2013 Egyptian coup d'état

2013 Egyptian coup d'état
Date 3 July 2013; 5 years ago (2013-07-03)
Location Egypt
Caused by June 2013 Egyptian protests
Goals Deposing President Mohamed Morsi
Methods Overthrow and Detention of the President
Resulted in

President Mohamed Morsi deposed by the Egyptian military

Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
Mohamed Morsi
(President of Egypt, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces)
Hesham Qandil
(Prime Minister of Egypt)
Saad El-Katatni
(Chairman of the FJP)
Mohammed Badie
(Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood)
Khairat el-Shater
(Deputy Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood)
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
(Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Deputy PM and Minister of Defense)[citation needed]
Sedki Sobhi
(Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces)
Mohamed Ibrahim
(Minister of Interior)
Casualties
Death(s) 90[4]
Injuries 3,000[2][3]

On 3 July 2013, Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led a coalition to remove the President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, from power and suspended the Egyptian constitution. The move came after the military's ultimatum for the government to "resolve its differences" with protesters during widespread national protests. The military arrested Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood leaders,[5] and declared Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court (Egypt) Adly Mansour as the interim president of Egypt. The announcement was followed by demonstrations and clashes between supporters and opponents of the move throughout Egypt.[6] The military's action was supported by the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei.[7]

There were mixed international reactions to the events.[8] Most Arab leaders were generally supportive or neutral, with the exception of Tunisia who strongly condemned the military's actions. The US refused to describe the action as a coup.[9] Other states either condemned or expressed concern over the removal of Morsi[citation needed]. Due to the regulations of the African Union regarding the interruption of constitutional rule by a member state, Egypt was suspended from that union. There has also been debate in the media regarding the labeling of these events. It has been described by Western mainstream media as a coup[10][11][12][13][14] or as a revolution[19] by proponents.

Ensuing protests in favour of Morsi were violently suppressed with the dispersal and massacre of pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14 August 2013, amid ongoing unrest; journalists,[20] and several hundreds protestors were killed by police and military force. Muslim brotherhood members claim 2,600 [21] Human rights watch documented 817 deaths, while the government puts the figure at 624.[22]

Background[]

Then President Mohamed Morsi (right) and General al-Sisi (left) listen to visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (center), during a meeting with U.S. officials on 24 April 2013. Al-Sisi, chosen by Morsi to be the first post-Mubarak era Defense Minister,[23] would later sanction the removal of Morsi from office.

In February 2011, Hosni Mubarak resigned after 18 days of mass demonstrations that ended his 29-year rule of Egypt. In July 2011 the caretaker government approved an election law, leading to election of a Parliament in December 2011 – January 2012, and an advisory council in January–February 2012 [ref: Egyptian Parliamentary Election 2011–2012; Wikipedia] An alliance led by the Freedom and Justice Party won the most seats in each election. An additional 25% of the members of the advisory council were to be appointed by the President. In June 2012, Mohamed Morsi won the presidential election with 51.73% of total votes to become the first democratically elected president of Egypt.[6][24][25] In June 2012, prior to Morsi being sworn in as President, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled that the election law was unconstitutional and ordered the elected bodies dissolved. After assuming office, President Morsi appointed additional members to the advisory council from 35 political parties and invited the elected bodies to meet to discuss the ruling of the court.

The elected parliament determined that the constitutional court did not have authority to dissolve an elected parliament, then referred the matter to the Court of Cassation. The elected parliament could not pass any laws, but the advisory council continued to give advice on proposed Presidential Decrees. Parliament also proceeded with creation of a new constitutional committee to draft amendments to the Egyptian Constitution, replacing the committee created in March 2012 but dissolved by the constitutional court. Proposed constitutional amendments were approved in December 2012 by a national referendum.[26] New elections were scheduled for April 2013 under a law approved in draft by the constitutional court, but were postponed to October 2013 to comply with a technical order of an administrative court.[27][28]

In November 2012, following the protests against the Constitutional Declaration by Morsi, opposition politicians – including Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabahi, according to the Wall Street Journal – started holding confidential meetings with army leaders, in order to discuss ways of removing President Morsi.[29]

On 28 April 2013, Tamarod was started as a grassroots movement to collect signatures to remove Morsi by 30 June. They called for peaceful demonstrations across Egypt especially in front of the Presidential Palace in Cairo.[30] The movement was supported by the National Salvation Front, April 6 Youth Movement and Strong Egypt Party.[31][32]

