Egypt’s interim leader gives green light for civilian arrests

Egyptian security forces take position outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

Egyptian security forces take position outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has signed a decree giving the military the right to arrest civilians. The move has sparked fears of a further escalation of violence throughout the country.
The death toll from Saturday clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi has risen to at least 80, unnamed officials from Egypt’s health ministry told AP.
Two more people were killed on Sunday as violence broke out during the funerals for those who had lost their lives in the preceding days.

The deaths occurred in two separate incidents: one in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, where 28 people also reportedly sustained injuries, and the other in the town of Kafr el-Zayat in northern Egypt.

The figures have made Saturday the bloodiest day in Egypt since Morsi’s deposal, with the interim president’s office stating that it was “saddened” by the loss of life on such a large scale. The office added that any action taken by the military is carried out in the “context of terrorism.”

President Mansour’s decree, which allows Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi to give the military power to arrest civilians, was announced in the government’s official gazette on Sunday. The decision could lead to a major crackdown on both Brotherhood supporters and militants who have been attacking security forces in the Sinai Peninsula with renewed vigor, government officials say.
This decree is not the first time that Egyptian armed forces have been given the go-ahead to arrest civilians. In June 2012, the previous army-backed interim government tried to issue the same order following the stepping down of former President Hosni Mubarak. The decision was immediately challenged by human rights activists and politicians who accused the military council of reviving an unpopular emergency law that lapsed the previous May. An Egyptian court eventually overturned the justice ministry’s decree.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Egypt’s military-backed interim government to “act immediately to help their country take a step back from the brink,” expressing deep concern over the situation and calling it “a pivotal moment for Egypt.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherin Ashton arrived in Cairo on Sunday to meet with a host of officials, including  Mansour and Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei – who in a statement expressed his desire for Egypt “to achieve a peaceful solution to the current crisis.” State news agency MENA said that Ashton will also meet with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the Tamarod group, who was the driving force behind the protests leading up to Morsi’s ouster.

The former Islamist-backed president was in power for only one year before being deposed by the Egyptian armed forces on July 3. The move sparked nationwide protests and widespread violence, painting a scene similar to the events of February 2012 which led to former long-time President Hosni Mubarak stepping down.

8 thoughts on “Egypt’s interim leader gives green light for civilian arrests

  1. Hello folks… this is Andy and as always I come to report from Egypt and provide insights from the heart of the streets…As I may have mentioned before, most foreign officials, politicians and news reporters tend to make it look as if Egypt is on the brink of a civil war or massive guerrilla warfare (which would have happened had the Muslim brotherhood terrorist organization succeeded in infiltrating the Military and the Judaical institutions and planted their own agents.) the reason for this is because they simply don't live in Egypt and don't know how the Egyptian people think and what do they perceive of foreign policies and agendas. So in this report I will do my best to debunk some of the common myths regarding what is happening down here in detail…* What happened in Egypt was not a military coup. It was a massive organized campaign to sign petitions of "Withdrawal of confidence from government". It was completely by the people for the people and it was started by rebels just like me who decided to take action against a fascist regime. The date of the protests (June 30th) was announced 2 months ahead. The military just stepped in and ousted Morsi as part of his duty to secure and protect the will of the people.*The Muslim Brotherhood is an international terrorist organization linked to Al-Qaeda. and Its founder Hassan Al-Banna (Al-Banna means mason in Arabic and he deliberately changed his name to this) can be traced to the Freemasons. Its history is filled with conspiracy, violence, sabotage, treason and espionage. Here in Egypt we no longer regard their leaders as Egyptian citizens, we regard them as fifth columnists.* The pro-Morsi protesters are village people with poor education and impoverished backgrounds and the leaders and members of the MB are just paying them money and supplying them with food to keep them there and use them as human shields when possible, sometimes those protesters are shot by the MB militias so the blame can be thrown on the army. Of course the forensic reports show clearly that they almost always get shot from behind.* Even with the fact that they mostly are paid people used as pawns. The pro-Morsi folks are very small in numbers compared to the opposition. so to put it simply, on one hand you have Morsi supporters which are roughly 30k people (they became so little after many have fled a sinking ship) and on the other hand there is the rest of the population + the current interim regime including the police and the army. This doesn't seem like a primer to any kind of war to me. It is hardly a competition.*Most of the people killed by live fire are victims of the MB militias. They are trying to throw the blame on the army and look like victims to provoke international action. People who were killed by the army were shot because they were attempting to infiltrate military areas. Today their public speaker announced they will take the protest to the headquarters of the military intelligence service. The army handled it skillfully by dropping flyers from a military chopper telling them that by trespassing military areas they are putting their lives in danger. So they chickened out.*The people who were killed in Port Said were killed by the MB militias and the rebels retaliated by declaring that the city no longer welcomes MB members and that they should cease and desist or leave.And in the end, i would like to point out that if the army wanted to crack them down with no regard to their lives, it would have ended by now. The reason why those people are still on the street is that the police and the army are trying to negotiate with them and they drop flyers from time to time in attempt to show them that they can't keep protesting against the will of the majority and that they should cooperate with the new interim regime that is trying meticulously to represent all the different sects and ideologies in Egypt.again anyone is welcome to contact me on me for any questions to all of you,Andy

  2. Thanks Andy for your news on the ground report! Feel free to contact me at anytime when you want to give an update. I will feature you with your own article. Take care.

  3. One thing I would like to know about is if the new government plans to release secrets from Egypts past. I forgot the name of the culture minister in Mubarraks regime who headed all the digs and kept things hush hush, is he going to be tried? Whats going on with the great pyramids?

  4. The good guys and positive military need to move fast to take back the media in Egypt and warn everyone not to get sucked into any cabal funded civil wars!

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