Alexandra Sandels

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Latest by Alexandra Sandels


Cairo: A hub for future Arabists

CAIRO: Recent years have witnessed an upsurge in the number of foreign scholars of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies. Whether struggling with glottal stops and gurgling ‘ayns’ and ‘khas’ for business or pleasure, Cairo appears to be a beloved destination for Arabists in-progress. During a few sunny days at the beginning of the summer semester, …

Alexandra Sandels

Abu Omar trial underway in Italy, his family to attend

CAIRO/MILAN: Despite alleged travel bans and trouble with state security, cleric Abu Omar s family arrived in Milan on Tuesday to attend the trial of 26 US CIA agents tried in absentia accused of kidnapping him. “We have had issues with state security lately. But they finally let my wife and son leave Egypt on …

Alexandra Sandels

Environmentalists demand halt of potential oil drilling project on Red Sea Coast

CAIRO/HURGHADA: As British oil company Burren Energy Ltd. makes final preparations for a potential oil drilling project near a protected area on the Red Sea Coast, environmental organizations demand the project s immediate halt. Environmentalists claim that the project will have devastating consequences on the environment and on animal life. “We will do anything and …

Alexandra Sandels

Rights groups denounce barring monitors at Brotherhood military tribunal

CAIRO/NEW YORK/LONDON: In a joint press release on Tuesday, two reputable international human rights organizations that were denied entry to the Muslim Brotherhood military tribunal on Sunday denounced prohibiting their monitors from attending the court session. It was on Sunday morning that a delegation of rights monitors from Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), …

Alexandra Sandels

Rights group pressures US not to extradite Egyptian

CAIRO/ NEW YORK: New York-based watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the US government in a press release earlier this week to halt the deportation of an Egyptian man based on ‘vague’ diplomatic assurances from Egypt that the man will not be subject to torture upon return to his home country. “Not only does …

Alexandra Sandels

Brotherhood blogger release ordered

Defense says international pressure played major role in decision CAIRO: The general prosecution in Nasr City issued a release order Wednesday for detained Muslim Brotherhood blogger/journalist Abdel Moneim Mahmoud, lawyer Islam Lotfy told The Daily Star Egypt. Mahmoud has been held at Mahkum prison since his arrest on April 14 pending investigation into his membership …

Alexandra Sandels

Amnesty chief stresses need for Arab League to protect human rights

CAIRO: In an effort to enhance the protection of human rights among Arab League member states, Secretary General of the London-based rights group Amnesty International Irene Khan visited Cairo on Wednesday to discuss human rights conditions in a number of Middle East and North Africa (Mena) nations with Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr …

Alexandra Sandels

Egypt and UN to enhance eradication of landmines in new joint project

SIXTH OF OCTOBER CITY: In an effort to enhance and structuralize the eradication of Egypt’s 15-20 million landmines spread out over the Western Desert; a phenomenon that has caused more than eight thousand civilian casualties since the end of World War I, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced …

Alexandra Sandels

Judge demands the blocking of 29 more websites

CAIRO: Alexandria head judge Abdel Fattah Mourad, who is pushing to block 21 Egyptian websites and blogs on the basis that they ‘defame Egypt and the Egyptian President,’ has amended his lawsuit in the Administrative Judiciary Court, adding a demand to shut down 29 similar more website on the same grounds. Like the previous 21 …

Alexandra Sandels

Abu Omar: tales of the involuntary voyage of an Egyptian cleric (Part 1)

ALEXANDRIA: The term extraordinary rendition, the extrajudicial transfer of terrorist suspects from one state to another for interrogation, has become one of the most heated topics among the international community since the start of the US-led war on terror. Following the attacks of Sept.11, 2001, critics and rights groups argued that hundreds of people suspected …

Alexandra Sandels

Authorities challenge admin court ruling acquitting Brotherhood leaders

CAIRO: Authorities filed an objection Wednesday to a court verdict that ruled it unlawful for the Egyptian president to transfer civilians to military tribunals, thus acquitting 40 high-ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) on Monday. According to members of the MB, the acquitted MB leaders will be kept in detainment until May 19 when …