In a poll published by PEW research center in May 2013, 54% of Egyptians approved of Morsi against a 43% who saw him negatively, while about 30% were happy with the direction of the country, 73% thought positively of the army and only 35% were content about local policy authorities.[33] In the lead up to the protests, a Gallup poll indicated that about a third of Egyptians said they were "suffering" and viewed their lives poorly.[34]

At a conference on 15 June, Morsi called for foreign intervention in Syria.[35] According to Yasser El-Shimy, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, this statement crossed "a national security red line." The army rebuked this statement the next day by stating that its only role was to guard Egypt's borders. Although the Egyptian constitution ostensibly declares the president as the supreme commander of the armed forces, the Egyptian military is independent of civilian control.[36]

As the first anniversary of Morsi's presidential inauguration approached in 2013, his supporters such as the National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy started demonstrations at multiple places including El-Hossari Mosque, El-Nahda Square, outside Cairo University, outside Al-Rayan Mosque in the posh suburb of Maadi, and in Ain Shams district. They had started open-ended rallies.[37] The largest protest was planned for 30 June.[38]

Causes[]

The removal of Morsi from office by the coalition was a result of a coup d'état following protests, that were instigated by frustration with Morsi's year-long rule in which Egypt faced economic issues, energy shortages, lack of security, and diplomatic crises.[39] Some of the issues that might have caused the protests and lead to the later removal of Morsi include:

Planning[]

Leaked tapes from the summer of 2013 that were later verified by J. P. French Associates [63] recorded figures of the Egyptian military, including then-Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, suggesting Egyptian military involvement in the mass-protests preceding Morsi's ouster.[64][65] In one of the leaked tapes, the generals are heard discussing rigging the legal case against Morsi, and in another, authorizing the withdrawal of a large sum of money for the army's use from the bank account of Tamarod, the ostensibly independent grassroots group that was organizing protests against President Morsi.[64][65] The tapes also suggest high-level collusion between the coup plotters and the Government of the United Arab Emirates as the money that is to be transferred from Tamarod's account into the army's account was provided by the UAE.[65] The tapes were first released on the Turkish Islamist channel Mekameleen, a fact that the Egyptian government says discrs the tapes as fakes.[65]

Events[]

Anti-Morsi demonstrators marching in Cairo on 28 June

On Friday 28 June, protests against Morsi started to build throughout Egypt including in such cities as Cairo, Alexandria, Dakahlia, Gharbiya and Aswan as a "warm up" for the massive protests expected on 30 June that were planned by Tamarod. Pro-Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood supporters started counter demonstrations at the Rabia Al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City.[66]

Prior to the protests, Christians, particularly in Upper Egypt, received threats from pro-Morsi protestors, pressuring them not to take part in the protests. Sheikh Essam Abdulamek, a member of parliament's Shura Council, said in an interview on television that Christians should not participate in the protests and warned them "do not sacrifice your children [since the] general Muslim opinion will not be silent about the ousting of the president."[38]

According to information that came out after the removal of Morsi, officials claimed that Morsi stopped working at Egyptian Presidential Palace on 26 June in anticipation to the protests and moved with his family to El-Quba Palace.[67]

On 29 June, Tamarod claimed that it collected more than 22 million signatures from a petition calling for Morsi to step down as president.[68][69]

On the other hand, the coup was preceded by the reconciliation of military and economic elites who organized shortages of fuel to provoke discontent of general population toward the Morsi administration.[70]

30 June: Anti-Morsi demonstrations[]

On 30 June, according to unverified military sources, 14 million protesters demonstrated across Egypt against Morsi bellowing their anger at the Brotherhood, which they accuse of hijacking Egypt's revolution and using electoral victories to monopolize power and impose Islamic law.[71] Thousands in support of Morsi gathered in Rabaa Square in Cairo and other cities, with majority of Islamist sentiments.[72] The Egyptian Armed Forces claimed the number to be at 14 million and reportedly one of the biggest protests in world history.[73] In Damietta, 250 fishing boat sailors demonstrated against Morsi by sailing through the Nile and chanting against him.[74] The President moved that day from the Quba Palace to the Republican Guard headquarters, while protesters thought he was at Ittihadeya Palace.[67]

