First Signifcant Protests Against Muslim Brotherhood Rule In Egypt; Outspoken Critic Referred For Prosecution


U.S. media is reporting on what is called “the first significant protests” against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.” According to an AP report, violence was reported against protestors in Alexandria:

Associated Press, Published: August 24 CAIRO — Several thousand Egyptians rallied Friday in the first significant protests against the country’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, accusing him and his Muslim Brotherhood group of trying to monopolize power. The main protest in Cairo, which counted around 3,000 people and converged on the presidential palace from several locations, drew a far smaller turnout than the mass demonstrations that helped topple Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, or the later rallies against the council of generals that took power after Mubarak’s fall.  While the turnout was low for Friday’s rally in Cairo, as well as similar ones in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and elsewhere, the protests point to the fears many Egyptians feel with the Islamist president and his policies, and reflect the deep divide in Egyptian society over the country’s future direction under Morsi and the Brotherhood. Other than minor scuffles, the demonstrations in Cairo were peaceful. However, a mob wielding knives and sticks attacked around 1,000 anti-Brotherhood protesters in Alexandria. Several people were wounded and someone in the crowd lit a flare that sent clouds of smoke into the air. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Protesters accuse Morsi of monopolizing power and say that he exceeded his authority when he assumed legislative powers after forcing senior generals into retirement following a deadly attack this month by militants that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula. The protesters in Cairo appeared to be largely made up of supporters of the former regime and those calling for Egypt to remain a secular state. Notably absent, however, were Egypt’s liberal and secular parties as well as the youth activists who helped engineer last year’s uprising against Mubarak. In Cairo, protesters carried Egypt’s red, white and black flags and signs that read ‘Down with Brotherhood rule’ while chanting ‘illegitimate’ in reference to Morsi’s wide-sweeping powers.

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 AP is also reporting on the referral by Egypt’s Attorney General of an anti-Islamist former lawmaker for investigation by police prosecutors over claims he called for the downfall of the regime. According to that report:  

Associated Press, Published: August 26 CAIRO — Egypt’s attorney general has referred an outspoken anti-Islamist former lawmaker for investigation by police prosecutors over claims he called for the downfall of the regime, according to a statement Sunday. The charge added to concerns that the government is backtracking on the democratic aims of the uprising that toppled the autocratic regime last year. 1 Comments Weigh InCorrections? Personal Post Images from around the world Here is a look at some of the week’s best photographs from around the globe. More World News Turkey blocks fleeing Syrians at key border crossings Liz Sly 3:07 AM ET The growing crisis from the flood of refugees could prompt Turkey to ask the United Nations to create a haven in Syria. China’s arms flooding sub-Saharan Africa Colum Lynch AUG 25 China has stood apart from other major arms exporters for its assertive challenge to U.N. authority, routinely refusing to cooperate with U.N. arms experts and flexing its diplomatic muscle to protect its allies. As Paralympics start, Britain’s disabled decry cuts Anthony Faiola AUG 26 Hundreds of thousands of disabled Britons are seeing their benefits cut or facing the prospect of diminished or eliminated aid under the Conservative-led coalition government. The complaint submitted against Mohamed Abu-Hamed by another former lawmaker also accuses him of trying to mobilize Egypt’s minority Coptic Christians to protest and cause religious strife. If the case is taken to court and he is found guilty, Abu-Hamed would face a maximum sentence of three years prison. Abu-Hamed has a doctorate in Islamic theology and was the deputy leader of the liberal Free Egyptians Party, but split away to become an independent lawmaker before parliament was dissolved. The investigation against Abu-Hamed comes two days after he led a march of around 3,000 people to the presidential palace to protest against the recently elected president, Mohammed Morsi, and his Muslim Brotherhood. A number of other cases against critics of the Brotherhood, including TV host Tawfiq Okasha and newspaper editor Islam Afifi, who was briefly imprisoned, have stoked concerns that freedom of speech is being curbed, despite last year’s uprising that called for greater rights with the downfall of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The Brotherhood accused Okasha and his associates of being behind arson attacks on a number of the group’s offices around the country. He faces trial for his remarks, among them telling viewers that the killing Morsi was permissible. He claimed the Brotherhood and Morsi plan to kill him and retorted, ‘Fine, I declare it permissible to shed your blood, too.’ 

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post from earlier this month reported on efforts by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to control the nation’s media.  In what appears to be a gesture towards international pressure, various media are reporting that Egyptian President Morsi has issued a decree rescinding preventive detention for publish offenses and the freeing of a newspaper editor jailed for alleged publishing crimes. 

MEMRI has published a report titled “Muslim Brotherhood Efforts To Take Over Egyptian Media.”


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