Buhari Condoles With Al-Sisi, Egyptians On EgyptAir Crash

Muhammadu Buhari, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, EgyptAirPresident Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with his Egypt counterpart and Egyptians on Thursday’s EgyptAir crash which claimed many lives.

Condoling President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on the loss of 66 lives in the crash, President Buhari assured him and the people of Egypt of the sympathy of all Nigerians, as they mourn the passengers and crew of EgyptAir MS804.

He told President Al-Sisi during a phone conversation on Friday evening that the thoughts and prayers of Nigerians were with the families and friends of the bereaved Egyptians and other nationals who are in sorrow as a result of the tragic air crash.

The President prayed that God Almighty would comfort all those who lost their relatives and friends in the crash and grant eternal rest to the souls of those who died.

In his response, President Al-Sisi thanked his Nigeria counterpart for his condolence and sympathy.

President Buhari’s condolence was disclosed in a statement by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Al-Jazeera Journalist Arrested

al-jazeeraA senior journalists working with Al-Jazeera has been arrested in Germany at the request of Egypt.

Ahmed Mansour, who works for the channel’s Arabic-language service, was detained as he tried to board a flight from Berlin to Qatar.

A German police official said Egyptian authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for Mr Mansour.

A court in Egypt’s capital, Cairo sentenced him to 15 years in prison in absentia last year on torture charges.

However, Al-Jazeera says the claims made against Mr Mansour, who has dual British and Egyptian citizenship, are absurd and false.

Egypt accuses Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Qatar-backed Islamist movement that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi removed from power in 2013 when he was army chief and calls a terrorist group.

Both the television channel and the Brotherhood reject the allegations made by Egyptian authorities.

A Cairo court sentenced Mansour, who has dual Egyptian and British citizenship, to 15 years in prison in absentia last year on a charge of torturing a lawyer in 2011 in Tahrir Square, the focus of the uprising that toppled veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Mansour said he expected to soon face a judge who would decide whether to extradite him.

Egyptian Court Jails Prominent Activist For Five Years

Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah speaks in front of a judge at an Egyptian Court during his trialAn Egyptian court has sentenced a leading activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, to five years in jail, for violating limits on demonstrations, which is one of the toughest crackdowns on dissent in Egypt’s history.

After the verdict was read out on Monday, chants of “Down, down with military rule!” rang out from supporters of the activist, crowded into the courtroom.

Abdel Fattah, a blogger and software developer, was a leading secular figure in the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

He was originally sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail, along with 24 others, before a retrial was ordered.

He is one of the several activists to have been jailed since the army overthrew Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, in mid-2013 and launched a crackdown not only on his Muslim Brotherhood, but also on secular democracy activists.

Laila Seif, Abdel Fattah’s mother, said she hopes her son would draw on the strength that helped his father, Ahmed Seif El-Islam Hamad, a human rights lawyer, through a five-year sentence under Mubarak.

One other defendant, Ahmed Abdulrahman, also received five years in jail, 18 accused received three years and others who were tried in absentia were given 15 years but Abdulrahman’s lawyer said his client would appeal.

The same court also adjourned to March 8, the trial of two Al Jazeera television journalists charged with aiding a terrorist organization – a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.

215 Members Of Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Referred To Court

Egypt-muslim-brotherhood215 members of the outlawed Egypt Muslim Brotherhood has been referred to court trial on charges of forming a militant group, the latest move in a sustained crackdown by authorities on Islamist.

Egypt’s Public Prosecutor, Hesham Barakat, said in a statement on Sunday, that the 215 defendants were charged with forming a militant group called “Helwan Brigades”.

Egypt has mounted one of the biggest crackdowns in its modern history on the Brotherhood, following the army’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, the country’s first freely-elected president, in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The prosecution’s investigation said that the group was responsible for killing at least six policemen and wounding several civilians and policemen in separate attacks in Cairo.

The group also possessed weapons and ammunition.

125 members of the group are in detention and Barakat ordered the arrest of those at large.

Thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been arrested and put on mass trials in a campaign, which Human Rights groups said “it shows the government is systematically repressing opponents”.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief toppled Mursi, described the Brotherhood as a major security threat, but the movement said it was committed to peaceful activism.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Ismailia, Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in March 1928 as an Islamist religious, political, and social movement.

The group spread to other Muslim countries but has its largest, or one of its largest organisations in Egypt.

For many years, it has been the largest, best-organised, and most disciplined political opposition force, despite a succession of government crackdowns in 1948, 1954, 1965 after alleged plots of assassination and overthrow were uncovered.

Following the 2011 Revolution, the group was legalised and in April 2011, it launched a civic political party called the Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt) to contest elections.