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Monday, September 9, 2013

Labor Lawyer, Political Activist Released

A labor lawyer and leader of the Revolutionary Socialist movement, Haytham Mohamadeen, was released by Suez authorities on Sunday.  Police arrested Mohamadeen last week while he was on his way to meet with workers in Suez; Egyptian authorities accused him of possessing materials to incite violence, attempting to “overthrow the state” and running “a secret organization aimed at assaulting citizens.” Police have cracked down on journalists, supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and political dissidents of all stripes in recent weeks. After his release, Mohamadeen thanked the revolutionaries in Egypt and vowed that the movement would continue.

Bomb Targeting Interior Minister Claimed by Jihadist Group

A jihadist group based in the tumultuous Sinai region has claimed responsibility for the bomb that targeted Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim last Thursday. Though over twenty people were wounded in the attack, Ibrahim was unharmed.  A statement released on militant Islamist forums proclaimed the attack a success, saying the failed assassination attempt “shatter [ed] the security organization” of the Ministry of the Interior. The group – Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis – blames Mohamed Ibrahim for the recent attacks that state security forces have carried out against Muslim Brotherhood supporters since President Morsi was ousted in early July.

Amr Moussa Promises to Draft Revolutionary Constitution

Amr Moussa, former presidential candidate and former secretary general of the Arab League was elected head of the new Egyptian constitutional committee on Sunday. He promised to draft a constitution that “reflects the ideals of the two revolutions of January 2011 and June 2013.”  In his opening remarks, Moussa spoke of his commitment to a constitution that protects “people’s aspirations for real democracy, political pluralism, and an effective separation of powers.” Moussa’s deputy, Islamist thinker Kamal El-Helbawy, asked Egyptian Islamists to keep away from politics.

Syrian Opposition Group Rejects Potential US Strike

The Syrian NCC (National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change) has come out against any kind of US strike on Syria. According to the opposition group’s general coordinator Hassan Abdel Azim, the NCC seeks a resolution to the crisis that ensures Syrian unity, and believes that intervention will lead to regional war. Another leader of the group said that military strikes will only obstruct and delay a possible political solution, which he described as “the only way out.” Reports, however, indicate that the armed opposition plans to exploit the possible U.S. strike in order to advance its military position.

Egyptian Filmmakers Sweep Festival

Egyptian filmmakers who attended the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden last week did not leave empty-handed. Among the highlights, Magy Morgan took home the prize for Best Director for her first feature film Asham: A Man Called Hope, and Amir Ramses won the Best Documentary award for his film Jews of Egypt. Egyptians also received the Best Actor, Best Score and Best Editor award. Several festival attendees were also heckled by pro-Morsi protesters on the red carpet at the opening ceremony in early September.

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