Egypt live: Deposed Muslim Brotherhood to hold massive protest today

by Jul 5, 2013

9.45 am: Muslim Brotherhood calls for 'Friday of Rejection' protests

The Muslim Brotherhood has called for mass protests in response to the 'military coup' that led to the fall of former President Mohammed Morsi.

According to an Al Jazeera report, an Islamist coalition, urged people on Thursday to take part in a "Friday of Rejection" protest following weekly prayers.

The military, while re-iterating that it was not targeting any political group, said it would not stop peaceful protests, but warned against abusing the right to demonstrate.

8.30 am Army arrest top Muslim Brother leaders after Morsi ouster. 

According to a report by the Associated Press, the Egyptian army also arrested senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood who are key supporters for the ousted President President Mohammed Morsi.

The report states that the group’s revered leader from a seaside villa and flew him by helicopter to detention in the capital. 

But the crackdown was not just limited to the arrest of its leader but also to the saw the groups newspaper Misr25, and three pro-Morsi Islamist TV stations being shutdown.

The arrests and crackdown have once again raised questions on whether democracy can ever return to the troubled Middle eastern states, given the Muslim Brotherhood, a key political group in Egypt now faces persecution at the hands of the military.

End of updates for 4 July

10.22 pm: Muslim Brotherhood calls for 'Friday of Rejection' 

An Islamist coalition led by the Muslim Brotherhood appealed to Egyptians on Thursday to demonstrate across the nation in a "Friday of Rejection" against a military coup that ousted elected President Mohammed Morsi.

The National Coalition in Support of Legitimacy "calls on the Egyptian people to take to the streets and mobilise peacefully" after Friday prayers "to say 'No' to military detentions, 'No' to the military coup".

The call was issued at a news conference at a mosque in suburban Cairo where Mursi supporters have staged a sit-in since last week. Troops with armoured vehicles have surrounded the area since Wednesday, when Morsi was toppled, but have not intervened to clear the protesters.

Reuters

10. 13 pm:  Muslim Brotherhood rejects military coup

The Muslim Brotherhood in an official statement said that they reject the military coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi.

Aj Jazeera quoted the Brotherhood as saying, "We declare our unequivocal rejection of the military coup against President-elect and against the will of the nation, we refuse to participate in any process with the unligitimate power , we are against violent dealing with peaceful demonstrators."

"We call on demonstrators to show restraint and commit to peace and we reject the repressive practices of the police state including killings, arrests and restrictions on freedom of the media and the closure of the channels," the statement said.

10.04 pm: Tunisia condemns Egypt coup, calls it 'flagrant'

Tunisia's ruling Islamists have condemned the military overthrow of Egypt's Islamist president, calling it a "flagrant coup."

Tunisia's Ennahda Party has its origins in the same Muslim Brotherhood whose government was ousted Wednesday in Egypt.

Ennahda dominated elections held here after Tunisians ousted their dictator in January 2011 and kicked off pro-democracy uprisings elsewhere, including Egypt.

Tunisia's ruling Islamists have condemned the military overthrow of Egypt's Islamist president, calling it a "flagrant coup."

Tunisia's Ennahda Party has its origins in the same Muslim Brotherhood whose government was ousted Wednesday in Egypt.

Ennahda dominated elections held here after Tunisians ousted their dictator in January 2011 and kicked off pro-democracy uprisings elsewhere, including Egypt.

AP

8. 48 pm: Wary Netanyahu asks ministers to keep mum on Egypt turmoil

A wary Israel maintained a studied silence on Thursday over the turmoil in Egypt following the ouster of the country's first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi, describing the events as an internal matter of its Arab neighbour with which it has a peace treaty.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his cabinet ministers not to grant any interviews or express their own opinions in any public forum, so long as the regime in Cairo remains unstable.

"We are not relating at the moment to what is happening there, it is an Egyptian matter. We must worry about our own interests, and I am sure we are doing just that," Transport Minister Yisrael Katz told the Army Radio following news that Adli Mansour would be appointed interim President of Egypt.

PTI

8.28 pm: Gulf states welcome Mansour, Turkey slams coup in Egypt

Gulf Arab states welcomed Egypt's interim leader on Thursday, hopeful his appointment would stem the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, but the military overthrow of an elected president drew a guarded response from Iran and condemnation from Turkey.

The United States expressed concern at the ouster of Mohammed Morsi on Wednesday and called for a swift return to democracy, as did the European Union. But they stopped short of calling it a coup, which might have led to sanctions.

Reuters

7. 18 pm:  Brotherhood's supreme leader arrested

In the highest profile arrest since Morsi's ouster, security officials said that Mohammed Badie, supreme leader of the Brotherhood, was arrested late on Wednesday in the Mediterranean coastal city of Marsa Matrouh, where he has been staying in a villa owned by a businessman with Brotherhood links.