1 July: Deadlines and Options[]

External video
Helicopter view of the protesters

On 1 July, again more than 1 millions of demonstrators against Morsi gathered in Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace, while other demonstrations were held in the cities of Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.[75] Some police officers wearing their uniforms joined the anti-Morsi protests and chanted: "The police and the people are one."[76] In clashes around the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Mokatam, eight people died. Their headquarters was ransacked and burned while protesters threw objects at windows and looted the building, making off with office equipment and documents.[77] Tamarod gave President Mohamed Morsi until 2 July at 17:00 to resign or face a civil disobedience campaign.[78] That was followed by the Egyptian Armed Forces issuing a 48-hour ultimatum that gave the country's political parties until 3 July to meet the demands of the Egyptian people. The Egyptian military also threatened to intervene if the dispute was not resolved by then.[79] Four ministers also resigned on the same day: Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou (who previously offered to resign a few months earlier after Morsi appointed an Islamist member of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the group allegedly responsible of the Luxor massacre, though the group has denied this charge, as governor of Luxor), Communication and IT Minister Atef Helmi, State Minister for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Hatem Bagato, and State Minister for Environmental Affairs Khaled Abdel Aal,[80] leaving the government with only members of the Freedom and Justice Party. On the same day, it was reported that Barack Obama called Morsi. The call went along the United States vision and that the only one option out of the stressed situation would be to call for an early general presidential election in which Morsi is not a candidate. The proposition which Morsi answered: "the Egyptian people decide", before he closed the line.[56]

2 July: Morsi speech[]

On 2 July, opponents and supporters of Morsi gathered in the capital, Cairo, as the deadline set by the military for him to solve the escalating political problem where they said they would intervene without the elimination of either sides, however, they betrayed their speech and the president and engineered a coup the next day.[78] Helicopters were also present around Cairo with armored vehicles taking up positions.[81] On 3 July, clashes between protestors and local residents erupted around a pro-Morsi rally near Cairo University, leaving 18 people dead.[82] Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr also resigned, in support of the anti-government protesters.[83] The presidency rejected the Egyptian Army's 48-hour ultimatum, vowing that the president would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation to resolve the political crisis.[84] Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was also said to have told Morsi that he would impose a military solution if a political one could not be found by the next day.[81] Incidentally, the Court of Cassation ordered the reinstatement of former general prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud who was replaced with Talaat Abdallah following the constitutional declaration on 22 November 2012.[85] The presidential spokesman and the spokesman for the cabinet resigned as well.[86]

The newspaper Al-Ahram reported that if there were no political resolution, the military would suspend the constitution of Egypt and appoint a new council of experts to draft a new one, institute a three-person executive council, and appoint a prime minister from the military.[87] Morsi's military advisor, Sami Hafez Anan, also resigned and said that the army would not "abandon the will of the people."[88]

In a late-night television address Morsi declared that he would "defend the legitimacy of his elected office with his life."[89] He added that "there is no substitute for legitimacy" as he vowed not to resign.[90] Morsi accused supporters of Hosni Mubarak of exploiting the wave of protests to topple the government and fight democracy.[91] After Morsi's statement, an official Facebook page of the Egyptian Armed Forces wrote a post under the title "The Last Hours" saying in response to Morsi: "The Supreme Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces had mentioned before that it's better for us to die rather than seeing the Egyptian People being threatened or horrified, and we swear that we would sacrifice our lives and our blood for Egypt against every terrorist or extremist or ignorant. Long live Egypt."[92][93]

3 July: Day of Action[]

General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi in 2013.

As the deadline of the army's ultimatum approached on 3 July, there was renewed expectation of an increase in violence, according to the media.[94] As in other days, there were both anti-Morsi and pro-Morsi protests, the latter particularly in Nasr City and near Cairo University. Army tanks were reported to surround two smaller pro-Morsi rallies as the demonstrators vowed to defend the government with their lives.[95]

As the 16:35 deadline set by the army approached, the coalition met with the military leaders for emergency talks, with the expectation that the army would issue a statement when the deadline passed. Mohamed El-Baradei, who was chosen to represent the National Salvation Front, was also said to have met army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.[96]

On same day just before the deadline approached, Morsi offered to form a consensus government. An army statement read: "The General Command of the Armed Forces is currently meeting with a number of religious, national, political and youth icons...There will be a statement issued from the General Command as soon as they are done." At the same time the Freedom and Justice Party's senior leader, Waleed al-Haddad, said: "We do not go to invitations (meetings) with anyone. We have a president and that is it."[96]

