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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Human rights + regional politics dominated Eid week

Human rights and regional politics lead the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press: The government’s decision to release a number of high profile activists who had been held in pretrial detention — including activist Esraa Abdel Fattah and lawyer Mahienour El Masry — is getting coverage in Reuters, the BBC, the Associated Press and others, while an op-ed in Foreign Affairs once again calls on US president Joe Biden to cut off support to Egypt unless it improves its rights record. Human Rights Watch also published a joint letter by 20 local and international human rights groups who are calling on the US to condition military aid on the government improving its approach to human rights.

Egyptian officials named in Pegasus leaks: Data leaked from Israeli spyware firm NSO suggests that Saudi Arabia and the UAE spied on senior government ministers including Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait and Justice Minister Hossam Abdel Rahim. The so-called Pegasus Project leaks last week revealed that NSO had helped foreign governments hack the mobile phones of heads of state, diplomats and military chiefs, including French president Emmanuel Macron, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, and World Health Organization director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The Guardian and Daraj have more.

And Juhayna’s Safwan Thabet is the subject of a feature piece in the Financial Times, which examines the arrest of the dairy company’s founder and chairman last year on terrorism charges.

Also making headlines:

  • Divers have discovered a military vessel in the ancient sunken city of Heracleion off the coast of Alexandria. The ship is believed to have sunk in the second century BC when the temple of Amun collapsed during an earthquake. (Reuters | France24)
  • Former first lady Jehan El Sadat’s lifelong dedication to women’s rights is getting another nod in the foreign press after her death earlier this month. (The Guardian)
  • Cairo is named as one of the World's Greatest Places for 2021 for its “new vantages on unique treasures,” with some big tourist projects including the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Ahl Misr Walkway nearing completion. (Time Magazine)
  • Al Ahly’s victory over South Africa’s Kaiser Chiefs to win the African Champions League for a 10th time made history and headlines. (BBC)

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