Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, September 2013
Egyptian Government Closes More TV Stations, Puts Morsi on Trial, Denies Badie's Heart Attack
Egypt closes Al Jazeera affiliate, Brotherhood TV
By News Wires (text)
France 24, September 3, 2013
An Egyptian court has ordered al Jazeera’s local affiliate and three other networks to cease broadcasting, saying that they operated without a permit and accusing al Jazeera Mubasher Misr of spreading rumours and posing a national threat.
A Cairo court Tuesday ordered the closure of four television channels, including Al-Jazeera Egypt and Ahrar 25, a network belonging to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.
The other two channels to be closed are the Islamist broadcasters Al-Yarmuk and Al-Quds, according to the court order.
The closure comes a day after Islamist broadcaster Al-Hafez was ordered shut following accusations that it was "inciting hatred" against Coptic Christians and "undermining national unity".
Ahrar 25 was among several other Islamist networks that went off air soon after the July 3 ouster by the military of president Mohamed Morsi.
Tuesday's order against Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr comes two days after Egyptian authorities expelled three foreign journalists working as freelancers for the Doha-based network's English-language channel.
Egypt's authorities have accused Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr of bias in its reporting of the coup that ousted Morsi.
The channel has previously complained that the security forces raided its Cairo offices and seized equipment.
Egypt’s Morsi to stand trial for ‘inciting murder’
AFP, France 24, September 2, 2013
By News Wires (text)
Egypt's deposed president Mohammed Morsi will face a criminal trial for "incitement to murder", state TV reported Sunday. Morsi, who already faces charges related to his 2011 prison escape, has been held at a secret location since his July 3 ouster.
Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is to stand trial in a criminal court for "incitement to murder", state television reported on Sunday, without giving a date for the trial.
It said the former leader would stand trial along with 14 other suspects in his Muslim Brotherhood movement on charges of "incitement to murder and violence" in December 2012 when deadly clashes broke out between his supporters and opponents outside the presidential palace.
Already accused of crimes related to his 2011 escape from prison, Morsi has been held at a secret location since his ouster by the army on July 3.
The co-defendants in the trial include senior Brotherhood figures Mohamed al-Beltagi and leaders such as Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political wing.
Last December, thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the presidential palace in Cairo to protest against a presidential decree that expanded Morsi's powers and an Islamist-drafted constitution.
A court in July ordered Morsi's detention for questioning over alleged ties with Palestinian militants in prison breaks and attacks on police.
Egypt has pressed a fierce campaign against the Brotherhood since the former president's ouster and effectively decapitated the Islamist group by arresting its supreme guide Mohamed Badie in late August.
Authorities have also arrested more than 2,000 Brotherhood figures since Morsi's ouster.
Brotherhood defendants, including Badie, were due to appear in court on August 25 but kept away for what authorities said were security reasons. A new hearing is to take place on October 29.
Badie and his deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad al-Bayoumi face charges related to the deaths of protesters who stormed the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters on June 30.
Three other Brotherhood members are standing trial with the leaders, accused of carrying out the murders at the end of June.
Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour announced a 50-member panel Sunday to draw up a revised constitution but without the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood which has declined to take part.
A top African Union official said that the Muslim Brotherhood must join the political roadmap proposed by Egypt's new authorities, in a bid to end the violence rocking the country.
Diletta Mohamed Diletta, former premier of Djibouti and member of an African Union panel currently in Egypt to assess the situation in the country, told AFP it was "important and necessary" that the Brotherhood joins the nation's political process.
The transition plan, set up by Mansour, would see fresh parliamentary elections in the coming months, with a presidential vote possible by early next year.
The Muslim Brotherhood has lost its ability to bring people out in large numbers because of the sweeping arrests that have netted its top leaders.
On Friday several thousand Egyptians protested in Cairo in support of Morsi, far fewer than had been hoped for by harried Islamists, who had called for mass rallies.
Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, served for only a year before the military ousted him in the popularly backed coup in July.
Brotherhood leader Badie 'suffers heart attack' in jail
AFP, France 24, September 2, 2013
By News Wires (text)
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday that Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was in good health, denying earlier reports that he had died of a heart attack in jail.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday the top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was in good health and denied reports that he had died from a heart attack in prison.
Any severe deterioration in Badie’s health in prison would certainly deepen hostilities between the organisation and the army-backed government that deposed the Brotherhood-backed president, Mohamed Mursi, in July.
Egypt is enduring the worst internal strife in its modern history, with about 900 people killed, including 100 police and soldiers, after security forces broke up protest camps by Mursi’s supporters in the capital on Aug. 14.
The Interior Ministry’s Facebook page said Badie, the Brotherhood’s general guide, was “enjoying good health”.
State-run al-Ahram newspaper reported earlier that he suffered a heart attack while in jail but his condition had since stabilised.
It was not clear whether the Interior Ministry was denying just the death or the death and the heart attack.
State-run news agency MENA earlier denied a report by the private al-Nahar website that the 70-year-old Badie had died.
Badie and many other leaders have been arrested in recent weeks in one of the toughest crackdowns the Islamist group has faced.
Badie was charged in July with incitement to murder in connection with protests before Mursi was ousted. He was due to be questioned on Aug. 28 but prison authorities delayed the session because of Badie’s poor health.
Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad said he had no information on Badie’s health when asked to respond to reports that he had died in prison.
A medical team was sent to Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo to assess Badie’s medical condition on Saturday, a security source told al-Ahram.
The source said his condition has stabilised and that the heart attack resulted from the “bad psychological state that he is going through”.
The Brotherhood has been calling on Egyptians to stage mass protests to demand the reinstatement of Mursi, who was ousted following widespread protests against his rule a year after he was elected.
The government has accused the Brotherhood of terrorism and seems determined to wipe out the group.
The Brotherhood, in turn, accuses the authorities of trying to rehabilitate the old, repressive administration led by President Hosni Mubarak before he was toppled by a popular uprising in 2011.
However, the arrests of Badie and others have made it difficult for the group to get large numbers on the streets.
Founded in 1928, the Islamist group used its organisational muscle to secure victory for Mursi in last year’s presidential election.
The whereabouts of many senior Brotherhood politicians are unknown. Those who had been posting frequently on social media have stopped. Arrests have extended beyond Cairo, also netting provincial leaders of the movement.
One of Badie’s sons was killed during protests against the army-backed government.
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