatriate Egyptians rise by 11.1 pct since float: CBE Remittances from expatriate Egyptians rose by 11.1 percent between the currency float in November and the end of April, the central bank said on Sunday, with economists suggesting recent reforms have begun restoring confidence in the banking system.

Foreign Relations

Egypt rejects Italy’s request to attend interrogations in Regeni case Egypt rejected a request filed by Italian prosecutors asking permission to attend the interrogations of seven police officers who investigated researcher Giulio Regeni before his death, Italian news agency Ansa reported on Friday.

Sisi, CIA director affirm strong Egypt-US strategic ties during Cairo talks Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and CIA Director Mike Pompeo affirmed strong Egyptian-US strategic ties during talks in Cairo on Thursday, presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement.

Egypt's FM heads to Uganda for Nile Basin summit Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is to fly to Entebbe, Uganda, on Monday for ministerial meetings involving the Nile Basin countries, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Domestic Security

1 killed, 4 injured in Cairo explosion targeting CSF vehicle One police officer was killed and another officer and three enlisted in the Central Security Forces were injured on Sunday morning when an explosive device detonated as their vehicle was traveling on a road leading to Maadi, according to a statement by the Interior Ministry.

From Jadaliyya Egypt

مجلة الوضع/ستاتوس الصوتية، العدد 4.1 As part of the 4.1 Issue of Status, the coming weeks will offer many interviews that address the period of transition facing the MENA region.

Arabic

مصر: تيران وصنافير تفتحان بوابات الغضب على النظام  Anger soars as parliament approves the handover of two red sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

بالتفاصيل.. 5 مشادات واشتباكات في اجتماع “تيران وصنافير”.. و”عبدالعال” يخالف اللائحة Tiran and Sanafir demarcation agreement dispute gets heated as parliament approves the deal in favor of Saudi Arabia.

محطة لتسليم «تيران وصنافير» للسعودية18 A timeline covers the proceedings of Egypt-Saudi demarcation case since April 2016.

تقرير حكومي: اتفاقية تيران وصنافير تنقل السيادة للسعودية ولا تنهي الإدارة المصرية.. والمصريون يدخلون دون تأشيرة  An official report claimed that the transfer of the two red sea islands to Saudi Arabia will not end Egypt’s control of the area.

مجلس الدولة يرد على النواب فى الحكم بمصرية تيرأن وصنافير  Egypt’s State Council decries the parliament’s approval of the transfer of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia and reiterates Egypt sovereignty over the two islands.

دعوى قضائية لوقف تسليم الجزيرتين  A lawsuit was filed against the executive authority to annul the maritime demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

المحكمة الإدارية العليا :يد مجلس النواب مغلولة بنص الدستور عن التنازل عن الجزيرتين المصريتين ومحظور عليه مناقشة التنازل عن العرض The House of Representatives is prohibited by constitution to discuss any agreement that includes a waiver of land, The Supreme Administrative Court stressed.

المحكمة الإدارية العليا: معاهدة كامب ديفيد اقرت سيادة مصر على تيران وصنافير Camp David Accords referred to Egypt’s sovereignty over Tiran island, a judicial source said.

"حبس 3 صحفيين على ذمة التحقيقات في احتجاجات "تيران وصنافير Three journalists among eight people have been arrested over protesting the parliament’s approval of Tiran and Sanafir demarcation agreement.

تيران وصنافير" تثير أزمة في حزب النور"  Dispute emerged between members of the salafist Al-Nour party over the party’s position on Tiran and Sanafir transfer to Saudi Arabia.

بالصور والفيديو.. العشرات يتظاهرون في الاسكندرية رفضا لاتفاقية التفريط في تيران وصنافير ويرددون: إللي يبيع أرضه وناسه يبقى عميل من ساسه  لراسهTens of activists poured into the streets in Alexandria protesting against the two red sea islands demarcation agreement.

فض مسيرة يقودها "صباحي" و"علي" في طلعت حرب  Security forces dispersed a protest led by prominent opposition figures Hamdeen Sabbahi and Khaled Ali against Tiran and Sanafir demarcation agreement.