He was flown to Cairo on a military helicopter, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. He, and his powerful deputy, Khairat el-Shater, are wanted for questioning on their role in the killing this week of eight protesters in clashes outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters.

Morsi himself, the Brotherhood veteran who a year ago became Egypt's first freely elected president, has been held in an unknown location since the generals pushed him out Wednesday.

AP

3.40 pm: Top leaders of Muslim Brotherhood issued arrest warrants

Less than an hour after Mansour was sworn in, Egyptian prosecutors issued arrest warrants for the Brotherhood's top leader, Mohamed Badie, and his deputy, Khairat el-Shater, judicial and army sources told Reuters.

Shater was the group's first choice candidate to run in last year's presidential election. He was disqualified from the race due to past convictions.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood officials were also reported to have been arrested, with many senior leaders being held in the Torah prison in Cairo - the same prison holding Hosni Mubarak, who was himself deposed in the 2011 revolution.

2.38 pm: Justice Adly Mansour takes over as Egypt's interim President

Justice Adly Mansour is being sworn in as the new President of Egypt.

Speaking ahead of the inauguration, a member of the constitutional court thanked the 'great Egyptian people' who 'put its trust in the judges of the constitutional court'. "The Judges have agreed to lead the country in the name of the Egyptian people who have put its trust in the President of the constitutional court in order to lead, which will restore the powers of the judges", he said.

Shortly after, Mansour was sworn in, to thunderous applause.

Speaking after taking the oath, Mansour said it was a great honour to lead the President and also praised the youth of Egypt. He also saluted the policemen who he said 'understood that their real place was to protect people within the ambits of the law'.

The new President also thanked the 'free media' - an ironic statement given the fact that the Egyptian army closed down several television channels after the coup, including one belonging to the Muslim brotherhood.

And some Twitter humour amid all this solemn celebration:

 

2.00 pm: Egypt gets ready to swear in Adly Mansour as interim President

The top judge of Egypt's Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, is set to be sworn in as interim leader, hours after the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi and put him under house arrest.

 Mansour had been the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court only for two days when he was promoted to being the leader of Egypt by the army. Mansour was, in fact, elected by Morsi himself to the top judicial post. Since the constitution has now been suspended by the army, that post has now catapulted him from holding immense judicial power to holding immense political power.

You can read more about him here

12: 20 pm: Is Morsi's departure bad for Egypt?

The sudden ouster of Morsi has shown that the Egyptian people had grown tired enough of the Muslim Brotherhood's handling of the nation to turn back to the Egyptian Army within a year of having a democratically elected government.

The removal of Morsi may come as a reason to cheer for the thousands who have thronged Tahrir Square but as the Economist points out, it leaves the country dangerously divided.

Pointing to how this crisis could play out, the Economist says:

In the past, Egypt’s Islamists have proven most dangerous and prone to violence when shut out of the system. The Brotherhood has learned that for all Egyptians’ powerful attachment to their faith, in politics they want practical results. This may yet see the Brothers modernise, in Egypt and elsewhere. Or it may see a turn to something darker and more desperate.

Even Foreign Policy says Egypt stands on the edge of of becoming trapped in an endless loop of failed governments, military interventions, and popular uprisings. The very idea of democratic legitimacy has taken a severe beating, and the coming constitutional reforms and new elections will not pass easily.

12:10 pm: Egyptian community in US celebrates Morsi's ouster

Members of New York’s Egyptian community descended on the coffee shops, delis and Hookah bars of “Little Egypt” on Wednesday to celebrate the overthrowing of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after one year in office.

Some people gathered on the sidewalks of the neighborhood in Astoria, Queens, but most congregated inside the public places and their homes, eyes glued to Arabic-language news programs and TV images of demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Read more here

 

11.56 am: Oil prices rise to above $101 a barrel on Egypt unrest

The price of oil stayed above $101 a barrel Thursday after being jerked higher by unrest in Egypt and a fall in U.S. energy stockpiles that suggests a recovery in demand.

Benchmark crude for August delivery was up 16 cents to $101.40 at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.64 to $101.24, its highest close since May 3, 2012, on Wednesday. Nymex floor trading is closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.

Two events propelled the price of oil higher in the past day: unrest in Egypt and a big drop in U.S. oil supplies.

Traders were worried that political upheaval in Egypt could slow the flow of oil from the Middle East to world markets. Embattled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi vowed not to give in to protesters' demands for his resignation. But the head of Egypt's military announced late Wednesday night local time that Morsi will be replaced and new elections will be held.

