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Egypt in the balance: what the blogs are saying 1 - 7 November

This 'You tell us' feature offers some first hand accounts and a range of opinions in blogs, articles and tweets, first and foremost from the people of Egypt.

November 1

Army closes off main symbolic squares of the revolution ahead of planned pro-Morsi protests. The squares closed are: Tahrir, Mostafa Mahmoud, Rabaa Al Adawiya and Al Nahda. The railway authorities announce a state of emergency and increase security on trains and in stations.

The US embassy advises its citizens to stay away from Brotherhood protests.

Thousands of pro-Morsi demonstrators take to the streets across Egypt in protests at his upcoming trial, some of which takes place in the military intelligence headquarters in Cairo. 22 women are arrested in Alexandria for supposedly using force to disrupt traffic during a protest.

Eight people are injured in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters in Kafr El Sheikh. Further clashes between security forces and protestors take place in Suez.

Sherif Tarek comments on people’s reaction to political satirist, Bassem Youssef’s return in  “Media freedom faces wide-ranging challenges in Egypt’s transitional period” – “Old practices of censorship and state control of media, now joined by public intolerance for criticism of transitional authorities, present a formidable challenge to media independence in Egypt”.

Bassem Youssef’s show has been pulled off the air.

According to army officials, 36 "terrorists" are captured in north Sinai, including the leader of a radical Islamist group Al Takfir wal Hijra, and three smuggling tunnels are destroyed. 

Intl Political Forum ‏@intlpolitical 9:30 AM - 1 Nov 13: Violence in the #Sinai means it could be years until #Egypt can attract investment for further gas exploration: http://bit.ly/16AT6oF 

Abdel Maaboud, a member on the reserve list of the 50-member constitutional committee and of the Salafist Al Nour Party, describes article 54 preventing the establishment of political parties based on religion as vague and loosely defined.

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 12:58 PM - 1 Nov 13: Another hopeful sign, #Egypt constitution to ban censorship of state-owned media http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/85252.aspx  via @ahramonline

Carina Kamel ‏@Carina_bn 1:48 PM - 1 Nov 13: WATCH Naguib Sawiris tells #AlArabiya he'll invest LE4bn labour-intensive projects after #Egypt constitution passes http://ara.tv/yae5j 

Egyptocracy ‏@Egyptocracy 4:51 PM - 1 Nov 13: Reminder to Morsi supporters: 1. Military was granted more power than ever in #MB's constitution. 2. Morsi glorified police and army. #Egypt

Dunyaدنيــا ‏@Dunya_hassanein 5:00 PM - 1 Nov 13: @Egyptocracy Mil trials for civilians were greatly welcomed in MB's constitution 

 

November 2

The Cairo Post ‏@TheCairoPost 4:01 PM - 2 Nov 13: Security operations continue in #Sinai as former deputy governor evades capture http://thecairopost.youm7.com/news/28677/news/security-operations-continue-in-sinai-as-former-deputy-governor-evades-capture … #AlArish #Egypt via @TheCairoPost

Hany Rasmy ‏@hany2m 3:19 PM - 2 Nov 13: Gunmen attack North #Sinai radio station, no casualties reported - http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/gunmen-attack-north-sinai-radio-station … #Egypt

Ministry of Interior warns against violence during Morsi trial and announces that all actions within the boundaries of the law to combat violence will be taken.

Nine people die as a result of a fight erupting while queuing for bread. According to officials the feud over who was first in line began between two families a month before.

Ikhwanweb ‏@Ikhwanweb 7:54 AM - 2 Nov 13: #Sisi militia in full battle gear arresting #AntiCoup teenage girls RT "@MoMoUk: pic.twitter.com/3i4EWJCLc6" #Egypt #EgyFascism #R4BIA

According to Mohamed Salmawy, the spokesperson of the 50-member constituent assembly, the committee has approved 50 articles. These articles will then be sent to the 10-member committee of judicial and constitutional experts for review.

Ikhwanweb ‏@Ikhwanweb 5:01 PM - 2 Nov 13: One Word Will Define #Egypt's Constitution - By Nathan J. Brown | The Middle East Channel http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/11/01/one_word_will_define_egypts_constitution?wp_login_redirect=0#.UnUTkB8FRLs.twitter …

The Tamarod/Rebel Movement announce their solidarity with Egypt’s satirist Bassem Youssef, after his show was pulled off air yesterday.

