Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1302, (30 June - 13 July 2016)
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1302, (30 June - 13 July 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt’s UN win

AMBASSADOR Ahmed Fathallah has been selected Egypt’s representative to the UN’s main human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), for 2017-2021.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the mid-term elections for the UNHRC, held on 23 June, aimed to replace nine countries out of 18 member states. Abu Zeid said 26 countries competed for the nine seats in an election that he described as highly competitive.

Established in March 2006, the council consists of 47 member states that are elected directly and individually in a secret ballot by the UN General Assembly.

“Winning the seat in this important council reflects the trust of the international community in Egypt and its commitment to international agreements,” said Abu Zeid.

“It is a powerful message to those who cast doubt on Egypt’s loyalty to its international and constitutional commitments to human rights.”

 Egypt currently holds a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The term started in January and will continue until the end of 2017.


Black box repaired

THE FLIGHT data recorder of EgyptAir MS804 has been repaired, according to Egyptian authorities, as French investigators open a manslaughter investigation into how the jet headed from Paris to Cairo came down.

The plane’s two recorders — one containing flight data, the other carrying voice recordings from the flight deck — were handed over to French experts after they were recovered damaged from the wreckage in the Mediterranean. Egyptian investigators could not download their contents.

Investigators in Egypt said the repaired data recorder will be returned to Cairo for analysis of its contents, while the doomed plane’s cockpit voice recorder is still being worked on.

The plane crashed on 19 May, killing all 66 people on board. There has been no evidence so far to link it to terrorism, French officials said.

Prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation — a normal procedure when French citizens are involved — and have now handed their findings to judges for a full-fledged manslaughter probe.


Wife replaces husband

THE WIFE of a deceased Egyptian MP was elected to her husband’s seat in Fayoum, the administrative committee that supervised the elections announced on Sunday.

Abeer Al-Khouli, widow of independent MP Mohamed Mustafa Al-Khouli, was elected with 38,389 votes, 729 more than her nearest rival, in the run-off that took place on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 81,917 people in Fayoum voted in the two-day parliamentary election.

Al-Khouli died two months ago. Elections for his seat were held on 14 and 15 June for Egyptians abroad and 15 and 16 June for voters in Egypt.

Run-offs, which officially decided the election, took place on 24 and 25 June abroad and 25 and 26 June in Egypt.

Egypt’s 596-member parliament convened for its first session on 10 January. 


Hijacker ‘lied’

THE HIJACKER of the domestic EgyptAir flight diverted to Cyprus in March lied about his reason for commandeering the plane. It was, he said, to focus the world’s attention on “the evils of his country’s government”, a lawyer seeking the man’s extradition claimed on Friday.

Lawyer Eleni Loizidou repeatedly attacked the credibility of Seifeddin Mustafa, telling a court that he initially told police in a sworn statement that he had hijacked the plane in a bid to see his ex-wife and children in Cyprus after more than two decades apart.

Loizidou said the 59-year-old Mustafa never told Cypriot authorities after his arrest that he belonged to an anti-Egyptian government group, as he now claims. She also said Mustafa told the Cyprus Asylum Service that he hadn’t been persecuted for his political beliefs since the government of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi came to power.

Mustafa is fighting his extradition, saying he fears he will be tortured and killed if he is sent back to Egypt and that he would be glad to be tried for the hijacking in Cyprus where he says he would receive a fair trial.

The 29 March hijacking ended peacefully on the tarmac of Cyprus’ Larnaca Airport, where the plane was diverted, after all 72 passengers and crew were released. Mustafa was arrested.

Mustafa disavowed his statement to police immediately after his arrest, saying everything in it is “wrong” and that he only signed it because he “trusted” Cypriot authorities. He later claimed to belong to an underground anti-Egyptian government group and said that it made no sense for him to hijack a plane simply to see his family.

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