Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
An Egyptian court has ruled to release on bail two people arrested over the raising of an LGBT rainbow flag at a Cairo concert, their lawyer said Tuesday. The appearance of the symbolic banner of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community among the crowd at a gig by Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila in September sparked a broad crackdown by the authorities. Security and judicial sources said in the days following the concert that at least six people were arrested over the incident on charges including "inciting immorality". After an online campaign, a court ruled to release two of the concert-goers, Sarah Hegazy and Ahmed Alaa...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Prosecutors in Egypt have detained a female singer for four days for "incitement to debauchery" after an online video clip sparked controversy, a judicial source said on Tuesday. Leila Amer appeared at the end of December in a music video called "Boss Oumek" ("Look at your mother") which includes sensual oriental dance and suggestive gestures. Musicians' union president Hany Shaker, a male singer known for his conservative stance, last week announced on the private channel Dream TV that Amer had been expelled from the union. Her case comes less than a month after another female pop singer was sentenced to two years in prison for "inciting debauchery" over a racy video. Shyma appeared in a mock classroom licking an apple...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
An Egypt court has sentenced to jail 28 football fans for paying tribute to dozens killed in stadium riots five years ago, accusing them of "incitement", official sources said Tuesday. Judicial and security sources said the 28 Al Ahly club fans wore T-shirts bearing messages "offending the state and inciting rioting" during a match in October against Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel. The T-shirts were meant as a tribute to more than 72 people killed in stadium riots in 2012 in the eastern city of Port Said, involving fans of Al Ahly and another club, Al Masry. It was the deadliest sports riot in the country's modern history, and triggered anti-government protests. The 28 -- sentenced to one year in...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to do so. After the deadline, this amount will decrease and those who continue to refuse to go will face arrest. Holot, an open facility in Israel's desert south that can host 1,200 migrants who are allowed to leave to work...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Egyptian prison authorities executed on Tuesday five inmates who had been sentenced to death, four of them over a bombing that killed military cadets, security officials said. The hangings came days after the execution of 15 inmates convicted of attacking police and the military in the largest mass execution in Egypt in recent memory. Four of those executed on Tuesday had been sentenced to death by a military court over a 2015 the bombing at a stadium north of Cairo that killed three military cadets. The fifth had been sentenced to death over a criminal matter, the sources said without elaborating. The other four had been accused of having links with the Muslim Brotherhood movement of former president Mohamed Morsi...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
A gunman killed two Copts celebrating the New Year in an Egyptian alcohol shop early on Monday, judicial and security sources said, the latest deadly violence against the Christian minority. The shooting came just three days after a gunman, identified as a wanted jihadist, killed nine people in an attack on a church south of the capital. An assailant rode up in the back of a motorcycle taxi and opened fire on the liquor store in Cairo's twin city Giza at around 1:30 am (2330 GMT Sunday), when the streets were still bustling with New Year revellers, the sources said. The store's Coptic owner survived but two of his friends who were celebrating with him were killed. Police are still...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah was named Arab Player of the Year for 2017 on Monday in a poll of around 100 sports journalists from several Arab countries. Salah, 25, has been an instant success at Liverpool since joining from AS Roma, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League already and 23 in all competitions. He also helped Egypt to qualify for this year's World Cup finals in Russia. Syrian winger Omar Khribin, who plays for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, came second and another Syrian player, Omar Al-Soma, of Saudi side Al Ahli, was third. Salah is also favourite to win the African Player of the Year title which will be announced in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday.
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to three years in prison along with 19 other defendants on Saturday for "insulting the judiciary," his lawyer said. The other defendants include former members of parliament, activists and three journalists. Morsi had already been sentenced to a total of 45 years in prison in two other trials after the military ousted him in 2013. The defendants had all been charged with making statements deemed insulting to the judiciary. Five other defendants, including jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, were fined 30,000 pounds (about $1,680)...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest apparent jihadist attack on Egypt's Christian minority. The Islamic State group claimed its "soldiers" carried out the attack on the Saint Mina Coptic church in the district of Helwan, just south of Cairo. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman was shot dead after killing nine people and wounding others, including a police officer. But the interior ministry said the assailant, a wanted jihadist implicated in attacks on police, had been wounded and arrested. The man had been armed with an assault rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and a bomb he intended to set off at...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier on Friday announced the sale of 12 C Series aircraft to EgyptAir in a deal worth $1.1 billion. The company said it signed a letter of intent last month for the sale of the 160-seat CS300 planes, with an option for another 12, and that was converted into a firm purchase agreement. The deal would be worth nearly $2.2 billion if EgyptAir buys the additional 12 planes, according to a statement from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. This order, together with another for 31 aircraft from an unidentified European company in early November, has given a boost to the Canadian manufacturer after seeing delays and the doubling of costs in the C Series program. "The aircraft is performing...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest apparent jihadist attack on the country's Christian minority. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman was shot dead after killing nine people and wounding others, including a police officer. But the interior ministry said in a statement that the assailant, a wanted jihadist implicated in attacks on police, had been wounded and arrested. The jihadist had been armed with an assault rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and a bomb he intended to set off at the church, the ministry said. The ministry said he killed two people when he opened fire on a store before heading...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
Egypt's Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of its population, have come under attack by Islamist radicals several times over the past years. With a new attack on Friday, when a gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo and killed nine people, here is a timeline of the major incidents. - 2017 - May 26: Masked gunmen order Christians travelling to a desert monastery to get off their buses and recant their faith. The group -- a mix of visitors and workers heading to the Saint Samuel monastery south of Cairo -- refuse and are shot one by one. About 30 people are killed. The Islamic State group claims responsibility. - April 9: Two churches are...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
Six Egyptian soldiers died when their vehicle exploded during a raid against "terrorists" in restless North Sinai province, the army said Thursday. "An officer and five soldiers died when an explosive device blew up their vehicle during a raid on a terrorist den," spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said in a statement. In a separate operation, three jihadists were killed, he said, adding that they were in possession of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices. Four vehicles belonging to the cell were also destroyed, killing the passengers inside. He did not specify the date of either incident.
