Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Egypt Live Blog

Al Jazeera staff and correspondents update you on important developments in Egypt as a new political landscape is shaped after a popular uprising forced Hosni Mubarak from power.
Al Jazeera is not responsible for content derived from external sites.

Activist: Verdict has shamed military

An Egyptian woman has won a case against the country's military after she was forced to undergo a so called "virginity test”.

Samira Ibrahim says she went through the ordeal with six other women, after they were arrested during protests in Tahrir Square in March.
Some reactions from Twitter on the banning of so-called virginity tests:
An Egyptian court ordered on Tuesday that forced virginity tests be stopped on female detainees in military prisons.

The case was filed by Samira Ibrahim, a woman who said the army forced her to undergo a virginity test in April after she was arrested during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Human rights organisations say that there have been many other such tests by the military.

"The court orders that the execution of the procedure of virginity tests on girls inside military prisons be stopped," Aly Fekry, head of Cairo’s administrative court, said.

Hundreds of activists inside the courtroom cheered after the ruling was read out.
A prominent Egyptian blogger accused of attacking soldiers during deadly clashes was released after nearly two months in detention, during which he became a symbol of the pro-democracy activists' struggle to end military rule in Egypt.
Alaa Abdel-Fattah's first stop after he was freed on Sunday was Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in February.
The square continues to be the focus of the campaign against the military, which took power after Mubarak's ouster.
Abdel-Fattah was accused of inciting violence and other offenses during clashes that killed 27 people October 9, but he was never formally charged.
He was arrested October 30. The arrest raised tensions between the activists who engineered Mubarak's ouster and the generals led by Hussein Tantawi, the deposed leader's defense minister for some 20 years. [AP]
Egypt's military rulers are studying a proposal from their own advisers to bring forward parliamentary elections by two weeks after demands from protesters and politicians to speed up transition to civilian rule, an advisory council member said on Sunday.
Many Egyptians believe the army is no longer fit to manage security on the ground and carry out difficult reforms at a time of political and economic crisis.
"The military council has agreed to study the option of shortening the election time for the Shura by two weeks, to end on February 22," Sherif Zahran, a member of a council advising the military on the transition to civilian rule told Reuters.
Zahran said the judiciary had agreed to the idea of squeezing Shura elections into two stages instead of three and that a plan to shorten the vote tallying process was being studied also.
"This would allow for both the (lower house of) parliament and Shura to convene in a joint meeting by the end of February," Zahran told Reuters.
Islamist parties in Egypt have consolidated their gains in Egypt's parliamentary elections, securing more than 65 per cent of the seats determined so far, according to the latest results released.
Abdel-Moez Ibrahim, the country's election commission chief, announced the results from the second round of voting for party lists, in which nine provinces with about 7 million voters cast their ballots, on Saturday,
Based on the announcement, the Muslim Brotherhood says that its Freedom and Justice Party won 86 (47 per cent) of the 180 seats on offer so far.
The al-Nour party, the political arm of Egypt's Salafi movement, has won around 20 per cent of the seats contested so far.
The FJP officially won 36.5 per cent of the current vote for party lists, and al-Nour won 28.78 per cent.
The country's liberal parties fared badly again in the second round, with al-Wafd - the country's oldest party - winning 9.6 per cent of the party list vote and the Egyptian Bloc, the main liberal coalition, taking just seven per cent.
Egypt's Islamists won almost 90 per cent of seats in a parliamentary election runoff, bringing them closer to dominating the first elected body since Hosni Mubarak's ouster, state media have reported.

The leading Islamist Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) won 40 out of 60 seats in the runoff for the second round of the three-stage elections, according to both the party and the official Al-Ahram newspaper.

The ultra-conservative Salafi Al-Nour party won 13 seats, Al-Ahram reported.

In Egypt's complex electoral system, voters cast ballots for party lists, which will compose two-thirds of parliament, and direct votes for individual candidates for the remaining third.

The FJP won 32 individual seats in the first round of the vote, with four others going to allies, and 36 per cent of the party list vote, followed by Al-Nour's 24 per cent.
Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from Tahrir Square, said the crowd of anti-SCAF protesters had been swelling after the Friday prayers.
“There are also protests in other cities, in Suez and Alexanderia. Lots of different demonstrations, but one clear message: that the SCAF needs to hand over power to civilians.
"They are also saying the recent violent crackdown, specially the violence soldiers used against women, is unacceptable."
A competing rally of several hundred people gathered in support of the military in another part of Cairo on Friday.
Al Jazeera’s Jamal el-Shayal, reporting from Abbasiya, said the protesters believe that it is only through the military establishment that some sense of stability can be restored.
"What will be interesting will be to see how the security forces deal with these protesters in comparison to those in Tahrir. Many people point to how there is a double standard."

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