Arab Fury ‏@Arab_Fury 1:38 AM - 2 Nov 13: This Egypt state-run editorial compares Sisi to God. And yet liberals still think he will cede power to an election. http://goo.gl/kzzZMm  

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Human Rights Watch: Protestor killings not being investigated

 

November 3

Osama Morsi, son of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, is temporarily detained at Cairo airport.

Fatima Said (@fattysaid) tweeted at 11:39 PM on Sun, Nov 03, 2013: Since the coup in #Egypt: 6 journalists killed, over 120 arrested, assaulted or injured & many channels shut down. Hurray for democracy! 

Two policemen are killed in a drive-by shooting on the Cairo-Ismailiya road.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, arrives in Cairo to push for democratic progress. This is his first visit since the ouster of Morsi. He announces the US’ commitment to working with Egypt’s interim government, playing down the suspension of parts of annual aid, and urges “inclusive, free and fair elections” as well as an end to the state of emergency.

Ahmed Kadry (@AhmedKadry) tweeted at 11:53 PM on Sun, Nov 03, 2013: For those people who thought US policy would change in #Egypt post-July 3. http://t.co/iReVEvVHBQ

Samer Al-Atrush ‏@SameralAtrush 1:38 PM - 3 Nov 13: Kerry reveals he was merely expressing military "state of mind" when he said Sisi restored democracy in egypt

Dina Ezzat comments on Kerry’s recent visit in “Kerry’s message in Cairo”.

Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) tweeted at 10:00 AM on Sun, Nov 03, 2013: When it comes to its foreign policy, the US is really like a bull in a china shop operating several hundred drones with its clumsy hooves. 

Louisa Loveluck ‏@leloveluck 1:19 PM - 3 Nov 13: Kerry emphasising that aid for counterterrorism and Sinai ops (surely one and the same?) will continue. #Egypt

Ismail Naguib ‏@i_naguib 10:46 AM - 3 Nov 13: Its amusing to me that there are so many idiots out there who genuinely believe Hamas is fighting the Egyptian army in Sinai. #Egypt

@cairowire 8:44 PM - 3 Nov 13: 35 defendants referred to trial over #rafah massacre: http://is.gd/ii3eui  #egypt #sinai #CSF #MOI

A campaign called ‘complete your favour’ endorsing Gen. Abdel Fattah El Sisi for president has been circulating since July. Agriculture minister, Ayman Abu-Hadid, signs the petition.

Sharmine Narwani (@snarwani) tweeted at 11:28 PM on Sun, Nov 03, 2013: "If Egyptians want to believe that El Sisi is their saviour, they have every right to do so"http://t.co/xGPUET9rxW #Egypt 

The military spokesperson announces that the Border Guard have destroyed eight illegal underwater diesel containers in the Sinai Peninsula.

Deputy Prime Minister, Hossam Eissa, announces that the draft protests law has been amended and will be sent to the president for approval, supposedly before the state of emergency is lifted on November 14.

The Salafist Al Nour Party announces the end to conflict over the “Sharia” articles in the constitution. 

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 11:09 PM - 3 Nov 13: Egypt considers expanded powers for military in new constitution - we didn't see this coming at all! Oh wait..http://wapo.st/16vYIB7 

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 11:17 AM - 3 Nov 13: Egypt's constitution committee approved 50 articles: Committee spokesman http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/85386.aspx  via @ahramonline 

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, who back deposed President Morsi, call on their supporters to protest against Morsi’s trial peacefully. Pro-Morsi protestors believe his trial is a farce. The trial is to take place at the Police Academy and will not be televised.

Liam Stack (@liamstack) tweeted at 11:55 PM on Sun, Nov 03, 2013: In trial, #Morsi could be imprisoned for breaking out of political imprisonment during #Jan25http://t.co/RLWt0pJnJC via @madamasr

Heba Afify in “Being Brotherhood” sheds light on what the families of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders are going through since Morsi’s ousting in July:

“Indeed, the polarization and practices of exclusion that are sweeping society seem to be transmitting from parents to children.

Earlier this month, Amr Farouk posted on Facebook scans showing a double fracture in the arm of his 10-year-old son, Yehia. Farouk said Yehia sustained the injury, which will require an operation, because three classmates beat him when he objected to their singing an improvised song titled “Morsi is a Thief.”

