Thursday,23 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1426, (17 - 23 January 2019)
Thursday,23 May, 2019
Issue 1426, (17 - 23 January 2019)

Ahram Weekly


Two deported           

EGYPT deported 18-year-old Egyptian-German national Eissa Al-Sabbagh on Monday 7 January. Four days later, on Friday, another Egyptian-German, 23-year-old Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz, was deported. Abdel-Aziz renounced his Egyptian citizenship, a condition reportedly set for his release.

The German Foreign Ministry confirmed the separate disappearances of the two men, who were visiting Egypt and detained upon arrival, last week. Egyptian officials later informed the German Embassy in Cairo that Al-Sabbagh and Abdel-Aziz were being held in police custody on suspicion of terrorist-related offences. Their families have denied any links between their sons and militant groups operating in North Sinai.

Al-Sabbagh was last heard from on 17 December when he communicated with his father before boarding a flight from Frankfurt to Luxor. He was detained by Egyptian authorities before taking a flight from Luxor to Cairo, where his uncle was waiting for him.

Abdel-Aziz, who is studying in Saudi Arabia, arrived at Cairo International Airport on a flight from Medina on 27 December before being detained. Abdel-Aziz claimed that he was coerced into confessing affiliation with the Islamic State in a recorded video.

15 years for Doma

ON 9 JANUARY Cairo Criminal Court sentenced political activist Ahmed Doma to 15 years in prison and handed him LE6 million fine for charges dating to 2011, when protesters clashed with military forces dispersing a demonstration in front of the cabinet building. 

Doma, who has been held in remand detention since December 2013, was handed a life sentence, along with 229 others, in February 2015. The defendants faced charges of illegal assembly, possession of weapons, assaulting police and military forces and vandalising government property, including the cabinet and parliament buildings. In October 2017 the Court of Cassation overturned the life sentence handed to Doma and ordered a retrial which began on 3 January 2018. Last week’s verdict can be appealed in the Court of Cassation. Doma has been handed sentences in three other cases.

MB leader acquitted

GIZA Criminal Court has acquitted Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and eight other Brotherhood leaders in the retrial of a case dating back to violent clashes that broke out in Giza in 2013 following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The clashes left nine people dead and 20 injured. This is the first time Badie and his associates have been acquitted of any charges.

The defendants were initially sentenced to death in 2014, only for the sentences to be commuted to life imprisonment. They faced charges of murder, attempted murder and belonging to a group seeking to undermine national security. The Court of Cassation accepted an appeal by Badei and his co-defendants and ordered a retrial in October 2016.

Badie is already serving a life sentence for his role in the Rabaa operations room case. Last month a separate criminal court sentenced Badie to life in prison in a different case.

No hugs in campus

LAST week, Al-Azhar University expelled a female Arabic language student after a video showing her hugging her fiancé inside the campus of the university’s Mansoura branch went viral.

A disciplinary committee investigating the incident ordered the student be dismissed from her course. However, on Monday Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, asked the disciplinary committee to reconsider the punishment.

The video shows the student hugging her fiancé after he surprised her with a bunch of roses and proposed.

Al-Azhar University Spokesman Ahmed Zarei said: “Al-Azhar is a religious and educational institution and what the girl did contradicts with the ethics of religion and society as well as our traditions in Egypt.” The girl’s fiancé, a law student, has been referred to a disciplinary board at his own university.

Six ports closed

BAD weather forced the shutdown of six ports on Sunday. The ports of Suez and Zeitiyat were closed at noon due to the unstable weather. Adabiya and Ain Sokhna ports on the Red Sea were also closed.

Alexandria governorate then decided to close Alexandria and Dekheila ports on the Mediterranean. Loading and unloading of docked vessels continued despite the closures, according to Reda Al-Ghandour, spokesperson of the Alexandria Port Authority. Egypt was hit on Sunday by a wave of cold, windy weather which caused dust storms and affected maritime navigation in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

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