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  • » 12/28/2012, 00.00

    EGYPT

    Tensions rising in Egypt as opposition leaders are investigated for high treason



    Hamdeen Sabahi, Amr Moussa and Mohammed ElBaradei, founders of the National Salvation Front, are accused of incitement against the state and betraying the ideals of the Revolution because they led mass protests against the Islamist constitution. Controversial Morsi-appointed Public Prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah orders the inquiry.

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - Egypt's public prosecutor, Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah, has ordered an inquiry into the leaders of the National Salvation Front, Hamdeen Sabahi, Amr Moussa and Mohammed ElBaradei. Appointed by President Mohammed Morsi, Abdallah wants the three opposition leaders, the last two former presidential candidates against Morsi, investigated on charges of "incitement" to overthrow the government and high treason. All three have led mass demonstrations against Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's new Qur'an-based constitution. 

    The legal action against the three main pro-democracy leaders comes amid criticism against the constitutional referendum, deemed invalid because of a low turnout (one third of the electorate) and numerous cases of electoral fraud by Islamists.

    Unconcerned by the prevailing atmosphere of tensions, President Morsi signed the constitution on 26 December. Shortly, he will also announce the official date for new parliamentary elections.

    The decision by the pro-Islamist prosecutor is further exacerbating tensions between Egyptians in favour of a secular state and defenders of a Sharia-based government, bringing the country that much closer to a civil war.

    In an article published today al-Ahram online, some diplomats close to the opposition said that they had come under pressures from their superiors who want to silence all criticism against Morsi.

    According to one diplomat, Egypt is now turning into a dictatorship. "I was summoned into the office of the assistant (foreign) minister," he said. The latter "asked me to be 'careful' and not to confuse my role as a diplomat with that of an activist." Another official "was told that his overt opposition to the president would undermine his chances to go a good post". (S.C)

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    See also

    19/03/2011 EGYPT
    Egypt’s referendum to amend the Constitution
    This is the first referendum since the fall of Mubarak. In favour, the Muslim Brotherhood and the National Democratic Party, the party of the former rais. All other opposition parties are against it and ask for a complete overhaul of the Charter, before the presidential election.

    16/01/2014 EGYPT
    As the Yes campaign is set to win referendum, Catholic Church spokesman calls it "a vote against Islamism and Sharia"
    Unofficial results indicate that the Yes won 98 per cent of the vote in at least 25 districts. Turnout tops 55 per cent. Women turnout is also up. Christians cast their ballot despite Islamist attacks and threats. For Egyptian Catholic Church spokesman Fr Greich Rafiq, if the new constitution is not implemented, "we shall find ourselves with yet another odd text useful only to stock bookshelves."

    03/12/2012 EGYPT
    Constitutional court goes on strike as Islamists threaten judges
    Courts protest against President Morsi and his Sharia-based constitution. Hundreds of Muslim extremists besiege the Supreme Court building, shouting slogans against the judges. The constitutional court is the last legal rampart that can stop the power of Muslim extremists.

    15/01/2014 EGYPT - ISLAM
    Second day of voting for new Egyptian constitution. Yesterday, 9 dead
    State media applaud the high turnout, the Muslim Brotherhood claim instead a low turnout and continue their boycott. The referendum is a vote against the fundamentalism of the Brotherhood.

    04/11/2013 EGYPT
    Egypt: Morsi trial a “sign of change for the country"
    Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, emphasizes the desire of the people to turn the page after the recent Islamist past. Mina Thabet , president of the Christian Maspero Youth Union , speaks of a "double Egyptian Arab Spring ." In three years the leaders of two opposing regimes have ended up on trial. Morsi’s day in court postponed to February 2014.



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