“I’m now facing an ethical dilemma,” says Farouk. “What do I tell my son about his 10-year-old colleagues who denied his humanity and legitimized their assault on him just because he holds a different opinion? How do I teach him to love them and be loyal to them? How do I teach him that Egypt is for all Egyptians and that these kids now celebrating the defeat of their colleague ‘the terrorist’ are not bad people but only misguided?” 

Zeinobia’s latest blog post “#Morsi_Trial: Another trial for another president”.

Activist, Hassan Mostafa, is released after a court in Alexandria orders his acquittal. He was accused of helping the escape of protestors who’d been arrested for blocking railway tracks while protesting against a railway incident that had happened in January leaving 19 dead and over 100 wounded.

Journalist, Mohamed Sabry, is given a six month suspended jail term. He is the third Egyptian journalist to be tried in a military court for allegedly taking pictures of army checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula.

Timothy E. Kaldas on “The trials”:

“The judicial processes facing our last two presidents will make space for us to assess the limits of the 2011 revolution in full view. It is not surprising that Mubarak escaped the series of convictions many hoped for. Mubarak’s police force was responsible for gathering the evidence against him. His prosecutors were ordered to try their former boss and the man responsible for them holding their jobs. Judges that Mubarak appointed oversaw the case and judged him according to the laws he and his regime had written. In the end the court was forced, for political reasons, to convict Mubarak of something because at the time failing to do so would have produced a destabilizing outcry that would have undermined the integrity of the SCAF-led regime, and so the crime of “failing to prevent deaths” was concocted.
On Monday Morsi will face the exact opposite scenario. The police force that has spent decades working to repress the Muslim Brotherhood will be responsible for gathering the evidence against him. He will be tried according to the laws of a regime that has worked assiduously to block the Brotherhood from accessing power. His prosecutors will be the employees of the public prosecutor appointed by the regime that overthrew him, and the judges will be the same judges that convicted and imprisoned countless members of the Brotherhood as political prisoners under the Mubarak regime. The trial is political theater and no one is in doubt about how the final act will end." 

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Amnesty International: Morsi must be brought to court and granted access to a lawyer

Trial of Mohamed Morsi: questions and answers

 

November 4

A military officer is killed in Ismailiya.

The trial of deposed President Mohamed Morsi and 14 co-defendants begins at the Police Academy. The charges put forth are for the incitement of violence and murder in December 2012 in front of the Ittihadeya Presidential Palace.

Mohamed Selim El Awa, a former presidential candidate, Islamist thinker and lawyer arrives in Morsi’s defense and says that some lawyers are being denied access to proceedings. Morsi arrives in a suit, not prison uniform, and repeatedly says during the proceedings that he is the legitimate president of Egypt.

The trial is adjourned to January 8, 2014 and Morsi is flown to Borg El Arab prison on the north coast while the other defendants are taken to Tora Prison.

Francesca Cicardi (@FraCicardi) tweeted at 0:12 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Others 6 #MB leaders were in cage with #Morsi, Mohamed el Beltagi was the 1 screaming +, his voice weird and angry, attacking judge directly

آدم مكاري (@adamakary) tweeted at 0:18 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: my first courtroom sketch #egypt #MorsiTrial http://t.co/pOPwQPl9Rf 

marlyn (@virtualactivism) tweeted at 0:17 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Reason transfer of Morsi's court trial is bec police found 3 Qassam rocket launchers in Maadi close to where the court was initially 2b held

marlyn (@virtualactivism) tweeted at 0:18 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Morsi playing the religion card.. again. He leads other inmates in prayer at court. 

Adam Ramsey آدم رمزي (@aporamsey) tweeted at 0:19 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Beltagy spoke of the politicization of the court proceedings. He talked over the judge or directly at him #MorsiTrial

Adam Ramsey آدم رمزي (@aporamsey) tweeted at 0:22 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: At one point some lawyers held up portraits of Hossam Abu Deyf, Journo who was killed by Ittihadeya on Dec 5 #MorsiTrial

Ahmed Ateyya  (@Ateyya) tweeted at 0:33 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Previous retweet: a lawyer accuses mb of targeting anti- Morsi lawyers and trying to assault them near the court

Dalia Ezzat (@DaliaEzzat_) tweeted at 6:20 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Adjourned till January 8. Read @TamerELG summary of the  #MorsiTrial earlier todayhttp://t.co/Cw4nWxHkRe

