June 13, 2013
U.S. Subcommittee Discusses NGO Verdict
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs met yesterday to discuss the verdict in the case of NGO workers in Egypt. Members of the committee heard testimony from a number of civil society leaders on the verdict that recently sentenced 43 individuals to prison in Egypt. Among those testifying was Charles Dunne, Freedom House's Director for the Middle East and North Africa, who argued that economic and military aid to Egypt should be conditioned to Egypt’s performance during its democratic transition. Subcommittee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen criticized the Egyptian government’s record during the transition and saying that the verdict is in “direct contradiction to the principles of Egypt’s revolution two years ago.”
“Subcommittee hearing in DC: tolerance for NGO verdicts “next to nil” Daily News Egypt (English) 6/13/13
Rhetoric Intensifies Leading up to June 30
Tensions between the Muslim Brotherhood and their opponents continue to intensify as both Islamists and opposition parties prepare for a number of demonstrations both in support of and against President Morsi. During a press conference on Wednesday, the Muslim Brotherhood announced their plan to participate in a June 21 rally renouncing the political violence. During the conference, the Freedom and Justice party also acknowledged that they have asked the Ministry of Interior to protect their headquarters in Cairo on June 30. The leader of the Construction and Development party, the political wing of al-Gama al-Islamiyya, announced the party's plans to participate in the June 21 protest as well. Party leader Tariq Zamr accused the opposition of calling for violence, saying that “calls for Morsi's fall are outside the law and are an incitement for violence.” In related news, the controversial ‘Black Bloc’ group announced their plans to participate in the June 30 protests against President Morsi. The group announced they will not enter into violence during the demonstrations. In recent weeks, both the opposition and President Morsi’s supporters have pledged their commitment to non-violence despite a rise in violent clashes between various groups.The Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim retracted an earlier statement in which he said that police would not be present at the rallies scheduled for the end of the month. Ibrahim said that the minister will “secure the demonstrations without regard to political affiliation.” In addition, U.S. Under Secretary of State of Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, met with the opposition in order to discuss the upcoming political events in Egypt. The group of political parties included the Strong Egypt Party, Dostour Party, Democratic Egypt Party, al-Nour Party, Reform and Development Party, and al-Wafd Party.
“Islamists to Rally to Reject Violence,” Aswat Masriya (English) 6/13/13
“Moussa Says President Must Accept Tamarod’s Demands,” Aswat Masriya (English) 6/13/13
“Interior Minister Retreats: We will secure protests and we will protect citizens and installations,” al-Masry al-Youm (Arabic) 6/13/13
“FJP Asks Interior Ministry to Protect Headquarters on June 30,” al-Masry al-Youm (Arabic) 6/13/13
“Tariq Zamr: Calls for the fall of Morsi are outside the law and aim for violence,” Shorouk (Arabic) 6/13/13
“Under Secretary of State Meets with Representatives of Political Parties on June 30 Demonstrations,” Shorouk (Arabic) 6/13/13
“Black Block will Participate in June 30 Demonstration, will not Use Violence,” Shorouk (Arabic) 6/13/13
“Shorouk Publishes Details of Church Meeting to Discuss June 30,” Shorouk (Arabic) 6/13/13
Protests Against Culture Minister Spread to Alexandria
Protests against the Egyptian Minister of Culture spread to Alexandria on Wednesday. Artists and actors have been protesting the actions of the recently appointed Alaa Abdel Aziz in front of the Ministry of Culture in Cairo for the last week. A number of political movements pledged their support to the artists’ protest against the minister claiming that his policies represent the “corruption of culture.” The Dostour Party in Alexandria announced their planned participation in a demonstration on Saturday in front of the Beram al-Tounsi Theatre calling for the removal of Abdel Aziz. Meanwhile, Tamarod campaigners and Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed Wednesday night in Alexandria where the crowds exchanged volleys of stones. The anti-Morsi crowd eventually gained the upper hand and chased the Muslim Brotherhood members into a local mosque. After the clashes, spokesmen from both the Muslim Brotherhood and Tamarod blamed the altercation on their adversaries.
“Alexandria Residents Join Calls to Remove Culture Minister,” Daily News Egypt (English) 6/13/13
“Anti-Regime Campaigners Clash with Morsi Supporters in Alexandria,” Aswat Masriya (English) 6/13/13
“Brotherhood, Rebel Swap Blame for Alexandria Clashes,” Ahram Online (English) 6/13/13
“Tamarod: Morsi’s day are numbered … and his legitimacy has fallen in front of the martyrs,” al-Masry al-Youm (Arabic) 6/13/13
“Al-Tanbura Participates in Protests against the Culture Minister,” el-Watan (Arabic) 6/13/13
Egypt Air Pilots Begin Sit-in
Pilots for Egypt’s national air carrier Egypt Air began a sit-in on Thursday, disrupting Egypt’s air traffic. The pilots are demanding better working conditions. As of this morning, at least nine flights have already been cancelled with more expected to be canceled as long as the strike continues. Late last year, stewards and hostesses from Egypt Air went on strike causing the cancellation of over 50 flights. Civil Aviation Minister Wael al-Mawaadi arrived at the airport early Thursday to speak with the pilots.
“EgyptAir Pilots Strike, Cairo Flights Disrupted,” Daily News Egypt (English) 6/13/13
“Pilots Sit-in: This Wednesday until our demands are met,” Shorouk (Arabic) 6/13/13
Political Cartoon of the Day
Translation: "Do you have a Tamarod form?"
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- Daniel Stoker (any questions, comments, or suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)