Safwat El-Sherif

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Mohamed Safwat El-Sherif (Arabic: محمد صفوت الشريف‎‎) is a former Egyptian politician and the former speaker of the Egyptian Shura Council.[1] His last position was the Secretary-General of the NDP until the 29th of January 2011, when he resigned along with other senior party members as a reaction to the protests in Tahrir square leading to the 2011 Egyptian uprising. He was followed by Hossam Badrawi a businessman who worked in politics for some time. Sharif holds a B.A. degree in Military Science as well as other degrees and studies. He served in the government as Minister of Information.


Muhammad Safwat Yousef El-Sherif was born on the 19th of December 1933 in Gharbia governorate. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in military sciences in 1952. Safwat El-Sherif is married to Ikbal Mohamed Atteya Halabi with two sons and a daughter. He was granted an Honorary Ph.D. from Barrington University (USA) in applied information and communication sciences. He also finished Military studies at Armed Forces Institutes in the fields of planning, management and communication.

He excelled at post-graduate studies in the International Communication and Public Opinion at the Strategic Studies Institute and completed courses in means of mass communication in the British Information Service in addition to another course at the International Communication Institute in Federal Germany.(citation needed)

In 1957, he was transferred to the General Intelligence Service GIS. He is considered one of the founders of the spying department as the service was a new establishment. He recruited and trained officers for that department. In 1968, he was put under house arrest in an apartment in Zamalek during an investigation of Intelligence deviation. He was cleared of all charges as he was not even a direct witness to events under investigation. He however left the force and opened his own private business.

In 1975 he closed his profitable import and export business to join the State Information Service SIS. He ascended in leading positions in the SIS from 1975 to 1978. He was chairman of the SIS from 1978 to 1980. Late President Anwar El-Sadat then appointed him President of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union in 1980. In 1982, he was appointed by former President Hosni Mubarak to be minister of information until the year 2004.

In 1977 he was a founding member of the NDP and since then he has been a member of the Political Bureau of the NDP. He was also the Rapporteur of Information Committee of the NDP. In 1977, he became Secretary of the NDP for Qasr el Nile constituency. And in 1982 he became NDP Information Secretary as well as a member of NDP General Secretariat. In 1989, he was member of the NDP Political Bureau. In 1990 he became assistant NDP Secretary General and Information Secretary.[2] On the 20th of April 1993, El-Sherif escaped an assassination attempt by Al- Gamaa Al-Islamiya with few injuries.[3] El-Sherif is the founder of the Egyptian Media Production City EMPC which is known as the 6th of October Media City. He was also the founder o the Egyptian Satellite Company, Nilesat in 1996 with the purpose of operating Egyptian Satellites.

Career in Politics[edit]

El-Sherif has a long career in politics. He started by being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood group before the 1952 revolution when he was still a high school and military academy student.[4] He then moved to the new party of Masr Alfatah after the 1952 revolution.This party was the ruling political party. During the following years the party's name changed from one political stage to the other but he kept the membership till it became the National Democratic party.

In 2001 he was member of NDP Developing Committee and as of September 2002 he became NDP Secretary-General. Since 2004 El-Sherif held the position of Speaker of the Shura Council and the President of the Supreme Press Council till he resigned from NDP on the 29th of January 2011.[5] He was later accused of killing youth on the 2nd of February but the court acquitted him of all charges.[6]

The court said the reasons for its ruling: "The court did not rest assured to witnesses in the case; where were all hearsay and their offspring grudges between the defendants and witnesses, as a result of partisan differences and because of the parliamentary elections." The court added that «some of the witnesses were registered dangerous, according to the criminal status their own. The Court noted that the case devoid of any witness sight reassured him, and the Court confirmed that it is satisfied to the testimony of Gen. Hassan Ruwaini, who said he did not register any deaths at Tahrir square during those two days. And his forces did not find any weapons with the defendants who were arrested in Tahrir, and who have been prosecuted militarily in Case 118 for the year 2011 military east of Cairo, and that the court reviewed the case papers and documents and examined them herself, and found no sufficient evidence to convict the accused. The Court noted that, despite the raised around Callback by some of the defendants, but that did not stop her from realization of justice; «obedience to the words of God" O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.". The Court explained that the rest of the prosecution witnesses against the accused, has been jailed on charges of perjury.


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