News / Middle East

Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Chief Calls Sissi a 'Tyrant'

Leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie, bottom center, and senior Brotherhood figurer Salah Soltan, right, gesture, during an appearance at a courtroom in Cairo, April 1, 2014.
Leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie, bottom center, and senior Brotherhood figurer Salah Soltan, right, gesture, during an appearance at a courtroom in Cairo, April 1, 2014.
Reuters
The top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood accused Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the former army chief widely tipped to become the country's next president, of being a tyrant and predicted he would fail to stay in power.

Speaking on Tuesday from a cage in a courtroom where he faces trial for inciting violence, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie also dismissed accusations by the military-backed government that the group engaged in terrorism.

"The people will not accept an army tyrant," Badie said in reference to Sissi, who resigned from the military on Wednesday in order to contest a presidential election on May 26-27.

Sissi toppled President Mohamed Morsi, who was freely elected in 2012 after many years rising through the Brotherhood, last July after mass protests against his rule.

His ouster was followed by one of the toughest security crackdowns on the Brotherhood in its 86-year history. Hundreds of its supporters were killed at a pro-Morsi protest camp last August and thousands others including Morsi were arrested.

Badie and many other Brotherhood leaders have been put on trial in several cases, crippling a mainstream Islamist movement that won nearly every election since the uprising that toppled autocratic president and ex-army general Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Badie, 70, and 50 others were on trial on Tuesday in connection with violence that occurred when security forces dispersed Mursi's main Cairo protest camp last August.

Defendants were defiant throughout the proceedings, chanting the Egyptian national anthem, reciting verses from the Quran and making four-finger gestures that have come to symbolize Brotherhood resistance to state repression.

Defense lawyers withdrew from the session after a judge rejected one of their requests.

Sissi won over many Egyptians by removing the Brotherhood from power and pledging to crush "terrorist" attacks the government blames on the group, which lost support on the street after Morsi's troubled year in office.

"The group has for over 85 years never engaged in terrorism and  never surrendered to any terrorism even if it was practiced by the state, and has endured a lot for that sake," said Badie, wearing a loose, white shirt-like garment."They [the current authorities] are the terrorists. This Sisi is the one who manufactured terrorism."

The Brotherhood has accused the Egyptian state of practicing "terrorism" by rounding up thousands of people and engaging in what human rights group say are abuses.

"They [the authorities] are the ones who are killing the Egyptian people," Badie said.

Only 33 of the 51 defendants appeared in court on Tuesday, while 18 others were being tried in absentia.

Scuffles erupted in the court after a judge told Brotherhood defendant Salah Sultan, a professor at the prestigious Al-Azhar University, to "shut up" after he complained of not being able to hear proceedings.

When a lawyer requested that a softer tone be used with Sultan because he was a religious scholar, the judge just smiled.

The defendants stood with their back facing the judge after the judge addressed Sultan and chanted, "Down, down with military rule."

Proceedings were adjourned until April 6.

Last week, a judge in the city of Minya issued a stunning sentence, even by the standards of the wholesale repression of the Brotherhood, when 529 Brotherhood members and supporters were given the death penalty for murder and other offenses.

Gehad el-Hadad, among the defendants who appeared in court on Tuesday, urged world powers to promote democracy in Egypt.

"Those leaders of the world who speak in the name of democracy, now is the time to stand [up] to end the military coup," Hadad said in English. "We are fighting for the freedom of our country. It is turning into a Sissi family. We will continue fighting for our freedom. We will not surrender."

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More