Egyptian court annuls dictator Sisi giving away islands to Saudi Arabia


This video says about itself:

Protests in Cairo over Egypt-Saudi Tiran and Sanafir island deal

16 April 2016

Thousands in the Egyptian capital Cairo have protested President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia.

Sisi’s government last week announced the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir will be demarcated as being in Saudi waters.

From the BBC:

Egypt court quashes Red Sea islands’ transfer to Saudis

25 minutes ago

An Egyptian judge has quashed a government decision to hand … two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi announced the return of Tiran and Sanafir islands in April, during a visit by Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman.

More than 150 people were jailed in connection with protests over the deal

Tuesday’s verdict is not final and could be overturned by a higher court.

Tiran and Sanafir are uninhabited islands, situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, a strategically important part of the Red Sea that is bordered by Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

President Sisi‘s decision in April to cede control of them sparked widespread unrest and criticism. King Salman had announced a multi-billion dollar aid package to Egypt from Saudi Arabia on his visit, leading some to accuse Mr Sisi of “selling” the islands.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s State Council, an administrative court which oversees lawsuits filed against the government, quashed Mr Sisi’s decision by issuing a verdict annulling a maritime borders agreement.

Cheers in court: By Sally Nabil, BBC News

The maritime border agreement signed earlier this year between Egypt and Saudi Arabia took many Egyptians by surprise.

Since then, protesters have taken to the streets calling the arrangement unconstitutional, and accusing the government of giving away Egyptian territories in return for aid packages and investments worth billions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, a strong backer of President Sisi.

Some of these protesters were arrested and charged with disrupting public order. A few are still behind bars.

The lawsuit was filed by a number of prominent human rights lawyers, headed by a former presidential candidate, Khaled Ali.

When the verdict was issued, many cheered inside the courtroom, chanting “the islands are Egyptian”. But the legal battle has not come to an end yet, because the decision can be appealed.

The verdict stated that the two islands would “remain under Egyptian sovereignty”.

If it is approved by the country’s High Administrative Court it will become legally binding.

Mr Sisi has cracked down on all dissent since leading the military’s overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed and 40,000 are believed to have been jailed …

Egyptian dictator el-Sisi secures IMF loan and prepares onslaught against working class: here.

Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s meteorite dagger


Tutankhamun's dagger

From Meteoritics & Planetary Science:

The meteoritic origin of Tutankhamun’s iron dagger blade

20 MAY 2016

Abstract

Scholars have long discussed the introduction and spread of iron metallurgy in different civilizations. The sporadic use of iron has been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean area from the late Neolithic period to the Bronze Age. Despite the rare existence of smelted iron, it is generally assumed that early iron objects were produced from meteoritic iron. Nevertheless, the methods of working the metal, its use, and diffusion are contentious issues compromised by lack of detailed analysis.

Since its discovery in 1925, the meteoritic origin of the iron dagger blade from the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun (14th C. BCE) has been the subject of debate and previous analyses yielded controversial results. We show that the composition of the blade (Fe plus 10.8 wt% Ni and 0.58 wt% Co), accurately determined through portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, strongly supports its meteoritic origin.

In agreement with recent results of metallographic analysis of ancient iron artifacts from Gerzeh, our study confirms that ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects. Moreover, the high manufacturing quality of Tutankhamun‘s dagger blade, in comparison with other simple-shaped meteoritic iron artifacts, suggests a significant mastery of ironworking in Tutankhamun‘s time.

Tutankhamun's meteorite scarab in brooch

From Astronomy magazine, 1 June 2016:

The dagger was not the only relic in King Tut’s possession that was rare and unusual; he also possessed a scarab necklace made of silica glass that might have been created by the heat of a meteorite impacting the desert sand and melting it down.

152 Egyptians jailed for demonstrating peacefully


This video says about itself:

Diving in Tiran Island at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

18 October 2015

Tiran (Arabic: جزيرة تيران‎ Jazīrat Tīrān, aka Jezîret Tīrān and Yotvat Island, is an Egyptian-administered island that is also claimed by Saudi Arabia. It is located at the entrance of the Straits of Tiran, which separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aqaba. It has an area of about 80 km2 (30 sq mi). It is part of the Ras Muhammad National Park. … The island is currently inhabited only by military personnel from Egypt and the Multinational Force and Observers [MFO].

That was in 2015; before Egyptian military dictator Sisi controversially handed over Tiran island, and Sanafir island, to the king of Saudi Arabia.

This video says about itself:

Protests in Cairo over Egypt-Saudi Tiran and Sanafir island deal

16 April 2016

Thousands in the Egyptian capital Cairo have protested President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia.

Sisi’s government last week announced the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir will be demarcated as being in Saudi waters.

From Reuters news agency:

Sat May 14, 2016 4:53pm EDT

Egyptian court jails 152 people over islands protest

An Egyptian court sentenced 152 protesters on Saturday to between two and five years in prison each after they demonstrated against a decision to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, judicial sources and state media said.

Hundreds of police officers were deployed in central Cairo on April 25 to quell protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi‘s decision to hand over Tiran and Sanafir islands.

More than 200 people are being tried in connection with the protests, the judicial sources said.

Of those sentenced on Saturday, 101 received five-year prison terms and 51 received two-year sentences, judicial sources and the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper said.

The 152 protesters were convicted of breaking a law banning people from protesting without first notifying the Interior Ministry, the judicial sources said.

Defense lawyer Ahmed Helmy said they would appeal. “There is no evidence of guilt,” he told Reuters.

The prosecution did not issue any formal statement on the verdicts.

