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Friday, November 1, 2013

Military Court Sentences Journalist

A Cairo-based journalist with Al-Watan newspaper was sentenced today by a military court to one year in prison. Hatem Aboul Nour was arrested by Egyptian security forces two months ago for reportedly pretending to be a military officer during phone interviews to obtain sensitive information. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information said that this move “increases the doubts about the seriousness of the Egyptian state’s will to guarantee freedom of expression.” The ANHRI also accused the Egyptian government of targeting Aboul Nour for the substance of his journalism, not the act of impersonating an officer.

Shots Fired in Luxury Hotel in Giza

In an apparent labor dispute, gunmen opened fire on the five-star Amarante Pyramids Hotel in Giza earlier today, located near Egypt’s top tourist attraction. A spokesperson for Egypt’s Interior Minister said that the attack was carried out by disgruntled former employees who were denied entry to the hotel, in an effort to quell rumors which indicated that the attack might be political or religious in nature. Police are still looking for the attackers.

Protesters Arrested in Alexandria

In Alexandria, 45 protestors were arrested after clashes broke out between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and residents, according to state newspaper Al-Ahram. The clashes began early this morning in the Sis Beshr district, after residents attacked a passing pro-Morsi march. The area was cleared by security forces, who then arrested 45 people. All of the arrested are said to be pro-Morsi protesters. The marches today were organized by the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy. The protests are slated to continue until Monday, the date set for the deposed president’s trial.

US Secretary of State to Arrive in Egypt Sunday

A US delegation arrived in Cairo today to prepare for the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is scheduled to arrive in Egypt this Sunday. During his visit, Kerry will attempt to smooth over US – Egypt relations, which have become strained since the July 3 ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. In response to the ouster and to continued violence in Egypt, the US has withheld some of the delivery of its annual 1.3 billion in military and financial aid.

Egyptian Social Democrats to Align with Tamarod for Elections

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) announced yesterday that they will form an electoral alliance with the Tamarod campaign for Egypt’s upcoming elections. Party chairman Mohamed Aboulghar said the allegiance plans to create a broad coalition of “all patriotic powers.” Tamarod spokesman Hassan Shahin stated earlier this week that Tamarod was in discussions with the National Salvation Front regarding the future parliamentary elections. The goal, according to Shahin, is “to form the broadest nation-wide alliance that includes revolutionary factions under the umbrella of Tamarod.”

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