At about 17:30 Mohammed Zaki, Leader of Republic Guards, joined Morsi with some of the Republic Guards officers and conducted the arrest. It was reported from Morsi's assistant Yahya Hamed the flow of conversation took place as Morsi saying "Mohammed (Leader of Republic Guards) you know well you are going to be trailed for that." and Mohammed Zaki replying: "I know, however I had already told them I don't want in, because of my special good relations with the president."[56][neutrality is disputed]

3 July military coup[]

On 3 July, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, announced that he there would be calling new presidential and Shura Council elections. The coalition appointed Chief Justice Adly Mansour as the interim president and charged him with forming a transitional technocratic government.[97] Military vehicles drove throughout Cairo. Morsi was put under house arrest,[97][98] and was believed to be at the Republican Guard barracks.[99] According to other sources he was taken to a military base and his travel was restricted.[100] Army troops and tanks were reported to have surrounded key facilities and installations.[101] At noon, the Republican Guard, who had Morsi in their care, left his side to allow Army commandos to take him to an undisclosed Ministry of Defence building. He offered no resistance.[67]

General al-Sisi said: "The president's speech last night failed to meet and conform with the demands [of the people, prompting the armed forces to consult] with some of the symbols of the national forces and the youths without excluding anyone. [They agreed on a road map] that includes initial steps that realize the building of a strong and coherent Egyptian society that does not exclude any of its sons and currents and that end the state of conflict and division."[102] He added the army was standing apart from the political process but was using its vision as the Egyptian people were calling for help and discharged its responsibility.[103] Al-Sisi named former Chief Justice Adli Mansour as the interim president and added that he would be sworn in on 4 July. The Shura Council was also dissolved.[104] Morsi condemned his removal as a "full coup" by the general. He also urged everyone to "adhere to peacefulness and avoid shedding blood of fellow countrymen."[105] The Office of Assistant to President of Egypt on Foreign Relations called Morsi's removal a "military coup",[106][107] and said "there is no democracy without the ballot box".[108]

The announcement of the removal of Morsi was met with cheers in Tahrir Square.[109] Anti-Morsi protesters shouted "Allahu akbar" and "Long live Egypt" and launched fireworks[105] as green laser lights held by those in the crowd lit the sky.[110] Mohamed el-Baradei says the coup was to rectify the issues of the revolution. The Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, Mohamed ElBaradei[111] and some of the youth leaders of Tamarod, Mahmoud Badr and Mohamed Abdelaziz, spoke in support of the military intervention. The al-Nour party also commented in saying that the events occurred as they were not heard in their call for dialogue. Party Secretary-General Galal Murra commented that: "we took this position (on agreeing to the army political road map) and we took these decisions only so we stop the bloodshed of our people."[112] Pro-Morsi protesters heard a statement from Morsi, which was published on his Facebook page. He called the move a "coup" and rejected the Armed Forces' statement.

The Freedom and Justice Party's Gamal Heshmat said: "There is absolutely no direction towards violence. The Brotherhood are not raised on violence. Their cause is a peaceful one, defending their rights, which is stronger than a "military coup". The army has perpetrated a "shameful coup". We are still in the street, we still don't know if all of the armed forces will accept what Sisi has done."[113] A party spokesman said that what started as a military coup was "turning into something much more."[114] The National Salvation Front, an alliance of multiple political parties, stated on 4 July that "what Egypt is witnessing now is not a military coup by any standards. It was a necessary decision that the Armed Forces’ leadership took to protect democracy, maintain the country's unity and integrity, restore stability and get back on track towards achieving the goals of the January 25 Revolution."[115]

Arrests[]

According to Morsi, he was kidnapped by the Armed Forces and held at the Republican Guard headquarters one day before the army announced his removal, and held there until 5 July 2013, after which he and his aide were forcibly moved to a naval base for the next four months.[116][117][118] His family had stated earlier Morsi was kidnapped on 3 July 2013.[119] The spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Colonel Ahmed Ali later denied allegations that Morsi was badly treated, saying they had nothing to hide.[120] The Egyptian Army later gave Catherine Ashton the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union permission to meet Morsi. Ashton later stated that Morsi was doing well: "Morsi was keeping up with the latest developments in the country through television and newspapers. So we were able to talk about the situation, and we were able to talk about the need to move forward. The people around him do care for him. I looked at the facilities."[121][122][123] Morsi could later meet an African Union delegation too.[120]

