Egypt’s rulers look for legal pretext to keep Morsi in jail

The New York Times reports: Egypt’s new rulers gave new credence to a court case against the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday over their escape from prison during the uprising that toppled his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

The case was transferred from an appeals court to the State Security prosecutor for further investigation. No charges have yet been filed. Its acceptance by powerful prosecutors follows the arrest of many Muslim Brotherhood members and is a new blow to the group by the military-backed government.

The detentions have been criticized by rights groups and the Obama administration, which spent Thursday walking back remarks made early in the day by a State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, seeming to criticize Mr. Morsi as undemocratic and in so doing seeming to validate the military’s move to oust him.

Reuters reported that Ms. Psaki’s counterpart at Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, Badr Abdelatty, interpreted her remarks as a welcome signal that the United States understood “the political developments that Egypt is witnessing in recent days as embodying the will of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets starting on June 30 to ask for their legitimate rights and call for early elections.”

The Muslim Brotherhood denounced her remarks as hypocritical and further proof of what it has called American endorsement of the military takeover in Egypt.

At her regular State Department briefing on Thursday, asked about the reactions, Ms. Psaki said she had been “referring to all of the voices that have been — we have heard coming — the millions, I should say, coming from Egypt, and how strongly they have voiced their views about his rule.” She added, “But beyond that is up for the Egyptian people to determine.” [Continue reading…]

Al-Masry Al-Youm reports: The Brotherhood Without Violence movement, founded by a number of young Muslim Brotherhood members, has proposed to stop violence in exchange for the release of Mohamed Morsy, Hazem Abu Ismail, and all Brotherhood leaders.

Scores of people were killed and hundreds wounded in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsy after he was toppled by the armed forces.

Ahmed Yehia, coordinator of the movement, called for amending the Constitutional Declaration issued by interim President Adly Mansour, insisting that early presidential elections be held before parliamentary elections, military trials of civilians be outlawed, conditions for the committee amending the constitution be set, and all religious channels be reopened, pledging to renounce all forms of violence in exchange.

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