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Bombs, Elections and Recriminations in Egypt

CC-Khalid Almasoud

Aleteia - published on 03/05/15

Political uncertainty reigns amidst threats from Islamic State militants

Cairo/Aleteia (Aleteia.org/ar) – A bomb exploded yesterday in front of the Supreme Court in Cairo, which killed two individuals and injured nine others. The target of this attack was the police that were guarding the Court.

One day earlier two civilians were killed in a bombing in front of the police headquarters in Aswan. Yesterday five improvised bombs were detonated in various locations throughout the capital leading to several casualties.

Attacks against the police and military locations have been on the increase since Mohamed Morsi was overthrown. These attacks have been carried out by Islamic fundamentalist groups linked with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State.

‘Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, who took control as Egypt’s president in May 2014 promised to deal with the violence perpetrated by the Islamists. However, there are many that accuse him of using force against the opposition, but most Egyptians envision him as someone who can rescue Egypt and its economy.  

The Constitutional Court rejected the current elections law, which has delayed the upcoming parliamentary elections in April and May. The opposition criticized al-Sissi for this postponement despite the fact that he urged the Court to make the necessary adjustments so that a new law can be enacted within a month. Likewise, the law that is based upon electoral districts was declared unconstitutional because it does not guarantee equal representation.

A number of writers and observers believe that delaying the elections is beneficial because it will ensure that the electoral process is more democratic.

At the same time it appears that Egyptians have gladly accepted a decision to carry out the death penalty on four members of the Muslim Brotherhood and a sentence of life imprisonment for their spiritual leader Mohammed Badie. The Grand Mufti once again confirmed their convictions that were handed down last December by the court.

The prisoners had been accused of several crimes including murder, inciting murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and conspiring with armed gangs that were terrorizing the people during the clashes that occurred in June 2013 in front of the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo. These clashes resulted in the deaths of 12 demonstrators and injured 91 others.

The public was shocked by the Court’s decision against the demonstrators that were arrested for their being associated with the demonstration that was held against Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi. The Court sentenced them to between 5 and 15 years for violating the Public Demonstrations Law. The well-known activists Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Ahmed ‘Abd-al-Rahman were among those convicted.

Egyptians were divided among those who believe that the demonstrators were agitators that had broken the law and those who criticized the judges for their decision about the demonstrators who were only expressing their opposition to a violent state.

Last week, President al-Sissi acknowledged publicly that the convictions were harsh and that he would exercise his right to pardon.

Two days ago the Lawyer’s Union called for justice in the case of Karim Yahya, the lawyer that was exposed to harsh treatment and torture by Cairo police and eventually murdered.

Two police officers were arrested for being tied to Yahya’s murder and the Lawyer’s Union demanded the resignation of the Minster of Internal Affairs.   

In a newspaper interview, Reverend Andrea Zaki, head of the Egyptian Evangelical Church expressed his faith in a better future for Egypt. He pointed out the contributions that Christians made in overthrowing Mubarak and the revolutions that came out against Morsi.  He also indicated that the government has changed its position with regards to Christians in the country. Furthermore, he recognized the role that Christians have played in the nation and the unity between the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches.  

Translated from the Aleteia Arabic edition.

Tags:
EgyptIslamic Militants
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