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Morsi is being prosecuted on conspiracy charges; do us a favour, credit us with some intelligence, please!

January 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

For some Egyptian politicians to oppose the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders is expected; for most of the media to be recruited in an attack against the movement is likely, but this is not the place to discuss this and analyse its reasons. However, for the Egyptian judiciary to be dragged into the purely political and exclusionary prosecution of ousted President Morsi is neither rational nor logical. It contradicts completely the ambitions of most Egyptians for the establishment of justice and the separation of the legislature from the executive, as well as developing the independence of the judiciary which has managed to maintain its integrity for decades.

On Wednesday, the Egyptian Public Prosecutor ordered the deposed president Mohamed Morsi, along with a number of Brotherhood members, to stand trial on charges of “conspiring” with foreign organisations outside the country in order to commit acts of “terror”. One of the organisations mentioned was the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas; Hezbollah in Lebanon was also mentioned, albeit hesitantly.

The same Muslim Brotherhood is accused of collaborating with America; it also “conspired” with Washington and sent Dr Issam Al-Attar, one of the group’s most prominent members, at the head of a delegation to the US capital for a meeting with several government officials, including members of the security services. Moreover, President Morsi visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Russia and Brazil and “conspired” with the leaders and officials of these countries. Furthermore, Khairat El-Shater, his right-hand man, flew to the UAE and Qatar, while Issam Al-Haddad “conspired” with officials there. None of this “conspiring” is considered a crime, of course; legitimate acts generally do not warrant accountability. The only “evil” conspiracy was with Hamas, which is besieged in a sliver of land no larger than 150 square miles, called the Gaza Strip, and is facing repeated attacks and assassinations from Israel.

Egyptian Attorney General Hisham Barakat said in the indictment of 35 Brotherhood leaders, on the basis of which they were ordered to attend the court, that they “conspired” in order to commit terrorist acts inside the country and disclose secrets related to Egypt’s defence to foreign countries and those working in their favour. They also “conspired” to fund terrorism and military training to achieve the objectives of the international organisation of the Brotherhood, as well as committing acts leading to the compromise of the country’s independence, unity and integrity, it is alleged.

I do not know when these individuals conspired with the Hamas “empire”; was it, perhaps, during the time of President Morsi’s inauguration after winning the elections that everyone agreed were free and fair? We are not referring to his success or failure, but is it possible for a president to “conspire” in order to shake the stability, safety and independence of the country he is ruling? And, if this “conspiring” occurred after his overthrow, how could he have done so from behind bars? If it predated his presidency, why allow him to stand for high office?

Moreover, what were the secrets relating to Egyptian national security leaked to Hamas; the secrets of the Egyptian atomic bomb? Or the plans of attack prepared by the chief of staff of the Egyptian army to destroy the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the construction of which may threaten the lives of millions of Egyptians? Or do these secrets pertain to the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation, headed by Lt. Abdul-Aziz Seif, who is highly respected in the Armed Forces?

The Hamas movement, which the Egyptian media turned into a superpower no less important and dangerous than the Soviet Union at the height of its glory, and the United States at the peak of its power, was unable to cope with the Gaza Strip flooding under a few feet of water as a result of half a day of rain. Its employees and volunteers resorted to flimsy boats belonging to poor fishermen to save those drowning and those who climbed onto their roofs to escape the floods. How can they use the secrets of the “deep state” Egyptian military while it is in this condition, in order to threaten Egypt’s security and stability?

On the basis of the indictment against President Morsi, we have to say that President Hosni Mubarak “conspired” with Hamas and hosted all of its senior officials at state expense, and turned a blind eye to the 1,300+ tunnels under the Gaza border with Egypt; he didn’t destroy one tunnel, despite US and Israeli pressure. He also appointed an Egyptian “ambassador” to the besieged territory and never recalled the ambassador despite the “coup” against President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which Mubarak supported. However, those of us who followed the trial of the former president did not see any charges of “conspiring with Hamas” on the indictment.

Furthermore, the Egyptian intelligence service was a party that “conspired” with Hamas and all the other Palestinian movements, including Islamic Jihad, based on official authorisation from the government, but we did not see any of the officers brought to trial on charges of such “conspiring”.

It is shameful to compare the rule of the “first” ousted president with the current Egyptian rulers with regards to their dealings with the Gaza Strip. We are the people who did not say one good word about Mubarak when he was in charge, and we supported the legitimate revolution to overthrow him, and may God forgive whoever forced us to do so.

The current Egyptian authorities have demolished all of the tunnels; they open the Rafah crossing for a day, then close it for weeks and deprive two million people of electricity and fuel in an act of retaliation, vengeance and spite. They also commit all means of harassment and humiliation against the people of Gaza and consider them all to be terrorists who pose a threat to Egypt and its people. They imprison anyone of them forced to pass through their airport, in underground rooms not even suitable for animals, for several days for no reason. All of this is done because President Morsi was “sympathetic” towards Hamas and the people of the Gaza Strip in a humanitarian way that reflected the morality of the Egyptian people, their kindness, and their love for their fellow Arabs, and the Palestinians in particular, and their tendency to support the oppressed.

There is a new regime in Egypt that wants to seek revenge against the Muslim Brotherhood and eradicate it from its roots upwards. It is receiving support and encouragement from a large number of Egyptians, and this is clear to everyone who can see. However, why have they implicated Hamas and the Palestinian people and portrayed them as enemies of the great Egypt, even though those in Gaza barely constitute one area of a Cairo neighbourhood in size? Moreover, these people love Egypt, preserve its beauty, watch its television channels, rejoice for its joy, grieve for its sorrow, and are even fans of its football teams.

You have imprisoned President Morsi after overthrowing him from the position he reached through the ballot box; you issued a decision to criminalise the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he is a member, and prohibited the movement from political action; then you dissolved the Freedom and Justice Party, which was established in accordance with Egyptian law and its provisions. What more do you want? Why have you involved the judiciary in this fight?

Let’s be honest and admit that the charges against President Morsi and his political colleagues are political and not criminal. Moreover, the new constitution that will be submitted next month to the Egyptian people for a referendum allows the prosecution of politicians before military courts. Therefore, we urge you to reinstate the state of emergency and martial law and issue whichever laws you want, away from this charade that cannot convince even the most naïve of people.

For the road map, any road map, to be successful, it must be transparent, democratic and convincing, not bumpy and full of dangerous pitfalls and bends. I think those who wrote it know very well what I mean, so do us a favour, and credit us with some intelligence, please!

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.