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EU calls for the release of all political prisoners in Egypt

January 30, 2014 at 11:31 am

The EU renewed its call on Monday for Egypt to release all political prisoners. The call follows the decision by Egypt’s prosecutor to refer deposed President Mohammed Morsi and 14 other leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood to the criminal court in Cairo on charges of inciting violence.

Michael Mann, spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief Katharine Ashton, said: “If there are judiciary lawsuits, they must be clearly disclosed as soon as possible.”

He said that the course of law must not be diverted and reiterated that, “judiciary independence is a core component of an open democratic society.”

The EU has called for authorities in Egypt to respect human rights and to release all political prisoners.

Egypt’s public prosecutor Hisham Barakat referred President Morsi along with other MB leaders and members to the criminal court on charges related to inciting “the killing of demonstrators”. In particular, they have been accused of inciting their supporters to fight opponents in front of the Al-Itihadiya Palace last December. Seven were killed in the clashes.

The accused include the deputy head of the Freedom and Justice party Essam Al-Arian, Mohammed El-Beltaji, and the former head of the president’s office, Assad Sheikha, among others.

Public prosecutors decided to detain President Morsi last month on charges of inciting violence and for collaborating with the Islamic Palestinian Movement Hamas.

Media has reported that Morsi is refusing to reply to the questions of investigators and added that he once told them that he is the legitimate president of Egypt and cannot be prosecuted unless in accordance with Constitutional rulings.

President Morsi has been detained in an unknown place since he was removed by General Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi in a military coup last July.