“The Supreme Elections Committee decided to stop the decisionthat set the dates for the parliamentary elections,” the statetelevision said. The commission cited “the details and reasonsfor the ruling by the Administrative Court announced onWednesday.”The vote was originally scheduled to take place in four stagesfrom April 22 until June, according to an earlier decree byPresident Mohamed Morsi. But on Wednesday the country’sAdministrative Court ordered the cancellation of the decree. Morsisaid he will respect the decision, adding that an appeal wasunlikely.Egypt’s upper house of parliament – the Shura Council – hadearlier cleared the way for Morsi to set an election date byadopting an electoral law that was amended by the ConstitutionalCourt.Under the new Egyptian constitution adopted in December, thepresident must secure parliament’s approval for his choice of primeminister, thus giving the legislature greater power than it hadunder ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.The lower house of parliament – the People’s Assembly – wasdissolved last year after the Supreme Court ruled that the originallaw used in the election was unfair.The latest ruling by the elections committee has thrown thetimetable for elections into disarray at a time of social unrestand economic crisis in Egypt. Demonstrators against the ruleof President Morsi have been taking place sincemid-November, demanding that he fulfill the goals of the revolutionthat brought him and his Muslim Brotherhood party to power. begantwo years ago. More than one million refugees have fled thecountry. …
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for President Mohammed Morsi’s pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250 million in American aid to support the country’s “future as a democracy.”Yet Kerry also served notice that the Obama administration will keep close watch on how Morsi, who came to power in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president, honors his commitment and that additional U.S. assistance would depend on it.”The path to that future has clearly been difficult and much work remains,” Kerry said in a statement after wrapping up two days of meetings in Egypt, a deeply divided country in the wake of the revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.Egypt is trying to meet conditions to close on a $4.8 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund. An agreement would unlock more of the $1 billion in U.S. assistance promised by President Barack Obama last year and set to begin flowing with Kerry’s announcement.”The United States can and wants to do more,” Kerry said. “Reaching an agreement with the IMF will require further effort on the part of the Egyptian government and broad support for reform by all Egyptians. When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support.”Continue Reading… …
Just as U.S.-made tear gas was used against protesters by Egyptian security forces under Hosni Mubarak, the U.S. government continues to permit hundreds of thousands of canisters to imported to Egypt for profligate use under Mohammed Morsi.
“In January, the Interior Ministry ordered the import of 140,000 teargas canisters from the United States,” Egypt Independent reported this week. According to the English-language publication, a memo from the Egyptian police’s Major General Magdy al-Gohary indicated that the U.S. government only okayed the permit for the tear gas import when “the company’s name and country of origin” were removed from the canisters. During the Arab Spring, pictures from Tahrir Square of empty canister brandished with “made in the USA” logos garnered viral attention and international outrage as protesters reportedly suffocated in excessive tear gas fumes and were directly struck by canisters.
Egypt Independent cited the Major General’s memo as reading:
Egyptian members of the Black Bloc group, who present themselves as the defenders of protesters opposed to President Mohamed Morsi’s rule, attend a march to the presidential palace in Cairo on February 1, 2013.(AFP Photo / Khaled Desouki)A new Egyptian opposition group has risen to the forefront, as the country marks the second anniversary of the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak. The ‘Black Bloc’ is threatening Islamist authorities and sparking fears of a street war.“This mysterious group appeared around the second anniversary of the January 25 revolution when they released a statement saying they would fight the Muslim brotherhood and strive for the goals of the revolution,” Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew told RT. It’s around that time that the group developed a Facebook page, giving advice on street fighting. The Black Bloc has also taken responsibility for a number of acts of civil disobedience, such as stopping public transport and setting fire to some Muslim Brotherhood buildings. “This has sparked mass criticism from authorities, including the Muslim brotherhood and their TV channels. The prosecutor general said that they were a terrorist group and would be arrested if they were caught red-handed,” Trew said. But the masked members of the group say they’re here to stay. “We will always be present in Egypt, even after all our demands are met,” one of the group’s members told RT. Members say the group formed in reaction to the negligence of their peaceful demands and the role of Egypt’s interior ministry, which receives orders from the current regime. “We stand against the oppressive and tyrant regime. We call upon the interior ministry to deliver justice for those who have been killed and we will continue our demands until they are met. Our actions are in self-defense. We are protecting ourselves but have never attacked anyone,” the member said. Many worry that the group could spark Islamist retaliation. Some Islamists have threated to attack the so-called “enemies of Islam,” Al Arabiya reported. The tension may create a spiral of violence between “rival militias.” And it now appears that a potential Black Bloc rival could emerge from the Muslim Brotherhood government itself. “The first reaction from the Muslim Brotherhood is that they’d create the ‘White Bloc’ in order to respond to pressure from the Black Bloc. Both of them would be deemed illegal groups if that happens,” Political activist Ahmed Naguib told RT. The comments come just one day after opposition protesters hit the streets of Egypt, protesting against President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood Party. The demonstrations p
rompted police to respond with tear gas and water cannon. (link to story). Protesters demanded that Morsi fulfill the goals of the revolution which brought him and his Muslim Brotherhood party to power. Those demands include a new unity government, amendments to an Islamist-drafted constitution, and the sacking of Egypt’s prosecutor general.And it’s those same issues which the Black Bloc says it is fighting to resolve. “The [Black Bloc] stands for a just cause. They are trying to portray themselves as vigilantes but the true anger behind [the group] is the frustration from the lack of social justice and the lack of fulfillment of the demands of the revolution. So it’s a true anger among certain groups of youth,” Naguib said. …
http://www.youtube.com/v/4jQTYRzSQxo?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Originally posted here: Protesters clash with police in Cairo
A video reportedly aired by Egyptian liberal network ON TV appears to show Egyptian riot police surrounding a middle-aged man, stripping him naked, then beating and dragging him along the street into their van. Twitter reports claim that the video was captured in Cairo Friday, but we cannot verify its provenance.
Over the past eight days of civil unrest in Egypt against Mohammed Morsi’s new regime, reports of police brutality, including the use of live bullets and vast amounts of tear gas, have amassed. This video, gaining some traction on Twitter, in reminiscent of the violence perpetuated by the deposed Mubarak’s police against protester during the Arab Spring.
Warning the footage is graphic, violent and disturbing: