Monday,11 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1274, (10 - 16 December 2015)
Monday,11 December, 2017
Issue 1274, (10 - 16 December 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

Foreigners must pay to wed

JUSTICE Minister Ahmed Al-Zend has issued a decree that obliges foreigners intending to marry Egyptian females to present investment certificates worth LE50,000 ($6,385), deposited in the wife’s bank account, if she is more than 25 years younger than her husband.

The decision was issued on Tuesday and was announced in the country’s official gazette. The law stipulates that Group B investment certificates must be deposited at the National Bank of Egypt with a 12.75 per cent interest rate to be paid every six months for ten years.

Azza Kamel, a female rights advocate and the founder of Egypt’s Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development, told Ahram Online that she believes the reason behind the law is to protect the rights of Egyptian women, along with addressing the issue of child marriage.

“While I believe that this law will provide insurance [for Egyptian women], I still believe this is not enough to eliminate child marriage. There have to be some kind of guarantees,” Kamel said.

Kamel believes that the age restriction imposed in the law is a problem because it covers “only specific cases,” and does not provide the necessary assurances.

In July 2015, then-Population Minister Hala Youssef said child marriage had reached a rate of 15 per cent, with increases recorded in particularly poor governorates.

Egypt changed the legal age of marriage to 18 in 2008. Nevertheless, forced marriages are common in poor neighbourhoods around Egypt, with some families forcing their daughters to marry old suitors from foreign countries, mainly the Arabian Gulf, according to the US State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons report.

The report states that individuals from the Gulf “purchase” Egyptian women and girls for “temporary” or “summer” marriages for the purpose of prostitution or forced labour.

According to the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood case studies, “Arab marriage” is facilitated through the marriage broker who provides all the facilitative steps and temptations for poor Egyptian families.


Rafah bombing

FOUR security personnel were killed on Tuesday and four others were wounded in a bomb attack in the restive North Sinai town of Rafah, security sources said.

A roadside bomb was remotely detonated by suspected Islamist militants as an armoured vehicle carrying Egyptian forces passed through the town’s centre, near the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel. Security forces have been searching the area for the perpetrators.

Egypt has been working to quell an Islamist insurgency that spiked after the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The militancy, based in parts of North Sinai, has killed hundreds of police and troops. Authorities have also reported that hundreds of militants have been killed in army campaigns in the governorate.

The country’s most active militant group, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis — an affiliate of Islamic State — has claimed responsibility for the most lethal attacks, including the alleged bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Sinai in October which killed all 224 aboard.


Nightclub suspect arrested


THE INTERIOR Ministry announced that another suspect in last weekend’s deadly firebombing attack on a Cairo nightclub had been arrested.

Twenty-year-old Mohamed Said Ahmed was arrested for possessing a firearm and confessed to shooting at the club during the Friday attack along with other assailants, the ministry said in a statement early on Tuesday.

Ahmed is the fourth suspect to be detained over the assault that left 17 dead and at least two injured after a group of men firebombed the venue, trapping people inside.

The attack was the result of a dispute between employees of the nightclub and a group of young men over entry to the club in Cairo’s Agouza district, according to security sources. Three other men under investigation in the case were arrested and ordered on Sunday to be detained for four days pending further investigation.

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