Former Presidential Candidate Detained | Damietta Clashes Injured 55

August 5, 2013 . By

The Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-ins at Raba’a al-Adaweya Mosque and al-Nahda Square continued. A group of younger members of the Brotherhood launched a campaign to change the image of the assemblies, inviting outsiders to tour the camps. Their goal was to convince outsiders that the sit-ins were peaceful protests against the military’s removal of President Muhammad Morsi. The group’s depiction of the protest sites, however, did not fit a report released on August 2 by Amnesty International, which said there was evidence of torture of political opponents within the camps.

The Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic Christian group, issued a statement condemning the violence of the first days of August in Minya, in Upper Egypt, and blaming supporters of deposed President Morsi for the attacks. The group asked that various legal measures be taken, including prosecution of those responsible, increased government control of mosques, and additional legal protections for minorities, including Christians. Violence threatened to reignite on Monday night, but security forces were able to separate groups of Muslim and Christian youth without injuries on either side.

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, an Islamist leader and disqualified presidential candidate, has been referred to criminal court and ordered held for fifteen days pending investigations of “forgery” related to his claims regarding his mother’s U.S. citizenship status. According to Egyptian law, the parents of candidates for president are not permitted to have non-Egyptian citizenship. Other investigations into Abu Ismail relate to an accusation of inciting violence on July 6.

Clashes in Damietta led to 55 injuries as nearly 1,000 pro-Morsi demonstrators attempted to conduct a sit-in to demand Morsi’s return. People described as “area residents” attempted to disperse the protestors, and there were reports of gunfire from both sides.

E.U. envoy Bernardino Leon and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns extended their stays in Cairo; Leon met with Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi. Meanwhile, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham arrived in Egypt for talks with the military-backed government on Tuesday.