Egypt Independent

Wednesday’s papers: Judgment day



As the first 100 days of Morsy’s tenure wrap up, the papers, depending on their inclinations, compete to highlight either his accomplishments or his failure to deliver on his promises.

Following a road crash in Sinai on Monday that killed 22 Central Security soldiers and injured 27 others, official sources say no illegal activity caused their truck to overturn. However, some papers weave conspiracy theories that portray the incident as emblematic of the state’s failure to impose security in Sinai.

According to Al-Akhbar state newspaper, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil stated during his visit to the victims in Nasr City Police Hospital that the there is no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. The prosecution says the truck overturned due to a flat tire, the paper reports.

Independent Al-Tahrir newspaper, however, argues that the shortcomings of the investigation confirm there is a criminal element at play.

A forensics official reportedly told the paper that he has not received instructions to perform autopsies on the bodies. Another anonymous forensic official is quoted as alleging this is a sign that the government is covering up an attack on the Central Security truck.

However, the paper offers contradictory proof for its theory. In another story, yet another anonymous source tells the paper that an order to dissect the bodies proves criminal suspicions as the procedure would not typically be performed in a crash-related death.

Al-Tahrir Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Eissa doesn’t miss the chance to highlight the failure of the Islamists and writes a front-page column accusing President Morsy of being “up to his beard in failure” in dealing with the security crisis in Sinai.

Another issue on which the press have different takes is Morsy’s recent decree to release all detainees arrested for revolution-related crimes.

Freedom and Justice newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, reported that the decree gives amnesty to all those indicted or being investigation for misdemeanors committed in support of the revolution and allows those not subject to a pardon to file appeals.  

Member of the pardons committee Mahmoud Fawzy tells the paper that the decision includes military officers who were sentenced to prison for taking part in protests, known as the 8 April officers.

Al-Tahrir takes a more critical look at the decision. The paper criticizes the wording, which it says concedes that revolutionaries have committed crimes in support of the revolution. Politicians are also quoted as saying that the move comes too late. The paper gives voice to the concerns of human rights activists that protesters wrongfully accused of vandalism may be excluded from the pardon.

Privately owned Al-Sabah newspaper claims that prisons refuse to release those included in the pardon. Although the deputy interior minister for prison affairs tells the paper that officials are awaiting orders from the public prosecutor and the military judiciary, which he says is standard procedure, the paper headlines the story “Prisons refuse to execute Morsy’s presidential pardon.”

Private daily Al-Shorouk has a complete evaluation of the president’s performance in his first 100 days in office. Under the headline “The president’s day of judgment,” the paper analyzes the progress achieved on bread, electricity and gas supply issues.

Regarding the bread crisis, the paper reports that while officials and bakers are happy with Morsy’s decisions, the people are still suffering. As for gas and electricity, experts tell the paper that the government solutions have been conflicting and that a crisis still looms.

The paper publishes the findings of Morsi Meter, an independent web site launched to monitor Morsy’s progress, which says the president has failed to deliver the vast majority of his promises.  

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party