Scores are dead as Egypt descends into chaos following a brutal crackdown on massive sit-ins in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Morsi supporters have been rallying since July 3 demanding his reinstatement.
20:12 GMT: At least six are dead and around 50 injured in
Egypt as thousands of supporters of ousted president Mohamed
Morsi marched in cities across the country, calling for Morsi’s
return to office. Security sources said around 20 were arrested,
and that police fired teargas at protesters in Cairo's
Mohandiseen district. The marches spurred the military-backed
government to warn Egyptians of legal consequences should anyone
violate a mandatory 1700 GMT curfew.
13:05 GMT: Ahmed Aref, spokesperson for the Muslim
Brotherhood, has been arrested by the security forces, according
to Egyptian state television.
19:48 GMT: The ten-member technical committee, entrusted
with amending Egypt's 2012 constitution, handed the revised copy
over to interim president Adly Mansour, Ahram Online reported.
It was reported that the committee decided to retain the article, which states that Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is its official language, and Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation. However, it actually decided to revoke the article concerning various interpretations of Islamic Sharia - reportedly upon the request of most political and public institutions.
The new draft constitution is expected to be announced on Wednesday.
18:15 GMT: A White House spokesman said that Obama will
meet on Tuesday with his national security team to discuss Egypt
and the aid issues surrounding the country.
13:00 GMT: Hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters are being
interrogated and arrest warrants were issued for Muslim
Brotherhood leaders and the preacher at the Fath mosque, Hafez
Ghazal, on charges of incitement to storm the Azbakiya police
station during the riot in Ramses Square on Saturday.
12:20 GMT: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood officially announced
that the deputy to the movement's leader, Mahmoud Ezzat, will
temporarily serve as the organization's spiritual leader.
12:10 GMT: An Egyptian court will on Wednesday review a petition for the release of deposed President Hosni Mubarak filed by his lawyer, judicial sources said.
The court will convene at the Cairo prison where Mubarak is being
held, according to the sources. If the court upholds the
petition, Mubarak is expected to be released as there remains no
further legal grounds for his detention, said the ex-president’s
lawyer Fareed el-Deeb. Though he is being retried on charges of
ordering the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising, he has
served the maximum amount of pre-trial detention permitted in the
case, judicial sources said.
00:20 GMT: Security forces in Egypt have arrested the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, according to state media. Badie, who is usually described as the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader of “General Guide,” was held at an apartment in Nasr City in the northeast of Cairo, Reuters reported, citing Egyptian media. Nasr City was the location of a six-week sit-in protest held by supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, which was violently cleared out by the country’s security forces last Wednesday. Both Badie and his deputy, Khairat el-Shater - who is already in custody - are appearing before a court later this month for their alleged role in the deaths of eight protesters who were demonstrating outside the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters in June.
21:30 GMT: An Al-Ahram journalist was shot dead at a military checkpoint a few hours after the state imposed curfew, which starts at 7 pm. Abdel-Raouf was driving with his colleague after a meeting with the governor of Beheira, a Nile Delta Province, the paid were returning home. A military checkpoint on the route refused to allow them to pass and started shooting, even though journalists and media personal are officially exempt from the curfew.
Explosion in the vicinity of military intelligence in El-Arish. Ongoing clashes. #Sinai— Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (@Repent11) August 19, 2013
18:01 GMT: Washington says that its review of military, security, and economic assistance to Egypt is “ongoing” and that adjustments will be made “as needed.”
“We have not made a policy decision to put a blanket hold on the economic support fund,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, adding that the review also applied to military and security assistance.
NGO funding will not be affected regardless of whether the US imposes restrictions on aid, she said.
17:40 GMT: American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has urged Egyptian military leaders to return to an “inclusive” approach to governing after hundreds of Morsi supporters were killed in clashes with security forces, AFP reported.
Hagel reiterated Washington’s appeal for dialogue amid the ongoing bloodshed in Egypt but acknowledged that US influence over the events is “limited.”
15:39 GMT: Egypt's public prosecutor has ordered the
continued detention of ousted President Mohamed Morsi for 15 days
in a new investigation into allegations that he participated in
"violent acts," the MENA state news agency reported. The
new case centers on protests that took place in front of the
presidential palace in December 2012.
15:21 GMT: Human rights group Amnesty International has denounced the "utter carnage" in Egypt, after clashes between security forces and Morsi supporters killed more than 800 people and injured thousands.
"A clear violation of international law and standards has been
carried out in Egypt in what can be described as no less than
utter carnage," Salil Shetty, the group’s Secretary General,
said in a statement. "The interim government has already
stained its human rights record – first by breaking its promises
to use non-lethal weapons to disperse pro-Morsi sit-ins and allow
for the safe exit of wounded, and then by justifying their
actions despite the tragic loss of lives."
Shetty also blamed the international community's for its "weak
and ineffective" response to the violence.
