News / Middle East

Egypt on Edge Ahead of Morsi Trial

An Egyptian woman holds a portrait of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during a protest in Nasr City in Cairo, Nov. 1, 2013.
An Egyptian woman holds a portrait of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during a protest in Nasr City in Cairo, Nov. 1, 2013.
Elizabeth Arrott
Security is tight ahead of the trial of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi, set to open Monday in Cairo.  Animosity is running high on all sides, and a renewed wave of anti-Americanism prompted by the visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry adds to the tensions.

Morsi is charged with inciting murder during clashes outside the presidential palace last year, sparked by his temporary claim of extraordinary powers.  Fourteen other senior members of his Muslim Brotherhood and his former government are also being tried.  Other charges are pending.

It is unclear if Morsi will appear in person, or by video link.  He has been held in an undisclosed location since he was toppled by the military July 3rd, following mass protests. 

A member of his legal team has rejected the court's jurisdiction.

Ahmed Abdel Gawad said they did not recognize the legal proceedings.  But in conceding the trial would go ahead, he insisted there must be a live, international broadcast of all sessions. 

In contrast to evidence presented in the trial of Egypt's other ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, political analyst Hisham Kassem thinks the case against Morsi could be strong.

“Unlike Mubarak, Morsi did not have the services supporting him when he came under. Again unlike Mubarak he was not very clever about covering his face and I think he is going to end with enough evidence presented to be there a number of serious cases against him,” said Kassem.

Tensions are running high as the military-backed government continues its crackdown against Morsi supporters and other Islamists.  Human Rights Watch said Saturday that 1,300 people have died in confrontations since July and asked, "What will it take for authorities to rein in security forces?"

Most of the anti-interim government protests are peaceful, recently spreading to university campuses.  But there are also attacks on security forces, especially in the Sinai peninsula, by militant Islamists.   Pro-government media often conflate the protests and attacks as terrorist movements.

With Islamist media largely shut down, most remaining media have adopted a pro-military stance.  One of the nation's most popular political satirists, Bassem Youssef, who delighted audiences by poking fun at the Morsi government, was taken off the air Friday after he skewered the current wave of neo-nationalism.

One of the few issues most Egyptians can agree on - anti-Americanism - has been highlighted by the visit Sunday of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.  Both pro- and anti-military forces feel Washington has not done enough to support their side, and officials have spoken of how they are seeking alliances elsewhere.

The U.S. suspended some aid to the new government, but will continue cooperation on counter-terrorism and other key issues, including peace negotiations between Israel and  the Palestinians.

Political analyst Kassem thinks relations will weather the current storm.

“I think we are seeing here the reality of the situation which is how deep Egyptian-American relations are and what we see as a crisis is really of face value, but behind closed doors there is a very solid relationship,” he said.

However, solid international ties may be, new fractures within Egyptian society appear almost daily from a myriad of sources.  Nine people were killed in Assiut Saturday - not over politics, but in a dispute sparked by who was first in line to buy bread.

You May Like

Obama Pledges 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Burials

Country is improving at rapid response to remote, isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace Christmas precisely because of its non-religious glamor and commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jazz alter from: lagos, lagos.
November 04, 2013 3:09 AM
Oh yes, by my supreme knowledge àbt life coupled with my past life activities whn i was d fuehrer of german reich before i committed suicide in my bunker.though my book is undergoing publication in u.s.a.now.a little bit of advert for my self.as i was sayn d way morsi was removed ìs unfair.d military would have allowed his term before removn him through d ballots by playn him down.but as i heard if morsi were only being economical with his own religious party in govt then he was wrong too.he would have been secular by accomodatn everybody by applying wisdom.he was not tactical enough and that was his undoing.and u know d military were always ready to monopolise power whenever d c their powers were being threatened.but they should give him fair judgement without àny execution.bcos all of us must go beyond d barricade.thats my own verdict.thanks.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid