Mohammed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested by Egyptian security forces in Cairo Monday. This is but another event in the often violent clashes between pro-Morsi supporters and the security forces.
Over 600 Dead As A Result of Clashes
Former Egyptian President Morsi’s Charges Announced
Mohamed Morsi’s Family To Go After Egyptian Army Legally, Says He Was Kidnapped
Six Month Window For New Elections and Constitution in Egypt
The coverage of Badie being led off by the state television is sure to add more fuel to the raging flame. While the Muslim Brotherhood has stated that they seek peaceful protests from their supporters, they have been anything but.
The Islamist protesters first appeared in the fallout of the Morsi ouster. At the time it was mentioned that small pockets of supporters were gathering on the outskirts of where the main anti-Morsi protests occurred. Soon afterwards the protests became violent as security forces stepped in ironically to keep the peace.
The results of the clashes have been death in the hundreds, injuries in the thousands, rapes, damages, and emergency services working double time. The mosques close enough to the conflicts have been used as makeshift clinics, refuges for protesters seeking to escape the conflict, and temporary resting places for those killed.
Just Monday an Egyptian court gave former ruler Hosni Mubarak (85) bail and stated that he would not be allowed to seek office. He was released due to ailing health, but was originally arrested for a variety of charges that occurred during his rule of Egypt. It was his autocratic rule that resulted in the 2011 protests for his removal and ultimately resulted in the protests this year.
With his ousting came Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood stepped in and increased the Islamist slant of the rules of the land. The protests and clashes ride on the view of Morsi still being the rightful president and not the interim government running the country. The Islamists have gone as far to not participate in the writing of a new constitution for Egypt.
While the violence has been from Islamist, pro-Morsi protesters, police forces have seen its own casualties. Monday saw 25 police recruits gunned down by unidentified assailants while traveling on a bus. It has been noted that the area the bus was traveling to was an area where militants have increased attacks following the ouster.
The pro-Morsi side continues to march even though there is a 7PM curfew in effect for Egypt. This disregard for policy is sure to lead to more conflicts. Indirectly perhaps is the call for more protests and marches which will—without fail—draw out the security forces to hit the area and attempt to establish order.
While Morsi has been charged with a prison break that actually resulted in deaths, Badie has been charged with instigating violence—through calling for non-violent protests that are likely to turn violent due to the charged climate. Perhaps as a means to curb violence, the government has been looking at the possibility of banning the Muslim Brotherhood. They cite the Brotherhood’s existence as detrimental to any sort of advancement in getting the political cogs moving.
With Mubarak’s legal wiggle room thanks to the decision, some analysts of the region have said that the former president being free will come off as a leader who has done more harm than good walking free.
The Muslim Brotherhood has had problems with Mubarak’s regime in the past and has further problems with new charges against Morsi as he is accused of having a role in various murders, detention, and torture of citizens. The interim government has also requested that the country’s lead prosecutor to look into the deaths of 36 prisoners.
Mostafa Azab, spokesman for the legal committee looking into the matter acknowledges that there are differing accounts on what exactly happened at Abu Zaabal prison. There is some evidence of asphyxiation from teargas during an attempted escape. An unnamed employee with Egypt’s Department of Interior started he had no evidence that families of the victims had to sign documents stating that the death was due to asphyxiation.
Families have actually taken pictures of their deceased and some human rights organizations have taken note that a few of the corpse have what could be gunshot wounds and other signs of torture. Families who were actually on the scene cite that there are bullet and other trauma to the corpses.