Nour Party Indicates Willingness to Participate in Amending Constitution

August 12, 2013 . By

Government declarations failed to dissuade pro-Morsi demonstrators from remaining in camps; Christian leader in Minya declared reconciliation inadequate.

 

Supporters of deposed President Muhammad Morsi reiterated their intention to continue their sit-ins until Morsi returns to the presidency. The protestors, drawn largely from the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist political parties, were dismissive of threats from the government to forcibly end the occupation. Reuters quoted a protestor at Nahda Square in Giza as saying, “They said that fifteen days ago, too. They always say they are going to finish it.”

Christian groups expressed their disapproval of yesterday’s mediated settlement to the violence in Minya in the first week of August. The settlement forbade any affected party from taking any form of legal action, and interested parties were threatened with a million-Egyptian-pound fine (roughly equivalent to $145,000) if they spoke publicly about the issues. Bishop-General of Minya Anba Macarios insisted that the government should compensate families who suffered property losses. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights backed Anba Macarios, saying that state compensation—even if does not meet the cost of the violence—indicates that the state is involved in the lives of its citizens. Meanwhile, the Maspero Youth Union denounced the terms of the settlement as “shameful,” saying that the law should have been applied instead of the traditional reconciliation process.

The government announced its intention to hold Morsi a further fifteen days as investigations into potential crimes continued. Morsi is accused of murder and espionage related to his escape from prison during the 2011 revolution.

Despite objecting to the overall process, the Nour Party indicated a willingness to participate in the drafting of constitutional amendments in its official capacity. Nour continues to be the sole major Islamist group to lend any significant, public support to the interim government’s actions.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights also released a statement calling for an investigation into the police’s failure to protect protesting citizens. Said EIPR researcher Karim Ennarah:

In all incidents of political violence over the past weeks – whether armed attacks on local residents by demonstrators, violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the deposed president or assaults by criminal elements on peaceful demonstrations – testimony from the injured, survivors and eyewitnesses consistently says that police forces vanish during the attacks, arrive hours after the outbreak of violence and the first deaths or are present near the scene of the crime but take no action to protect lives, stop the violence and arrest armed elements.