Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1195, (1-7 May 2014)
Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Issue 1195, (1-7 May 2014)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Youth movement banned

THE CAIRO Court for Urgent Matters banned all the activities of the 6th April Movement on Monday and passed a confiscation order for its headquarters. In its first reaction to the ruling, the movement vowed not to be silenced and to remain a source of opposition to the government.

The Monday ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by lawyer Ashraf Said, who accused the group of espionage and defaming the Egyptian state. In its statement, the 6th April Movement affirmed that it was committed to peaceful means of expression.

Established in 2008, the youth movement played a vital role in the 25 January uprising that toppled the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak. However, the movement has been the target of an ongoing smear campaign.

Egyptian political groups condemned the legal ban imposed on the movement, describing the court ruling as “politicised.” In a statement issued on Tuesday, the liberal Constitution Party said the court-ordered ban represented a “dangerous departure from Egypt’s 3 July roadmap, the path and democratic principles chosen by the Egyptian people on 25 January and 30 June.”

The Constitution Party said it viewed the ruling as part of a crackdown on peaceful political activity.

Similarly, the presidential campaign of Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi warned of the “return to a state of suppression and banning” of peaceful political activity. Sabahi’s campaign highlighted the reappearance of incidents that it said contradicted the principles of the 25 January Revolution.

Artefacts recovered

Artefacts stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square during the 25 January Revolution have been recovered, reports Nevine El-Aref.

The Tourism and Antiquities Police on Tuesday recovered a collection of ten ancient Egyptian artefacts that were stolen from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square on January 28, 2011, during the “Friday of Anger” in the 25 January Revolution.

Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told the Al-Ahram Weekly that the objects were recovered during a security campaign carried out by the police on Monday night when they caught an antiquities gang in Heliopolis.

Ahmed Sharaf, head of the ministry’s museums section, told the Weekly that the recovered artefacts included seven alabaster, wooden and gilded ushabti figurines of Tutankhamun’s great grandparents Youya and Toya, as well as a wooden statue depicting Tutankhamun covered with gold leaf.

Sharaf said that the sceptre that Tutankhamun had been holding in one of his hands was still missing. The last recovered object was a small bronze statue of the Apis bull.

“After recovering this last batch, 44 objects of the 54 missing have been returned,” Ibrahim said, adding that the newly recovered artefacts would be sent to the Museum’s restoration lab before they were put back on display in their original locations.

Mummies discovered

A cache of royal mummies has been unearthed inside a rock-hewn tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s West Bank, the Antiquities Ministry announced on Monday.

The tomb contains almost 60 ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th Dynasty, along with the remains of wooden sarcophagi and cartonnage mummy masks depicting the facial features of the deceased. The excavation work was carried out in collaboration with Basel University in Switzerland.

Early studies reveal that the texts engraved on some of the clay pots found inside the tomb identify the names and titles of 30 of the deceased, among them the names of princesses mentioned for the first time, such as Ta-Im-Wag-Is and Neferonebo.

Anthropological studies and scientific examination of the clay fragments will be carried out to identify the mummies and determine the tomb’s owner and his mummy, said Ali Al-Asfar, head of the ministry’s ancient Egyptian antiquities section.

Compensation wanted

The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera media network served Egypt with a $150 million compensation claim on the grounds that its investments in the country had been damaged since July 2013.

In a statement published on the network’s website on Monday, it said it had formally lodged a “notification of dispute” with Egypt’s interim government based on a 1999 bilateral investment treaty between Egypt and Qatar “which stipulates the mutual promotion and protection of investments”.

If there is no settlement between Al-Jazeera and the Egyptian authorities within six months, Al-Jazeera said it would send the case to international arbitration.

“In the months following the overthrow of the government of president Mohamed Morsi, Al-Jazeera’s journalists and staff have been subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation,” the statement read.

“The interim government’s actions have included the ransacking and closure of Al-Jazeera offices, confiscation of equipment, jamming of transmissions and arbitrary detention of journalists. Its broadcast license has been revoked and its Cairo branch was subjected to compulsory liquidation of assets,” the statement said, adding that four Al-Jazeera staff remains in custody while six have been tried in absentia.

According to the bilateral investment treaty signed between Doha and Cairo, investors from both sides should be afforded fair and equitable treatment by the governments of both countries, the statement stressed. As the treaty obliges Egypt to provide Al-Jazeera’s investments with full protection and security, the broadcaster considers the Egyptian authorities to be in violation of international law.

Relations between Egypt and Qatar have soured since the ouster of the Islamist former president last July. Morsi’s ouster was followed by the security forces shutting down Al-Jazeera’s Cairo offices, accusing the network’s Egyptian channel of giving favourable coverage to Morsi’s Brotherhood movement. A number of Al-Jazeera journalists are currently on trial on charges of aiding or joining the outlawed Brotherhood.

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