Morsi supporter after mass killings in Cairo, 27 July 2013

The army arrested the former speaker of parliament and the head of Freedom and Justice Party Saad El-Katatni, along with Rashad al-Bayoumi, a Muslim Brotherhood deputy,[124] as well as other top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.[125] Al-Jazeera quoted unnamed security officials saying that "more than a dozen" members of the Muslim Brotherhood had been arrested,[126] while Al-Ahram reported that the Egyptian police had been ordered to arrest more than 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.[127] A travel ban was also put on Morsi, the head of his Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie, Badie's deputy Khairat El-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood's former leader Mahdi Akef, another Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed Beltagy, Salafi preacher close to the Muslim Brotherhood Safwat Hegazi and the leader of the al-Wasat Party Abou Elela Mady and his deputy Essam Sultan.[6] Badie and Akef were arrested for "incitement to murder."[114]

Following Morsi's ouster, pro-Morsi supporters still gathered in Cairo said that they would undo the "coup" and continued their allegiance to Morsi saying that they would "defend the integrity of the ballot box." Amidst threats of violence, Al Jazeera English reported the death of four people from a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold near the Libyan border.[citation needed]

In December 2013, Morsi as well as high-echelon Muslim Brotherhood leaders were charged with "terrorism and plotting with foreign militants against Egypt" while the Muslim brotherhood was officially classified as a terrorist group.[128][129]

By May 2014, approximately 16,000 people, mostly Brotherhood members or supporters, have been imprisoned since the coup.[130]

Media restrictions and violence against journalists[]

Police and military forces made statements against four television channels and took them off the air.[131][132] Misr 25, a channel owned by the Muslim Brotherhood, was shut down and officials said that journalists working for the channel were arrested.[126] The Al Hafez and Al Nas channels were shut down as well. A few hours later, Al Jazeera's Mubasher Misr, which had been criticised for its alleged pro-Morsi slant, was also taken off the air, its offices raided and its employees detained.[132] Five staff were arrested, including managing director Ayman Gaballah, who was still in custody after the others were released. It was also prevented from broadcasting a pro-Morsi rally in northern Cairo. Associated Press Television News was ordered not to provide Al Jazeera with footage of protests in the country or with any filming equipment, while the Cairo News Company was warned against providing broadcasting equipment. Al Jazeera Media Network's acting Director General Mostafa Souag condemned the move, saying "regardless of political views, the Egyptian people expect media freedoms to be respected and upheld. Media offices should not be subject to raids and intimidation. Journalists should not be detained for doing their jobs."[131]

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that two journalists and one student were killed while covering Egyptian unrest in the two weeks leading up to 8 July 2013.[133] According to CPJ research, before those deaths only four journalists had been killed in Egypt since 1992.[133] One of the journalists killed while documenting the 2013 clashes was 26-year-old photographer Ahmed Assem el-Senousy, also known as Ahmed Samir Assem.[133][134][135] The photographer was shot by a sniper after he recorded security forces firing on protestors.[134][135] According to media reports, el-Senousy may have captured his own death on film. A video clip posted on his Facebook page shows a sniper firing on crowds before turning toward the camera, at which point the clip abruptly ends.[134][135]

While reporting for the BBC, journalist Jeremy Bowen was hit in the head with birdshot fired by Egyptian security forces on 5 July.[133]

Aftermath[]

Supporters of the ousted President Morsi demonstrate in Damietta on 5 July 2013.

On 4 July, violence continued with over 100 people wounded and at least two deaths, believed to be that of children.[114] The Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman called for "strictly peaceful" protests to defy the "military coup".[136] Other Islamist groups threatened armed retaliation, while the police arrested four armed men on 5 July over claims that they had planned a reprisal attack, according to state-run Al-Ahram. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces added that it would protect all groups from revenge attacks and that Egyptian values "do not allow for gloating."[114]

