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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Kurdish service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs