Egyptian protesters see policemen's jailing in activist's death as a victory
Egyptian authorities' decision to jail two policemen accused of "using harsh treatment” to an activist is a victory for protest groups, activists said on Friday.
Protesters scuffle with police officers during a demonstration against the death of Khalid Saeed in Cairo on Sunday. Opposition groups accused undercover officers of killing Saeed.
Image Credit: Reuters
Cairo: Egyptian authorities' decision to jail two policemen accused of "using harsh treatment” to an activist is a victory for protest groups, activists said on Friday.
"Jailing the two detectives accused of beaten Khaled Saeed to death is a victory for the pressure mounted by the protest groups, who have called for uncovering the truth in this case through street and Internet protests,” said the opposition movement April 6 Youth.
The death of Saeed, 28, due to alleged torture by two plainclothes policemen in the Egyptian port of Alexandria on June 6 has angered opposition and human rights groups who accuse police of abusing the 29-year-old Emergency Law to stifle freedom.
Saeed's family says he had been beaten to death outside a cyber café for posting an Internet video clip showing policemen joining in sharing the spoils of a drug bust. A second autopsy, ordered by Egypt's Chief Prosecutor, has cleared police of his killing and said he died after choking on a bag of drugs.
"The April 6 youth and other protesters have proved through their response to this case that they will have the upper hand in the next period,” added the group, which emerged on Egypt's political scene during a general strike called via the Internet more than two years ago.
On Wednesday, prosecutors ordered the jailing of the two detectives Mohammad Salah and Awad Esmail for four days pending further questioning.
The European Union has expressed concern about Saeed's death, a move that drew an angry response from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry that denounced it as an "unacceptable interference” in the country's affairs.
"It is high time the Egyptian regime realized that human rights violations are not a domestic affair,” said Mahmoud Hamed, a political activist. "Such abuses can longer be swept under the carpet,” he added.
Egypt’s state prosecutor said a new autopsy confirmed that the alleged victim of police brutality had in fact died of asphyxia after swallowing a bag of narcotics.
Image Credit: AFP
Egypt cracks down on illegal cultivation amid dam row
Immediate fines ordered on illegal growers of water-intense rice
Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammed Abdul Atti has ordered irrigation inspectors to crack down on unlawful cultivation of rice and to immediately levy fines on violators for wasting water.
Image Credit: AFP
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Cairo: Egypt’s irrigation authorities have vowed on-the-spot fines for illegal cultivation of water-intense rice as fears grow in the populous country over cuts in its water share due to a disputed Ethiopian Nile dam.
Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammed Abdul Atti has ordered irrigation inspectors to crack down on unlawful cultivation of rice and to immediately levy fines on violators for wasting water, Egyptian media reported.
The official said that the rice is one of the most water-consuming crops that negatively affect the irrigation network.
Authorities have said that 724,000 acres will be cultivated with the rice this year, compared to 1.1 million acres last year.
“Determining the area allowed for rice cultivation comes within the ministry’s policy to conserve our limited water resources,” the Ministry of Water and irrigation said.
A decade of talks between Egypt and Ethiopia has failed to resolve a dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam built on the Nile.
Egyptian officials have repeatedly blamed Ethiopia for the impasse and accused Addis Ababa of playing for time.
The Ethiopian dam has triggered wide fears in Egypt, which relies heavily on the Nile to cover the water needs of its population of over 100 million people.
Ethiopia has repeatedly denied Egyptians’ worries and defended its construction of the 5-billion-dollar dam as being vital for its development and lifting its population of around 107 million out of poverty.
Veteran Egyptian musician Jamal Salama dies of COVID-19
The composer of popular songs for Arab icons was 75
Egyptian composer Jamal Salama has died from COVID-19. He was 75.
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Cairo: Prominent Egyptian musician Jamal Salama, who composed songs for several Arab celebrities, has died due to complications from COVID-19, local media reported. He was 75.
Salama was recently transferred to a quarantine hospital in Cairo after contracting COVID-19. He passed away there on Friday, according to the media.
Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdul Dayam eulogised him as a “a musical genius and an artistic icon”.
Salama’s death was also mourned on social media. “Farewell to the great musician and dear friend Jamal Salma,” said veteran Egyptian actress Nabila Ebeid in an Instagram post.
TV and films
The late musician composed scores for dozens of Egyptian TV serials and films. He also composed popular songs for Lebanese icons Sabah and Majda Al Roumi; Egyptian legend Shadia; and Moroccan diva Samira Saeed.
He was also popular for composing songs celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the ensuing Eid. Salama had studied music in Egypt and Russia and later taught at the Cairo Conservatoire.
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