An Egyptian prosecutor has ordered that businessman and senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat al-Shater be detained for 15 days for inciting violence in clashes that happened at the end of last year. (Also see: Mohamed Morsi Supporters Shut Down Traffic Over Trials)
Violent confrontations broke out near the Heliopolis presidential palace last December when supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi forcibly dispersed a sit-in held by his opponents.
Mohamed Morsi’s opponents had gathered to protest constitutional decrees issued by the Islamist president.
The same prosecutor has released head of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the former speaker of the now-dissolved parliament Saad al-Katatni.
No sufficient evidence was found against Katatni.
Sixty killed, 103 arrested in Sinai security operation
Egypt’s army spokesman said on Wednesday that sixty people have been killed while tens were injured and 103 arrested in a joint security operation launched by police and army forces on July 5 in the Sinai Peninsula.
In a post on the army’s official Facebook page on Wednesday, the spokesman added that the operation covered several locations, including Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaied.
The arrested suspects are currently being interrogated.
Army forces have also demolished 102 tunnels and 40 wells which were being used to smuggle fuel to Gaza.
They also demolished four residents that were being used by terrorists as hiding places.
Attacks against security forces and offices have increased in Sinai since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt PM says decision to disperse supporters of Mohamed Morsi protests final
Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said in a televised speech on Wednesday that the decision to end the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins for ousted President Mohamed Morsi is final.
Mohamed Morsi supporters call for “victory” protest on Thursday
The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy has warned the interior ministry, which it accused of breaking all taboos, that its forces will not escape punishment.
The coalition groups Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which wish for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi who was ousted by the army in response to mass demonstrations last month.
“We are warning some of the interior ministry’s officers and conscripts who have broken all taboos and crossed all lines, killed hundreds, injured thousands and insulted worship houses,” the coalition said in a statement on Wednesday.
It warned that the perpetrators of the alleged acts mentioned above “will not escape justice or punishment.”
It accused the authorities of framing Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and called on all Egyptians to rally on Thursday, the first day of Eid (Islamic holidays).
The demonstration will be held under the slogan “Eid of Victory”, the coalition said, adding that they are anticipating victory in the near future that includes the return of constitutional legitimacy and the end of the “bloody military coup” and its implications.
NGOs condemn Islamists Mohamed Morsi, govt. for sectarian violence
Several Egyptian human rights organizations expressed concern over the increasing sectarian violence targeting Christians since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, in a statement issued Wednesday.
The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) strongly condemned the discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies toward Christians that holds a “clear incitement to violence and employment of religious hatred in order to achieve political gains.”
The 16 signatory NGOs to the statement also denounced the failure of state institutions to provide the necessary protection to Christian citizens, criticizing them for not “decisively confronting the sectarian attacks or enforcing the law by holding those responsible for violence to account.”
The statement referred to incidents in Northern Sinai where a large number of Christians had been displaced following continual threats to their lives, as they had been a target for killings and kidnappings since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.
The statement also recounted that churches in Sinai have been closed most of the time for fears of attacks, as they are not provided sufficient protection from the security forces.
The NGOs said that there was a pattern of impunity throughout the pre-uprising era as well as during the rule of the Brotherhood that continues to date, despite the ouster of two regimes.
The statement also referred to the most recent sectarian confrontations in Minya’s Beni-Ahmed village, saying that the security forces had clearly refrained from intervening to end them.
The clashes brought about ouster of Mohamed Morsi, which erupted Saturday, left seven homes torched, five vehicles destroyed, along with a kiosk, a coffee shop, two supermarkets and a pharmacy, all belonging to Christians.
The statement decried “the negligence of the security forces which only intervened two hours after the clashes erupted,” saying that despite their securing of the town’s church, they neglected to prevent attacks on private property.
The NGOs urged the state prosecution to carry out its duty in bringing the perpetrators of sectarian crimes to trial, while emphasizing the need to provide adequate protection to witnesses of these crimes.
They also demanded that Islamist groups reject violence, put an end to all forms of speech that incite to religious hatred and condemn those involved in such acts.
The statement also called for urgent impartial investigations into such incidents.
The statement was signed by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Andalus Institute for Tolerance & Anti-violence Studies, Arab Penal Reform Organization, Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Nazra for Feminist Studies among other organizations.