Egypt Independent: Egypt-Main news en Egypt court releases mother of Suez FGM girl, postpones trial to November <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The Suez Criminal Court released on Wednesday the mother of 17-year old Mayar Mousa who died during an Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) operation in May.</p><div>The court postponed the trial to Nov. 23.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The mother, the doctor who performed the operation and the anaesthesiologist were accused of involuntary manslaughter and causing a wound that led to death. The doctor is still at large.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mousa&rsquo;s death sparked anger against doctors and laws that tolerate the practice despite the ban imposed in 2008.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt&rsquo;s parliament approved late August amendments to the law against FGM that imposes harsher penalties on the practice.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The amendment classifies FGM as a felony instead of a misdemeanour, punishable with imprisonment between five- seven years &nbsp;and up to 15 years in case the operation led to a permanent deformity or death.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It also punishes whoever accompanies a female to have the operation with imprisonment between one-three years.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The previous law had set a punishment between three months to two years or a fine between EGP 1,000 - 5,000 on anyone who causes an injury due to FGM.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Despite the ban Egypt imposed on FGM since 2008, it is still widely practised especially in rural areas.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the practice of female genital mutilation conducted on girls between 15 and 17 has dropped from 74 percent in 2008 to 61 percent in 2014.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>UNDP said in a statement late May, &quot;in Egypt 82% percent of female circumcisions are performed by trained medical personnel.&quot; The UN called on health professionals &quot;to take a strong stand to stop the medicalisation of FGM.&quot;</div> Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:10:00 +0000 Aswat Masriya 2473853 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/02/11/94/female_genital_mutilation_fgm.jpg Politicians praise Sisi's proposal on release of youth detainees <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Prominent opposition figure Medhat al-Zahid has praised President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for his proposal that young members of parliament should form a committee to examine the pardoning of young people detained on political charges.<br /><br />Sisi announced the plan on Tuesday, at the start of the National Youth Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, and the proposal has so far received a positive response.<br /><br />Zahid, who is acting chairman of the Socialist People&rsquo;s Alliance, which boycotted the youth conference, described the idea as a &quot;good call&quot;, although he said previous promises along the same lines have not been met.<br /><br />Zahid called for a law providing a general pardon for prisoners of conscience who were not involved in acts of violence, saying the continued detention of young people is an &quot;affront to the nation&quot;.<br /><br />The National Council for Human Rights has submitted a list of detainees who were not involved in violence, asking for their release, said Zahid, but the authorities responded by releasing individuals selected for unexplained reasons.<br /><br />&quot;Ignoring the young people is too dangerous, harming political life in Egypt, and it could push the youth either to violence or abandoning politics,&quot; he added.<br /><br />Zahid stressed that the release of young activists could restore confidence in the government and contribute to a breakthrough in the relationship between activists and the government.<br /><br />MP Ahmed al-Tantawy, a member of the &quot;25-30 bloc&quot;, said Sisi has repeatedly promised to release young activists. Tantawy held parliament accountable for delaying laws on transitional justice and regulating protests.<br /><br />He said joint responsibility falls on the shoulders of both the president and the parliament.<br /><br />He called for the release of young people who have not been involved in violence or corruption, with a view to avoiding a widening gap between Sisi and Egypt&#39;s youth.<br /><br />MP Ehab Mansour, head of the parliamentary bloc of the Egyptian Democratic Party, described Sisi&#39;s call as &quot;good&quot; and &quot;in favor of eliminating injustices against detained youth who are not involved in acts of violence.&quot;<br /><br />He hoped that the release of young prisoners would take place as soon as possible, saying that &quot;a slow pace would double the damage.&quot; He called on parliament to cooperate with the Cabinet in this regard.<br /><br /><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2016 08:01:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2473827 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/13/16030/zz.jpg Egyptian media unwittingly harms the national interest: Sisi <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has accused Egyptian media outlets of unintentionally causing harm to Egypt&#39;s interests and relations with other nations.<br /><br />&quot;You do severe harm to Egypt unintentionally. I am talking to you as state officials, not just media personnel... Our relations with a friendly country have been influended by published talk,&quot; Sisi said, addressing journalists.<br /><br />The president made the comments on Wednesday during a presentation at the first National Youth Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. He was addressing the audience at a debate sesssion titled &quot;The impact of media on youth public opinion making&quot;.<br /><br />His comments reflect ongoing official concern over media coverage of sensitive topics, from the unsolved murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni to the handling of Egypt&#39;s economy and relations with allies.<br /><br />Government officials have occasionally criticised both foreign and domestic journalists for allegedly inaccurate or biased reporting. Last week, Egypt&#39;s ambassador to London slammed The Guardian for &quot;factual mistakes&quot; in an article on Egypt&#39;s relations with Saudi Arabia and delayed deliveries of petroleum products from Saudi Aramco.<br /><br />Speaking at another session in Sharm el-Sheikh, titled &quot;The relation between public freedoms and political participation&quot;, Sisi said that a monthly session would be held to discuss various initiatives put forward by representatives of Egypt&#39;s youth.<br /><br />While the effort to include young people in official decision-making processes has been welcomed by many, there were also calls for more dramatic changes to allow young people a means of expression.<br /><br />&quot;They youth have gone astray, Mr President, and they cannot find a channel to express themselves,&quot; said MP Tarek al-Khouly.<br /><br />The MP called for changes to the law regulating protests, saying the current law was developed after mass violence in June 2013, a period of unusual turmoil in Egypt.<br /><br />Khouly said he had submitted a bill to parliament on reguating protests, saying the bill balances the right to protest with the needs of national security.<br /><br />Meanwhile, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, a member of the National Council for Human Rights, welcomed Sisi&#39;s decision to form a committee to examine the cases of young people detained on political charges.<br /><br />Aziz also called for the amendment of the law regulating street protests.<br />&nbsp;</p> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:10:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2473820 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/26/504802/youth_conference.jpg Floods hit Red Sea governorate, traffic blocked on some roads <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Flooding caused traffic disruption on some roads in the Red Sea governorate on Wednesday as metorologists warned that heavy rain would cause floods over the next 48 hours.<br /><br />A state of emergency was declared in the governorate as local authorities and emergency services prepared for flood-related accidents. Flooding was reported in Marsa Alam, Camels Valley, Halayeb, Shalateen and Abu Ramad.<br /><br />Authorities halted the flow of traffic at kilometer 20 on the Marsa Alam-Edfu Road and at kilometer 67 on the Marsa Alam-Qoseir Road, seeking to prevent any risk to life due to flood waters.<br /><br />Meanwhile, floods hit several areas on the Qoseir-Qaft Desert Road, with traffic blocked after a truck overturned.<br /><br />Several eyewitnesses said the flood water slowed traffic and caused damage to the roads.<br /><br />In related news, the municipality of Safaga opened the Safaga-Qena Road on Thursday after traffic was halted for several hours due flooding.<br /><br /><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:42:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2473815 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/09/13/94/floods_hit_south_sinai.jpg