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Egypt Court Orders Release Of Anti-sex Abuse Activist

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Egypt Court Orders Release Of Anti-sex Abuse Activist

An Egyptian court on Tuesday ordered the release of a rights activist jailed since May after she criticized sexual harassment in the country in a video posted online, her lawyer said.

The decision to free Amal Fathi came as her husband Mohamed Lotfy, also a human rights activist, received a Franco-German prize for his work.

Attorney Mohammad Ramadan said on Facebook that a Cairo criminal court ordered Fathi’s release on “probation”, which means she must still report to a police station at certain times.

Fathi remains in custody, and proceedings to clear her name could begin as soon as Wednesday unless the prosecutor appeals the court’s decision.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International welcomed the court’s decision and called on authorities to immediately comply with it.

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“Today’s court decision to order the conditional release of Amal Fathi, who has unjustly spent the past seven months behind bars, offers a glimmer of hope that her agonizing ordeal in prison will come to an end soon,” Amnesty’s Najia Bounaim said in a statement.

“The Egyptian authorities must now comply with the court’s decision and ensure she is immediately released and reunited with her family,” Bounaim said.

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“Releasing her on probation is not enough,” Bounaim added and called on authorities to drop all charges against Fathi.

Fathi, 33, was arrested in May after posting a Facebook video in which she accused authorities of failing to protect women and charging that guards at a bank had sexually harassed her.

Some 60 percent of women in Egypt said they had been victims of some form of sexual harassment during their life, in a 2017 report from UN Women and Promundo.

In September, Fathi was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined 10 000 Egyptian pounds ($560 dollars) for spreading fake news.

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She was, however, kept in detention awaiting trial in another case in which she is accused of “membership in a terrorist group”, another one of her lawyers, Doaa Mustafa, said in September.

Her husband, Lotfy, heads the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms which is closely watched by the authorities.

On Tuesday he received Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law at a ceremony at the residence of the French ambassador in Cairo.

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

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African Summit Gives Sudan Military Three Months To Implement Reforms

African leaders have agreed, at a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, to give Sudan’s ruling military council three months to implement democratic reforms, and a quick restoration of the constitutional system through a political process, amid pressure for a handover of power to civilians.

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The decision extends a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week for Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) to hand over power or be suspended from the A.U. TMC took over after president Omar Al-Bashir was ousted earlier this month.

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The TMC has been under pressure from demonstrators to hand power to civilians immediately.

Egypt`s Abdul Fatah Al Sisi, who holds the rotating African Union presidency, said at the end of the summit in Cairo, they have agreed on the need to give more time to Sudanese authorities and Sudanese parties to implement required measures.

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

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Mozambican Authorities Warn Of A Possible Tropical Storm Hit

Mozambican authorities have warned of a tropical storm that could hit the country this week, just one month after cyclone Idai ravaged the nation. The next organized tropical cyclone, to be named Kenneth could also affect Tanzania.

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The National Institute for Disaster Management’s spokesman, Paulo Tomás says, they will keep abreast of the evolution of the weather system.

Last month, cyclone Idai killed at least 960 people in parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, leaving some 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President’s Rule

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Egypt Voters Approve Referendum Extending President's Rule

Egypt’s election commission has announced, 88% of voters had approved changes to the constitution that could allow president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi stay in power until 2030. The amendments would also give the president new powers over the judiciary.

The commission says, voter turnout during the three-day referendum was nearly 44 and a half percent and almost 90 percent approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no.

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The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice presidents.

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His critics questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced and are asking how can a constitution be changed to fit one person.

Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilized Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy.

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After the announcement was made, Al-Sisi sent the message quote “I am your god.”

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