Samia's Feed
Jun 17, 2012

Anxiety as Egypt’s presidency vote nears end

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptians choosing their president freely for the first time faced a daunting choice between a former general from the old guard and an Islamist who says he is running for God, leaving many voters perplexed and fearful of the future.

A win for either Ahmed Shafik – the last prime minister of ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak – or Mohamed Morsy, a U.S.-educated engineer who would turn Egypt into an Islamic democracy, will go far to define the outcome of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings last year.

Jun 16, 2012

Anxious, weary Egypt to choose president

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptians vote for a president on Saturday in a runoff election that for many offers only a choice of the lesser of two evils – a military man who served deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak or a conservative Islamist who says he is running for God.

Reeling from a court order two days ago to dissolve a new parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, many question whether the wealthy generals who pushed aside their fellow officer Mubarak last year to appease the pro-democracy protests of the Arab Spring will honour a pledge to let civilians rule.

Jun 14, 2012

Bahrain eases medic sentences, U.S. “deeply disappointed”

MANAMA (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it was “deeply disappointed” by a Bahrain court verdict which failed to strike down sentences against medics over their role in last year’s pro-democracy uprising.

The court in the Gulf Arab state, an important U.S. ally that hosts Washington’s Fifth Fleet, reduced sentences against nine medical professionals and acquitted nine others, but rights groups also criticized the decision to keep some of them in jail, saying it was politically motivated to placate hardliners within the ruling family.

Jun 14, 2012

Bahrain court eases sentences for medics in uprising

MANAMA (Reuters) – A Bahrain court reduced sentences on Thursday against nine medics for their role in last year’s pro-democracy uprising and acquitted nine, but rights groups said the case was politically-motivated and should have been thrown out over use of torture.

The trial of the 20 medics, who are all Shi’ite Muslims, has drawn international criticism of the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state, home to the U.S. Fifth fleet and a key Gulf partner.

Jun 14, 2012

Bahrain court convicts 9 medics for role in uprising

MANAMA (Reuters) – A Bahrain appeals court convicted nine medics on Thursday for their role in last year’s pro-democracy uprising, and acquitted nine others, in a controversial case that has drawn international criticism of the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state.

A military court sentenced the 20 medics, who are all Shi’ite, in September to terms of between five and 15 years on charges including theft of medical equipment, occupying a hospital and incitement to topple the state.

Jun 11, 2012

Syria massacres, ethnic cleansing that may backfire

By Samia Nakhoul

(Reuters) – Sectarian massacres in Syria may show militias nurtured by the authorities are a “Frankenstein’s monster” which will alienate allies, provoke foreign intervention and tear the country apart, hastening the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad.

As Washington raised an alarm on Monday about a “potential massacre” in Haffeh, analysts said they saw little military rationale for the government in the previous killings of dozens of Sunni Muslim civilians in two attacks on other villages in the northwest that only galvanised outrage against Assad abroad and among those in the Sunni majority who have supported him.

Jun 11, 2012

Insight: Syria massacres, ethnic cleansing that may backfire

By Samia Nakhoul

(Reuters) – Sectarian massacres in Syria may show militias nurtured by the authorities are a “Frankenstein’s monster” which will alienate allies, provoke foreign intervention and tear the country apart, hastening the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad.

As Washington raised an alarm on Monday about a “potential massacre” in Haffeh, analysts said they saw little military rationale for the government in the previous killings of dozens of Sunni Muslim civilians in two attacks on other villages in the northwest that only galvanized outrage against Assad abroad and among those in the Sunni majority who have supported him.

May 25, 2012

Analysis: Revolutionaries see reversal in Egypt vote

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s revolutionaries did not take to the streets to replace Hosni Mubarak with another military strongman or to put an Islamist ideologue in charge, but that is the choice they woke up to after a first-round vote for the presidency.

The youths who put national pride before religion when they protested against Mubarak’s autocratic rule last year have increasingly despaired, saying the revolution they initiated has been hijacked by generals and the Muslim Brotherhood.

May 23, 2012

Egyptians back at the polls to pick president

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt resumes its first free presidential election on Thursday after voting passed off mostly calmly on the first day apart from a stone-throwing attack on candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was premier for a few days before Hosni Mubarak fell.

The race broadly pits Islamist candidates against secular ones like Shafiq and Amr Moussa, the former Arab League chief who previously served as Mubarak’s foreign minister.

May 22, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood, army seen powerful after Egypt vote

CAIRO (Reuters) – As election rallies go it was spectacular. No organisation in Egypt is better at mobilising the masses than the Muslim Brotherhood – or at stirring up the frenzy that suggests to all observant Muslims it is almost a duty to vote for its candidate in the country’s first free presidential election this week.

The vote on Wednesday and Thursday will give Egyptians their first real opportunity to decide who and what should replace the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in February last year.