The Washington Post reports: It has been one week, and nobody knows where the former president of Egypt is. Mohamed Morsi is being detained, along with at least seven of his top aides, held incommunicado. The authorities promise, “He is in a safe place.” But safe where? They refuse to say. He has not been charged with any crime.
Authorities have issued arrest warrants for hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters, including the group’s spiritual leader, known as the “supreme guide.” He and nine other senior Islamist officials were accused Wednesday of provoking the violence that led Egyptian security forces to fatally shoot more than 50 pro-Morsi demonstrators Monday.
The warrants come as authorities continue to round up the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, which saw its hold on the presidency and several top ministries end after 368 days when Morsi’s government was ousted last week in a military coup backed by millions of Egyptians who had taken to the streets.
The mass arrests and the continued detention of Morsi and his aides are exactly the type of behavior that the Obama administration has warned Egypt’s military leadership against. But the crackdown shows how little influence Washington has been able to exert here since the generals proved they remain the nation’s preeminent force.
Morsi himself was accused of selectively using the judicial system to prosecute opponents, as was his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in early 2011. Now human rights advocates say that Egypt’s new rulers may be doing the same. [Continue reading…]