Incidents of journalists being attacked by pro-Morsi supporters are reported.

fustat (@fustat) tweeted at 0:22 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: #MorsiTrial R @RichardJSpencer  Meanwhile outside court @Telegraph reporter @MagdySamaan attacked by MB protesters for taking video #Egypt

Tamer El-Ghobashy (@TamerELG) tweeted at 0:00 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Several reports out of Morsi courtroom indicate some Egyptian journos abandoned all professionalism and chanted for execution. #media

ابن جمال الدين (@IbnGamalDin) tweeted at 0:35 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Photojournalist @sabrykhaled after being attacked by #Morsi supporters #MorsiTrial #Ikhwan #MBhttp://t.co/BEvF4qCvYo

Several pro-Morsi protests take place across Egypt. The focal point is the Police Academy where Morsi is being tried; three protestors are arrested there. Others demonstrate in front of Cairo’s constitutional court. Assuit University students clash with security forces and 18 pro-Morsi demonstrators are arrested in Alexandria.

Fatima Said (@fattysaid) tweeted at 0:09 AM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Interesting: families of those killed at Ittihadiya issue press release: "we reject the trial of #Morsi"http://t.co/fzHVwiEAsO #Egypt 

Omar Halawa “Analysis: What’s in a case - Morsi trial may have deep political implications”:

“Unlike most cases of killing protesters since January 25, 2011, in this case, police act as witnesses while none of its members stand behind the dock. With a less vulnerable position this time, police are striving to rewrite history.”

Wael Eskandar (@weskandar) tweeted at 1:55 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: No real justice in this charade.. military will find #Morsi guilty of everything, #MB find him guilty of nothing.

The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) believe the Morsi trial signifies a positive step towards holding violators of human rights accountable.

Richard Spencer (@RichardJSpencer) tweeted at 0:18 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: From dock before hearing, other #Morsi trial defendants said they were tortured in custody. MP Mohammed Beltagy 'held in cell for 60 days'

Sayed Abu Zeid, the attorney appointed by the journalists’ syndicate, demands the execution of Morsi in retribution for the death of Abu-Deif, a journalist killed in the December 2012 clashes.

ahramonline: Families of Muslim Brotherhood loyalists killed during the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace clashes release a statement through the ‘Families of the Ittihadiya Martyrs’ Alliance’ demanding the “real perpetrators” are brought to justice. One family filed a complaint against former interior minister Ahmed Gamal El Din as well as National Salvation Front (NSF) members Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, and media anchor Wael El-Ebrashy, holding them responsible for the killings.

Salma Shukrallah reports on testimonies by protestors who claim they were tortured by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in December 2012 in “Egypt protesters tell stories of torture, abuse at Ittihadiya Presidential Palace”. She recounts the experiences of Rami Sabry, a Christian who was severely beaten – a video of this event went viral – and Yehia Zakaria, a retired diplomat who’d been in exile under the Mubarak regime, as well as Rania Hassan of the Dostour Party.

Hadeel Al-Shalchi (@hadeelalsh) tweeted at 0:17 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: RT @sherryamin13: Ironically,leftist&liberal movements that joined uprisings vs Mub &Morsi hav turned blind eye2 rights abuses by de... 

Mahmoud Nijad’s latest blog entry “Morsi trial and the symbolic fate of Egypt’s revolution”:

“There’s no clearer message to punish the revolution the Egyptian people started on January 25 in 2011 than putting Morsi, whom they freely chose as their leader to achieve the revolution’s goals, on trial while setting Mubarak’s regime figures free from charges; it is similar to saying ,”Nice try”.

This is not the first time Egyptians make a revolution that only ends in reinstating the old oppressive regime. There has been plenty of uprisings and resistance movements in Egypt’s history whose leaders were soon punished by either exile or death.”

Salma Elwardany (@S_Elwardany) tweeted at 0:33 PM on Mon, Nov 04, 2013: Pro-Mursi alliance calls for nationwide protests tomorrow to 'salute president's resistance' 

A military court in Suez sentences six Morsi supporters to three years in jail for the incitement and participation in violent clashes last August following the dispersal of the sit-ins.

arabist ‏@arabist 11:02 AM - 4 Nov 13: Ousted General in Egypt Is Back, as Islamists’ Foe - http://NYTimes.com : http://ift.tt/170J1yL ; Fascinating story on Sisi's GIS head

Amr Darrag, of the Muslim Brotherhood, is prevented from travelling to Qatar, pending investigations.

