Egypt’s politics digest July 13: Egypt extends state of emergency in N. Sinai for 3 months
President Abdel Fatah al Sisi - YOUM7

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Egypt extends state of emergency in N. Sinai for 3 months

CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on Tuesday extended the current state of emergency in parts of North Sinai for an additional three months, Youm7 reported.

“The state of emergency will be implemented in North Sinai’s cities Arish, Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah and the surrounding areas of Rafah’s hill and Al Ouga town east of North Sinai and from western Arish to the Al-Halal Mountain to the east,” a presidential statement read.

The decision, which was initially to be applied from April 29, will take effect after parliament approval, deputy parliamentary speaker Mahmoud al Sherif told Youm7 Thursday.

The state of emergency was first imposed under Sisi in October 2014 following an attack that killed over 30 soldiers. It has since been extended four times.


Egypt denounces Amnesty International “biased” report

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday has denounced Amnesty International’s recent report on human rights practices in the North African country, Youm7 reported.

“Egypt has repeatedly announced its rejection to the biased reports issued by the non-neutral organization that is driven by its political orientation, therefore it does not require any additional comment,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International issued a report accusing Egyptian authorities of kidnapping, torturing and “forcibly disappearing people in an effort to intimidate opponents and wipe out peaceful dissent.”

Amnesty has ignored the fact that Egypt’s judicial system has already addressed the various cases mentioned in the report, on the bases of law and constitution, said Abu Zeid.

The report also claimed the Egyptian authorities are involved in the killing of Italian student Giulio Regeni.

“Amnesty International’s report found that the similarities between his injuries and those of Egyptians who died in custody suggests that his death is just the tip of the iceberg,” said the report.


PM to discuss ways to apply gradual lifting on electricity subsidies

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail presided over the Supreme Energy Council (SEC) meeting on Wednesday to discuss mechanisms to apply the government’s long-term draft plan to complete lifting of subsidies on electricity, Youm7 reported.

The draft plan was submitted to the cabinet in June by Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker. It involves a complete lifting of subsidies on electricity rates by gradually raising the prices of electricity consumption within a period of seven-ten years to curb the growing state budget deficit.

The government plans to reduce the electricity subsidy bill by 6.4 percent to reach 29 billion EGP in 2016/17 fiscal year, Finance Minister Amr eL Garhy announced in May.


Manpower Minister delivers Egypt’s speech at G20 labor and employment ministers meeting

Manpower Minister Mohamed Safaan will deliver Egypt’s speech on Wednesday before the G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial meeting, Youm7 reported.

Saafan’s speech will review the Egyptian government vision and policy to reduce employment rates and achieve economic stability.

The meetings, which kicked off on Tuesday and scheduled to conclude later today, focuses on the theme “Innovation: decent work, enhanced employability and adequate job opportunities,” according to the G20 website.

Egypt’s unemployment rate reached 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016 down from 12.8 percent during the same period a year earlier, official statistics agency CAPMAS announced in a report in May.


UN envoy to Libya, deputy defense minister discuss political developments

The United Nations special envoy to Libya Martin Kobler met with the Egyptian assistant defense minister for foreign affairs Mohamed Al Kishki and discussed the political process and the latest developments in Libya, Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Tuesday.

Kobler also met the new Arab League secretary-general Ahmet Abulgheit and briefed him on the Libyan political situation.


Court resumes trial of 67 defendants accused of killing Egypt’s top prosecutor

Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday is set to resume the trial of 67 defendants accused of involvement in the assassination of Egypt’s late Attorney General Hisham Barakat.

Wednesday’s session is the second in the trial that started in June 14. The defendants face numerous charges including “forming an illegal group, executing terrorist operations against judges, army, and police officers,” according to the prosecution.

Of the 67 defendants, 16 are being tried in absentia.


Egypt’s FM participates in AU ordinary session of executive council

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed to Rwanda Tuesday to participate in the African Union (AU) Member States’ 29th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, scheduled to start Wednesday, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al Sisi is expected to take part in the 27th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the AU is scheduled to take place on July 17 and 18 in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali.

This year’s summit is held under the theme: “2016: Year of Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women.”

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