Protests after Friday prayers were called by Morsi supporters, now in opposition, and termed "Rejection Friday." That morning, troops opened fire killing at least 51 pro-Morsi protesters at the Republican Guard headquarters in which Morsi was believed to be held.[137] According to some witnesses, the military opened fire without provocation towards the end of morning prayers, immediately using live ammunition and shooting to kill.[138][139] At least 51 Morsi supporters were killed and 435 were injured. Though the Egyptian Army denied firing at the protesters, BBC News reporter Jeremy Bowen said he saw soldiers firing on protesters.[140] In Qena, security forces opened fire on protesters trying to storm a security building, injuring two of them. Shots were also fired in Alexandria.[140] This occurred as tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the street to condemn the coup and support Morsi.[141] Despite claiming to respect all sides, the military also issued a statement warning Islamists who planned on protesting.[141] Tamarod, which had organised anti-Morsi protests, called for protests to "protect the revolution."[140] During the night pro and anti-Morsi demonstrators clashed over the 6th October Bridge; at least two people were killed and more than 70 people were injured, according to state television, who quoted medical personnel at a makeshift hospital in the square. At least three deaths were that of Morsi supporters during the march towards the military barracks after the Friday prayer in Cairo.[142] In all, through the night of rioting, throughout the country 30 people were killed. Pro-Morsi demonstrators continued to call for protests.[143] Protesters continued to demand the reinstatement of Morsi throughout the weekend, some of which were violent protests.[144]

Palestinian officials in Gaza also said that the Egyptian Armed Forces had shut the Rafah border crossing and that only certain people, such as patients and students, would be allowed through. Egyptian Intelligence Service official Nader al-Asar telephoned Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on the afternoon of 5 July and Haniyeh briefed him about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a result of the restrictions on tunnels and the Rafah crossing. Al-Asar promised to seek remedies on the situation[145]

After dawn prayers on 8 July clashes erupted between pro-Morsi protesters and the army at the Republican Guard compound. According to the army, "terrorists" tried to storm the compound and one officer and 42 other people were injured.[146] On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood said that 42 of its supporters were killed and over 300 were injured after shootings that followed the police storming their peaceful sit-in demanding the reinstatement of Morsi. MP Mohamed Beltagy described the incident as a "massacre" during dawn prayers.[147] After the incident, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for "the international community and international groups and all the free people of the world [to] intervene to stop further massacres [...] and prevent a new Syria in the Arab world."[148] The Nour party said it would suspend taking part in the political process as a response to the deadly clashes. And Ahmed el-Hawary, a founding member of the al-Dustour party and a member of 30 June front, said: "We cannot blame the Muslim Brotherhood without blaming the army. They are both held accountable for this catastrophe...The Brotherhood is playing victims to gain international sympathy yet losing whatever is left of the sympathy at home. A speedy formation of the new cabinet is essential at this point, and although consensus is critical. Egypt must not be the hostage of a concurrence based on non-pertinent arguments."[149] At the same time, Morsi supporters were said by the military of having forced two soldiers, Samir Abdallah Ali and Azzam Hazem Ali, to make pro-Morsi statements on a loudspeaker and that one of them was "severely beaten up" and filmed while making the statements. However, an army official later said that they had "managed to escape their captors."[150]

On 8 July, following reports that many fighters in Syria were returning in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt slapped restrictions on Syrians entering the country and required them to obtain visas before entering the country.[151] An arrest warrant was issued against Mohamed Badie also as the party refused to join a transitional government.[152] The Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California at Berkeley showed that a State Department programme ostensible to support democracy provided funds to activists and politicians for fomenting unrest in Egypt after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.[153] The Muslim Brotherhood vowed to continue its resistance to the military's ouster of Morsi. In a statement it disavowed itself from an assassination attempt against a senior army commander in the Sinai Peninsula on 10 July and said it adheres to peaceful measures. The statement also read: "We will continue our peaceful resistance to the bloody military coup against constitutional legitimacy. We trust that the peaceful and popular will of the people shall triumph over force and oppression."[154] The public prosecutor[who?] issued a freeze on the assets of the Muslim Brotherhood's leaders, as well as other supporters pending investigations in ongoing cases related to events in al-Mokatam, al-Nahda square and the Republican Guards Club. This would affect Mohamed Badie, Khairat al-Shater, Mohamed Ezat, Mahi Ekef, Saed ElKatatni, Essam ElErian, Mohamed ElBeltagy and the Muslim Brotherhood's allies, including Essam Sultan, Assem Abdul Majed, Safwat Hegazy and Hazem Abu Ismail, will also be affected by the freeze.[155]

In addition to continuing daily protests, the Muslim Brotherhood called for more protests after Friday prayers on 19 July.[156] The protests were held in Cairo and Alexandria with two formations of fighter jets flying over both cities after noon prayers ended and some military helicopters flew low over roof tops in Cairo. Amongst the tens of thousands of protesters present, they chanted "Islamic, Islamic" calling for an Islamic state.[157] The protests again turned violent and fatal in Cairo and Qalyoub on 22 July.[158] Morsi's family also held a press conference in Cairo in which his children accused the military of kidnapping him, as well as announcing local and international legal measures they had initiated against General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi.[159]

In mid-August, the violence against Islamists by the army escalated further, with at least hundreds killed, and the government declaring a month-long nighttime curfew.[160][161]

Following the mid-August incidents and the imposition of a state of emergency, security forces targeted the Brotherhood and its allies with a wave of arrests of leaders and senior members.