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Egyptian authorities on Tuesday executed 15 prisoners convicted of attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula, police officials said. The men were hanged in two jails where they had been held since military courts sentenced them for the attacks in the Sinai, where jihadists are waging an insurgency, the officials said. It was the largest mass execution carried out in the North African country since six convicted jihadists were hanged in 2015. The hangings come a week after the Islamic State group attacked a helicopter with an anti-tank missile at a North Sinai airport as the country's defence and interior ministers were visiting. The ministers were unhurt in the attack but an aide to the defence minister was...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Egypt's top diplomat is to visit Addis Ababa Tuesday to discuss controversial Ethiopian plans to build a dam on the Nile that Cairo fears will impact its water supplies, his ministry said Monday. Construction of the massive dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia has poisoned relations between the two countries, as Egypt fears its share of water from the Nile will be hit once the project is completed. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry's visit to Addis Ababa is "a new Egyptian move aiming to break the deadlock" in talks with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Renaissance Dam, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said. The three countries have yet to approve a May report on the social and environmental...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Nine people suspected of belonging to a cell behind attacks in the Sinai Peninsula were killed during a police raid in northeastern Egypt, the interior ministry said Sunday. The cell based in Sharqiya province was implicated in attacks on "security posts and military apparatus in North Sinai, which killed many members of the armed forces and police force," the ministry said in a statement. Members were also accused of plotting other attacks on vital infrastructure in the region, it added. Police found automatic rifles and ammunition during the raid on a site that had been used as a weapons and explosives training centre. Security forces in Cairo also detained nine people and seized weapons and explosive devices, the ministry said...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Masked gunmen opened fire on a cafe south of the Egyptian capital, killing three people, security officials said Sunday. The attack, which took place overnight in the village of Al-Ayat about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Cairo, left at least five others wounded, they said. While the motivation was unclear officials suspect it was a criminal incident rather than terrorism. State-run newspaper Akhbar al-Youm, citing witnesses, said two attackers arrived on a motorcycle and opened fire on people in the cafe before fleeing. Security officials arrived at the scene and also interviewed injured people in hospital to try to identify and arrest the attackers, the newspaper reported.
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced a British woman to three years in prison on Tuesday, convicting her of trying to smuggle drugs into the country, a judicial official said. Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested at Hurghada airport when customs officers found almost 300 Tramadol pills in her luggage. The strong painkiller is tightly controlled in Egypt where it is often abused as a recreational drug. Plummer and her relatives had told British media that she was bringing the painkillers for her Egyptian boyfriend who suffers from back pain. The verdict can be appealed.
(AFP (eng) 12/23/17)
Two accidents on Egypt's roads have killed at least 26 people in three days, authorities said. A collision Saturday involving a minibus on a desert road 145 kilometres (90 miles) south of Cairo left 13 dead, the health ministry said. That came just days after a crash on the same road also claimed 13 lives. Accidents on Egypt's roads killed more than 5,000 people in 2016, according to official figures, and authorities have moved to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Egypt's judiciary said Thursday it had launched an inquiry after Human Rights Watch accused security services of widespread torture of detainees in a probable "crime against humanity". The New York-based rights group said in a September report that security services in the North African country used torture as a "systematic practice" against suspected opponents of the government. The prosecutor's office said Thursday that counsellor Nabil Sadik had ordered the appointment of a senior judicial official "to investigate the allegations mentioned" in the HRW report. In a statement in English, it said the investigation, which began in late October, aimed to "rightfully stand on the truth and take the necessary legal measures".

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