Monday’s papers: Delayed appeals and throttled protests

Most of Monday’s newspapers, including state-run papers Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar, lead with news that the Tanta Misdemeanors Appeal Court has decided to postpone two appeals in what is now known as the “lawyers case” until 4 July.

The appeals came from two lawyers who received five-year prison sentences on 9 June, after being convicted of attacking Tanta’s district attroney while on duty. In court, Lawyers Syndicate head Hamdi Khalifa refused to issue a formal written apology on behalf of the syndicate for the assault, according to Al-Ahram. Outside the courthouse, lawyers held a loud demonstration against the judiciary, which was seen to have intentionally humiliated them, as truckloads of riot police stood by, said the newspaper.

The Appeal Court can either uphold the verdict, or annul it and order either a complete or partial retrial. Last week, in act of protest against the court verdict, around 100,000 lawyers took part in a strike to support their accused colleagues, leading to massive courtroom chaos and numerous cases across the country being postponed.

Al-Ahram also reports that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit has asked the Sudanese ambassador in Egypt to clarify Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti’s recent statements regarding Egypt’s political role Sudan. Karti had described Egypt’s cooperation with Sudan as “weak” and its role as “based on inadequate information.” The paper quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hossam Zaki as saying that “Egypt stands by Sudan unconditionally without [hidden] aims or purpose.”

Meanwhile, independent newspapers cover a throttled protest downtown against police brutality and in support of Khaled Saeed, the teen allegedly beaten to death by two police officers in Alexandria. Al-Dostour reports that “tens” of activists were arrested during the demonstration, which moved from one spot to another downtown, after police closed off streets and violently brok up the demonstration. According to Al-Dostour, journalists and photographers present on site were also assaulted, and Reuters’ and Al-Dostour’s photojournalists had their cameras snatched.

In related news, Al-Shorouq reports that Alexandria’s prosecution has accepted an appeal by the family of Saeed, which raising doubts about the teen’s official criminal record presented by the Interior Ministry after the brutal incident. Following his death, the ministry alleged Saeed was dealing drugs and died choking on a bag of marijuana cigarettes after being confronted and cornered by police officers. The packet was lodged in his throat, said the official report, which failed to explain why Saeed’s corpse was broken, bruised and his face bloodied.

In other news, Al-Shorouq also reports that Islamic scholar Soad Saleh, who has recently joined the Wafd Party, said she would never join a party whose principles defy her religious beliefs, which include that “a Christian can become president of Egypt.”

Her statements came during an on-air argument with fellow Wafdist Salah Suleiman, in which Saleh proclaimed that it is religiously and politically unacceptable for Egypt to have a Christian president.

“A Muslim should have authority over a non-Muslim, not the othe way around. That’s why God has allowed a Muslim man to marry a Muslim woman and not the opposite, since the authority in marriage belongs to the male. So it goes that the authority should be for the higher religion and not the lesser,” went Saleh’s controversial remarks, according to Al-Shorouq.

Egypt’s newspapers:
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt
: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size
: Daily, state-run
Rose el-Youssef:
 Daily, state-run, close to the National Democratic Party’s Policies Secretariat
 Daily, privately owned
Daily, privately owned
 Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party
 Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party
 Weekly, privately owned
Sawt el-Umma:
 Weekly, privately owned

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