Chronology: Egypt

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2015 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Egypt


See also Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Jan. 18: For the first time in the espionage trial against former president Mohamed Morsi, the ousted leader provided evidence in his own defense. During his statement, Morsi dismissed the authority of the court, asserted his status as Egypt's legitimate president, and claimed that President 'Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi was complicit in the murder of protesters during the 2011 revolution against former president Husni Mubarak. Prosecutors charged Morsi and 35 defendants with counts including funding terrorism, conspiring against the state, and leaking secret national security information. [AFP, 1/18]

Jan. 20: Photographs emerged of an Egyptian-American dual citizen, Mohamed Soltan, detained in Egypt that showed him badly beaten and in deteriorating health. Soltan had been held by Egyptian authorities for 16 months without charge and had been on a hunger strike for roughly a year in protest of his detainment. Although Soltan was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, he was shot by security forces at a pro-Morsi protest in Cairo's Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya Square and subsequently arrested in August 2013. [NYT, 1/20]

Jan. 21: Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed Egyptian authorities were guilty of torture, prisoner neglect, and maintaining deplorable conditions inside state detention facilities. Although an Interior Ministry spokesman denied the accusations, HRW reportedly documented a number of prisoner deaths caused by beatings and lack of medical care. Egypt's prison population swelled during the crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsi, with thousands of dissidents still incarcerated as of early 2015. [Reuters, 1/21]

Jan. 22: The Cairo Criminal Court ordered the release of Husni Mubarak's sons, 'Ala' and Gamal Mubarak, as they waited for a retrial in their corruption case. Both 'Ala' and Gamal had already served 18 months in prison awaiting trial, the maximum amount of time allowed under Egyptian law. Although the sons were convicted, along with their father, of using public funds to refurbish family properties, Egypt's high court ordered a retrial of the case earlier in January. [Reuters, 1/22]

Jan. 25: Bombings and clashes between police and demonstrators killed at least 18 people on the anniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprising. The most notable incident involved the killing of Shayma' al-Sabbagh, a leading member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, in what witnesses described as a targeted killing by police. Photographs and videos circulated on social media that showed security forces firing birdshot from close range at a peaceful protest in which Sabbagh was participating. [BBC, 1/25]

Jan. 30: Thirty-two people were killed in a series of coordinated and sophisticated nighttime bombings in the Sinai Peninsula, which targeted Egyptian security forces and killed at least 25 policemen and soldiers. A militant group loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the Province of Sinai, claimed responsibility for the attack. President Sisi's government had struggled to combat a nearly 18-month insurgency waged by the group, which was known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis before pledging allegiance to ISIS. [Guardian, 1/30]

Feb. 1: Authorities released Latvian-Australian citizen Peter Greste, one of three imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists, after Greste spent over a year in jail on terrorism charges. A law passed in 2014 gave President Sisi the power to deport foreign defendants or convicts if the action was deemed to be in the interest of national security. However, Greste's release was reportedly the result of political pressure from the international community, which decried the case against all three journalists. [BBC, 2/1]

Feb. 2: One hundred eighty-three members of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to death on charges of killing police officers in the town of Kirdasa following the 2013 coup that ousted President Mohamed Morsi. …

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