News / Middle East

    Morsi Trial to Resume as Egypt Protests Grow

    Morsi Trial to Resume as Egypt Protests Growi
    X
    January 08, 2014 1:32 AM
    The trial of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to resume Wednesday. Morsi was overthrown in a military coup last July and is accused of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters in 2012 along with other alleged crimes. But supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement insist Morsi is still Egypt’s legitimate leader. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
    Henry Ridgwell
    The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday Egypt's democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup last July. Morsi is accused of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters in 2012, as well as other alleged crimes. But supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement insist Morsi is still Egypt’s legitimate leader.

    Protests by supporters of Morsi have been building ahead of the resumption of his trial.

    Demonstrations turned violent after Friday prayers last week and at least 17 protesters were killed.  At one point, Morsi’s supporters used a hijacked bus to try to break through police lines.

    Alexandria and Cairo, EgyptAlexandria and Cairo, Egypt
    x
    Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt
    Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt
    The unrest is a deliberate ploy by the Muslim Brotherhood, says Professor Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics.

    “The strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood is to make the situation as unstable as possible in order to really frustrate the military-led government’s effort to say ‘Look, we have stability, we have security,’" said Gerges. "But what you’re going to have is more instability, more insecurity, a low-level insurgency.”

    In recent weeks there has been a series of bomb attacks on military and government targets.  The government blames the Muslim Brotherhood - and last month Deputy Prime Minister Hossam Eissa announced the organization would be outlawed as a terrorist group.

    Eissa said the state and the people "will never succumb to the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood whose crimes have gone far beyond all moral, religious and human limits."

    Mohamed Morsi is standing trial alongside 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, charged in the killings of protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012.

    At his first court appearance last November, Morsi said he did not recognize the court’s authority and said he was Egypt’s legitimate president.

    Fawaz Gerges says it is impossible for Morsi to get a fair trial.

    He says, “Egypt has reached a point of no return. And there’s a real danger that the transition from authoritarianism to pluralism might really face some major challenges, given the exclusive political process that’s evolving in Egypt after the arrest and toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.”

    In the months since the coup, human rights groups say the military-led government has committed crimes against humanity against Morsi supporters.

    A team of international lawyers has lodged a formal complaint at the International Criminal Court. Among them is Maha Azzam, chair of the group Egyptians for Democracy UK.

    “On a daily basis there are extraordinary abuses of human rights taking place against men, women and children, and I reiterate children. Egypt's government needs to be held accountable for those abuses,” said Azzam.

    Mohamed Morsi is facing other legal charges from his time in office - including fraud, and conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah to commit terrorist acts.  He denies the accusations.

    Morsi is also accused of conspiring with foreign militants, during the 2011 uprising against ex-president Hosni Mubarak, in a plot to free prisoners and spread chaos.  
    That trial is scheduled to begin later this month.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora