UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 1: Court sets Oct. 8 to examine government appeal against Red Sea islands pact
An Egyptian activist holds a sign that reads "Egypt is not for sale" during a demonstration protesting the government's decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Oct.1 here:

Court sets Oct. 8 to examine government appeal against Red Sea islands pact

The High Administrative Court has set October 8 to examine an appeal filed by the State Lawsuits Authority against a recent court ruling, which voided Cairo’s decision to acknowledge Saudi sovereignty over two Red Sea islands, Youm7 reported Saturday.

The Court for Urgent Matters on Thursday halted an earlier court ruling that annulled a controversial deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, Youm7 reported.

The deal over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, which was signed in April, prompted public protests.

In June, the State Council ruled that the islands, strategically situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, must remain under Egyptian sovereignty.

A day later, the State Lawsuits Authority, representing the government, has appealed the agreement-quashing ruling.

The accord was announced during a visit to Cairo by the Saudi king that coincided with the signing of aid agreements, which created the impression among many that the islands were sold. However, Egyptian authorities denied this.


Sisi, Bashir to co-chair higher Egyptian-Sudanese committee in Cairo

The Joint Higher Egyptian-Sudanese Committee meetings will kick off in Cairo Oct.2-5 at the level of senior officials, Youm7 reported.

High officials of the two countries will meet on Oct. 2-3, the two cabinets will meet on Oct. 4, while the presidents of the two countries will conclude the committee meetings on Oct. 5, said Spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Ahmed Abu Zeid.

The committee is scheduled to review bilateral cooperation in various sectors, including political, security, consular, military, finance, trade, transport, education, agriculture, and cultural sectors.

During the previous meetings, the committee was held at the prime ministerial level.


Roadside bomb hits security vehicle in Egypt’s Sinai, 9 hurt

(AP)Police in the turbulent north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula say nine policemen have been wounded when their armored personnel carrier was hit by a roadside bomb planted by suspected Islamic State militants.

A statement by local police says Saturday’s attack took place outside the border town of Rafah.

The attack is the latest in a war of attrition waged by militants led by the Islamic State’s affiliate in Sinai, where security forces have battled insurgents for years. The insurgency by the militants in Sinai grew more intense after the 2013 ouster of elected president, Mohammed Morsi, who is an Islamist.


Al Azhar Imam stresses importance of spreading peace among clergymen

Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el Tayeb on Saturday chaired meetings of elders of the East and West on the sidelines of third round of inter-faith dialogue conference currently held in Geneva, Youm7 reported.

Addressing clergymen from all over the world, Al Tayeb asserted the importance of spreading peace among clergymen of religions themselves and state institutions before working to spread it among the peoples.

“Peace will not prevail if religious institutions and their leaders do not work hand in hand to make it,” Tayeb said during the conference organized in cooperation with the World Council of Churches (WCC.)

Tayeb expressed full sadness over accusing religions of terrorism.


Supreme Court to consider Protest law

The Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court will consider two legal cases calling for un-constitutionalize the protest law on Saturday, Youm7 reported.

It is expected the court will be attended by many media persons, and a number of lawyers and activists. One of two lawsuits filed against the law appealed two articles that require prior permit before launching a demonstration, and subsequently allows police forces to reject or disperse the protest.

The second lawsuit appeals two other articles that criminalize taking part in a protest that disrupt traffic, security and punish violators by at least one year in prison.

The protest law, issued November 2013, stipulates that protests can only take place with a police permit. Accordingly, hundreds of people, including activists and students, have been jailed over breaching the law. The controversial law was harshly slammed by politicians and rights groups, locally and internationally, accusing it of being used to punish activists and curb freedom of expression.


Lawyers protest against VAT Law downtown

A number of lawyers called for staging a protest outside the headquarters of the High Judicial Court downtown on Saturday against the controversial and applicable Value-Added Tax law, Youm7 reported.

The lawyers called for the annulling of the protest, saying it contradicts with the international technical and legal standards.

Late August, The House of Representatives had approved the tax of 13 percent, the move taken by the government to increase the state’s revenues amid current financial crisis. Since then, some products and services prices have been increased.


Recently-emerged militant group claims attack on Egyptian prosecutor

(Reuters) – A recently-emerged militant group called the Hasm Movement claimed responsibility on Friday for an assassination attempt on a senior Egyptian prosecutor, saying it was in revenge for death sentences handed to thousands of convicts.

The organization, which has claimed four other attacks since July, said it set off the car bomb that exploded near a vehicle carrying assistant prosecutor general Zakaria Abdel Aziz from his office to his home in Cairo on Thursday.

He and his entourage were not hurt but one passerby was wounded.

Hasm, the Arabic word for decisiveness, accused judges of sentencing thousands of innocent defendants to death, or jailing them for life, at the behest of the military. “You will face justice,” it said in a statement that mixed Islamist and anti-government political rhetoric.

Egypt is facing an Islamist insurgency led by Islamic State’s branch in North Sinai, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed.

Judges and other senior officials have increasingly been targeted by radical Islamists angered by hefty prison sentences imposed on members of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood, which says it is a peaceful organisation, won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

But its presidential candidate, Mohamed Mursi, was himself deposed after mass protests against his rule and replaced by general turned President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.

Sisi has since overseen a crackdown on opposition in which hundreds of Brotherhood supporters were killed and thousands, including Mursi, jailed or sentenced to death.

Hasm’s statement on Friday included several photographs of what appeared to be Abdel Aziz’s car with the caption “target’s car” as well as his house and guards.

Hasm has also said it was behind an assassination attempt last month on Egypt’s former Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, once one of the country’s top religious authorities.

Gomaa is an outspoken critic of Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and in his previous job had the final say on whether to confirm death sentences.


Egyptians required submitting legal permits before travelling to Sudan to curb illegal migration to Libya

Egyptian Ministry of Interior ruled that Egyptians who want to travel to Sudan should obtain a legal permission, in a way to prevent illegal migration to Libya via Sudan, Youm7 reported on Saturday.

Due to the five-year-old security and political turmoil in Libya, Egyptian authorities have banned travelling to Libya, particularly after killing dozens of Egyptians there. However, many Egyptians and other African migrations travel.

Youm7 interviewed an illegal migrant who said that the economic situations in Egypt is very hard and he preferred to travel to Libya although the presence of the Islamic State group’s presence.


33 Egyptian fishermen will return back home from after solving their problems in Saudi Arabia

Egyptian Consulate in Saudi Jubail managed to solve 33 Egyptian expatriates’ problems after the nationals complained that their Saudi sponsor did not pay them their monthly salaries and they worked for him without legal contracts, according to a statement from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

The Egyptian nationals are fishermen, who travelled to Saudi Arabia six months ago to work on a Saudi boat. The consulate will bring the fishermen back home on the expenses of the owner of the Saudi boat after paying them the arrears.

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