The central bank returns USD500 million deposit to Qatar.

Mia Jankowicz writes “A lick of paint” referring to the cleanup campaigns after demonstrations:

“Cosmetic measures can beautify the world temporarily, but Tahrir has a lot of scars to cover, and they keep getting reopened. For as long as there’s a reason to gather, there is no hope of that circle being anything other than dust and mud, and for sagging villages of now-blurry political affiliations from encamping there.

A lick of paint can cover neither revolutionary dissent nor gang rapes of indescribable intensity, so Tahrir remains resolutely, irredeemably ugly. Until something very profound changes, I’m not sure it should ever be pretty. Before it is pretty, it should be a civic space.

We want nice things. By god, Egypt deserves nice things. But while my friend is right, none of this is about stubbornly preferring chaos and disorder to order and cleanliness, just in the name of keeping it real. It is about the rhetorical uses of cleanliness, and the precise evocation of chaos and instability that is brought in the face of the country when this cleanliness is withheld, as if the only reason the city doesn’t work is because the railings weren’t painted.  

It is about what else happens beyond the blur of broomsticks: ironically, a witch-hunt.”

Rights groups condemn last Friday’s arrest of 21 women in Alexandria. According to this report, 15 of these “women” are minors.

H.A. Hellyer in “The Egyptian media: Taking sides, not strides” concludes:

“On the contrary – with the stigmatisation of even dissenting voices (let alone those who belong to the opposing side, the pro-Morsi camp), the state comes across as incredibly unconvinced of itself – which makes it harder for it to convince others. That, in turn, only makes it more likely that there will be an increase in contrarian voices.” 

 

November 5

Egypt agrees to collaborate with Ethiopia on dam project.

Head of the 50-member constitution drafting committee, Amr Moussa, announces that the final sessions of the constitution-drafting panel will be held in public and alternate members will be allowed to attend. This comes after tensions arose when certain members were barred from attending and when a statement was released that sessions would be closed to “avoid conflicting media reports”.

Robert Mackey ‏@RobertMackey 11:41 PM - 5 Nov 13: So Ford's second statement says there will be elections in a year - wasn't that Mubarak's line too?

Salah Abdel-Maaboud, of the Salafist Al Nour Party, announces the partys’ objection to the article defining equality between women and men in the draft constitution. He says women’s rights should be defined by Sharia law.  

The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) tweeted at 9:19 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013: The word "civilian" will not be included in Article 1 in the constitution. Salafi Nour Party & surprisingly Azhar rejected it.

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 11:58 AM - 5 Nov 13: India sends mission to Mars. Meanwhile, in Egypt: Nour Party opposes gender equality in constitution. http://is.gd/h0Q5Ug .

Dalia Ezzat ‏@DaliaEzzat_ 12:47 PM - 5 Nov 13: Egypt's constitution could be put to referendum in late December or early January next year, says deputy PM http://bit.ly/1b8AP0A 

Ahmed Eleiba interviews Mosaad Abu Fagr, an activist and member of the constitutional committee, about what’s taking place in the Sinai Peninsula.

“Abu Fagr was jailed during the latter days of former autocrat Hosni Mubarak and set free days before the 2011 uprising that toppled the president. He now sees himself as both a revolutionary and a politician. Abu Fagr was deeply bitter about the downward spiral in Sinai since 2011 uprising. He believes that Sinai's Bedouin population has borne the brunt of Egypt's post-revolution economic and social upheavals, which he blames on the failure of the successive governments that have come into power since 2011.”

Evan Hill ‏@evanchill 12:10 AM - 5 Nov 13: Egypt's former opposition ready to re-elect the military that Jan 25 supposedly dethroned http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/nsf-will-back-sisi-if-he-runs-president-badawy-says … (via @kristenmctighe)

ahramonline: “Egypt deviated from democratic path under Morsi: Deputy Prime Minister” – “PM Ziad Bahaa El Din tells CNN the suffering of Egyptians results from Morsi's policies and stresses the dire need to return to democracy. 