In similar protests, on April 15, thousands of people had called for “the fall of the regime”, a slogan from the 2011 uprisings which ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule … More than 100 people were detained at those protests, security officials said at the time.

Egyptian dictatorship arrests human rights activist


This February 2011 video from Egypt is called Tahrir Square Crowds Erupt to News that Mubarak Will Step Down.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Island handover critic locked up

EGYPT: Human rights lawyer Malek Adly, who had raised a legal challenge to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s decision to hand two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, was arrested yesterday.

He was ordered to be held in custody for two weeks, pending inquiries into a list of allegations, including plotting a coup.

Mr Adly, a member of the April 6 youth movement that helped topple autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has appeared on TV condemning the islands’ handover.

Egyptian journalists attacked by dictator Sisi


This video from the USA says about itself:

Will U.S. Stop “Cozying Up” to Egyptian Regime After Jailing of Journalists?

31 August 2015

In Egypt, Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste were sentenced over the weekend to three years in jail for “spreading false news” that purportedly harmed Egypt following the 2013 military coup. Fahmy and Mohamed were taken into custody on Saturday. Greste remains free in Australia. The three had already spent more than a year in prison before being released on bail earlier this year. We speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Cairo and with Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The U.S. should stop cozying up to General — now President — Sisi,” Roth says. “He is presiding over the worst crackdown in modern Egypt history.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Egyptian media workers slam police attack on journalists’ union

Thursday 5th May 2016

THE International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the “outrageous and unacceptable” closure of the Egyptian Journalists’ Syndicate (EJS) headquarters in Cairo yesterday.

Egyptian riot police cordoned off the building and limited access to it yesterday in an escalating confrontation following a raid on the premises and the arrest of two journalists.

Omar Badr and Mahmoud al-Saqa were seized after being accused by the government of a range of offences, including incitement of recent protests against the government’s return of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabian control after almost 70 years.

Hundreds of journalists rallied on the steps outside the union headquarters, chanting: “Journalism is not a crime!” and demanding the dismissal of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar.

Police severely restricted access, banning non-union members from entry, as well as some residents and workers and tradespeople with business in the surrounding area.

Foreign journalists were allowed entry only after receiving approval from several levels of officers, up to the rank of general.

IFJ president Jim Boumelha said: “The Egyptian government chose to celebrate World Press Freedom Day by attacking a journalists’ union and arresting its members.

“With 45 journalists rounded up to prevent them covering a protest last week, this is no isolated incident. The clampdown on media freedom goes on and on.

“We utterly condemn this grave attack on trade union and media freedom and we stand in solidarity with all our jailed colleagues, with our union and all those who strive for freedom of expression in Egypt,” Mr Boumelha concluded.

Egypt’s dictator gives away islands to Saudi Arabia, people protest


This video says about itself:

Egyptian Female Activist Shaima al-Sabbagh Killed By Police In Tahrir Square Protest

24 January 2015

Shocking moment: female socialist activist is gunned down by police during demonstrations on 4th anniversary of Arab Spring against Hosni Mubarak

A woman was killed on Saturday in Cairo after the police fired shotgun pellets at a handful of socialist activists marching to Tahrir Square with flowers to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed there during the revolution that began on Jan 25 2011 witnesses said.

A health ministry spokesman said Shaima al-Sabbagh died of birdshot wounds, which fellow protesters said were fired by police to disperse the march. Al Sabbagh who was said to be … with a five year old son, was shot while she peacefully marched towards the Tahrir Square to lay a commemorative wreath of roses.

Egyptian activists shared graphic images of Ms. Sabbagh’s last moments on social networks Photographs and video recorded before the police moved in seemed to show the protesters, including Ms Sabbagh, standing peacefully outside the Air France KLM office in Talaat Harb Square near Tahrir. As officers charged at the protesters guns drawn shots rang out and Ms. Sabbagh fell to the pavement. Al-Sabbagh was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Egypt: Protesters vent fury at islands’ handover

Tuesday 26th April 2016

Cairo police break up demonstrations over Saudi Arabia deal

by Our Foreign Desk

POLICE fired tear gas and birdshot yesterday to break up protests against the ceding of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Demonstrators called on President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to resign over the decision to surrender the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, in the second such protest in two weeks.

Riyadh placed the islands under Cairo’s protection in 1950 for fear that the newly created state of Israel would invade them.

General Sissi announced the territories’ cession during a state visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman earlier this month. Egypt is part of the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen.

Thousands of police and troops were deployed on the streets of Cairo before the marches on Sinai Liberation Day, marking the final pullout of Israeli occupation forces from the peninsula in 1982.

Many of the organisers’ gathering points were sealed off by police, including the offices of the doctors’ and journalists’ unions.

Pedestrians near the Press Syndicate building were stopped by police, who asked for identity documents and their destinations before turning many of them away.

Minibuses loaded with plainclothes police were also deployed at expected flashpoints.

A group of some 500 protesters led by prominent activists managed to gather in Mesaha square.

Their chants of “leave, leave,” directed at Gen Sissi, echoed across the square, along with “bread, freedom, the islands are Egyptian.”

Police in full riot gear arrived 10 minutes later and immediately fired tear gas and birdshot. The protesters fled and regrouped in smaller gatherings on nearby streets.

From their flats’ balconies, the square’s pro-government residents shouted “traitors” at the demonstrators below and poured water on them.

Later, plainclothes police were seen by reporters kicking and slapping protesters they had arrested.

Several websites reported that Michel George, the Cairo manager for news agency Reuters, had fled the country yesterday morning after police opened an investigation against him.

Mr George was questioned by police after he published comments by officers and intelligence sources that murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni had been “detained by police and then transferred to a compound run by homeland security the day he vanished.”