Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is to be held for 15 days pending investigation into his potentially illegal activities. According to reports of Egyptian media, he is being accused of espionage and treason, prison breaks during mass anti-government protests in 2011 as well as conspiring with the Palestinian Hamas group MENA news agency reports that he was already questioned with regards to some of these accusations.
After being overthrown by the Egyptian army July 3rd, Morsi was held in a safe place at an unknown location; meanwhile his supporters demanded his release and return to power. July 8th dozens of armed islamists attacked the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, believing Morsi to be held there. This attack and following clashes between protesters and the military led to 53 casualties.
Meanwhile, Hamas has refuted any allegations of conspiring with Morsi. Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt has also dismissed accusations made by the Prosecutor General’s office against the ousted president.
In an interview to Itar-Tass, former leader of the islamist movement Abdel-Galil El-Sharnoubi suggested that “during its rule, the Brotherhood has been completely discredited; they staining themselves with the people’s blood, undermined Egypt’s national security and disclosed national secrets. They’re accused of espionage and treason not without grounds – these leaders know they will have to pay for everything.” El-Sharnoubi, who left the organization due to ideological differences and is now being persecuted by current leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, added that protesters at the Rabia al-Adawiyya Square are reinforced by the Free Syrian Army, a militant branch of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Hamas movement as well as combative Bedouins of the Sinai peninsula. “They are prepared for armed confrontation and physical elimination of ‘undesirable’ people,” El-Sharnoubi concluded.
Morsi’s detainment has coincided with previously scheduled mass rallies in support of the armed forces and against terrorism. Last Wednesday, Ministry of Defence Abdul Fatah al-Sisi urged all Egyptians to take to the streets with calls to “give the army a carte blanche to be used in the war on terrorism.” A number of observers believe that this may lead to provocations and violent clashes; armed forces announced they will protect the demonstrators. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood treat al-Sisi’s announcement as inciting civil war.