H.A. Hellyer  د. إتش (@hahellyer) tweeted at 9:14 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013: My thoughts on the clashes in Cairo that #Morsi is now on trial for, as I wrote back then in @ForeignPolicy http://t.co/nhC2UIikSA

April 6th Youth Movement members, in clown suits, stage a satirical protest in response to a lawsuit accusing them of being a terrorist group.

H.A. Hellyer  د. إتش (@hahellyer) tweeted at 9:12 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013: 'This Is Just the Beginning': A Bloody Night With Egypt's Protesters - Evan Hill - The Atlantic http://t.co/Ps4Ym20jnG (December 2012)

Deena ‏@deenahsn 7:40 PM - 5 Nov 13: TT @ONewsAgency"Khaled Ali (former presidential runner and lawyer) joins the panel defending the Ultras in airport riot case."#Egypt @meedan

Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi announces that the draft protest law has been referred to the nation's top judicial authorities for review, to ensure its abidance by international standards. 

Associated Press: Egypt's ousted president Morsi in prison hospital after complaining of high blood pressure.

Amira Howeidy (@amirahoweidy) tweeted at 9:13 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013: "The hair of Mohamed Beltagy, once a member of parliament, had turned from black to grey" #Morsi_trial 
http://t.co/RujyGI26On

The Turkish foreign ministry urges the release of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and a group of international Muslim scholars denounce the trial. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its dissatisfaction with Turkey.

David D. Kirkpatrick (@ddknyt) tweeted at 8:56 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013:
“@Ziya_Meral: Strange the way we view the world.. Turkish press full of reports that Morsi was wearing a Turkish suit to his trial yesterday

Antoun Issa (@antissa) tweeted at 9:10 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013: Interesting re Egypt-Russia ties by @Nervana_1. Good point on two states aligning on #Syria for fear of radical Islam http://t.co/UfDKp1YmXu

A French woman who disappeared while in transit in Cairo is found. She arrived on October 31 and was supposed to fly out the next day. According to this report, authorities keep the passports of travellers transiting more than 12 hours. The individual is then escorted to a hotel, which in this case was the Baron Hotel.

According to a local newspaper, a prosecutor orders the detention of 17 “extremists” for 15 days pending investigations; for allegations of participating in terrorist activities or having plans to. 

Rania El Gamal reports on the UAE trial of 30 Emiratis and Egyptians accused of setting up an illegal branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE.

fustat (@fustat) tweeted at 9:07 AM on Tue, Nov 05, 2013: UAE: Concerns About Muslim Brotherhood Trial | HRW http://t.co/i0ghQc9VsQ #HumanRights #UAE

Talk about a new law banning graffiti surfaces. According to Al Masry Al Youm [Ar] anyone breaking the ban on “writing on walls” law could face four year prison sentence and a fine of EGP100,000. Mada Masr comment in “Of wall writings and trash”.

Press releases and reports by human rights organizations:

Reporters without Borders: New wave of attacks on freedom of information

 

November 6 

According to Al Ahram [Ar], three Sinai militants are killed by the Armed Forces and 61 “Islamist militant” houses are demolished. 

Shadi Hamid ‏@shadihamid 8:37 PM - 6 Nov 13: If you missed it, check out @zlgold's excellent @BrookingsFP paper -- probably best thing I've read on the Sinai: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/10/22-sinai-hamas-egypt-israel-gold …

The Ultras Ahlawy football fans march to the High Court demanding the release of 25 fellow fans. They have been charged with storming a Cairo airport terminal and assaulting security personnel on October 13, when they had gone to welcome the Ahlawy handball team upon their return from Tunisia.

Salma ‏@ablasalma 8:06 PM - 6 Nov 13: Revolutionary Women Ultras is a new movement set up by women to oppose the coup. #egypt https://www.facebook.com/ultrasbanat  pic.twitter.com/6H4NG4tlrr

ارون Aaron T. Rose ‏@Aaron_T_Rose 5:44 PM - 6 Nov 13: My photo gallery from the #Ultras march today via @DailyNewsEgypt. #Egypt #UA07 http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/06/in-pictures-ultras-march-en-masse-to-the-high-court/ …

57 pro-Morsi supporters are referred to criminal court.

Leading Muslim Brotherhood member, Essam El Erian, detention is extended for another 15 days as investigations continue. He’s been arrested on charges of incitement and attempted murder during the pro-Morsi sit-ins.