Alexandra Sandels

Activists cancel Downtown demo for security threats

CAIRO: State security forces and plainclothes agents swarmed Talaat Harb square on Friday night due to rumors of a mock ‘wedding party’ organized by Egyptian opposition activists to mark the wedding of Gamal Mubarakand his bride Khadija El Gammal in Sharm El-Sheikh the same day. Due to the heavy security deployment activists decided to cancel …

Alexandra Sandels

Chaos mars court hearing to shut down 21 websites

CAIRO: Disorder and ruckus plagued Saturday morning’s hearing in the case brought against 21 Egyptian websites belonging to outspoken bloggers, human rights organizations, and news agencies. Judge Abdel Fattah Mourad, head of Alexandria’s Court of Appeals had charged the websites with ‘tarnishing the reputation of Egypt and the country’s President.’ The court room quickly filled …

Alexandra Sandels

Egypt a "serious backslider" in press freedom argues, rights group

CAIRO: In conjunction with World Press Day on May 3, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) highlighted the occasion by issuing a report on “ten countries where press freedom has most deteriorated over the past five years. Egypt was crowned one of the “10 worst backsliders of press freedom by the …

Alexandra Sandels

Constitutional amendments threaten press, say activists

CAIRO: In celebration of World Press Day, representatives from local rights group the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) and the Press Syndicate held a conference Thursday on press freedom in Egypt. The conference stressed enhanced future erosion of freedom of expression in the country after the passing of the new constitutional amendments. “We are …

Alexandra Sandels

Tuning into music's missing link

Sharkiat explores the relation between Hindu and Arab beats A diverse audience of all ages and nationalities flocked on Monday to the Cairo Opera House’s open-air theater, under the moon and stars, for an Indian-Arabic fusion music concert hosted by Grammy award-winning Egyptian musician Fathy Salama and his group Sharkiat. A new project by Sharkiat, …

Alexandra Sandels

Worldwide rallies support imprisoned Alex blogger Kareem Amer

CAIRO: Dozens of human rights activists gathered at rallies in several world capitals on Friday afternoon to protest the imprisonment of Egyptian student blogger Kareem Amer, reportedly attracting considerable media attention. Armed with letters to Egyptian ambassadors abroad denouncing Amer’s imprisonment and banners reading ‘Shame on Egypt’, ‘Blogging ist kein verbrechen’ (Blogging is not a …

Alexandra Sandels

Military tribunal of detained Muslim Brotherhood members opens quietly

CAIRO: A military tribunal of 33 detained top members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) reportedly under deep secrecy at Heikstep Military Court Complex outside Cairo on Thursday morning. The trial, regarded as one of the largest military tribunals, was ordered by the military prosecutor on Wednesday following a criminal court decision to release some of …

Alexandra Sandels

Activists to hold worldwide demos for arrested, imprisoned Egyptian bloggers

CAIRO: International civil society organizations and activists are once again taking action against what they call are “systematic crackdowns on Egyptian bloggers by the national authorities. Today, a network of international human rights activists are staging worldwide demonstrations in protest at the imprisonment of Alexandrian student blogger Kareem Amer, who in late November was sentenced …

Alexandra Sandels

Blogger gets 15 more days as activists gather at Shubra prosecutor's office to protest his detention

CAIRO: Members of the Egyptian blogosphere, Muslim Brotherhood members, and a number of local and foreign journalists gathered outside the office of the public prosecutor in Shubra on Tuesday morning for a sit-in awaiting the outcome of the the interrogation of detained Brotherhood blogger/journalist Abdel Moneim Mahmoud. The protestors patiently awaited Mahmoud’s legal advisor Ahmed …

Alexandra Sandels

Brotherhood blogger sentenced to 15 days in detainment

CAIRO: The office of the public prosecutor in Shubra district ordered on Monday the 15-day detainment of Muslim Brotherhood blogger/journalist Abdel Moneim Mahmoud pending investigation of charges including “membership of an illegal organization and “tarnishing Egypt’s image. Mahmoud, a reporter at the British Al-Hiwar TV and moderator of the blog ‘Ana Ikhwan,’ (‘I am a …

Alexandra Sandels