Arrest Warrants for Muslim Brotherhood Leaders

The Office of Public Prosecutor issued arrest warrants for 300 Muslim Brotherhood leaders while security forces arrested the Supreme Guide of Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and issued an arrest warrant for his deputy, Khairat al-Shater. The Muslim Brotherhood leaders were charged with killing protesters in Moqattam on Sunday. Security forces also issued travel bans for thirty-five Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed Morsi and Saad Al-Katatni, Mohamed Al-Beltagy, Mohamed Akef, Sobhi Saleh, Essam Sultan, Gamal Gibril, Taher Abdul Mohsen and Mohamed Al-Omda in addition to being charged with “insulting the judiciary.” The Muslim Brotherhood’s newspaper, Freedom and Justice was prohibited from printing a second edition of the July 4 newspaper by the state censors.

According to a report by Amnesty International, security officers also arrested Abdelmonim Abdelmaqsoud, a lawyer for the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the National Council for Human Rights. Abdelmaqsood attended the questioning of Freedom and Justice Party leader Saad al-Katatni and Deputy Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Rashad Bayoumi, but was detained at Tora Prison as part of investigations into his role in violent clashes around Cairo University. Ultimately, the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and Abdelmaqsood were held under charges of “incitement to kill opposition protesters around Cairo University, complicity in murder through hiring criminals and providing them with weapons, and the establishment of an armed group.”

Many of the remaining cabinet members of the Morsi government resigned from their posts, including the Ministers of Youth, Local Administration, Workforce, Investment, Supply, Planning and International Cooperation, Education, Media, and Transportation. Chancellor Hossam El-Gheriany, head of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), has also resigned from his post, stating that “talk of human rights in Egypt is now a futile matter [that] I would rather distance myself from.”

Bashar Al-Assad, President of Syria, announced that the ouster of Morsi from power demonstrated the continuing demise of “political Islam” and justified the Syrian government’s two-year-old fight against the Syrian rebels. In an interview with the pro-Morsi newspaper Al-Thawra, Assad commented that the demise of Morsi also proved that the Muslim Brotherhood was “unfit to rule.”

In response to the ouster of Morsi, the United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that it “is following with satisfaction [the] developments in Egypt.” The UAE’s foreign minister added that “the UAE has full confidence that the great people of Egypt will be able to overcome the difficult moments that the country is experiencing.” In addition, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton encouraged “all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution.”

The Freedom and Justice Party and its Islamist allied parties had predictably negative responses to the ouster of Morsi. Spokesman of the Freedom and Justice Party Tarek el-Morsi remarked that the Army was “seizing power and legitimacy by force” and noted that “the army is stealing the January 25th revolution for the second time.” This was a reference to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ control of Egypt during the transitional period following Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The former president of the Building and Development Party, Alaa Abdul Nasr, called Morsi’s ouster an “outright military coup” and the start of “military dictatorial rule.” He also encouraged the Party’s supporters to protest “without clashing with any of the security forces or other protesters.” Another Islamist leader, Hatem Azzab, vice president of the Al-Wasat Party, tweeted that the coup was coordinated between the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the Coptic Pope Tawadros, Mohamed El-Baradei (as part of the Al-Dostour Party), the Islamist Al-Nour party, and the Tamarod movement.

The Al-Nour Party and the Salafi Da’wa (Salafi Calling) did, in fact, emerge as the two organized Islamist groups in support of Morsi’s ouster. The Al-Nour party released a statement on July 4 through their spokesman Nadder Bakkar’s Facebook page that indicated that they had wanted Morsi to “listen to the people” and supported early elections. Sayed Khalifa, al-Nour’s vice-president, also stated that the party “coordinated” with the Army.

Operation Anti Sexual Harassment was alerted to 80 cases of sexual assault during the protests in Tahrir Square on Wednesday, July 3. There were many cases where women were reportedly beaten by sharp objects and knives. Finally, during a pro-Morsi march on July 4, protesters threw stones at the Mar Mina Church in Minya, however other participants in the march intervened and ended the attack.