Egypt is not an oil producer but its control of one of the world's busiest shipping lanes gives it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies. The Middle East accounts for about a quarter of the world's crude oil output, or 23 million barrels per day. About 2 million barrels of that, or 2.2 percent of world demand, are transported daily through the Suez Canal, which links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea.

Much of that oil is headed to Europe, but a supply drop anywhere in the world leads to higher prices everywhere.

11.00 am: International community calls for speedy transition of power

Apart from the US which has expressed its 'concern' and called for a quick transition of power to a civilian government, a number of key international players have also reacted to the situation in Egypt.

"I urge all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution, to be done in a fully inclusive manner, so as to permit the country to resume and complete its democratic transition," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement on Thursday.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement, "In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period".

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, ""The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system. In the long run only democratic processes and government by consent will bring the stability and prosperity that the people of Egypt seek"

UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon also issued a statement saying, "At this moment of continued high tension and uncertainty in the country, the secretary-general reiterates his appeals for calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint.

An inclusive approach is essential to addressing the needs and concerns of all Egyptians. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly remain of vital importance.

In their protests many Egyptians have voiced deep frustrations and legitimate concerns.

At the same time, military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern. Therefore, it will be crucial to quickly reinforce civilian rule in accordance with principles of democracy.

10.00 am: Army issues 300 arrest warrants, shuts down television stations

The Egypt army has arrested Muslim brotherhood party leaders and issued arrest warrants for 300 members in the wake of its ouster of Mohammed Morsi. In addition to this, several Egyptian channels including the Muslim Brotherhood's channel have been taken off air, reported Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera's Egyptian tv station has also been raided by security forces, the channel's website said.

"The security forces on Wednesday also raided the offices of Al Jazeera's Egyptian news channel and detained at least five of its staff, said Karim El-Assiuti, one of its journalists. Four of them were later released, the channel said.

The channel, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, was prevented from broadcasting from a pro-Morsi rally in northern Cairo and its crew there was also detained.

Al Jazeera's Egyptian station began broadcasting after the 2011 revolution that topped President Hosni Mubarak and has been accused by critics of being sympathetic to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Our correspondents reported being interrupted during a live broadcast, with presenters and guests being arrested.

Muslim Brotherhood-owned Egypt25 was also forced off air and its managers arrested shortly after General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, head of Egypt's armed forces, announced a plan for a new political transition, the state news agency MENA reported.

9.39 am: Morsi taken to Defence Ministry, tweets Muslim Brotherhood

Spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, Gehad El-Haddad has been tweeting continuously since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi, and has said that the former President has been separated from his team and has been taken to the defence ministry. Earlier he had said that Morsi was under house arrest.

Haddad added that flight bans had been issued on most leaders of Morsi's National coalition for Legitimacy:

 

 

Haddad also tweeted extensively of an attack on pro-Morsi supporters, and asked if the army was not protecting those protestors because pro-Morsi blood was cheaper than others:

 

 

8.50 am: Wild rejoicing as Morsi is overthrown

Egypt’s armed forces overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, sparking wild rejoicing in the streets at the prospect of new elections as a range of political leaders backed a new political transition.

Morsi was sequestered in a Republican Guard barracks after denouncing a “military coup” that stripped him of power after just a year. As tanks and troops secured the area, tens of thousands of supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood rallied nearby to protest against his removal.

Morsi’s dramatic removal after a year in office as Egypt’s first freely elected president marked another twist in the turmoil that has gripped the Arab world’s most populous country in the two years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Hundreds of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted into wild cheering, setting off fireworks and waving flags. Cars drove around the capital honking their horns in celebration.

(Reuters)

You can see some images of the celebrations here

Associated Press

Associated Press

8.30 am: 'Deeply concerned' Obama tells Army to hand control to a civilian government

President Barack Obama urged Egypt's military Wednesday to hand back control to a democratic, civilian government without delay, but stopped short of calling the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi a coup.

In a carefully worded statement, Obama said he was "deeply concerned" by the military's move to topple Morsi's government and suspend Egypt's constitution. He said he was ordering the U.S. government to assess what the military's actions meant for US foreign aid to Egypt.

Under US law, the government must suspend foreign aid to any nation whose elected leader is ousted in a coup d'etat. The US provides $1.5 billion a year to Egypt in military and economic assistance that is considered a critical U.S. national security priority.

"I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters," Obama said.

The U.S. wasn't taking sides in the conflict, committing itself only to democracy and respect for the rule of law, Obama said.

With the threat of further unrest roiling Egypt, the State Department ordered all nonessential U.S. diplomats and the families of all American embassy personnel to leave the country.

(Associated Press)

7.45 am: Full text by Egyptian army

The armed forces couldn’t plug its ears or close its eyes as the movement and demands of the masses calling for them to play a national role, not a political role as the armed forces themselves will be the first to proclaim that they will stay away from politics.