14 August crackdown[]

Bodies of pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood members

On 14 August 2013, Egyptian security forces raided two camps of protesters in Cairo: one at al-Nahda Square and a larger one at Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque. The two sites had been occupied by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from office by the military after mass street protests against him. The camps were raided after initiatives to end the six-week sit-ins failed and as a result of the raids the camps were cleared out within hours.

The Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced that police used water hoses to disperse the campers. Yet, all videos and photos from the scenes of the raids never showed water or hoses. Tents and bodies were on fire, and the main mosque of Rabaa Al-Adawiya was burned with hundreds of unidentified bodies.[162]

According to the Egyptian Health Ministry, 638 people were killed on 14 August, of which 595 were civilians and 43 police officers, with at least 3,994 injured. However, the Muslim brotherhood and National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy (NCSL) put the number of deaths from the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque sit-in alone at some 2,600. Violent retaliation followed in several cities across the country. The interim government declared a month-long state of emergency in response and curfews were instituted in many areas. The total casualty count made 14 August the deadliest day since the 2011 Egyptian revolution which toppled Morsi's predecessor Hosni Mubarak. The clashes between the police and some armed protestors were widely denounced by world leaders, with the exception of Gulf Arab states: the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and potential GCC member Jordan.

A study conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Media Studies and Public Opinion[disputed ] revealed that 79% of Egyptians believe the massacres on 14 August were crimes against humanity. 73% hold General Al Sisi, the Defence Minister, responsible for the massacres[verification needed].[163] Another poll by Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research later showed that 67 percent of Egyptians were satisfied about the method in which the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins were dispersed.[164][165][166]

On 10 December, thirteen Egyptian and international human rights organizations urged Cairo's interim authorities to probe the mass killing of protesters in the capital on 14 August. The joint call issued by organizations that included Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said an investigation must be launched into the killing of "up to 1,000 people by security forces" almost four months ago when they dispersed sit-ins by supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi. "There can be no hope for the rule of law and political stability in Egypt, much less some modicum of justice for victims, without accountability for what may be the single biggest incident of mass killing in Egypt's recent history," said Gasser Abdel-Razak, associate director at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. "As a first step toward accountability, the government should establish an effective independent fact-finding committee to investigate responsibility throughout the chain of command for the unlawful killings," the rights groups said. They said that on 14 August a "small minority of protesters used firearms... but the police responded excessively by shooting recklessly, going far beyond what is permitted under international law." "After the unprecedented levels of violence and casualties seen since the ousting of Mohamed Morsi, investigations must provide real answers and cannot be another whitewash of the security forces' record," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International said in the statement. "Egypt's authorities cannot deal with the carnage through PR in world's capitals, rewriting events and locking up Morsi's supporters." The groups also said the probe should determine whether there is any evidence of a policy to kill protesters or commit other serious crimes.[167]

Violence against Coptic Christians[]

Since Morsi's overthrow, Egypt's Christian minority, a reported 6 to 12% of the population, have been the target of sectarian divide tactics by unidentified groups.[168] On 5 July 2013 — two days after Morsi was ousted— mobs rampaged through the Christian village of Nagaa Hassan, burning over seventy churches, as well as burning dozens of homes, ransacking stores and stabbing to death at least four people. This included, pro-military Christian activist Emile Naseem, who was hacked and beaten to death.[168] Dozens of Christian families sought protection in a local church.[169]

In Port Said's al-Manakh, masked gunmen opened fire at the Mar Mina Church.[170] Since 30 June, mobs carried out attacks on Christians in six out of Egypt's twenty-seven provinces.[168] Churches across Egypt have cancelled their evening Mass and social activities.[168] Other incidents include Coptic Christian priest Mina Abboud Sharobeen being killed in an outdoor market.[171]

Ramy Jan, a Christian journalist and activist, claims that Islamic violence against Copts is rather fabricated and that Muslims would not commit any type of sectarian violence. He considered all previously-mentioned incidents as "accusations" to Islamists, to which he reacted by starting the Christians Against the Coup movement in demand of "reestablishing democracy", joining with his movement the Anti-Coup Alliance.[172] However, Jan's credibility and that of the group he supposedly represented was severely challenged when it was revealed that he was also in fact a member of the Egyptian Nazi Party.[173]

Back in 2011, Egypt opened a probe on former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly's reported role in the New Year's Eve bombing of al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria in which 24 people were killed. According to the UK diplomatic sources quoted in the reports, the former interior ministry had masterminded the deadly church attack with the intent to blame it on Islamists, escalate government crackdown on them, and gain increased western support for the regime. The former interior minister had built up in over six years a special security system that was managed by 22 officers and that employed a number of former radical Islamists, drug dealers and some security firms to carry out acts of sabotage around the country in case the regime was under threat to collapse. The proclamation also pointed, sourcing reports on UK intelligence services, that interior ministry officer Maj. Fathi Abdelwahid began on 11 December 2011 preparing Ahmed Mohamed Khaled, who had spent 11 years in Egyptian prisons, to contact an extremist group named Jundullah and coordinate with it the attack on the Alexandria church. Khaled reportedly told the group he could assist with providing weapons he had allegedly obtained from Gaza and that the act was meant to "discipline the Copts." [174]

Other incidents[]

The day after the coup, militant gunmen staged multiple attacks on security forces in the Sinai and Suez. One soldier was killed and two others were wounded at a police station near the local headquarters of military intelligence in Rafah as it was attacked by rocket fire. Attackers also fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints guarding El Arish airport.[175] A protest by hundreds of people occurred in Al-Arish the day after the ouster with calls to form a war council to combat the army. Ten areas in north Sinai were witness to clashes, including the Central Security Force camp and a number of checkpoints along the ring road. The airport was also closed after being targeted by unidentified armed men.[176]

In late July 2013 the Egyptian military reportedly launched "Operation Sinai" in an effort to quash the militants.[177]

2014 referendum[]

According to the official results 38.6% of eligible voters participated in a referendum held on 14–15 January 2014 on a new constitution; 98.1% of those who voted supported the new constitution.[178]

Reactions[]

Domestic[]

Amid months of protests, and after his trial had started, Morsi said on 13 November that he was kidnapped by the military the day before his removal and that the move was treason.[179]

A poll by baseera shows 17% of Egyptians believe that the sit-ins were peaceful, while 67% believe they were not. Another poll by baseera shows 69% of Egyptians do not approve of the Muslim Brotherhood's continuation (in politics), 57% of Egyptians feel the Muslim Brotherhood is responsible for all instances of violence since the sit-in dispersals.

International[]

Supranational bodies[]

States[]

PFLP member of the central committee in Gaza, Jamil Mezher, said that the leftist group supports the Egyptian people's choice and their chief demands for freedom and social justice. He also refused to call the military's action a "coup" and added: "Legitimacy doesn't lie only in the ballot box. Legitimacy lies in the people's calls and their aspirations; it is the millions who filled Egypt's streets and squares demanding change and calling for freedom and political inclusion."[206]

The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descendance into chaos, into violence. And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgement – so far. To run the country, there's a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy.[233][234]

Political NGO[]

Media[]

Syrian state-television carried live coverage of the anti-Morsi protests.[216] It also said of the statement that "Syria's people and leadership and army express their deep appreciation for the national, populist movement in Egypt which has yielded a great achievement."[237]

The United States media pointed out that Obama did not call the removal of Morsi a coup.[238] If Obama accepts that a coup had taken place, then U.S. law requires him to cut off military and economic aid to Egypt such as previous incidents in Mauritania, Mali, Madagascar and Pakistan. The U.S. funds 20% of Egypt's military costs (US$1.3 billion) and gives another US$250 million in economic aid.[239] Al Jazeera noted that the refusal to term the events as a coup were tied with the U.S. stance in stopping military aid to countries that have perpetrated a coup.[195]

The media noted that the U.K. did not condemn the removal of Morsi, nor call for him to be restored to power.[181] Some media reports refer to the events as another "revolution"[240][241] and there has been debate as to whether events are best named as being a coup or not.[242]

Others[]

Egyptian Americans, particularly in the Arab-dominated areas of Michigan, had mixed views of the event with some wary of the Muslim Brotherhood, but also wary of usurping democratic rights following a 30-year dictatorship.[243]

Amnesty International has called on foreign governments to stop supplying further arms to the country.[244]

See also[]

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