UPDATE – Egypt’s politics digest Nov. 5: Egypt’s police on high alert amid calls for anti-government protest on Nov. 11: official
Policemen standing in Cairo street- REUTERS

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Egypt’s police on high alert amid calls for anti-government protest on Nov. 11: official

Egyptian policemen are on high alert around the clock to “foil plots sown against the state,” Assistant Interior Minister for Media and Public Tarek Attia was quoted by Youm7 Saturday.

Speaking at a cultural forum organized by the prison authority, Attia asserted that the interior ministry in collaboration with the Egyptian armed forces “stepped up security measures across the country and at key sites to face terror incitement called upon by evil forces to promote extremism and chaos and hinder Egypt’s development path.”

The remarks come ahead of online calls for protests on 11 November to spark a popular uprising over the country’s economic situation. However, no specific group has officially called for such protests.


Court sets Dec.3 to rule on constitutionality of 4 protest law articles.

Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday set Dec. 3 as a date to issue its ruling in two lawsuits filed against the constitutionality of four articles of the controversial protest law, Youm7 reported.

The first lawsuit was filed with the court by lawyer Tarek el Awadi appealing articles 8 and 10 of the controversial protest law, while the second appealed articles 7 and 19.

Article 8 sets a time limit of 15 days at the most for notifying the authorities of a protest, while article 10 grants the interior minister the right to cancel protests ahead of their scheduled date.

The law, which bans unauthorized protest, was issued in November 2013 following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.


Cyprus court to look into appeal against EgyptAir hijacker extradition Dec.1

The Supreme Court of Cyprus on Friday has set Dec. 1 to look into appeal filed by Egyptian citizen Seif el Din Mostafa against earlier court ruling ordered his extradition to Cairo over charges of hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight last March, the Cyprus Mail reported.

The hearing was requested by Mostafa’s new lawyer Nikoletta Charalambidou after Nicosia District Court approved his extradition request to Egypt on the grounds that “as opposed to the arguments the defence raised, he was not requested for his political beliefs or attitudes but for the criminal offence of hijacking, which he admitted to having committed.”

Mostafa, 59, failed to convince the court that he could not get a fair trial in his home country.

Mostafa commandeered a domestic Alexandria-Cairo flight with 72 passengers and crew on board on March 29, ordering the pilot to divert to Larnaca airport on the Mediterranean island.

He surrendered about six hours later, after gradually releasing all passengers and crew unharmed. One passenger took ‘selfies’ with Mustafa which were posted on social media.


Court adjourns trial of Mubarak-era interior min., 12 others over illicit gain charges

The Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday adjourned till November 22 the trial of Mubarak-era interior minister Habib el Adly and 12 ministry officials over corruption charges.

The defendants are accused of embezzling 2.4b EGP while holding their positions.

Adly is accused of abusing his public office to approve decisions that rewarded officers and senior officials from the budget of the Interior Ministry.

Adly, who served as Egypt’s interior minister from 1997 till 2011, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence on charges of wasting 92 million EGP of public funds through irregularly procuring vehicle license plates.


Egypt intensifies security of Judges, political dignitaries 

Egyptian Ministry of Interior has intensified its security of, Judges, political dignitaries and media-persons against any possible attacks, following the attempts assassinations of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and Cairo Criminal Court circuit Judge Ahmed Aboul Fotouh, an official at the ministry told Youm7 on Saturday.

The security forces also intensified the police of their houses and public places in an anticipation of any possible attacks.

Egypt arrests militants, links them to Muslim Brotherhood

(Reuters) – Egyptian authorities said on Friday they had arrested members of two recently emerged militant groups, along with weapons, explosives and evidence that the organizations had been set up by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Police detained five leaders and other members of the Hasam Movement and Louwaa al-Thawra, the Interior Ministry said – both groups that have claimed responsibility for assassination attempts on judges, policemen and military officers.

There was no immediate comment from either organization or from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which says it is a peaceful movement and accuses the government of abuses.

The Brotherhood won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

But the Brotherhood leader who became president, Mohamed Morsi, was himself deposed after mass protests against his rule and replaced by the army’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in 2013.

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

Both Hasam – an acronym in Arabic for the Forearms of Egypt Movement which doubles as the word for decisiveness – and Louwaa al-Thawra, or the Revolution Brigade, have claimed responsibility for attacks, saying they are taking revenge for the government crackdown.

Earlier on Friday, a judge who tried Morsi survived an assassination attempt when a parked car exploded as his vehicle drove by. Hasam claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened other judges.

Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, who referred many Brotherhood leaders to trial, was killed in June 2015 by a car bomb. The Interior Ministry said on Friday it found letters from Brotherhood leaders admitting it carried out the assassination.

Also on Friday, a senior Egyptian general was shot dead by militants on Friday near his home in North Sinai where an Islamic State insurgency is raging, the second such incident in as many weeks.

Louwaa al-Thawra had claimed responsibility for a similar attack on Oct. 22.

An Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula gained pace after the military overthrew Morsi. Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed.



Second Egyptian general killed in Sinai in as many weeks

(Reuters) – An Egyptian general was killed by militants on Friday near his home in North Sinai, the military said, the second soldier of his rank to be shot dead in as many weeks.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, in which gunmen opened fire on Brigadier General Hesham Mahmoud Abualazm from a moving car in Arish city, North Sinai’s provincial capital.

Abualazm, 47, died instantly. He was on a visit to Arish, where he owned a house, and does not serve in Sinai, security sources said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility via its news agency Amaq.

Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed in an Islamist insurgency led by the jihadist group in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula.

Attacks have been stepped up since the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

A new group calling itself Louwaa al-Thawra, or the Revolution Brigade, claimed responsibility for an attack on Oct. 22 in which another general was killed in the same way as Abualazm.

Another senior military officer and a soldier were killed on Saturday in North Sinai in a roadside explosion.

Egyptian authorities said earlier on Friday they had arrested leaders and members of Louwaa al-Thawra and another recently emerged militant group, the Hasam Movement, along with weapons and explosives.

Authorities also said they had proof the organizations had been set up by the Brotherhood, which says it is a non-violent movement.

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


Cairo Court sentences 2 ‘militants’ to death, 7 others to 25 yrs in jail

A Cairo Court handed down death sentences to two convicts charged with belonging to an armed takfiri group dubbed in media as “Returnees from Libya” on Saturday, Youm7 reported.

The court also sentenced four other convicts to 25 years in jail, seven co-defendants to three years in prison, and another to a 15-year imprisonment. Meanwhile, two other co-defendants were acquitted.

In February 2015, the Egyptian Prosecution has referred the total of 14 defendants to a Cairo Criminal Court over involvement in “terrorist acts outside Egypt and plotting to target Egyptian facilities.” They have been arrested at the western border crossing of Sallum with the Libyan.


Supreme Court to consider 2 articles of Protest Law

The Egyptian High Constitutional Court, chaired by Judge abdel Wahab Abdel-Razeq, will consider a lawsuit calls for un-constitutionalizing Articles 8 and 10 of the Protest Law on Saturday.

The two articles require prior permit before launching a demonstration, and subsequently allows police forces to reject or disperse the protest.

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.

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