Fatima Said ‏@fattysaid 6:17 PM - 6 Nov 13: Many innocent civilians are being subjected to torture by security forces in #Egypt. We're witnessing a return to Mubarak's police state.

Mada Masr comment on local media’s coverage of Morsi in “Morsi on his first night in prison”:

“Egyptian and Arab media sources attempt to paint a picture of former President Morsi’s first night in prison on Wednesday following the first session of his trial relying on anonymous security sources.

With the accuracy of the reports impossible to verify, they vary widely from portraying Morsi as overwhelmed and incoherent to painting a picture of a dignified and composed leader bravely facing his ordeal.”

Sarah El Sirgany gives her first-hand account of Morsi’s trial in “Notes from Egypt’s show trial”.

Wael Eskandar ‏@weskandar 6:30 PM - 6 Nov 13: I wasn't able to write up a similar review for a very similar production.. but here's the old one on Mubarak's trial

Cairo governor announces plans to re-open Rabaa Al Adawiya mosque, where clashes took place mid-August. Authorities have prevented access to the mosque since the dispersal of the sit-ins. On October 11 demonstrators were shot at when they attempted to approach the mosque, killing a 19 year old man.

Pakinam and Voice (@pakinamamer) tweeted at 9:36 AM on Wed, Nov 06, 2013: Salafi woman turned atheist recounts her journey | Egypt Independent  http://t.co/7xn3nIVKL5 via @egyindependent

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 12:27 PM - 6 Nov 13: Constitution to be put to referendum in December: deputy PM | Egypt Independent http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/constitution-be-put-referendum-december-deputy-pm … via @egyindependent 

Ahmed Bakeer ‏@hamadabakeer 4:54 PM - 6 Nov 13: #Army rejects banning #Military #Trials for #Civilians ... If it happens that mean NO for #Constitution http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/06/army-rejects-banning-military-trials-for-civilians-salmawy/ …

Zaid Al-Ali ‏@zalali 5:41 PM - 6 Nov 13: C50 still struggling with the same issues that it has been facing from day one. http://www.madamasr.com/content/mixed-system-constitutional-draft … #egypt #constitution

A new group calling itself ‘Journalists against Torture’ is formed. Their goal is to denounce torture of journalists and to fight for dignity on the job, says Tony Gamal Gabriel of ahramonline.

Leyla Doss profiles the Egypt Freedom Party, known as “Masr al-Hurreya”, which defines itself as centre-left with a social liberal ideological framework. 

A court dismisses the appeal against the banning the Muslim Brotherhood.

The cabinet is expected to discuss the final draft of the protest law today.

Bassem Sabry باسم (@Bassem_Sabry) tweeted at 9:31 AM on Wed, Nov 06, 2013: Youm7: 575 former Egypt state security officers will be reinstated, reported to be experts on extremist groups http://t.co/211ng6Xr3b

Sons of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, Alaa and Gamal, appeal a court’s decision banning their sons from travelling

Khaled Elgindy ‏@elgindy_ 6:36 PM - 6 Nov 13: @NaguibSawiris @tekaldas @Sandmonkey Mubarak ruled for 30 yrs; Morsy ruled for 1. Morsy & his ppl are in jail; Mubarak & his ppl are free.

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy visits Senegal as part of efforts to strengthen relations with African states.

Ihab Badawi, presidential spokesman, says Egypt is keen on its relationship with the US but keener on the Egyptian people’s will and on “national Egyptian dignity”.

Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) tweeted at 9:36 AM on Wed, Nov 06, 2013: RT @amirahoweidy: Headline in today's Al-Tahrir newspaper: Prosecutors monitor pre 25 Jan MB conspiracy with Turks to instigate chaos

Trial of Ahmed Ezz, former head of the National Democratic Party under Mubarak and a close ally of his sons, resumes. Ahmed Ezz is accused of monopolizing the steel market and corruption. The court fined Ezz and Alaa Aboul Kheir with 100 million Egyptian Pounds and ordered their release, however, the verdict was appealed.

Hadeel Al-Shalchi (@hadeelalsh) tweeted at 9:07 AM on Wed, Nov 06, 2013: #Egypt #steel magnate & Ezz Steel head ordered by judge to pay $14.5 million for monopolizing steel

salamamoussa’s latest blog post “Breaking the mold”:

“Massive crowds in the streets, waving signs and flags, followed by tanks rolling, the military bowing to the will of the people by turning off the cell phone of the ruler and forcing him to sleep on the office couch. What follows is given high sounding names, such as “transition” and “road map”.  Someone once remarked that God broke the mold after making the Egyptians. More likely it was the Egyptians who trampled it in their haste to show gratitude to their maker. What worked well in January 2011 would work equally well in June 2013, especially given that Morsi far more hapless than Mubarak.