"The response of the international community has been weak and
ineffective, even as everyone leaps to condemn the horrific loss
of life," he said.
Amnesty International also urged the interim authorities to
"take immediate action to prevent further loss of life, while
bringing security and public order back to the streets."
The head of Amnesty International in Germany, Selman Caliskan,
said that only a "comprehensive investigation can ensure
justice for the victims and accountability for the
14:00 GMT: Saudi Arabia said Monday that Arab and Islamic countries will step in to help Egypt if Western nations cut aid packages to Cairo over a crackdown on Islamist protesters, AFP reported. Addressing the states that “have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said “Arab and Muslim nations are rich… and will not hesitate to help Egypt.”
10:44 GMT: Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has warned its citizens against traveling to Egypt, where violent clashes between law enforcement agencies and Islamists have claimed hundreds of lives. Those Turks living in Egypt should take “all necessary personal security measures and stay away from demonstrations and crowds,” the ministry said. Turkish citizens are advised to phone the Consulate General in Alexandria or country's 24-hour Consulate Call Center in case of emergency.
09:23 GMT: Egyptian authorities have closed the Rafah
crossing following the Sinai attack, AFP reported.
06:38 GMT: Twenty-four Egyptian policemen have been killed
in a suspected militant ambush in northern Sinai, AP reported
Egyptian authorities as saying. The officers were traveling in
two buses when unknown armed men attacked them, officials cited
security forces as saying. The assault took place near the town
of Rafah, near the border with Gaza.
03:17 GMT: Egypt’s interior ministry has banned informal
security committees set up by Egyptians amid the country's
ongoing clashes, Ahram Online reported. The committees were
created to protect neighbourhoods from unrest. The decision is
reportedly aimed at curbing illegal acts which were committed by
committee members last week.
01:05 GMT: The Anti-Coup Alliance issued a statement
claiming that it had "obtained evidence of the assassination of at least 38 anti-coup detainees in
a truck transferring them to Abu Zaabal prison."
The group said it “puts full criminal responsibility” on the leaders of the July 3 military coup, including Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Kamel, and demanded an international investigation into the “horrific crime.”
23:07 GMT: Sarah Marusek, an activist who rallied against
US policy in Egypt in front of the Egyptian Mission to the United
Nations in New York, explained to RT why she doubts that US
military aid to Egypt will be canceled.
“If the United States government cancels the aid, then US companies are going to be the ones who are not going to get paid. In our economy, that is struggling, that is not going to be dignified by the American people,” Marusek said.
22:19 GMT: Amr Darrag from Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party told RT that “the Muslim Brotherhood has always been protecting churches.” Citing a priest in Minya - where many Christian churches were attacked this week - Darrag said that the “attacks were orchestrated by thugs who cooperate with security forces.” He added that allegations of Islamist groups attacking the places of worship are unfounded. “These allegations are being propounded by the current [regime], in order to justify the aggression.”
Furthermore, Darrag told RT that mass media often misinterprets
the entire picture of the conflict, placing pro-Morsi protesters
in one camp and government forces in the other. They are composed
of “several fractions of Egyptians,” the politician said,
adding that some are not organized or united under any banner.
“They are all protesting and marching to regain democracy
21:04 GMT: Egypt’s Tamarod "Rebel" Campaign, which was
largely responsible for organizing anti-Morsi protests, launched
a petition on its official website on Saturday, demanding the
cancellation of a peace treaty with Israel and the cancellation
of US aid.
"After the unacceptable American intervention in Egyptian affairs, and how the US supports terrorist groups in Egypt, I demand as an Egyptian citizen who signed this petition to hold a referendum on two matters. The first, to refuse US aid...in all its forms. The second, to cancel the peace agreement between Egypt and the Israeli entity and rewording security agreements in order to ensure the rights of the Egyptian state in securing its borders," the petition reads, as cited by Albawaba News.
20:32 GMT: Nigeria’s top Muslim body has urged a prompt
international investigation on the crackdown by the Egyptian
authorities against pro-Morsi protesters in which hundreds of
civilians were killed this week.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs released a statement asking the International Criminal Court to act, and called for an unconditional release of Mohamed Morsi.
“The NSCIA calls for cessation of hostilities; unconditional release of the elected President Morsi and all other political detainees; constitution of an independent electoral agency under the supervision of the United Nations” the statement said.
20:11 GMT: France and Saudi Arabia want to offer their
help in mediating the crisis in Egypt, French President Francois
Hollande said after a meeting with the Saudi foreign minister in
Hollande condemned the "unacceptable" level of violence in Egypt as he called for political dialogue.
"It is unacceptable that there is violence of this level in a great country like Egypt," he said. "If the freedom to protest must be respected, so must security."
Hollande also stated that countries have a duty to stop the
violence in order to pave the way for elections in Egypt,
stressing that Arab nations, Europe, and France have a "shared
responsibility" to get Egyptian political authorities on the
right path towards elections.
Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told reporters that "We will not achieve anything through threats.”