The armed forces sensed — given their sharp vision — that the people sought their support, not power or rule but for general services and necessary protection of the demands of the revolution. This is the message that the armed forces received from all over urban Egypt, its cities, and its villages; it (the military) recognized the invitation, understood its intentions, appreciated its necessity and got closer to the national scene hoping, willing and abiding by all limits of duty, responsibility and honesty.

The armed forces have exerted lots of efforts over the past few months, directly and indirectly, to contain the internal situation and carry out a national reconciliation among all political forces including presidency starting on November 2012. It started with a call for national dialogue that all political forces responded to and was rejected by the presidency at the last moment. Then invitations and initiatives followed and continued since this time until this date.

The armed forces presented more than once their strategic assessment of the situation internally and outside the country, including the challenges and the dangers that are facing the nation on the security, economic, political and social levels along with the vision of the armed forces as a national institution on how to contain the causes of the social divisions and remove the causes of congestion and confront the challenges and the dangers to get out of the current crisis.

As part of the follow up to the current crisis, the general command of the armed forces held a meeting with the president of the republic at the Qasr al-Qobba presidential palace on June 22, 2013, during which it presented the opinion of the general command and its rejection of harming the national and religious state institution. And it assured its rejection of terrorizing and threatening the masses of the Egyptian people.

There was hope of achieving national reconciliation, developing a future plan and providing causes of confidence, assurances and stability to the people in order to achieve their ambitions and hopes. But the president’s speech last night and before the end of the 48-hour ultimatum didn’t meet or agree with the demands of the people. The situation prompted the armed forces, given their national and historic responsibility, to consult with some of the symbols of the national, political and youth forces without excluding or alienating anyone. The participants agreed on the future plan, which includes the initial steps to achieve a strong, coherent Egyptian society that doesn’t alienate of its sons and movements and end the state of struggle and divisions.

This map includes:

— Suspending the constitution temporarily.

— The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court takes the oath of office in front of the general assembly of the court.

— Carry out early presidential elections while the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court will be in charge of managing the state affairs during a transitional period until the election of a new president.

— The head of the Supreme Constitutional Court will have the power to issue constitutional declarations during the transitional period until the election of a new president.

— Forming a Cabinet of national, strong, capable experts who enjoy all powers during the current period.

— Forming a committee from across the spectrum and experts to review the proposed amendments of the constitution that has been temporarily suspended.

— Urging the Supreme Constitutional Court to expedite an elections law for parliament and to start to take measures to prepare for the parliamentary elections.

— Putting together a media code of ethics that ensures media freedom and achieves professional standards, credibility and objectivity and to prioritize the nation’s high interests.

— Taking executive measures to empower and engage the youth in the state institutions, to be a decision-making partner as aides to ministers, governors and in different executive posts.

— Forming a supreme committee for national reconciliation of personalities who enjoy credibility and acceptance by all national elites and represent different movements.

— The armed forces urge the great Egyptian people from across the spectrum to abide by peaceful demonstrations, avoid violence, which leads to more congestion and spills the blood of the innocent. It warns that it will confront, with cooperation of the men of the Interior Ministry, with all force and decisiveness any violation of peacefulness according to the law and driven by the national and historic responsibility.

— The armed forces salute and express gratitude to the men of the armed forces, the police, the judiciary, the honorable and the sincere for their great national role and their continued sacrifices to preserve the safety and security of Egypt and its great people.

God preserve Egypt and its great defiant people.

7.00 am: Why the army has ousted Morsi

The army had already grown increasingly alarmed about Morsi dragging Egypt into the sectarian conflict in Syria and the turnout on the streets gave armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi his justification for handing the president a 48-hour deadline to share power or lose it.

Morsi was the first of the mostly Islamist leaders who have taken power since the Arab Spring uprisings against autocratic leaders to be deposed in his turn. It will pose questions for others across the region, most immediately in Tunisia.

The country that gave birth to the demands for democracy two and a half years ago now has its own “Tamarud” movement, seeking to end the rule of Tunisia’s Islamists in parliament.

On Tahrir Square, cradle of Egypt’s January 25 Revolution in 2011, huge crowds in the hundreds of thousands set off fireworks and partied, chanting: “The people and the army are one hand!”

The past four days have seemed to many like a fast-motion rerun of the 18 days that brought down Mubarak, when the army which had long backed him realized his time was up.

Sisi announced the immediate suspension of the Islamist-tinged new constitution and a roadmap for a return to democratic rule under a revised rulebook.

The constitutional court president will replace Morsi. A technocratic government will rule until new presidential and parliamentary elections are held – no time frame was set.

The constitution will be reviewed by a panel representative of all sections of society in the biggest Arab nation. Media freedoms, under threat during Morsi’s rule, would be protected

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