LATEST: UAE — Three More Activists Arrested

Jump to Latest Update

Egypt’s military has responded to continuing protests for deposed President Morsi with a call for mass demonstrations on Friday in support of the July 3 coup and the interim Government.

General Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, the head of the armed forces, said in remarks on State TV on Wednesday:

I ask…that next [upcoming] Friday all honest and trustworthy Egyptians must come out. Why come out? They come out to give me the mandate and order that I confront violence and potential terrorism.

El-Sissi said his appeal was not a call for violence and declared support for efforts for national reconciliation; however, the military declared a “state of alert” soon after the statement.

The interim President’s office and the Tamarod movement, which organized mass protests against Morsi last month, supported El-Sissi’s call, but others met it with defiance.

Tens of thousands of Morsi supporters gathered in front of the Rabaa El-Adewaya Mosque, the site of a month-long sit-in, while the Muslim Brotherhood — the main party behind the Morsi Government — objected to “an announcement of civil war”.

Senior Brotherhood member Essam al-Erian responded to El-Sissi, “Your threat will not prevent millions to rally against [the] coup….You have been always in your office conspiring.”

The Brotherhood later said in a press conference that the head of the military should be tried by for crimes against humanity.

Latest Updates, From Top to Bottom

UAE: Three More Activists Arrested

Three more members of al-Islah, a religious society linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, have been arrested.

One of the three, detained in the last week, is senior communications engineer Othman al-Shehhi.

On July 2, 68 people, most of them al-Islah members, were convicted of a plot to overthrow the government. Twenty-five people were acquitted.

Tunisia: Opposition Leader Killed by Gunmen

Gunmen shot dead the leader of a leftist Tunisian opposition party on Thursday morning, this year’s second political assassination in the country.

Mohammed Brahmi, 58, of an Arab nationalist political party was in his car outside his home when gunmen hit him with 11 shots.

In February, Chokri Belaid, a member of the same leftist Popular Front coalition as Brahmi, was shot dead in his car outside his home. His killing provoked mass protests and a political crisis which almost broke the governing coalition.

Today, crowds gathered outside the Ministry of Interior in the heart of Tunis calling for the downfall of the government.

There were also demonstrations in many parts of the country, including in Sidi Bouzid, Brahmi’s impoverished hometown that was the birthplace of the uprising against the Ben Ali regime in December 2010. Protesters set fire to the headquarters of the Ennadha Party, the largest in the ruling coalition.

Crowds also gathered outside the hospital in the Ariana suburb of Tunis where Brahmi’s body was laid out after he was shot. They hung onto the ambulance taking it away for the official autopsy.

Egypt: Morsi Supporters Continue To Demonstrate

Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi are continuing to protest on Thursday, after the Army declared a state of alert on Wednesday.

Al Jazeera report that thousands of pro-Morsi supporters have filled Nasr City and are gathering at the Al-Azhar mosque, calling for Morsi to be reinstated.

“Protesters here are calling for the Grand Imam of this mosque, Ahmed el-Tayeb, to go because he has accepted the roadmap for Egypt under interim President Adly Mansour,” Al Jazeera reporter Nadim Baba said.

Al Jazeera also have this short video of an interview with political analyst Gamal Soltan from the American University in Cairo:

Turkey – 154th in World Press Freedom Index

Turkey has fallen to 154th in the World Press Freedom Index issued by Reporters Without Borders.

The RWB report stated that Turkey is “currently the world’s biggest prison for journalists.” It criticised the Turkish state for pursuing “a paranoia about security, which has a tendency to see every criticism as a plot hatched by a variety of illegal organizations.”

RWB said that there crackdown on journalists is in part due to “rising tension over the Kurdish question.”

Egypt – Muslim Brotherhood Leader Calls for Peaceful Protests

Mohamed Badei has urged Egyptians to hold peaceful protests against the coup that toppled President Morsi.

Badei, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, said “The dignified Egyptian masses…will preserve their rights peacefully…Turn out, to announce you stand for freedom and legitimacy, and against the bloody coup.”

Yemen: White House Criticizes Prison Release of Journalist Shaye

A White House spokesman has criticized Wednesday’s release from prison of Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye.

Shaye was freed after more than two years.

Defenders of Shaye claimed he was punished for reporting on the deaths of more than 40 civilians in a US drone strike.

“We are concerned and disappointed by the early release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who was sentenced by a Yemeni court to five years in prison for his involvement with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.

Shaye was initially pardoned after his sentence in January 2011 by then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh; however, Saleh reversed himself after a February phone call with US President Barack Obama.

Egypt — Arrests, Deportation Threats Against Syrian Refugees

The authorities in Egypt are detaining Syrians — including asylum seekers — and threatening to deport them, according to Human Rights Watch on Thursday.

According to HRW, last week Egyptian police arrested around 72 Syrian men and nine boys at checkpoints on main roads in Cairo. Those who remain in custody have apparently not been charged. Deportation proceedings have begun against several detainees, including children.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR has registered about 90,000 Syrian asylum seekers in Egypt.

HRW say that there is “growing hostility” in Egypt toward Syrian refugees, particularly against the background of recent events in Egypt. According to HRW, local Egyptian TV channels — including Faraeen and OnTV — accused Egypt’s Syrian community on July 10 of siding with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, and one presenter, Tawfiq Okasha, gave Syrians living in Egypt a 48-hour ultimatum, saying that Egyptians knew where they lived and that if Syrians did not stop “supporting the Muslim Brotherhood”, their homes would be destroyed.

Libya: Attack on UAE Embassy

A rocket-propelled grenade was fired on Thursday morning at the UAE Embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

No injuries have been reported in the attack in the Siahia neighborhood.

On Tuesday, a rocket struck a residential building in Tripoli close to the Corinthia hotel, used by foreign businessmen and Government officials, and a tower housing several embassies.