Is this the new “normal”? Perhaps. But it would be well for the doubters to voice their belief loudly now. To point out that democracy is not the objective, but the natural result of constitutionalism. Constitutionalism before democracy, or Egypt is condemned to an ugly cycle of chaos and repression.” 

Amr Moussa, the head of the 50-member constitutional committee, announces the draft of the constitution will stipulate a “mixed system”. Articles related to the Upper House (Shura Council) remain contested as well as articles related to the roles and powers of various judicial entities.

Spokesman of the committee says the new constitution reflects the goals of Egypt’s two revolutions: January 2011 and June 2013. He further stipulated that the committee aimed to separate “religion and politics”; the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) are to choose the minister of defense; and 18 articles related to public freedoms have been introduced.

Bishop Bola, the representative of the Coptic church in the constitutional committee, threatens to withdraw in objection to the drafting of article 219, from which he was excluded, related to the meaning of Islamic Sharia - the main source of legislation according to article 2.

This comes after Al Azhar in collaboration with the Supreme Council drafted article 219 last week, which the Salafi Al Nour Party approved.

Mada Masr on whether Gen. Abdel Fattah El Sisi will run for president or not: “Political commentators: Sisi won’t run

Patrick Galey ‏@patrickgaley 8:05 PM - 6 Nov 13: From the General (Sisi) that bought you virginity tests, allegations of pregnancy tests of female detainees: http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/11/03/alexandria-detainees-forced-to-take-pregnancy-test-haitham-abu-khalil/ … #Egypt

 

November 7

The Upper house (Shura Council) is eliminated from the draft constitution. 

Nervana Mahmoud ‏@Nervana_1 11:44 PM - 7 Nov 13: Good move ... #Egypt parliament's upper house to be eliminated in draft constitution: http://is.gd/FHeIPd  it was alway useless !

A soldier is killed by a sniper in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Cairo Review ‏@CairoReview 12:54 PM - 7 Nov 13: Egypt is taking unprecedented action to close the tunnels under the Sinai-Gaza border. Can it be sustained? http://www.aucegypt.edu/gapp/cairoreview/Pages/articleDetails.aspx?aid=447 …

Galal ‏@GalalAmrG 9:20 PM - 7 Nov 13: A Sinai citizen just handed authorities 3 anti-aircraft SAM-7 missiles in a weapon-handing initiative with the government. #Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood supporters condemn the decision to ban the group, claiming that this is a politicized decision by authorities.

According to State news, Morsi receives his first family visit today.

PM Hazem El Beblawi says deposed president Hosni Mubarak will remain under house arrest when the state of emergency ends on November 14. According to ahmramonline there are doubts about the legality of his continued detention.

Mona Kareem ‏@monakareem 2:36 AM - 7 Nov 13: I made a Tumblr and named it "#Sisimocracy" to wall-shame any pro-Sisi intellectuals http://sisimocracy.tumblr.com/  spread it #Egypt

Ayat Al-Tawy comments on the draft protest law in: “Egypt’s protest law still fuels civil society doubts

Reuters “A hardline Egyptian Islamist group has said it will rally in defiance of a new law designed to regulate protests that the government is expected to pass next week”

Iyad El-Baghdadi ‏@iyad_elbaghdadi 12:03 PM - 7 Nov 13: All attempts to roll back history to before 2011 or to re-create Mubarak-era #Egypt will fail. But go ahead and try, it'll be entertaining. 

The head of an Iranian television channel is arrested for allegedly broadcasting without a license.

Plans of the construction of a nuclear power plant on the north coast resume.

The State Commissioners Authority adjourns the case against deposed President Morsi’s decree granting immunity to former head of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Tantawi, his deputy Sami Anan and military police commander Hamdi Badeen. The case was brought forward by relatives of the protesters killed during the “cabinet clashes” in December 2011.

The Central Bank announces a fall in foreign reserves from September to October.

 

See ‘related articles’ for openDemocracy highlights. 

Our next Egypt in the balance update will be published in the week of November 11, 2013.

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