Egypt Independent: News-Main news en State TV: Egypt court lists Hamas as terrorist organization <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>An Egyptian court listed the Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organization, Egyptian state television said on Saturday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt&#39;s Muslim Brotherhood which the authorities have also declared a terrorist group and have repressed systematically since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Morsy, from the presidency in 2013.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egyptian security has accused the Palestinian faction of involvement in a series of deadly attacks on police and army personnel in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsy&#39;s ouster, accusations persistently denied by group leaders.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:58:00 +0000 Reuters,Egypt Independent 2445204 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/28/94/palestinian_faction_hamass_logo.jpg Cigarette traders set tariff over government price confusion <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>A state of confusion is currently dominating the cigarette market after the Finance Ministry had, reportedly, gone back on the tax it recently imposed on cigarette prices.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The ministry-decreed increase had boosted the sales of smuggled cigarettes by 50 percent, market traders say, noting that those brands saw a 25 percent hike in prices.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The ministry has denied cancelling the new taxes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Osama Salama, who heads an association of cigarette traders in Cairo and Giza, said junior and senior traders have been quoting varied prices for cigarettes since rumors were heard that the government had backtracked on the increases. He decried what he calls a lack of oversight on violators.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To avoid the manipulation of customers by traders, Salama said his association had laid down a final tariff, apparently applying the government&rsquo;s tax.</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:39:00 +0000 Mohamed Mostafa 2445202 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/25/499612/cigarettes_on_sale_in_a_store..jpg Supreme Constitutional Court considers challenges against law <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>The Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) has said its members are convening on Sunday in a permanent session to decide on four legal challenges filed against the constitutionality of the laws regulating the upcoming parliamentary elections slated for 22 March.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The challenges target the constitutionality of articles in the law delineating constituencies, as well as other laws on the House of Representatives and the Law on the Exercise of Political Rights.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The elections are of high importance to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi&#39;s government&nbsp;as they symbolize a step towards more political stability and an essential element in the political roadmap laid out by the government upon the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>SCC&rsquo;s Deputy Chief Judge Mohamed al-Shennawy said that the court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on the challenges on Sunday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Judicial sources told <em>Al-Masry Al-Youm </em>that if the court were to turn down the challenges, it would not have needed to hold a permanent session, suggesting a strong likelihood that the challenges will be accepted.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sources close to the judicial review said the SCC&rsquo;s advisory board&rsquo;s report recommended the unconstitutionality of the candidacy conditions which denies double-nationality Egyptians the right to run in the elections.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:43:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2445197 at sites/default/files/photo/2012/06/14/4886/1.jpg Lawyers defy publishing ban on colleague’s police custody death <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div><div>A group of lawyers have defied a gag order by the General Prosecutor concerning investigations into the alleged torture death of a lawyer in police custody.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Karim Hamdy had been arrested and charged with being affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood as well as his alleged involvment in protests by the group&#39;s backers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While officers at the Matareya Police Station said Hamdy, 28, was asphyxiated due to overcrowding in his cell, initial forensic reports said his body bore bruises and blood clots, suggesting possible physical torture.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;All Lawyers are Karim Hamdy&rdquo; is the name of the Facebook page created by a group of lawyers condemning Hamdy&rsquo;s death. It has attracted over 7,000 members so far and the group said it would continue to post details about the case in defiance of the publishing ban.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Why is the General Prosecutor always, obviously, banning publication in cases involving Interior Ministry officers?&rdquo; a post on the page read. It was referring to similar earlier incidents, such as the death of social activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh on 24 January and the 8 February deaths of 19 football fans outside the Air Defense Stadium.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Two police officers have been remanded into custody over suspicions of torturing Hamdy to death.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Electrician Emad al-Attar, 42, also died in custody on Wednesday and was accused of being involved in Brotherhood protests as well as arms possession.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In its report on Friday, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights expressed its concern over Hamdy&rsquo;s death, labelling the incident &ldquo;a waste of all humanitarian and moral values&rdquo;. The group is urging the General Prosecutor to refer perpetrators to trial.</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 09:38:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2445195 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/28/94/lawyer_karim_hamdy_who_died_into_custody_at_matariya_police_station.jpg