حملة مسعورة ٢: اعتقال ١٥ من شباب الأحزاب والقوى المدنية.. واقتحام منازل ٥ بينهم المحامي محمد رمضان بالإسكندرية Security forces arrested a score of protesters across seven governorates, amidst the state’s escalating measures to repress popular rejection to the maritime border demarcation agreement.

بيان لـ 230سينمائيا لرفض التنازل عن تيران وصنافير: لا نعترف بإجراءات السلطة وسنعتبرها محتلة.. لن نفرط 230 Egyptian filmmakers issued a statement, reaffirming their rejection to the transfer of sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

قضية جزيرتي تيران وصنافير A recent poll shows that forty-seven percent of Egyptians consider that Tiran and Sanafir Islands belong to Egypt.

الدين الخارجى يتجاوز 75 مليار دولار  Egypt’s external debt has reached seventy-five billion dollars after receiving the IMF’s second tranche loan, official sources said.

اليوم.."الأعلى لتنظيم الإعلام" يناقش مسودة ميثاق شرف المهنة The Supreme Council for the Administration of Media started deliberation of draft honor code.

قرار من جهة مجهولة .. عن حجب مواقع الوِب في مصر  Sixty-nine websites were blocked in Egypt between 24 May and 14 June 2017, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression reported.

مرسي يقول إن حياته في خطر Former ousted president Mohamed Morsi complained about negligence in prison.

عامر: إلغاء القيود على تحويلات النقد الأجنبى إلى الخارج بدءًا من اليوم Egypt’s Central Bank Governor, Tariq Amer, said that the decision to remove restrictions on transfer of foreign money abroad will be enforced starting Wednesday.

ارتفاعا فى إجمالى التدفق الداخل للاستثمار الأجنبى12% Direct foreign investment income flow increased to twelve percent from March to July 2016/2017, Egypt’s Central Bank announced.

 إضافية لمعاشات العسكريين.. 6 زيادات في 4 أعوام15% The Defense and National Security Committee approved Tuesday a bill to increase military officers’ wage by fifteen percent starting next July.

أهالي جزيرة الدهب يتمسكون بأرضهم: نملك عقود ملكيتها  Al-Dahab residents voice their anger against the state’s attempts to evacuate them from their homes located by the Nile river between Cairo and Giza.

في الدراما المصرية.. ضباط الجيش ليسوا أبطالًا  Zeinab Abul-Magd examines the image of army officers in the Egyptian drama. 

بعد التحفظ عليها.. صحفيو البورصة وديلي نيوز يطالبون بصرف رواتبهم المجمدة A number of Al-Borsa and Daily News Egypt journalists demanded on Thursday the press syndicate to release subsidies to employees before crediting their frozen salaries.

طوارئ غير استثنائية في مصر  A research paper sheds light on the state of emergency in Egypt and its impact on the public sphere since July 2013. 

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Population (2016 est.): 80,274,604
Government: Republican Parliamentary Democracy
Year of independence: 1923
GDP: $856.8 billion (2016 est.); $1.698 trillion (2016 est., purchasing power parity)
Unemployment: 10.9% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 24.5% (est. Jan 2017)
Internet Users: 53.7% - 42.681 million (July 2015 est.)
Exchange Rate: ~ 3.5 Turkish lira per US dollar (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: 2.9% (2016 est.)
Military Expenditures: 1.69% of GDP (2016) (World Rank: 35)
Health Expenditures: 5.4% of GDP (2014) (World Rank: 103)
Population Growth Rate: 5.4% of GDP (2014)
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 25.08% (male 10,303,153/female 9,833,713); 15-24 years: 16.11% (male 6,605,634/female 6,329,921); 25-54 years: 43.15% (male 17,541,137/female 17,094,141); 55-64 years: 8.36% (male 3,335,021/female 3,374,965); 65 years and over: 7.3% (male 2,603,655/female 3,253,264) (2016 est.)
Literacy: 95% (Male: 98.4%; Female: 91.8% [2015 est.])
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 80-85%; Alevi Muslim 15-20%; Christian (various denominations) 0.13%; Jewish 0.03%
Ethnic Demographics: Turks 80%, Kurds 18%, Arabs 1.4%, Armenians 0.1%, and other (Assyrian, Greek Orthodox, Georgian, Circassian) 0.5%
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, Zaza, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, Neo-Aramaic Laz, Ladino
Area: 301,159 square miles