Update Egypt Politics digest July 27: Azhar says monopoly, illicit activities that increase $ ‘religiously forbidden'; Detention of 2 journalists extended to 15 days over calling illegal protest’
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top political news stories on July 27 here:

2 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced to death, 3 to 15 yrs in jail, 9 acquitted in Sharqia

Bilbeis criminal court of Delta’s Sharqia governorate sentenced Wednesday two people, allegedly belong to the banned group of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), to death, and three others to 15 years in jail over charges of “inciting violence and possessing explosives.”

Also nine defendants in the same trial were acquitted of the same charges. Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 by the military after mass protests called for the end of his regime, protests nationwide staged by pro-MB and called for Morsi’ reinstatement; the protests were accompanied by states of riots and violence.

The government launched crackdown campaigns against the MB members and their supporters; dozes of them were detained and sentenced to different penalties ranging from death to acquittal. Meanwhile, others of the MB members and supporters fled the country.


Al-Azhar: monopoly, illicit activities that cause $ rise are religiously forbidden  

Egyptian Islamic Sunni institute of Al-Azhar announced in a statement that the monopoly and practices, which could increase the value U.S. dollar against Egyptian pound in the black market, are religiously forbidden.

The statement cited a Quran verse No. 188 of Al-Baqara chapter, translated by Khalifa, “You shall not take each others’ money illicitly, nor shall you bribe the officials to deprive others of some of their rights illicitly, while you know.”


Detention of 2 journalists extended to 15 days pending probe over calling illegal protest’

Egyptian prosecution authorities have renewed Wednesday the detention of two journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud al-Saqqa for 15 days pending investigations over charges of “publishing false news, inciting protests, and attempt to overthrow the regime.”

In April, security forces have stormed the Journalists’ Syndicate and arrested on the two journalists, who staged a sit-in in the syndicate, as a protest against the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation deal, per which Egypt announced Saudi sovereignty over the two disputed islands of Red Sea (Tirana and Sanafir).


Egypt court resumes ‘Kerdasa massacre’ mass retrial

The Cairo Criminal Court on Thursday will resume retrial of 156 defendants in the case known in media as “Kerdasa massacre.”

Today’s session is the 13th since the retrial kicked off in February after the Court of Cassation accepted the appeal submitted by most of the defendants on the death sentences handed to them earlier.

The defendants were found guilty on storming Kerdasa police station, killing 13 policemen including a senior police officer.

The incident took place in the aftermath of the dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in August 2013.


Sisi, ministerial economic group discuss Egypt’s dollar crisis

President AbdelFatah al Sisi met with ministerial economic group on Thursday to review latest economic conditions after the Egyptian pound weakened on the parallel market reaching over 13 EGP against the dollar on the black market.

The unprecedented rise comes at a time when the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) maintained its rate at EGP 8.78 on Wednesday.

The meeting will be attended by CBE Governor Tarek Amer, who earlier this month signaled the possibility of another devaluation.


15 militants killed in N. Sinai air strike: source

Security forces have reportedly killed 15 militants and injured another 9 in an army raid in North Sinai, security source told Youm7 on Wednesday.

The raid targeted “militants’ hideouts in precautionary strikes against terrorist elements, in Rafah and Arish towns,” he added.

Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since the military-backed ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.


Egypt Cabinet convenes weekly meeting

Cabinet convened its weekly meeting on Thursday under Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to discuss a number of political, economic and social issues.

The meeting comes amid largest hike of exchange gap between the Egyptian pound and the US dollar.

Ismail will review various reports of the ministers and also discuss security issues following recent sectarian violence incidents in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya.


Chief of Libya’s UN-backed government arrives in Cairo

Libya’s UN-backed prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj arrived in Cairo Wednesday morning in an official visit during which he will meet with Egyptian officials, Youm7 reported.

The visit is Sarraj’s second to Cairo over the past two months. In May, he met with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi and discussed political solution for the Libyan crisis.


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